Changing Attitudes about the Sex Offender Registry.

Human Rights watch has just published an article dealing with the effect of the Jaycee Lee Dugard Case.  Where in the past a case such as this would have called for more and tougher laws regarding former sex offenders, with the chilling facts of this case coming to light many people are reexamining the flaws in the registry.

Below is an excerpt from the article.

“Although Garrido’s case is extraordinary, it illustrates the flaws in America’s sex offender registration and community notification schemes. Experts in sexual violence say that placing all convicted sex offenders on a registry for life may do more harm than good. The public nature of the registry makes it nearly impossible for convicted sex offenders to re-enter the community with the kind of support system they need to reduce their likelihood of committing another offence. Low-level offenders who pose little risk to the community are monitored in the same way as high-risk offenders, diluting police resources to concentrate on those, such as Garrido, who pose a high risk of committing another offence.”

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And yet another quality article that points out the flaws of the sex offender registry system, this time from the Wall Street Journal.  This article also shows that there are options available other than listing everyone convicted of a sex crime.

"There are now so many people on the registry it’s difficult for law enforcement to effectively track them all, and "it’s more helpful for law enforcement to know…who the highest-risk offenders are," said Janet Neeley, a deputy California attorney general and member of the state’s sex offender board."

"Under its law, California has chosen to use a program called Static 99, which categorizes sex offenders based on their likelihood to reoffend. To predict risk, it looks at things like the nature of the crime, the offender’s relationship with the victim and whether the offender has been able to form long-term intimate relationships."

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