Questioning the effectiveness of sex offender registries

A reporter for the Sentinel of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has the audacity to ask whether sex offender registries, despite their public popularity, actually work as advertised.

“These kind of laws have a limited usefulness, which is they make it difficult for offenders to keep their anonymity but that’s about it,” said Kristen Houser, chief public information officer for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

The article, by Joshua Vaughn, includes comments from experts who dispel many of the common myths about the registry and sex offenders.

For instance, a Pennsylvania State Trooper asserts that a 2011 update to that state’s sex offender registry law was passed merely to bring the state into compliance with the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

SORNA was sponsored by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who has the statement on his website “Convicted sex offenders often evade current state registration requirements and go on to commit additional offenses” on his website about his support for the legislation. Given more than a week to prepare, staff for Sensenbrenner was unable to provide any data or evidence used to support that statement.

 Read more of the article here.

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