CT: It’s time to reform the CT sex offense registry

Source: ctmirror.org 8/10/23

This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the public Sex Offender Registry (SOR) in Connecticut.

The SOR – also called the sexual offense registry by advocates who want to move past the stigma of dehumanizing labels – is a publicly accessible internet database of individuals who have been convicted of a sexual offense and reside, work, or attend school in Connecticut. It is searchable and includes their name, physical description, addresses, photo, and offense details.

Twenty-five years has been more than sufficient for researchers to study the impact of the SOR on public safety. Since sexual harm is so damaging to the fabric of our communities, our state government needs to take a level-headed look at the research that is available so state resources can be focused on solutions that effectively reduce these crimes. 

After dozens of studies, the consensus is clear: public sexual offense registries are ineffective; they do not reduce first time or repeat offenses and they don’t make our communities safer. There is even a growing body of evidence that the SOR can result in higher crime, because those on the registry have more difficulty finding employment and reintegrating into their communities.

The registry’s clearest impact is the harm it causes to those who are forced to register, their spouses, and their children. They often face unemployment, unsafe housing, and barriers to essential health care. As more begin to enter their senior years, all of these issues are becoming more acute. The harms can be hardest on children: 13% of parents who have a spouse on the registry report suicidal tendencies in their children as a consequence of the registry. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to creating rational, effective policies related to sexual offenses, our political system can be blinded with emotion. Fears of appearing “soft on crime” can outweigh a politician’s desire to do the right thing. Some legislators have confessed to me that they know the registry doesn’t work, but they have difficulty supporting legislation to address the issue because they don’t know how to explain it to their constituents.

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Common sense isn’t so common, but glad to see it on display here!

Thank you for sharing this. CT has slightly less punitive laws than the Federal standards (their tier 2 is 15 years vs. 25), but, more importantly, there is political room there to discuss this, albeit in the op/ed section of a minor online paper. In most states it’s a non-starter. New England overall is far more Europe-like on every measure (violence rates, incarceration rates) relevant to criminal-justice reform than most of the US, so it’s not a bad place to settle. I’m from there, but for the time being I’m committed to the Midwest (for better or worse). Anyway, this is actually a really nice piece, clearly and convincingly written!

Since sexual harm is so damaging to the fabric of our communities….

They can speak for themselves. They want that damage. It doesn’t matter if there was actual harm or not, it’s all the same narrative, anything sexual under the age of consent is automatically damaging to the entire community, and they will not let go of that perverbial cash cow for anything. I guess it gives them a solid platform for more laws all in the guise of protecting some precious moments figurine somewhere. I’m not buying it.

Wow, this relatively short article is one of the best I’ve read on the subject. The author not only presents verifiable factual data, but deals directly with harms to spouses and children, and also mentions political cowardice. She provides links to credible studies from the American Psychological Association and from a researcher at Johns Hopkins addressing alternatives to the rather simplistic good-touch bad-touch paradigm.

Very sad that these legislators have no backbone. The article states “Some legislators have confessed to me that they know the registry doesn’t work, but they have difficulty supporting legislation to address the issue because they don’t know how to explain it to their constituents.” And “Fears of appearing “soft on crime” can outweigh a politician’s desire to do the right thing”. So, they rather throw a human life under the bus than doing the right thing. Don’t their constituents deserve to be told the truth? Right now, they are being lied to (what’s new right?). Why would it be hard to explain? All they have to do is show them the proof and the statistics and tell them that they derserve the truth. It would be a fresh breath of air to finally not be lied to for the sole reason to gain votes. The truth hurts sometimes, and people have a hard time changing their brainwashed minds, but in the end, they should appreciate the truth.

This is a beautifully written piece where the author should be lauded for being brave enough to write it with her name attached to it. The sources are sound (though if there are more recent with more data that would be good since some are a decade or more old though still very valid). The conclusion is spot on. Put this in the file to quickly reach and send about (with others such as the one from AZSOL earlier this year) in rebuttal when someone is ignorant on the facts detailed here.

BTW, this is from the state where the Senior Senator recently worked with bipartisan members of the Senate to create a internet monitoring bill for each state’s AG to protect children. Maybe the CT voters will think and ask the good Senator about the facts above in the Op-Ed.

It is a good article. It makes me wonder if Cindy Prizio has been reading ACSOL. Anyone would be smart to do so.

The title of the article is itself interesting. It says “sex offense registry” and not the idiotic “sex offender registry”.

A huge problem with that title though and the article is that the Registries do not need to be reformed. They cannot be reformed. They are a giant pile of feces. There is only one thing that is acceptable for the Registries. There is only one thing that is going to stop the war.

Most of the article is great, like 90+%. I won’t address that. I’d like to critique a few things:

1. She mentions that recidivism is low. I think nearly all people when they hear that think that is probably because of the Registries. Her context implies otherwise, but it needs to be said. If I were a RAST I would say of course recidivism is low because the Registries work.

2. She talked about the myth of “stranger danger” as if that is some kind of argument to not need Registries. But that is not a good argument. The *supposed* point of the Registries is to tell you about people that you may be in contact with and are thus not strangers. It is to tell you about your neighbor so that you don’t ask the person to babysit your children. That is what it is for. It is not for strangers.

But I do think that most Amerikans are very shallow thinkers and such simplistic arguments hit their emotions and thus their thoughts and beliefs. So sure, I guess people should talk about “stranger danger”.

But it is really dumb. Because for example, I am a PFR and yet I can be a stranger pretty much everywhere all the time. Certainly whenever I want. So if Registries were supposed to help with “strangers”, then it is covering PFRs.

3. The article said, “Individuals convicted of sexual offenses can be fully rehabilitated, …”. As a citizen, I don’t give a flip is someone is “rehabilitated” or not. All we need is for the person to not commit a crime. That’s all. F*ck “rehabilitation”. How do these people think that is even possible as long as Registries exist? I didn’t need government “assisted” “rehabilitation” and because the people in government are trash criminals, I actively rejected it. I’ll reject anything the criminal regimes support.

4. The article said, “There is even a growing body of evidence that the SOR can result in higher crime, because those on the registry have more difficulty finding employment and reintegrating into their communities.” I think there are a LOT more reasons why Registries cause more crime. Personally, I didn’t have problems with employment or reintegrating but Registries make me want to commit crimes and harm people. In fact, I do harm people all the time just because of the Registries. I just keep it legal.

I think RASTs must fantasize that the Registries are working every day and helping to “protect” people. But they aren’t. They are causing widespread harm all over Amerika. Personally, I’m not going to let the Registries exist in peace. As long as they exist I’m going to help ensure they cause a lot more problems than anyone could every fantasize they solve.

The war is going well for my side. Unfortunately for everyone in Amerika, the criminal regimes have backed themselves and literally everyone into a corner that they aren’t capable of escaping. They aren’t smart enough to be able to end the war.

Good! Reform it in compliance with the ALI’s revisions!

Now if only a politician would stick their neck out by telling the truth about registrants and the registry we’d see true progress, but all of them are cowards when it comes to doing the right thing. Instead of being tough on crime try being smart on crime and focus on true reform instead of your resume enhancement for higher office.

What I like most about this article? It’s clear, short and to the point. […] Obviously, Cindy Prizio is a talented writer who echos all the points we constantly repeat on ACSOL. Now if only everyday people can get pass the hysteria and ignore the crap fed to them by politicians, law enforcement and government officials.

BTW, this Op-Ed is written by an @ACSOL sibling org and the Executive Director of One Standard of Justice, a SOL affiliated organization in Connecticut.

Great article and very concise. But I think it’s important to know the other side’s argument when it comes to recidivism. Proponents of registries are out there claiming that recidivism is much higher and stats showing low recidivism rates are skewed, because the vast majority of sex crimes are under reported in comparison to other offenses.

My response would be that it’s impossible for recidivism to be higher without a person being convicted of an offense and repeating the same offense again. Unless authorities have some secret database not made public of people convicted of sex crimes, their argument is faulty from the beginning when they inject the term recidivism for crimes that have not taken place. Also the same people who claim low recidivism rates are in fact higher, will also admit that under reporting happens predominately amongst close friends and relatives. So my question would be then what’s the point of public registry? The proponenents claim the registry is supposed to warn others of unknown “sex offenders” living in the neighborhood. But if most abuse takes place in the home and victims don’t report it, a public registry becomes irrelevant.

A good read here, albeit it’s only the abstract, (you can read the 6-page pdf if you wish):


Irrespective of the mindsets of the knee-jerk population, Burglary, Drug offenses, Theft in all categories, have the highest rates of recidivism of all crimes committed, but no one wants to pay attention to those.