Why fear-based registries are bad public policy

Another op-ed, this one written by Sophie Day at the Crime Reporter, explains why fear-based sex offender registries are bad public policy. Day questions why sex offender registries are not part of the national conversation on criminal justice reform.

The current laws were all enacted with the best of intentions. Parents, afraid for their children, overwhelmingly supported policies that they believed would keep their communities safe.  But as we have seen in the case of the War on Drugs, policies so deeply rooted in fear and misunderstanding will never be successful. In the meantime, they are causing a great deal of harm.Despite what researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business call a “lack of empirical evidence for the recidivism-reducing benefits of registration and notification,” these laws persist and cause a number of problems. The Chicago researchers point to the financial costs associated not just with those convicted and their families, but with the taxpayers who subsidize their registration and supervision.

Read Day’s full essay at the Crime Reporter.

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