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Knowing the Numbers: How Bad Sex-Offender Data Could Cause More Harm

Guest Columnist Jill Levenson of Lynn University criticizes the reliance of the Supreme Court and others on inaccurate sex offender data…    In the US Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding sex offender registration requirements (SORNA) under the Adam Walsh Act [PDF], the Court’s opinion [PDF] included the following statement: “SORNA’s general changes were designed to make more uniform what had remained “a patchwork of federal and 50 individual state registration systems … with loopholes and deficiencies” that had resulted in an estimated 100,000 sex offenders essentially disappearing off law enforcement’s radar. Full Article


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  1. td777

    While I agree with this article on the need for accurate data, it is telling of the columnists view of RSOs when the article did nothing to argue against whether sex offenders present a danger.

  2. Bluewall

    Here in California there are 3 types of people that have to register. Drug offenders, arsonist, and sex offenders.. I would like to see the data on drug offenders and arsonist… Where is the missing % and repeats on those??? Wait… Drug offenders only need to register for “All registration requirements set forth in this article shall terminate five years after the discharge from prison, release from jail or termination of probation or parole of the person convicted.” – Health and Safety Code (H&S) Section 11590 – Drug Offender Registration 11590. Only 5 years???? with recidivism of 6% … While sex offenders is for life with a 5% recidivism… .. just 1% short then a drug offender… And drug offender registry is private.. Arsonist is a life time requirement, but only need to be updated if they move… .. Recidivism rate at 4.5%, data base private..

    • td777

      Actually, the CA DOJ says the recividism rate is 1.3 to 1.9% for sex offenders, not 5%.


    The article is right on and professor Levenson’s voice is again
    Outstanding on having laws or public policy relying on inaccurate,
    misleading, misdirected, false, deceptive, and tampered with
    so called information / evidence ………resulting in millions &
    millions a dollars of waste that could have been used to create


    Public policy must be based on facts…solid present evidence ….
    NOT based on speculation or guess……professor Levenson writes
    teaches and helps cause awareness that so called ‘sex’ offender
    laws are built on a house of cards…fraud…deception to incite
    further oppressive discriminatory harassment type laws.

  5. BillG (yet again)

    I would just love to give credit to whomever wrote this, but it was published anonymously because the writer feared retribution….

    “One day–perhaps fifty or a hundred years from now–it will appear ludicrous that our society was so consumed with anger at this class of scapegoats [Registered Sex Offenders] that it obliterated its fine traditions of liberty and justice in favor of retribution and vengeance. It will seem odd, that American society was obsessed with concern about sexual acts with teenagers even as it pursued a pointless war that killed thousands of teenagers and others on both sides of that war. People will hopefully someday recoil when told that a person convicted in Federal court of making a photograph of a 17 year old masturbating would receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison, yet a person convicted of the (non sexual) murder of that teen would face far less. It will seem incredible that the focus was on sexual deviance rather than on the astronomical rate of murder and other real violence, or the growing gap between rich and poor, and the indelible mark of real poverty on so many children. Until such a day of greater sanity, this scapegoating and shunning of all sex offenders and “pedophiles” will inevitably lead to less freedom and more insecurity for all who might engender the wrath of puritan preachers or stoke the greed of media outlets and pandering politicians. For now, it seems unlikely that even those who traditionally guard our civil liberties or those who traditionally challenge state repression from the left, will dare speak out, lest they, too, be marginalized and shunned.

  6. mch

    Perhaps a columnist/journalist should write in depth about police sexual misconduct and use factual information from the NPMSRP PoLice Misconduct Statistical Report to show where a real and present danger is for children. Lest any think I have a bone to pick with law enforcement, I do indeed!
    Here are some numbers from that report:
    *Approximately 800,000 cops commit 688 sex offenses per year; more than teachers and on par with clergy; and far more than RSO’s!
    *Each offense costs taxpayers $43,000
    *Of those 688 offenses 38% involve minors, 57% are non consensual
    *Female drivers, especially teens are at risk to be stopped and molested by a police officer, far greater than a crazed, trench coat wearing RSO.
    *Police commit 79 sexual assaults/100K vs the general public who commit only 29/100k population.

    Keep in mind these are only reported statistics. I think it’s higher because police have the intimidating good ole boy network going on and fewer offenses are reported. Police serve 2/3 less time for the same crime and have about a 40% less conviction rate.
    Where’s the love? So much for my Sunday rant. Who presents the greater danger then, RSO’s or law enforcement? Just asking!

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