AZ: Changes needed in sex offender registry rules

Source: azcapitoltimes.com 1/13/23

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a rare spate of high-profile child abductions and murders, mostly sexual in nature, terrified America. With constant media coverage, parents across the country were easily led to believe that their children could be in imminent danger. As demands from the public, as well as a few prominent parents of missing or murdered children escalated, legislatures responded, and the sex offender registry was born.

This primal need to protect our children from any possible harm resonates in us all. Human logic supports instincts – if we identify and track those who have committed these crimes, we can better protect those we love. False information surrounding the risk of re-offense by the perpetrators only increased the willingness to do anything to reduce that risk.

That was 30-plus years ago, and in those years the sex offender registration system has grown to the point that children as young as 9 can be registered, and teenagers having consensual sex and sexting can be registered. The rules, restrictions, and background checks often dictated by the registry can be onerous and destroy any rehabilitation initiatives and lifetime registration with no path off the registry destroys all hope for a better tomorrow.

Something else has happened in those 30 years. We now have a massive body of evidence showing that every premise upon which registration was built is false. It does not reduce sexual recidivism, neither violent nor nonviolent. It does not reduce first-time sex crimes. Furthermore, the purported high rate of re-offense is non-existent.

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Let’s hope other States will follow suit. Especially since a lot of State Constitutions have a “Right To Privacy” written into their statute.

Last edited 13 days ago by someone who cares

Hopefully someone is listening. It’s time to get a grip. Common sense should be at the forefront. While my debt to society has been paid, my government continues to punish me. The weight of being registered for downloading a photo of a naked 17 year old has been unbearable. I’ve dealt with this for a decade. A large number of PFRs much longer. Our lives have been destroyed. There are things much worse than the death penalty. I am begging society to take another look at these laws. I understand the fear that has been generated by MSM. It’s not rational. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail

Politicians would literally crucify children, if they thought it would get them the votes. The registry is evidence of exactly that.

This is an extremely well written article. It would be great if it was published in every state and abroad.

The sex offender registry is a universal human rights violations as well as it being unconstitutional, it should be abolished.

Being on the registry here in California is no joke, sometimes I don’t even see the point of living anymore, The registry makes everything and anything you do in life meaningless and useless because at the end of the day, in the back of your mind you know you’re not free, and all it takes is for one person to google your name and your whole World comes crashing down.

I really appreciate the back work to this story. Thirty years of data is empirical proof that Registration does nothing to prevent or stop sexual abuse period. Now registration is only a tool to punish and control a group, it is no less than what happened to countless minority groups throughout history.