Few public policies galvanize bipartisan political support like measures that target convicted sexual offenders. Lengthy prison sentences, registration and civil commitment for the most dangerous offenders are among the tools used to mete punishment, protect the public and serve justice.
But as The Pilot’s Louis Hansen reported Sunday, Virginia’s practice of committing violent sex offenders to a lifetime on a public registry, and requiring them to jump through bureaucratic hoops long after they’ve served their prison sentences, can sometimes prove problematic.
Hansen’s report on Willie Combo, an aging offender who recently landed back in jail after failing to renew his registration, underscores the need for policymakers to examine whether justice and the public are served through a rigid policy of imposing a lifetime of paperwork on every violent sexual offender, even after they are no longer a threat. Full Article