The Tragedy of Juvenile Sex Offender Registration

A new paper by Southwestern Law School professor Catherine Carpenter documents the damage done to children who are forced to register as sex offenders, often for life. Children as young as nine years old have been listed on public shaming websites.

From the abstract:

Truth be told, we are afraid for our children and we are afraid of our children. The intersection of these disparate thoughts has produced a perfect storm. We have created increasingly harsh sex offender registration schemes to protect our children from sexual abuse. At the same time, fear of our children ensnares and punishes them under the very same laws that were designed to protect them. Yet, what compels action is premised on a false narrative that includes flawed studies on recidivism rates and misguided case decisions that embraced these findings. 

 Link to the full report here.

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