Wednesday, August 31, 2011

IL - Level 3 sex offender hopes public registry will end for the rehabilitated

Original Article

08/30/2011

A Level 3 registered sex offender hopes that one day the law will change, and he doesn't have to be a publicly registered sex offender for the rest of his life.

Research from the University of Chicago has found that while sexual offender data bases may make people feel safer it doesn't necessarily improve the safety of the community.

"I found that the sex offenses, the rates of rape instances, did not decrease after we started the registries, and after we started public notifications via the internet," Amanda Agan tells 97.3 KIRO FM's Ross & Burbank Show.

When you force a person to be registered as a sex offender is the reaction of the offender, 'what do I have to lose?'

Erik Mart tells 97.3 KIRO FM's Ron & Don Show, that while he hasn't had a problem re-offending, he has heard some have that reaction of desperation.

Mart says that the public registry makes it difficult for offenders who have been rehabilitated to carry on with a normal life. "It's extremely difficult to find a job and housing and to have a good relationship, all the things that make stability for a person."

He said he's been judged by the community he lives in, but wishes people would put the shoe on the other foot. "A person is more than the mistakes they make. If we were all judged by our mistakes we'd all be in trouble [...] People perceive that sex offenders are not human," he says, "I'm as human as anyone else [...] I would like to live a good life."

According to Mart, the registry is an ongoing punishment. "My registry is for my lifetime, but I'm hoping that one day it will be removed." He says that if he's demonstrated his rehabilitation that he'd like to no longer publicly register as a sex offender since he's not a risk to the community.

Mart said he went through sex offender treatment that included group therapy and polygraph testing. Additionally, Mart said he believes that those at risk to reoffend, usually aren't a risk to the community, because they're still locked up. "People that are very severe usually stay in prison."

Mart has a blog where he discuss life as a rehabilitated offender and his experiences working with other rehabilitated sex offenders that hope to make good out of their life, even though some would rather, force them out of town, "just for their label."


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