More registries, but do they work?

More states are tracking more people on more online registries. They include sex offender registries, and registries for various crimes from murder to arson, among others. An Associated Press article in the Jacksonville (IL) Journal-Courier asks whether all these registries actually make us safer.

Backers say helping people know more about their neighbors will make them safer. Yet studies have shown offender registries do little to reduce crime.

Anti-domestic violence groups in states that have considered expanded registries suggest that money spent to maintain them would be better used on programs to stop violence before it happens. Keeping sex offender lists updated alone costs well over $1 million each year for many states, a price partially covered by fees offenders must pay.

Some researchers contend the lists, searchable online, can prevent offenders from finding jobs and homes, making it more likely they’ll offend again.

Read more here.

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