GA: How Georgia’s Sex Offender Registry Traps People in Debt and Homelessness

Source: theappeal.org 12/8/22

In 2010, at age 20, after six years of engaging in sex work to survive, I was arrested and charged with pimping, pandering, and exploiting a minor who was over 16 years old. In 2012, I was convicted and sentenced to 30 years, with 14 to be served in custody, and forced to register as a sex offender. As my public defender so appropriately described it, I was depicted by the media as a sort of Guido the Killer Pimp and accused—I maintain falsely—of terrible acts befitting only a terrible person.

It’s well known that police target sex workers, criminalizing their means of survival and contributing to sex offense-related convictions and statistics. In particular, police target BIPOC and LGBTQ sex workers—especially the many disenfranchised, ostracized, and homeless teens and young people engaged in the trade for survival. These sorts of arrest patterns by law enforcement only act to control bodies, cater to the public’s hunger for spectacle, and pad conviction rates, all while furthering a general rhetoric of perversion and predation. 

No one seemed interested in the facts of my case, nor in my long history of childhood sexual abuse and compulsory sex work—least of all the police and the media. I didn’t know at that time that I was fulfilling a narrative around crime and sex offenses. Nor did I know about the vicious re-incarceration cycle of the registry and potentially lifelong monetary peonage to the criminal (in)justice system.  

But I do unfortunately know one thing now: Sex offender registries are debt traps that cause mass homelessness and mass incarceration. After years estranged from society and divorced from a solid employment history, the cost of rebuilding a life from rubble and debris is exorbitant (housing, furniture, vehicle, insurance, food, clothing, medications and medical expenses, etc). And that’s without factoring in registry and parole/probation-related costs.

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Excellent summary: “Research suggests that registries are ineffective at deterring new crimes and may even lead to greater rates of recidivism. Criminal convictions and placement on the registry impact credit scores, employment opportunities, housing accessibility, and in some cases admission to institutions of higher education. Those issues don’t even factor in social stigma, discrimination, potentially being doxed, and moral panic from others in society. Rather than reducing crime, studies suggest registries instead increase crime rates, due to the employment and housing instability they cause. 

Various studies have found that people who are convicted of sex offenses are among the least likely to repeat offend. In 2019, for example, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report analyzing a group of people formerly incarcerated for rape or sexual assault. Over a nine-year period, only 7.7 percent of those studied were rearrested for a second rape or sexual assault. If those on sex-offender registries do reoffend, they are statistically far more likely to be rearrested for nonsexual crimes, suggesting that employment and financial stability become far harder for people once placed on a list. The issue is that data must fight against popular opinion.

Many people may feel that these collateral consequences are justified. Many also see the registry as a rightful continuation of the punishment process. But it’s important to remember that registries were intended to protect the public—not to perpetually punish the people on them. Citizens are being financially and socially harmed in perpetuity because of a broken, harm-relishing system.

Last edited 1 month ago by TS

So your 14 year in-custody sentence turned into an 8 year sentence when you got released on parole in 2018. And the first thing you did was violate your parole by failing to keep your registry status updated. Yes, I know ankle monitoring and and supervision fees cost money. But you had a full time job, car, and an apartment. I’m sorry. The state gave you a 2nd chance by releasing you from prison 6 years early. Did you know that some states have truth in sentencing where you have to serve the entire prison time? Plus you also had a chance for early release, but you had to go out and get a sex change. And who helped you pay for those costs? Yet you couldn’t afford to pay for gps so you can keep your job, apartment, your car, and most importantly, your freedom! I understand that the hardships of many registrants need to be highlighted. I just think you’re the wrong person to do it

Without a doubt the costs imposed on people serving probation & parole, especially those convicted of sex crimes, can be overwhelming and crushing.

I have sympathy and empathy for all that, as likely would anyone hear. But I’m having trouble having the same feelings for suffering the consequences of knowingly taking a job too close to a prohibited location, and then failing to report it.

This woman was doing sex work at 14. The criminal regime of Georgia failed her. Now she is their slave. A huge part of her life is to help them run their carceral business and to keep herself enslaved while helping the criminal regime enslave more. They need people like her to make money and give losers jobs. There is no bigger human trafficker than Amerika.

“People” who support this need the Registries shoved up their … sideways.

I own a lot of rental property in GA. I found out just this morning that one of my renters is locked up, again, because he assaulted someone. In a different state this time!

This guy has never been listed on a Registry. I guess never will be. Apparently because it is not dangerous to hit people in the head with pipes or whatever. Just boys being boys.

The guy is dangerous. I’ve worked with him a bit. He’s a lot more dangerous than 95% of PFRs. I’m certain. God damn surely more than a prostitute. He emotionally abuses his children. Likely physically. And his wife.

But he can live wherever he likes. The rental property is within a “sex offender” exclusion zone. There’s a park across the lake. He can live there, but “sex offenders” may not. Because, f*ck asshole big government.

The Registries are not for public safety. They are not for protecting children. They exist to make little, pathetic assholes try to feel a little bit better about their pathetic selves. And to make people money. That’s it. Immoral all the way.

Unacceptable. Wage war on the scum.

People need to understand that you can be registered and still catch a FTR charge, I got 2 back 2 back. The first one, my wife at the time was living with her mother so I would stop by there every day after work to see the kids and help out a little bit, They arrested me for “failure to register a frequent place that I dwell, regardless of how many days or nights are spent there”
The The second one I got while I was on probation for the first one, I had just got a brand-new apartment and I was set to move in in 5 days, when I went to see my PO I told her I just got a new apartment, she said because I physically had the key to that apartment that I had 24 hours to register that address or she was gonna violate me. So I stopped what I was doing drove down to the Riverside police station and register that address, 5 days later I was arrested by the Riverside County Sheriff while I was in the process of moving for failure to de-register even though I wasn’t completely finished moving.
The system is rigged for us to fail when you go into the police station to do your annual registration if you notice that’s a lot of rules to initial your name by and a lot ways LE can catch you up in their little web.

Last edited 1 month ago by Aerospost

It is clear as day , this registry is wrong . LE /gov’t get to rape PFR’s over and over again over some arbitrary rules based in this unconstitutional BS , last thing a person should have to be worried about in this day and age after doing ones time is paying for a useless registry and for a stupid electronic device , or worry about working to close to a “public” indoctrination gov’t program ,PFR’s are lucky to have a job , let alone worrying about how far it is from this that or the other BS . sure its easy to point fingers at people when you own your home or still have a mother or father to live with , all very complicated stuff when dealing with this registry and you are surviving , a few bucks to the stupid registry is a big deal when things are designed to fail a person , and its all because of a registry that should not even be legal , people that think its right to slap you on a registry after paying their dues and refusing to give your right back are the real criminals in this picture !