The first thing that must be pointed out is that the sex offender registry came about because of the myth that people convicted of sexual related crimes were always going to reoffend. Some of the numbers that were tossed around at the time that the registry was conceived were 60 to 80% would reoffend. The registry was not originally designed to protect anyone, it was simply there to aid law-enforcement so that they would have suspects to look at because of this belief of high reoffense rates. As we now know, that belief is not only a myth, but it is an outright lie. There is no high reoffense rate of any kind for people convicted of a sexually related crime. The studies all show a reconviction rate in the single digits, and many studies show the rates in the fractions of a single-digit (why-are-the-reconviction-rates-so-important). So to start with, because there is no high reoffense rate, there is no compelling reason for the the existence of the sex offender registry at all (other than fear, bias, bigotry and hatred of a class of criminals). Secondly, because of the lack of a high reoffense rate, there is no use for law-enforcement to have this duplication of information that is already available under their normal investigative procedures. This is only wasting time and resources and leads to harassing people who have a low risk to reoffend while making them and their families’ lives miserable.
As for the components of the registry, such as community notification, residence restrictions, job research and housing restrictions, freedom of movement restrictions, freedom to cross state lines restrictions, plus the many other components of the registry that could not exist without the registry’s existence; for a person to say that any one of these components is not punishment shows the uneducated bias of the person speaking or else they have a fiduciary interest in perpetuating these lies.
According to our declaration of independence all men are created equal, and in our Constitution and Bill of Rights it is laid out that all people will be treated equally. It is very apparent that a person who is on the registry is not treated equally with other citizens. This becomes quite obvious when a person who is not a sex offender accidentally is placed upon the registry or one of its components such as having their driver’s license tagged. If there was no disparity between ordinary citizens and registered citizens than they would be treated exactly the same. Quite obviously they are not.