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General News

Sex offender registry: More harm than good?

In the 1990s, in response to a number of horrific and highly publicized crimes against children, states and the federal government created stringent penalties for sex offenders, notably registries where offenders’ names and addresses are available to the public.

But now critics across the country are demanding review and revision of these policies, saying they are based on false assumptions, are a waste of money and do more harm than good. Full Article

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This is an excellent piece of journalism. It lays out the facts and points to the many negative consequences the registry causes not just for the RC, but family and society as a whole. Hopefully this publication has some decent coverage and readership.

Some lines from it merit mention.
“We have to stop ignoring the evidence,” said Cindy Prizio, executive director of Connecticut for One Standard of Justice.
Exactly. Thank you, Ms. Prizio, for saying this. Now if only judges and legislators would heed your words.
If convicted sex offenders aren’t committing the new sex crimes, who is? The answer: relatives, teachers, coaches, physicians, clergymen, dates, babysitters or other children — people known to the victim and, overwhelmingly, first-time offenders.
Again, so nice to have the truth bared and retold.
She said in instances where the assailant was a family member, victims will sometimes push to have the individual placed on the police registry to protect the family’s reputation or privacy.
Nothing like hypocrisy from the victims (as a whole). Let’s get all those nasty people on a public registry…except mine, for reputation and privacy. Umm, what about other families’ reputations and privacy? How self-serving.

The author suggests advancing a “risk” based registry. But again, despite how good a soundbite it makes, how is one’s risk level classified?

This truth needs to told and retold at every inch of the way. I think it would be money will spent that groups, like ACSOL, would put ads in major publications and newspapers announcing this truth. I would like to have a nicely printed poster that I can put on bulletin boards around my community, with simpler information with a hot line phone directing people to.

It doesn’t matter how many articles are written pointing out the horrible toll the registry takes on all involved. Laws are passed on emotion, not fact.
I accept that there will always be a registry here. I accept that the 5% that get caught in an offense will be the ones paying for the 95% that never get arrested. I accept that the few lead the many in creating an atmosphere that is basically inhospitable for even daily life.
I accept that I must leave this country to have any chance of happiness in my life.

“I accept that there will always be a registry here.”

I don’t. The registry is absolutely unacceptable and I refuse to be a polite victim of it. Why? Because it’s an open-ended threat to my personal privacy, safety, mental health and security.

Amen Facts ~ I agree wholeheartedly. The registry, as long as it exists, will always be a threat to our health, safety and mental state, and I am the spouse of the registrant. I still experience all these emotions you mentioned. I don’t deserve this, and neither does anybody else.

You are right, your life is put in danger. Your family has to deal with unacceptable ridicule and hardship. But guess what, the population could care less! This is America. It’s history has been built on oppression, enslavement, and imperialistic governing.
Some form of the registry has always been here.The registry is not going away. In fact it is only going to expand.. The obly way it will end is when this government comes to an end.

So true, registration is carrying on the great tradition of segregating undesirables. Some examples are economic segregation, which is wage slavery, resource theft and red lining; cultural segregation or ghettos, reservations, sunset laws and now residency restrictions; political segregation, or voter suppression, gerrymandering and money is speech.
The end game of segregation is either extermination of the undesirable as was done with the native people’s or commodification of the undesirables for the exploitation by a ruling class as was with slavery. I suppose some are trying to get rid of registrants, push us into ad hoc reservations, and some see us as a type of capital, political and economic. Registration is not a 25 or even a 70 year old problem. It came to these shores aboard the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

The registry is giving everyone a false sense of security, and the registry endangers lives.

Who or what classifies a person’s “risk” level? The word “risk” shows up in this article 11 times; but I think it is much easier said than to quantify someone’s true risk.

Law enforcement, politicians, government funded doctors, and researchers endlessly praise a “risk” based registry. But again, who and/or what is classifying a person as “high” risk?

Reserving a registry for only “high” risk offenders makes for a good soundbite. But are these politicians using the flawed Static-99R to label someone as high risk? And IF a person is truly “high” risk, why exacerbate one’s risk factors by further destroying employment, housing, and relationship prospects? The registry is not proven to prevent crime. And when 95 percent of sex offenses are committed by first-time offenders, then what exactly has the registry proved to have prevented?

It’s almost as if the politicians want to create offenses so that they can write and pass more laws to make the public believe the B.S. that they are selling us.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x