California Has Realized that Sex Offender Registries Don’t Work

The California Sex Offender Management Board, which oversees California’s sex offender registration laws announced last week that the database is too big, and that it’s not helpful in its current form. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday that the board is recommending to the state legislature that only violent offenders, such as kidnappers and sexual predators be compelled to register for life. The overhaul would be a far cry from abolishing “Santa’s Naughty List” completely. Full Article

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Mixed feelings about this article. While it is good to admit the system doesn’t work, there are lines like “they’re forgetting that somebody was assaulted, in many cases a child.” Some of us were convicted after being falsely accused, and others of us who even in the accusation there was no actual victim to have been assaulted.

This is a small step in the right direction, but still, as the article states, the corrections that are being proposed would only move CAs registry from draconian to useless. As someone who teaches behind the walls of a prison, I would certainly like to see the resources wasted on the registry channeled in to correctional education. That has been proven to make a difference, while the registry has definitely not.

This article really bites the big one,! it’s not that Calif realives that it doesn’t work but the A.H that brought it into action finally do, and none of the other laws they made up have stopped anything either!!!!!!!!!!!

One thing I really like about this article (the “news.vice.com” article, not the “sfgate.com” article) is the part where Amanda Agan, the postdoctoral student, argues that the PUBLIC registry actually causes an INCREASE in recidivism. I’ve been waiting for someone to claim this. I agree with her! Her argument is very simple: When someone has little-to-nothing left to lose, then what’s to stop them. SHE’S RIGHT!!!!!

Can ANYONE re-call any politician saying these laws work??? I have heard them say “they are necessary” but interesting that I can’t find one that says they work.

Wow that would be hilarious if “California realized that sex offender registries don’t work”, but nothing close has happened yet. The state is starting to understand that having every sex offender register for life is costing more money each year as new offenders enter the database and the costs are beginning to outweigh the benefits. Already nobody wants to appear soft on crime and I suspect many in the California legislature will tread extremely cautiously about openly supporting a proposal to eventually let some offenders off the registry.

The 50 States and the federal government don’t have an across the board agreement on which offenses are low, medium and high risk. Not all California registrants are registered for California offenses. Mine was a federal offense and to a degree federal law has a say in the minimum amount of years I must register in any state where I reside, am employed, or attending an institution of higher learning. Any state is free to follow the federal requirements set forth in sorna or come up with their own regulations that are less or more strict. So keep in mind whatever changes California decides to make there will be possible overlap between registration requirements in other states and those at the federal level. Meaning gray areas and possible loopholes where someone has to register longer or for an initial period in California or elsewhere.

I applaud the notion of wanting to clean up the system, but I know too well that it’s going to be a messy process. Personally I don’t believe anyone should have to register for life or get lifetime parole, probation, or supervised release. If someone is really in need of that much supervision why release them in the first place? Though more importantly what does lifetime supervision say about our confidence in societal re-entry, rehabilitation, and reintegration of offenders into self sufficient contributing members of society?