Database Infamia: Exit from the Sex Offender Registries

Since originating in the early-mid 1990s, sex offender registration and community notification laws have swept the country, now affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals. The laws require that individuals provide, update and at least annually verify personal identifying information, which governments make publicly available via the Internet and other means. Typically retrospective in their reach, and sweeping in their breadth, the laws can target individuals for their lifetimes, imposing multiple hardships. This symposium contribution surveys the extent to which states now afford registrants an opportunity to secure relief from registration and community notification and examines the important legal and policy ramifications of the limited exit options made available. Abstract | D0wnload Paper

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Great read:

“In short, registration and community notification laws are very likely here to stay. In the face of this reality, law reform efforts should be channeled toward enhancing opportunities for exit, based on law-abidingness, risk of sexual reoffense, and other relevant considerations. While to date legislative efforts have often gone in the other direction, imposing limits on the opportunity for exit, it is hoped that this Article has provided a framework for this much-needed change to occur.”

A standout for me is the quote from former director of the Department of Corrections stating a “principle involved which should not be disregarded. It has never been the practice in America to require citizens to register with the police, except while actually serving a sentence under the Probation or Parole laws.” What’s more, the state of California recognized way back in 1983 that registration IS punitive.

However, the paper’s author is a bit deceitful in their conclusion when referring to Philip Craig Garrido as in compliance with his state registration requirements. He was already on lifetime parole, and it is clearly not in compliance when he commits the crimes he did. One should not look at whether he was in compliance with his registration requirements, but instead that his original crime was enough that he had been placed on lifetime parole and he was clearly not in compliance with his parole terms.

I am also disappointed that the writer, whose research surely made him aware the registry has never once been proven save anyone from being a victim, concludes that registration laws are here to stay rather than point out that they need to go.

This paper, only being the latest of his many papers on sex offenders, concludes with “…unlike the enormous cost of mass incarceration, registration and notification promise social control on the cheap…” So maybe we are the sharp edge of some grand social experiment. And with lifetime registrations it is certainly long term. So, to me this means there will be a lot of old bitter single men who will need to be in rest homes eventually. But wait! The trend of rest homes not taking sex offenders is already under way. Right now, the Iowa people are so concerned that there is a bill in their legislature to create rest homes just for sex offenders! See: Legiscan, Iowa, HF-399.

Unfortunately, I think this kind of thing will eventually happen. Can you imagine the funding “generosity”
that will surely be barebones; these places will be one step above prisons. And by then we will be too feeble to fight.

This is the type of hopelessness that scares me the most, seeing such a dismal future. After all, I’m 70 years old now.
I can’t go on with this train of thought without you naming me an anarchist which I’m not and will never be. But God, I have to watch my thinking…