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Does the Sex Offender Registry Really Work?

Emily Horowitz, author of Protecting Our Kids: How Sex Offender Laws are Failing Us, and a criminologist at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, states she has never seen a state become more lenient toward sex offenders as opposed to more restrictive. Horowitz also says that following the research she conducted for her book, she concluded there was really no research showing the sexual offender registry was the least bit effective. Horowitz claims if the registry were effective, we would have seen a drop in sexual offenses following the implantation of Megan’s Law and Jessica’s Law, however the rates did not change.

The explanation for this, according to Horowitz, is that between 90 and 96 percent of child sexual abuse cases involve family. The sexual offender registry only targets stranger danger, prohibiting people from going to parks, malls and schools even though most child sexual abuse occurs at home. Finally, Horowitz states that the sexual offender registry is nothing more than a form of public, permanent shaming, which makes our society feel better and safer.

Monitoring Homeless Sex Offender Parolees Difficult

The California Supreme Court, as well as the California Department of Corrections noted that the growing homeless population among sex offender parolees made them especially difficult to properly monitor. Currently more than 6,000 sex offenders are being monitored by parole agents, and 1,448 of those are transients. Of those homeless parolees, about half are considered child molesters.

The sex offender registry in California was created in 1947 to enable law enforcement to track those convicted of a sex offense, but released from prison. Today, anyone with a computer can pull up a public, searchable website which lists the registered sex offender in that person’s neighborhood. Approximately 20 percent of sex offenders in the state are excluded from these public websites. This exclusion can be either because their specific crime does not require public notification or, in rarer cases, for a first-time offense.

The state of California is one of only four states which currently requires lifetime registration for all convicted of a sexual offense, without regard to the specific nature of the offense. This means that a person who was convicted of making obscene phone calls to a child is listed right next to a repeat child molester. Many other states have implemented a tiered system, which determines the length of time those convicted of a sexual offense will spend on the registry, based on the specific crime and the risk of a re-offense.

Need an Oakland Sex Crime Attorney?

Being charged with a sex crime can be detrimental to any person's reputation, let alone future for years to come. You cannot afford to go through this time without qualified representation! Take the first step in your defense by calling the Law office of Nabiel C. Ahmed. You can discuss your case with our sex crime lawyer in Oakland.

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