By Tom Percy
The experience with sex offender registers in the US has included deaths and gratuitous violence, as well as payback measures
There are a couple of convicted murderers living in the same suburb as I do. I know, because I’ve seen them. There are probably a few in your suburb, too. Maybe even your street. After all, almost all of them do eventually get out, and they have to live somewhere.
Like dozens of others convicted of that crime all over Australia, they do their time, satisfy the prison authorities and the Prisoners Release Board what used to be the Parole Board that they are ready to be released, and quietly merge back into society.
Usually, you hear no more from them or about them. They don’t go on some special internet register where everyone can see what they look like, what their crimes were, or where they live.
It’s the same with convicted drug dealers. They do their time and assimilate back into the community. There is no restriction on them living or working anywhere at all. They can change their names or their appearance. And, just like the murderer, you would never know.
Getting parole is no given these days. A few years back it was a virtual formality. These days you need to play it very straight do all the courses asked of you anger management, drug and alcohol awareness, etc and satisfy those who hold the keys that you are no longer a threat to society.
So given that we see no need to keep this type of offender on an online name and shame register, why is it necessary to have one for sex offenders? Especially given how hard it is for them to get out of prison at all in the first place, compared with, say, murderers.