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Commentary

Sex Offender Registry Requirements Leave Some Facing Stark Choices As Coronavirus Risks Grow

[theappeal.org – 4/3/20]

A patchwork approach to the nation’s sex offense registry laws is leaving many of the 900,000 people on the country’s registries with a stark choice as COVID-19 sweeps the country: risk their lives or risk their freedom.

This week, a California man had to decide between putting his and his 65-year-old parents’ health at risk or potentially going to prison. Another is already in violation of his state’s law because he spent more than three days in the hospital with his pregnant spouse without first appearing at his local police department to report that he would be away from home. If he had left the hospital to try to report, he wouldn’t have been allowed to return because of the risk of spreading coronavirus. In Rochester, New York, a man on a registry called his local police department to tell them he had symptoms of COVID-19. He was told to report in person anyway.

While many of the country’s law enforcement agencies are finding ways to modify how they  administer their sex offense registry laws, others are defying public health directives by forcing people to crowd into police stations in close contact with each other, members of the public, and law enforcement officials.

In California, the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws filed lawsuits last week against five jurisdictions that continue to require people with sex offense convictions to register and report in person. In a filing against the San Diego Police Department, the group argued that jurisdictions are in effect forcing sex offender registrants to “play Russian Roulette” with their lives. Governor Gavin Newsom’s office issued a statewide “stay at home” order on March 19, but many law enforcement agencies continued to require in-person registration. However, some jurisdictions have acted on their own and have taken measures to comply with COVID-19 warnings by moving to online or telephone reporting.

Read the full article

 

 

Join the discussion

  1. H

    This is going to sound bitter but I hope all of the people responsible for the insane “you must register in person” contract the virus and become very very ill. The stupidity is rampant, if it saves one child, how many might we save by curbing the spread of this virus. I really do hate hypocrisy.

    Be safe everyone

  2. Rob

    I would bet most SO’s live with their parents. The older the SO, the older their parents are. I live with mine. For me it’s because once I had a career, wife, apartment…but lost it all over time to the registry. Been on the registry close to 25 years now. Had to move back in with mom and dad 5 years ago or live under a bridge. Keep ’em safe people because in a way…(if your situation is similar) they’re keeping you safe.

    • C

      Can’t say I’m overwhelmed with sympathy for cops injured on or off duty any more than I am Nazi conscripts KIA while “following orders.”

  3. Saddles

    Much of this is a patchwork approach. If governments would have left sex along instead of allowing it on, with the invent of the internet, it would have solved a lot of crisis in America but governments are in it for the money as one would seem. Saing one is 16 and when questioned they say , nobody tells me what to do or mom’s not home is a bit questionable. Yes government is greedy in so many ways. I’m just supprised they allowed gambling in Vegas and now look at it all over the nation today in one form or another.

    Guess people weren’t happy with playboy magazines or the little smut type mag’s that some read back or soilders took overseas back in the 40’s & 50’s and this stupid darwinism theory was a joke. Talk about a sexual slant type of Inherit the Wind. Today this whole issue is way off key to the way the orginal nation was to be a Nation of freedom and rights, and sex issues were a bit taboo toeven talk about. But today it seems its a bit to much.

    Believe it or not we all still have a thorn in the flesh and yes their are still sexual and physical violence today as their were in the past America has a lot of clean up in the prison system and even the internet crap in this surfing for dollars or being induced by some Law enforcement.

    Much of this internet stuff is like bobbing for apples and and getting a lemon. I’m sure you all as well as myself know that but when attractions get physical well thats another different call but for the truth the internet registry to be viewed of a who’s who that must go as it is discrimination to all and another form of punishment.

  4. td777

    “California, on the other hand, requires homeless individuals on the registry to show up in person every 90 days, according to Bellucci. ”

    No, it’s every 30 days!

    • Janice Bellucci

      @td777 – I am well aware that transients in CA are required to register every 30 days. Unfortunately, I was misquoted on this topic.

  5. Illinois Contact

    More and more jurisdictions are eliminating in-person registration because of the virus — including my city, where apparently all registration has been suspended (a caller was told that the office was closed until further notice). So, if there is no uptick in sex-related crimes in the coming months, which of course there wont be, doesn’t that say something about the ineffectiveness of the registry? Won’t any rational person (even a politician or law enforcement) realize that the evidence is compelling the registry is irrelevant to reducing sex crimes.

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