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Young Sex Offenders Shouldn’t Have to Register; It’s Ineffective and Hurts Everyone Around Them

Sex offender registration policies were initially developed for adults with sexual offenses, but have recently been extended to include youth with sexual offenses as well. At first glance, sex offender registration and notification (hereafter referred to as SORN) may make us feel safer, produce relief knowing that these individuals are being punished. Full Article

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  1. Dustin

    Good article, though nothing new. I’m very encouraged that most of the opinions were written by women (mine excluded, of course) and it’s good that the true facts and reasonable assertions are finally being disseminated. Now we have to work to get them disseminated to the general public, as opposed to the forums of already like-minded individuals.

    Legislators are already aware and many even agree, but will not weather the “sex offender friendly” label or begin the process of abolishing the registry absent a considerable showing from their constituents that the registry must end. Maybe not even then, to be honest.

    • Facts should matter

      Megan’s law was never the “will of the people” in the first place. It was the result of Maureen Kanka jabber-jawing her bitter, vitriolic hatred towards everyone on the registry to the lawmakers and fear mongering to soccer moms in school cafeterias nationwide. She was the one that ultimately set up the environment that contributed to the death of her daughter with her lackadaisical complacency. The public was then sold a LIE and fell for it hook, line a sinker with the “If I knew he lived next door, my daughter would still be alive..” which is a projection of guilt and an association fallacy/bias. Psychological manipulation and deception through fear mongering. A transference of guilt to not make her (M. Kanka) look like the incompetent mother she actually is.

      Not everyone deemed a sex offender has the same risk dynamics or criminogenic needs of her daughter’s killer. I also contend that community notification will never never make an appreciable difference in preventing anything. What happened to Megan was too statistically insignificant to even warrant and justify such a law to begin with! In short, the registry is little more than a safety illusion fantasy to pacify and appease worrywart parents for votes. It’s a reelection campaign tool – not a safety one.

      • Laura

        In grief and pain the most common human reaction is to blame. The real fact of the matter is that politicians and lawmakers who are suppose to protect and serve all citizens have turned the registry into something that brings them votes and money. A tool that has proven over and over again not to promote safety but punishment. Punishment not only on the individual offender who’s name is listed on the sex offender registry but also on family members, friends and/or any one else, who are completely innocent of any crime, but still care about and would like to help and support the offender. Something needs to change and hopefully with people like Janice Bellucci, Catherine Carpenter and many others the laws shall change. If not for those on the registry today but for our children and our children’s children who could do something nonsensical with the over 46 laws and end up on the Sex Offender Registry in the years ahead.

        • Nondescript

          Good comments. I would take it a step further and say that the registry is not meant to be “punishment” per say , but meant to be about control. Reducing a persons sovereignty, autonomy and independence is the highest priority of the agenda, and it is not just limited to registrants. Registrants are simply the beta test for the controllers to see how far society will allow their governments to oppress their fellow man or woman AND to discern how much people will tolerate before they fight back. When the registry becomes enormously encompassing, capturing everyone in it for minor indiscretions, the masses themselves will be pushing back,

          I still believe that the parents of these deceased children and the children themselves are just being used as fronts for laws that are already written and waiting for a face to accompany it so they can sell it to the public. They are likely offered a lot of currency in exchange for their continued involvement ( setting up ngo’s, charities etc)

          And the poor politicians are most likely being bribed and blackmailed. ( hence why the politicians with the most dirt on them are the ones chosen to sponsor the legislation)

          In regards to youth being put on the registry ( which is appalling) , it kind of jives with the ” get em when their young” strategy- if you can oppress a person before they reach adulthood and already feel hopeless, they will be much more compliant and easier to control.

      • Alec

        In software development, there is a mantra: “do not write code that optimizes for the edge cases and forgets everything else.” If you do that, the majority of your customers will have a crappy experience, in order to silence the loudest 3 or 4 customers out of millions. The problem is that when applying this to human life, “even one life is enough” is seen to be a compelling argument (it is not). Let’s just lock up the entire population, in order to potentially save one child’s life, shall we? I mean, that is the inevitable result of that line of thinking.

        I wish people could see the obviousness of such a mantra for people and society, too. Law cannot be and must not be a sledgehammer, for if it is treated as such, the inevitable result is despotism. This is, alas, increasingly what the US looks like.

      • Dustin

        While I agree that Megan’s Law is undermined by the fact that Maureen Kanka and her entire neighborhood actually did know that an SO lived there (disclosed but not publicized) and the knowledge had no effect on the following events, I wouldn’t call her an incompetent mother. One thing is still being overlooked after all these years and has been irrefutably true since the dawn of time – KIDS DON’T ALWAYS LISTEN TO THEIR PARENTS. Occasionally, as here, the results are tragic. I’m certain Megan was told not to go to that house, even if she didn’t tell her why.

        I empathize with the Kankas. I lost my youngest son when he was a year and a half old, though from natural causes (a bad heart connected to Down’s Syndrome). I understand the need to lash out, having experienced it myself, and don’t fault her for doing so. However, I am and will always remain both disturbed and infuriated by the Kanka’s tragedy being exploited by the media and political leeches in the legislatures, neither of which would have given Megan a second thought if the circumstances of her murder couldn’t be twisted to serve their own ends – spectacle for the former and votes for the latter.

        To her credit, Maureen Kanka has spoken out against the registry to some extent, mostly the inclusion of children. I would think it would be something of a human interest story to a supposed impartial media, considering the societal impact of the law that bears her daughter’s name. But since she’s not screaming at the top of her lungs that it’s not enough and we need more restrictions, apparently it’s more important for the public to be aware that a man convicted for statutory rape back in 1998 when he was 18 and his girlfriend was 15 has failed to register his new address. Surely, that makes the public feel safe.

        • side note

          Didn’t I see the Kanka’s and Chris Smith in the media together pushing IML?

        • Tim Moore

          Yes, Smith brags about it on his web site.

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