Expert: Crime registries turn people into pariahs with "very little to lose"

Another good article explains why registries are a bad idea. In a column at The Appeal, Jessica Pishko writes that public crime registries — including sex offender registries — do not work and are even harmful, even though they are popular with the public and politicians.

While public sex offender registries are now required by federal law, other registries for people who have committed certain types of crimes—such as domestic violence or drug-related crimes—are on the rise. They are seen by some victims’ rights advocates as a way to protect the community. But, criminal justice advocates argue that the registries are just another way to assert control over people who have already served their time. With registries, the collateral consequences of incarceration can extend indefinitely.

One quote sums up the damage registries do to people who are listed on them.

Vincent Brumley was put on a registry after being released in 2015 from an Illinois prison where he served time for his participation in a kidnapping and homicide.“That’s all they see me as,” he said in a 2016 interview. “They don’t know what I was convicted of, or if I was guilty. I did my time. Why hold me back?” 

Read more here.

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