Friday, December 12, 2008

Harassment of Registered Sex Offenders

View the article here


This may come as a surprise to some, but let it be known, while the national database of sex offenders does have a sort of “Big Brotherish” undertone, it is not to be used as a means for stalking and/or harassing these individuals. It is a system for allowing concerned members of the community to become aware of who is living in their neighborhoods. It is important to keep in mind however, that over 90% of those whose names appear on this list are not sexually violent and deranged predators as depicted on television shows such as CSI and Law and Order SVU. While some (statistically a small percentage) have committed heinous acts, their is a laundry list of offenses that upon conviction will result in one’s name becoming etched into the pages of the National Sex Offender Registry. While state legislatures are required to make members of the community aware that they will be prosecuted for offenses committed against registrants, currently, at least in the majority of jurisdictions, registrants are granted no greater protection than any non-registrant. This is concerning when one takes into consideration the fact that ANYONE can gain access to personal information of those listed on this registry, many of whom have committed only minor offenses. If your are someone who uses this database, please respect the rights of the men and women listed therein as you would any other member of your community, keeping in mind that the overwhelming majority of these men and women will never re-offend.

I have attached a link below that will take you to a branch of the Department of Justices’ website. It contains information pertaining to restrictions on use, and penalties for misuse, of personal information found on the national registry. This information can be found by searching under ”Conditions of Use” by scrolling down to view your state of interest.

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