This press release was just issued to all National Media Groups in light of the recent article from NBC regarding one mother’s fight against the registry.
Women Against Registry, Inc. Speaks Out
In light of a recent story published by NBC News, the Directors of Women Against Registry (W.A.R.) send our gratitude to the reporter, Tony Dokoupil, for his poignant piece on the public sex offender registry, a topic that is fraught with misunderstanding and controversy.
When W.A.R. formed almost three years ago, the members began speaking out to educate the mainstream media and its followers. In recent months, leaders of this national organization have joined together with other advocate groups to form one of the largest coalitions of its kind.
“Public policy should not be founded on mob hysteria,” said Vicki Henry, President of Women Against Registry, the public charity that represents the families of registrants. “The sex offender frenzy and all its draconian regulations and restrictions are not effective public safety; they instead are destroying the approximately 2.5 million family members in the United States who are adversely affected by having a relative or loved one who is required to register, often for a lifetime.”
“What’s missing from the conversation,” said Henry, “is the devastating impact these restrictions have on innocent family members and children of registrants.”
The 2006 Adam Walsh Act required the names, addresses and pictures of everyone convicted of a sex offense from 1947 forward be added to the National Sex Offender Registry. This mandate caused a 23% spike in the number of offenders requiring constant supervision, many of whom had long since become responsible citizens. However, money is involved with this Act: a state certified in compliance with the Act, is rewarded with a 10% increase in Byrne Fund Grant money.
“What’s needed is an open discussion, but most registrants and their families are afraid to speak out for fear of being targeted by vigilantes. We pander to affix “Sex Offender” labels to all present and future adjudicated citizens without even attempting to sort the 95% who are not a threat to anyone from the 5% who might re-offend. How many more families will politicians consign to Life on the Registry in return for votes or for Byrne Funds?” asks Kimberly DuBina, W.A.R. Director.
“The Adam Walsh Act has clogged the Sex Offender Registry with over 769,000 names. 95% of these citizens pose no threat to society and 1/3 of them are juveniles. It fails to protect anyone and costs tax-payers millions of dollars annually. Many of America’s children are at risk of being placed on this registry or of facing the loss of a contributing family member who is required to register. A preponderance of research contradicts the necessity of such devastating laws. It’s time our lawmakers and media start listening to our nation’s top scholars and write laws or news founded by facts” concludes Ms. Henry.
Press Contact: Vicki Henry, President
Women Against Registry