Thursday, June 13, 2013

Failure to Register: Are Violations Overblown?

Original Article


“As a crime of omission, each failure to report ordinary life events is an opportunity for registrants to commit a new felony.”

Over the last two decades, registration for sexual offenders in the US has become the law of the land. It seems intuitive that tracking known sexual offenders should reduce sexual abuse, but with data indicating that sexual offense recidivism (PDF) is much lower than widely believed and as many as 95% of arrests for sexual abuse are first time offenders (PDF), there are legitimate controversies about the sex offender registry, as well as valid questions about how efficacious it is to register and track known sexual offenders (PDF).

A growing body of research (PDF) indicates sexual offender registration is not very effective in reducing sexual offending. There are persuasive arguments that the registry results in more harm than good (PDF), especially for juveniles (PDF). A number of organizations have been particularly critical of registration for juveniles (PDF), most recently Human Rights Watch. David Prescott wrote about juvenile registration in a recent SAJRT blog. Some scholars suggest the sex offender registry is not making society safer but, rather, is the misguided result of government abdication to moral panic.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requires strict registration requirements and includes severe penalties for failure to register (FTR). Many states are not in full compliance with SORNA, in part because of the burdensome cost of compliance and, perhaps, because the classification system required by the Adam Walsh Act is not supported by research (PDF). Still, significant public resources are expended to ensure compliance with registration. But, the question remains: is FTR actually a risk factor for reoffending?


Michael said...

Outstanding article, with excellent links.

Daver said...

Yes this was an excellent article. We need more of these out there.

tom said...

I can tell you all kinds of things I have been through as a RSO, from
losing job's to being harassed. I recently even spent $3500.00 dollars
to try and get off the registry only to be denied, not because the
"court" finds me a threat (In fact the court and DA Stated that "I was
not a threat to the community" it was because they say I have 2
convictions! I have 2 count one conviction. But the DA got her way, I
lost, I stay on for life?!

Loneranger said...

Oregon for years has doubled up on the charges. One you might be able to get off the registry someday and the DA's don't want that as it looks like they really did a good job and also locks a person in there system for life. the worse they can make you look the more time they can get. However back before measure 11 and the mandatory sentencing that has filled the prison system they had no choice if they wanted a person to do time and not probation. Now they convict on one charge and the person does a min of 75 months and that is just for starters. Then there is parole and registration for life. Lately they have been taking a look at this cash cow they thought they had and it's not such a great thing.So new plan. Lets clean this up as we have 20,000 people on this mostly for life. So new plan was to rid themselves of the lifetime requirement and rate everyone as to the potential danger they really present after some 20 years on the registry. Sounded good at first until the same DA's that have been stacking charges made them continue to hold the ones that have one of the major charges. Ok sounded good to the ones that didn't have a clue what the DA's had been doing for years prior to measure 11. So the majority if this law passes will still be stuck on this and having to register whatever nursing home's address they might be in. Keep in mind we are talking about people in their 60's now and some much older. And not just a few either. Then the plan was to charge at least 240 dollars per to petition to get off. they look at this as hitting the jackpot because just because you ask doesn't mean they have to let you. Giving them yet another avenue to milk this. Who wouldn't at least try? this new law is still in committee after the DA's got done gutting the program. So if this new and better law makes it to the governors desk at some point it will appear as if they are going to start allowing some to get off this. They are not as the plan has to many problems and the DA's have set it up to be that way. So not knowing where you live I don't know the rules but this is what Oregon is going to try and frankly the more they keep the better it looks for the DA's. So you said the DA got her way well guess so but at what cost as they do this all the time.

Mark said...

Yep, once the prosecutor can prove the element of "knowingly failing to register," by-by. And the courts really slam people for failure. Life time parole with no possibility of relief, years in the can, ad nausea. The mind set of America at work.

Mark said...

Tom: It is "conclusively presumed" that two convictions brings you right in line being a RECIDIVIST. PERIOD. It is the Congressional mind set, and the state's have adopted this logic, reasoning. If you give a close read to any state registry law, especially if there is a preamble, it speaks for itself. It goes like this: once a mistake, twice a fool, therefore two convictions brings you right in line being a RECIDIVIST