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ACSOL Conference Oct 1, 2022 

Commentary

Why Blanket Registration of Youth as Sex Offenders is Bad Public Policy

Source: thecrimereport.org 8/5/21

We praise children for their curiosity. How else are they to learn to navigate the world? But sometimes a child’s curiosity leads to a lifetime of punishment and ostracism.

Sadly, this is the harsh reality of many children who were charged with a sex offense.

Although it can be a difficult notion to accept, children may exhibit sexual behavior as part of their normal childhood development. Some behaviors that stem from curiosity, such as ‘playing doctor’ or touching another child in their genital area can be problematic, harmful, and illegal.

Children may engage in these kinds of behaviors for all types of reasons, including being especially curious after witnessing a sexual scene on television or because they are reacting to their own traumatic experience.

When children engage in these types of behaviors and are adjudicated for a sex offense, they can be required to register on a public sex offense website for life. Registering youth on sex offense registries has been scrutinized by experts for various reasons:

Read the full article

 

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