Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Truth About Public Sex Offender Registries Can No Longer Be Ignored

Yesterday a Human Rights Watch report that has been over a year in the making was released. Titled “Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the US"  and 111 pages long, this report is having a tremendous impact across the country. It has been written about, referenced, and blogged about in at least a dozen publications, most likely more, including one by CNN written by Emanuella Grinberg. 

At the top of the CNN piece is one of the most compelling pieces of evidence I have ever seen as to why the millions poured into the sex offender registry and its many tentacles each month by federal, state, and local governments is money that might as well be set on fire and reduced to ashes.

Can anyone look at that and justify pouring all of our resources into the registry and the focus on registrants as an effective means of fighting sexual abuse of children?

It is important to realize that the tiny gray areas representing stranger abuse are not all registered offenders. The percentage of registrants within the stranger pools is even smaller.

And for those who believe that sexual crime against adult victims would paint a far different picture, it doesn’t. The percentages for adult victims do indicate a larger percentage of stranger assault than for children, but those known to the victims still pose the far greater threat.

How long can we continue ignoring, especially in the realm of child sexual assault, what every study, every report, and every statistic tells us? How long will we continue this total focus on those who have committed sexual offenses in the past? How long will we allow the media, the government, and a lucrative, private sex offender industry to tell us that as long as former offenders are registered, identified, monitored, tracked, restricted, contained, ostracized, and marginalized our children will be safe? 

We've done it now for twenty years. Isn't that long enough?


1 comment:

  1. Excellent. And the other great statistic is that 94% of all sex crimes are committed by first-time offenders. The question now is when will legislators across the country move off of stupid and onto smart law-making?


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