The United Kingdom (U.K.) is not known for having an open mind regarding individuals required to register. Instead, the U.K. is known for stopping and returning to the country-of-origin individuals required to register even if the individuals have entered the U.K. via airport on their way to another destination. In such cases, the U.K. has returned the individuals to their country-of-origin at the individuals’ expense.
Therefore, it was surprising, perhaps even shocking, to hear the voice of reason in a government report issued recently in the U.K. First, the report noted that there has been a significant growth in the number of people required to register in the U.K. Next, the report compared that growth to a decrease in the number of police officers.
The report then concluded that these two factors have placed “unprecedented pressures” on both policing and the criminal justice system within the U.K. Instead of recommending that new laws be passed that harm registrants and their families, the report surprisingly stated that “the best way to serve and protect the victims is to better serve offenders.”
We can only hope and pray that the U.K. government follows this recommendation. And that other countries, including the United States, follow their example.
Where could this lead?
It could lead to the total elimination of sex offender registries. Or for countries not yet ready to take that leap, it could lead to the elimination of public registries.
The elimination of sex offender registries could take a few years because governments, in general, move slowly. While we are waiting for that ultimate outcome, the U.K. could better serve individuals required to register by allowing them to enter the U.K. The country could start by allowing these individuals to travel through the U.K.’s airports, including Heathrow, which is a major hub for overseas travel. And when the U.K. discovers that individuals required to register don’t pose a current danger, they can enjoy the travel dollars they spend.
While the rest of the countries wait for the U.K. to eliminate their sex offender registry, those countries could better serve individuals required to register by shortening parole and probation periods. This includes, of course, mandatory treatment programs as well as the requirement to take multiple polygraph exams which often last the entire duration of an individual’s period of supervision.
Those countries could also better serve individuals required to register by removing all lists of individuals required to register from both public and private websites. This would not only protect those individuals but also their families from vigilante violence.
And those countries could help individuals required to register to find both housing and employment upon their re-entry. This in turn would boost the economies of those countries.
Can we only wait and see if the recommendations of the U.K. are followed in that country as well as around the world? Or could we Show Up – Stand Up – Speak Up in support of the registrant community in the U.K.?
This would be a great thing! My wife and I want to visit Scotland in the next few years. I an still on the registry here in AZ because there is no vehicle available to petition to be removed from the registry.
My risk assessment is a Level One, so there is no Web entries or notification. Additionally, I am not listed on the Federal Sex Offender website.
Also, my Passport DOES NOT have the identifier in it.
I agree, but this is going to be a tough sell to the media, society and lawmakers. I can just see them rolling their eyes and balking at this.
Fighting against decades of multi-generational brainwashing is a daunting task.
If the UK realized how much money they lose by those who can’t transit Heathrow, et al, to Paris, et al, then maybe they would realize how foolish they have been while at the same time realizing those people are not a harm in the first place. If they are so concerned, then those who are seen as a harm should be kept inside the airport until they catch their flight elsewhere. I never understood their logic. I realize a long layover could happen and one may like to escape outside for a few hours, but there really is a simple way to fix it and still be ok with all parties. Heck, if one knows of the security line could be long, that can be a deterrent in itself to leaving as well is having a cool airport to move about in. Someone get the UK consulate on the phone…
The issue I see here is a financial one. I’m in Oklahoma and there is an entire office of people whose only job is to deal with registrants in OKC. So what would those people do if the registry goes away? That is the first hurdle. The second hurdle is convincing an uneducated public that this is actually better for victims. The third hurdle is removing laws which violate doctor patient confidentiality. Otherwise no one will be motivated to consult with a professional to prevent potential crime. The fourth hurdle is loss of profit for polygraph examiners and treatment providers. This is due to many states forcing registrants to attend treatment the entire duration of supervised parole. That equates to a lot of money.
I may be wrong? But I feel that in this capitalist society the drive to do anything is monetarily based. And I believe the only answer to all this is to give those who profit from registries an alternative income source. Financial interest always takes precedent over morality most of the time.
I know this seems pessimistic but it’s what I think. Whatever that’s worth.
Does anyone have a link to this report?