Nebraskans Unafraid wants a safe and just Nebraska.
We do not condone criminal activity of any kind. If a crime is committed, we want our systems of law enforcement and criminal justice to do their work.
If a sex crime is committed, the law should be applied. If a murder is committed, the law should be applied.
And when a person convicted of a crime completes her or his sentence, she or he should be permitted to reintegrate into the community and re-build a life of responsibility, dignity and value.
We believe the right to safety and justice extends to all people — including registered people.
Regrettably, sex offense registries prevent people who are listed on them from finding jobs and homes. The registries expose former offenders, their families, including children of registrants as well as their friends to vigilante violence.
We are in favor of living law-abiding lives.
We oppose public-shaming registries for any class of people, criminal or any other kind of class. All of the evidence shows that such registries have no law enforcement or public safety value. Registries in fact, make communities more dangerous.
The threat from vigilantism alone should prompt public policymakers to rethink registries.
A study by the Australian Institute of Criminology found:
- 44 percent of registered sexual offenders reported experiencing threats or harassment by neighbors.
- around 20 percent experienced threats or harassment in general.
- 16 percent of offenders reported that their family members or other cohabitants had been harassed, attacked or had property damaged as a result of their registration.
- 8 percent experienced physical attacks.
- 14 percent reporting some form of property damage.
Sex-offender registries create more problems than they solve, according to Lisa Sample, PhD., of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Two criminologists who are themselves survivors of sexual abuse agree with us. You should listen to the entire half hour or so of the podcast linked below by Alexa Sardina and Alissa Ackerman. But if you don’t want to listen, here are the takeaways:
- The “stranger danger” idea that is the basic premise of registries is a myth. More than nine out of 10 sexual assaults of children are committed by someone in the child’s home, who is known to the child.
- Policies like registries, based on myth and fear, do not protect anyone and they do not decrease the threat of sexual violence.
- Treatment of the offender, not punishment, will reduce sexual violence.
Listen to what Ackerman and Sardina have to say in Beyond Fear: The Sex Crimes Podcast.
In light of the damage they inflict on families and the violence that they encourage, sex-offender registries should be abolished.
If you would like to support Nebraskans Unfraid’s efforts, consider making a financial donation.