Tracking Sex Offenders

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

If there was a convicted sex offender living on your street, you'd want to know about it, right? Or maybe you don't. Either way, it's a fairly common knee-jerk reaction, particularly if you're a single female concerned about your safety, and especially if you've got kids. But Human Rights Watch has a new report, and it says these registries are inhumane and don't protect anyone from crime because the old adage, "once a sex offender, always a sex offender" isn't actually true. Plus, you can end up on these registries for offenses as mild as public urination. Should there be limits to who can access these registries, or who is listed on them? Also, have you checked out the information on your community? How has it affected your choices about where to live, where to walk, or where to let your children play?

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The registries are a wonderful resource for parents but I think that things should be taken a step further. I met a woman online who had just moved into a new house and was informed after the fact that there was a child molestor living next store. The woman had three children, one with a disability. I think it should be required that realtors give out this information beforehand to families buying a new home. However, I also know a woman who is married to a registered sex offender who was convicted in high school for dating a girl under 18. There should be varying classes of sex offenders but I strongly believe that if someone is convicted of molesting children or committing rape, their crime should be public knowledge that is easily accessible.

Sent by Fiona | 2:12 PM | 9-18-2007

As a therapist who has specialized in working with sex offenders for nearly 30 years, I can tell you from experience that the registries and other feel good laws that politicians pass do not protect the public.

They destablize KNOWN offenders, do nothing to prevent new offenders from committing their first offense, and cause many to go underground.

Put your efforts in prevention by educating children to be more assertive and support organizations like Stop It Now that potential abusers can call to talk about it before doing it.

Ken Singer, LCSW
Lambertville, NJ

WHYY Phila member

Sent by Ken Singer | 2:14 PM | 9-18-2007

I'm a reporter at the Miami New Times, and broke a story (later picked up by the AP) about 3 sex offenders who had been placed under a bridge by their probation officers.
Here's the link:
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2007-03-08/news/swept-under-the-bridge/

Sent by Isaiah Thompson | 2:15 PM | 9-18-2007

I can't believe we are debating our basic right to know information that helps us protect ourselves and our families. Why would anyone want less information. It is when important information is controlled by the few as opposed to making it freely available to all that the real abuses occur. Let me make the decision that the information in important to me. Isn't it my safety and my family's safety that we are talking about? WE committed no crime. The sex offender did. I NEED to know this info. Thanks.

Sent by Georges | 2:17 PM | 9-18-2007

When I checked a registry for my area I got scared, there were many names. Until I drove to the address area listed and realized it was a detention center not far from my new home. I guess this type of posting does not help.

Sent by Laura, Doral, FL | 2:20 PM | 9-18-2007

What about the other crimes? As important as knowing where the sex offenders are, I also want to know where the murderers are, where the drug dealers are, where the other violent crime offenders are.

Sent by Mark | 2:21 PM | 9-18-2007

Sexual offenders are often people who have been sexually traumatized. So, they don't think clearly when confronted with feelings of sex. The sexual abuse they suffered alienated them from connecting to people in safe and comfortable, friendly ways. To recover from trauma, a person needs to be able to "get away from it all" and to feel supported and loved. Enabling traumatized people to recover reduces sexual offenses in society. Protecting ourselves needs to be balanced with enabling others to be healthy. Their level of health impacts us, because we are all inter-connected in one fabric of energy. Reducing the stress in this social fabric enables all people think more clearly and interact with each other in good ways that benefit us all.

Sent by inspra | 2:21 PM | 9-18-2007

Human rights watch is against the Public's right to Know? Tell me that can't be true.

Heck folks, I found my condo caretaker on the list. The condo complex is filled with ladies. He did not reveal his background when he applied for the job.

If it wasn't for the Registry, we would not have known.

Sent by bill schmidt | 2:24 PM | 9-18-2007

As a victim of child sexual abuse, I have NO problem with the abuses being reported... regardless of whether there is any chance of repeat offenses.

As long as the CHILD, and then the adult suffers, the abuser shoud suffer.

Sent by Abused in Syracuse | 2:26 PM | 9-18-2007

I think that Sarah Tofte's original premise of housing access is important.

I actually live in a neighborhood that I would say is RIDDLED with registered sex offenders. The reason is because they may not be able to get a rental in any other neighborhood of my community. I'm sure this is true on other inner cities around the country. Not surprisingly, my neighborhood happens to be one of the most economically depressed and crime troubled neighborhoods of the city. So families here have just got ONE MORE thing to be concerned about in addition to the high concentration of crime and drugs there are the numerous sex offenders, too. I'm a single father of two little girls, by the way, and my children DO NOT play outside in our neighborhood. It's sad, but that's my solution.

If these people aren't safe why do we release them from jail at all? We should keep them off the streets then. If they ARE safe or rehabilitated then maybe we should just let them get on with their lives and leave the police to "keep tabs" on them.

Sent by JP | 2:30 PM | 9-18-2007

First of all I need to say that the recidivism of sex offenders is off the charts. It is misleading to say that the old adage, "once a sex offender, always a sex offender" isn't actually true."
MOST of the violent rapists and pedophiles that the words "sex offender" bring to mind WILL reoffend and will unlikely be prosecuted. They serve little to no time for their crimes - when victims will suffer for life.

Now, having said that, I disagree with using the term sex offender for people who have publicly urinated or for 18 year old boys having sex with their consenting 16 year old girlfriends. Those crimes should come under a separate category because it degrades the term "sex offender" by lumping them all together.

I do check registries but there is little that I can do after getting the information. Sex offenders can register at one address and they aren't even legally required to LIVE at that address. I have a child, and I was a single mother for many years. It frightens me and I don't allow my son to play outside. I feel frightened to go outside alone, especially after dark. I know there are sexual predators within blocks of our house.

We live across the street from a park. Why do sex offenders live near the park?
Where is the common sense here??

Sent by ShannaLee Horvik | 2:31 PM | 9-18-2007

Why are we concerned about the welfare of sex offenders? I don't buy the argument that if they feel welcome in a community, they won't re-offend. ??? Are there any studies that show this helps, or are people guessing?

Sent by Ed | 2:32 PM | 9-18-2007

As you say do you want to trust the police? May are convicted by no real evidence. The problem with understanding crimininals in studies are the inocense who cloud the results.
Many of the specialists in this are say they have not seen an inocent person & they require everone to be locked up untill they confess...

Sent by david | 2:33 PM | 9-18-2007

Why don't other offenders receive the same treatment? I would certainly like to know if someone who has commited aggravated assault, assault with weapon, manslaughter, etc., lived next door. Why are sex offenders singled out? I am an ex nonviolent SO

Sent by Tom | 2:34 PM | 9-18-2007

There is nothing right in the conduct of sex offenders, but like everything else people show how prone to revenge they are with these registrys. No one in this country forgives. Just destroy people's lives even if they turn around and mend their behavior. Destroy people no matter what.

Sent by Rael Gabriel | 2:36 PM | 9-18-2007

I agree with Mark's comment. Why are the registries limited to only sex offenders? The public should have the right to FREELY know who is convicted of any crime. After all, the public has the right to attend any open court hearing. Maybe if everyone's record was posted online, it wouldn't seem that sex offenders were being singled out.

Sent by Norm! in Portland, OR | 2:36 PM | 9-18-2007

We recently found out that our neighbor had been convicted of a level 2 forced sex crime only about a year ago. If not for familywatchdog.us we would never have known, and I would have had nothing but the slightly creepy feel surrounding the man to warrant my unease whenever he was around my small child.
I for one am glad that I didn't have to rely on our local law enforcement to provide me with that information.

Sent by Corri Patrick | 2:37 PM | 9-18-2007

The list of sex offenders in the neighborhood does help us in taking precaution. But each of us need to realize that, unless these offenders are truly reformed and are able to function in the society, they will continue to be seen as potential re-offenders. Each neighbor needs to be adviced how he need to interact with the former offenders. They are human entitled to dignity as well, and more often than not, they have been victim of some sexual crimes themselves. Simply ostricizing them does not gurantee the safety, but they need to be engaged, held accountable, and accepted as neighbors in appropriate social contexts.

Sent by nadia chandler | 2:37 PM | 9-18-2007

I am the mother of a child victim - I had a boyfriend who sexually assaulted my pre-teen daughter, and knowing that he is on the registry is a small comfort to me. I pray that the women he dates, if they have children, are making use of the registry, because I loathe the thought that he will repeat his behavior with another little girl.

Sent by Victoria | 2:44 PM | 9-18-2007

The ability to assess risk is sketchy at best. There is no way to accurately assess risk given all the possible variables that contribute to sexual offending behavior. This is a bio-psycho-social issue. Treatment best case practice is generally approached from a pervention point of view. However, Risk levels of an individual can flucuate on a daily basis. There often exists dual diagnosis and thus a person with sexually problematic behavior and co-occuring bi-polar disorder may be at a higher risk during times of psychiatric instability.

Sent by Karl R Downing | 2:44 PM | 9-18-2007

There was a recent article in Oregon's major newspaper (The Oregonian) about an admitted pedophile moving into the Portland-metro area because of his being pushed from other communities. This man has not (yet?) been involved in a sex crime, but has maintained a website for pedophiles that states where the best spots are to see young girls. He would not be on a sex offender registry, and perhaps doesn't even pose a legal threat--but isn't the system a bit mussed up if this guy doesn't have his name of a registry but is admittedly unashamed of his attraction to young girls?

Sent by erin smith | 2:45 PM | 9-18-2007

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, a volunteer on my children's school district's sexual abuse prevention team, and as the author of a new children's picture book about sexual abuse (NOT IN ROOM 204, Albert Whitman & Co, 2007), I think that one risk of these directories is that they may provide a false sense of security. The vast majority of offenders will not be on these lists.

I believe we should focus our efforts on educating adults and children about the reality of sexual abuse:

1. How often it happens. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused by the time they reach age 18.

2. Who usually perpetrates. Many of our current efforts in safety education for children stop at stranger danger, but this doesn't represent the reality of sexual abuse. Most sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child knows and trusts, often someone in the child's own family.

3. That kids don't tell. It's not obvious when a child has been sexually abused. Most kids don't tell, for a variety of very compelling reasons, depending on the child's situation. This means that it's vitally important to open lines of communication with our kids to help them tell, in case this ever happens to them. Helping a child to be more able to tell is probably the most important thing we can do to stop sexual abuse that's already started, and to help that child recover.

If anyone is looking for information on sexual abuse, a great source is the organization Darkness to Light, found online at http://www.d2l.org.

Sent by Shannon Riggs | 2:45 PM | 9-18-2007

Where do we draw the line... Right now it is sex offenders. Next it will be all criminal records... Then credit reports... Before you know it, my school transcripts will be available for the world to see and judge.

Sent by Rob Bridges | 2:46 PM | 9-18-2007

Yes, there are some scary folks on the sex offender registries, however, the ones we really need to be aware of are those thousands who have never been caught. As the guest stated, the vast majority of sex offenders are known to the victim whether that victim is a child or an adult. Efforts need to be put into empowering and educating our children to say no to adults. Families also need to realize it is not in their best interest to protect an offender in their family. So many victims get revictimized by the adults in their families who fail to report the crime in order to "keep their family together."

Sent by Diane | 2:48 PM | 9-18-2007

...what's the status on the findings in 2005 that viagra was being made readily available to Texas sex offenders through Medicaid ...

Sent by Carmelo R. in San Antonio Tx | 2:50 PM | 9-18-2007

It is silly to assume that knowing about the registered sex offender living down the street will protect you from the half-dozen potential sex offenders also living on the block, or from the registered sex offenders living in the next county, who are able to travel! I am a psychotherapist, working primarily with children, and cannot count the number of conversations I have had with parents who believed that their children were safe, because they had checked the registry, and found that their neighborhood was "clean." I have worked with many children who were molested by family members, but none who were molested by strangers. This is consistent with the national statistics.

Sent by John Condron | 2:51 PM | 9-18-2007

I just looked at Familywatchdog and found that there was very little detail concerning dates or details of the crimes.
As a long-time listener of "Love Line" with Dr. Drew Pincus, it's amazing how early childhoold molestation leaves scars that are not easily expunged with therapy. That 17-yo nephew that was molesting children, was almost assuredly molested himself. He was unlikely just operating on poor teen impulse control.

Sent by Rick Lochner | 2:51 PM | 9-18-2007

Somehow we forget that these people were already punished for their crime, and now suffer in the community for the rest of their lives. Recidivism for thieves and murderers is just as high. So ultimately, we want to know who they are because we don't want them in our neighborhood. So whose neighborhood will they live in? Where can they work with this information floating about? We are ostracising them in the community and they will never be able to re-join and be productive citizens because they can't keep a home or a job...

Sent by Rob Bridges | 2:52 PM | 9-18-2007

I am thankful for sex offender registries. I think the offenders should have constant GPS monitoring, for the rest of their lives. To say that most offenders are "first time offenders" only means that it's the first time they were CAUGHT. As awful as it is that they have a hurt one person, it is a failure of society if we allow these criminals to victimize anyone else.

Sent by Kay Conterato | 2:52 PM | 9-18-2007

Information on an online registry shows that offenders live within 1000 feet of my church (with a preschool and playground) and within 1/4 mile of an elementary school in my subdivision located in St. Louis suburbs... as a concerned parent, what can I do about this?

Sent by Concerned Parent | 2:56 PM | 9-18-2007

Although data indicates sex offenses have been decreasing for the past several years, it is possible that draconian approaches such as notification lists have actually reduced the reporting of these offenses and that is one of the reasons for the supposed decline in offenses. Since most offenders are related to or know their victims, the law inself may act to prohibit disclosure because it raises the stakes and adds an element of guilt for the victim who reports the crime. So, it effect, these laws may be having an unintended consequence of making it more difficult for victims to come forward.

Sent by Dr. Brian O'Neill | 2:57 PM | 9-18-2007

There are many reasons I don't argee with this blanket sex offender registery, but one thing that stuck me in the conversation was that the so-called Romeo and Juliet "offenders" and other underage "offenders" are named on here, some for decades. Publically labeling these children as such, much of whom are male, paints them as public enemies, perpetuates the female as victim, and continues the skewed perception that teenages are never going to have sex. As usual, it seems to hurt more than it helps.

Sent by donna | 3:08 PM | 9-18-2007

While your human rights guest stated many times that most listed sex offenders are first time offenders, I believe her statement should be corrected to say they are first time caught or reported sex offenders! Just as the woman whos daughters where molested by her seventeen year old stepson and nothing was done, if he does go on to commit another sex offence he will be listed as a "first time offender".

Another very important point that was never raised was the amount of cases that are done with plea agreements to save the victims from further trauma. I know from personal experience when your child is a victim how hard it is to balance protecting your child from further harm of a trial and protecting other children that may be future victims.

Also, the two gentlemen that called in to tell thier personal stories of how hard life is for them to be on the list only stated that thier crimes were misdemeanors. If thier crimes were so innocent why not state what the actual crime was or did they also reach a plea agreement? Many sex offenders are very charismatic and will protest thier innocence to anyone that will believe.

Thank God for the listing of sex offenders!!!! For far too long adults have not done enough to protect children from crimes and now that we have started the ball rolling I hope that Human Rights does not set us back by trying to protect the rights of the offender instead of the victim.
There may be a need for further tweeking of many states laws but to make a statement that the sex offenders list may do more harm than good is in itself harmful and I am shocked and dismayed by thier report.

Sent by Kim Stanton | 3:11 PM | 9-18-2007

I am a parent who uses the registry as a screening tool. I would never send my child to the home of anyone on the list in the same way that I would never allow my child to go to a home with guns or pit bulls or someone who had a drug or alcohol problem. I think that the registry does need to either provide more information about the crimes or it needs to remove the more minor offenses that don't involve children. I have more concern for the safety of our children, when I see creepy men taking pictures of little girls in the park, and that is perfectly legal.

Sent by amy | 3:13 PM | 9-18-2007

I found Shannon Riggs' post to be very helpful. I also like Diane's post.

Sent by Inspra | 3:19 PM | 9-18-2007

Individuals who expose themselves in the park are lumped into the same category as a predatory sex offender who seeks out children to fantasize over or violate are not the same. Disturbing but not the same. A huge problem that we all have to consider is the offender who is not caught and prosecuted - these are the ones who end up in the headlines 26 yrs later with a wake of victims who then have the potential to become offenders themselves. We as people need to get victims help immediately to avoid their evolution into one of these creatures.

Regarding this talk of not "re-offending" within 15yrs after conviction is based on the convictions. There is no way to gage if an offender has found and groomed a new victim unless caught AND convicted. Let's not lose sight of the thousands of children who have been violated and never had any legal justice served.

Offenders are complex and should not be given sympathy. It is proven that predatory offenders are unable to be rehabilitated in 95% of the therapists surveyed who work with these people. Sex offender lists are there to protect and if it isn't working then the laws should get tougher. Parents need to do their part to eliminate influences that will shape their children to become adults that don't do these sort of things and the government needs to keep US safe from those who want to do society harm.

Sent by Misty | 3:33 PM | 9-18-2007

The large majority of sexual abuse is committed by someone in a child's own family. This sort of legislation was passed because it's dramatic and gets lots of attention for the lawmakers. It hasn't been shown to have any effect at all on actual crime levels. It does violate the rights of those non-violent offenders (think Genarlow Wilson, the 17 year old jailed for having consensual sex with a 15 year old) who are tagged for the rest of their lives.

Instead of fanning the flames of hysteria with schlock like Dateline's predator entrapment series, media organizations have the duty to check the real statistics and bring to the attention of the general public the fact that the odds of your child being molested by a stranger are 1 in 610000. That's approximately the same as their odds of being struck by lightning. But they'll never do that because these stories get ratings.

Sent by Melanie | 3:33 PM | 9-18-2007

My multi award winning documentary INCEST A FAMILY TRAGEDY is currently on the festival circuit. The film addresses the residency restrictions as well as the impact of the internet listing of molesters. My findings clearly show that both of these requirements are actually driving stranger predators into hiding and creating greater danger for our kids. Homeland Security states that 86% of registered sex offenders are Whereabouts Unknown. If we want to control these people, we need to keep them where we can watch and help. However, this type of offender while worthy of our attention is a very small part of the child rape problem. The overwhelming source of child abuse is not a stranger but either a family member or a trusted friend. INECST accounts for over 90% of sexual crime against children with fathers, uncles, and grandfathers heading the list. And no one wants to talk about it. The Lowest analysis & studies show that 30% of our children are incestuously molested prior to turning 18. That means there are millions of Americans living with life long psychological damage and pain. Most of the rest of the world is even worse. And it continues to occur even as we speak. We are captives of a sensationalizing media hoping to garner ratings over an important predator issue that pales when compared to the numbers and damage of INCEST.
There is hope, and there are solutions to the problem. Treatment works, an educational model must be introduced, and communities need to deal with the problem in a way that puts real children's protection first and not be driven by hysteria and vengence.

Sent by Edward Blackoff, Director Producer, Shazzam Films | 3:48 PM | 9-18-2007

I am the father of a child who was assaulted by a male coach when she was 14 years old. He was 28. The lengthy criminal case was just settled two weeks ago tomorrow with a plea bargain with the defendent pleading guilty to one of eight counts, and that a minor charge relative to the other charges.

I have several observations about this issue and the TOTN story.

First, part of the plea bargain in this case requires that the offender be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life online. To date, almost two weeks later this has not been posted.

Second, part of the reason for the plea bargain was so that my daughter would not have to be "retraumatized" by testifying in court, which I appreciate. However, the net effect has been that this offender, who would have faced a lengthy stay in the California state prison system, has received only 5 years probation, lifetime registration, mandated restitution and several other odds and ends. The DA and others have told us that this is a significant sentence, but it hardly seems so.

Third, I take issue with the statement made by Dr. Letourneau during the segment that most offenders are first time offenders. Technically speaking, my daughter's assailant is a first time offender but what this really means in this case is that it's the first time he's been caught. We know that this man has other victims who for one reason or another would not report or come forward. I would suggest that Dr. Letourneau and others that support this assertion have no "scientific" means to determine whether or not this can be true only that they are first time convicted. Possibly a more accurate term would be fist time convicted.

Finally, in my experience the accused recieved every benefit as a defendent in the criminal justice system while the victim and her family were mostly left to fend for ourselves in this process.

Sent by John | 4:09 PM | 9-18-2007

I am an adult probation officer and have worked with sex offenders over the last 20 years. In the state where I live, only level 2 and 3 offenders are on the registry. All level 1 offenders are not. My concern is that parents, politicians, media, watch dog sites, etc.. are so concerned with the level 2 and 3 offenders, when it is the level 1 offenders who are the daddy, the grandpa, the uncle, the brother, the mayor, the lawyer, the bishop, next door. In other words, some of the most dangerous predators score as a level 1, so the general public will never know who and where they are. Also, notification is only as good as the information received. Not all offenders who are required to register will, they won't all give factual information, and in short, society will remain with the delusion that they are "protected."

Sent by Sherilee Draypol | 5:10 PM | 9-18-2007

I was a victim of molestation, much like the children who's mother called about the 17 year old cousin. After years of trying to figure out the effects this had on me... it eventually came down to me understanding what happened to him. I have reason to believe he too was the subject of sexual abuse in his childhood. He ended up in jail for other crimes and I had heard that there were other allegations of sexual assault on his record at that point, but I just looked his name up in the family watchdog website and he was not in there.

Now, I'm not sure that there shouldn't be a registry for the worst of the worst, but in the cases of these men, whose perceptions of sexuality have been twisted, for whatever reason.... as much as it may hurt the victim again to hear it.... (I wouldn't have been ready to think of him getting help, while I struggled before recently) .... these men need to be readjusted... helped... fixed... whatever you want to call it.... it's the only thing that will prevent the tree of hurt from continuing to grow.

Sent by illustry | 5:25 PM | 9-18-2007

Edward Blackoff -- It's great to hear how you are raising awareness of incest and the effects of social policies on predators. How can those of us who would like to help raise awareness become involved in the movement?

Sent by Inspra | 6:08 PM | 9-18-2007

I'm a level 2 sex offender in new york state. I was convicted of having cansensual sexual intercourse with a Teenage girl whom i met in a bar. I have never been convected of a sex offense before. Recently i was lured in to a gang assult where i was severly beaten because of this information provided on the internet. I have trouble finding work because of this. I am a collage grad. Why am i on this list. I did nothing wrong.
kevin- jamestown ny

Sent by Kevin | 7:56 PM | 9-18-2007

My nephew (then 18) was dating a girl, 14 going on 20. Her parents allowed her to hang out with older teens and stay out with no curfew. When they broke up, she went running to her parents, who had my nephew arrested. Granted, he needed to pay for his mistake, because he didn't run when she found out her age. But now he is registered as a sex offender. He will not molest young children. This 14-year-old even admitted that she pushed to have sex with him. Now he won't even take a woman out to dinner, unless he checks out their birth certificate. Even though the only restriction is no contact with the victim (no problems there), will employers and neighbors understand that he is not a molester.

Sent by Dorothy Hoyt-Reed | 7:59 PM | 9-18-2007

I find this entire discussion digusting and repulsive. I wonder what Sarah Tofte would say to the parents of Jessica Lunsford.

Sent by Colleen Clancy Foster | 8:27 PM | 9-18-2007

When I was 23 I got in trouble with a 16 yr old (all consensual) but illegal (Missouri). I received and SIS and did 5 years probation and counseling. The case was finally dismissed and I have no criminal record however since I pleaded guilty and took responsibility I must be on the list. It's been 10 years. I'm a single father of 2 children and Missouri just passed a law not allowing me on school grounds. My oldest son is 14 and has type I diabetes. He's failing school and I can't do anything with the school. The worst part is he is not allowed to play any sports or do ANYTHING with the school because I'm not allowed on campus to pick him up. It is totally unfair that my children are being punished 10 years later. If my son has to go to the dentist or doctor he has to miss an entire day of school again because I'm not allowed to take him back to school. I made a mistake back then. I'm not praying on children. I have some of my own and I'm trying my best to raise them right and do the best for them. I've requested the state please drop me from the list so I can get back to supporting my children in their education which I was up until this law was passed 2 years ago. The state denied my request because Missouri will NOT help anyone they call a Sex Offender, however, they just dropped everyone on the list convicted prior to 1995. That's right everyone! Event the people who SHOULD be on that list. I was alway at the parent conferences and supporting my children. Now I've been cut off and my children are being punished. I know many people will wish me dead because I had sexual contact with a 16 year old when I was 23. I'm not 35. Grown old, raising children, have a very nice professional job, haven't had even a speeding ticket in the 10 years, have no convictions or criminal record, yet Missouri has me tagged as a child molester.

My children have been made fun of at school and have had some terrible things said to them (even from a teacher) yet there is nothing I can do about it. It's very sad! I do agree that some SHOULD be on that list however.

God Bless you all. I'm very sorry to see others here that would like to see me shot for my mistake, however, if I had raped a preteen child then I would only agree with you.

Scott

Sent by scott | 12:59 AM | 9-19-2007

this is a helpful and good discussion. my sister was molested in 2005 by my uncle which is my mom's brother. my sister wouldn't do anything about this because she is afraid that my uncle would do some harm to my family and plus we owed money to him. one thing too that is so sick and disgusting, my sister was told by my aunt that she and my uncle had sex, so that means they are having an affair eventhough they are brothers and sister, isn't this so weird and stupid? i am fed up with this. i hope there can be justice for my sister. is there any way that my uncle could be listed as a sex offender on the internet or maybe he could be arrested for this matter? I am really desperate to get some help for my sister. She just ignored everything that happened. i am telling her that what if it happens to other family member or other people, would you not care? I guess i can't help her if she wouldn't help herself first.

Sent by Angela A. in Oxnard, California | 1:51 AM | 9-19-2007

Dose of Reality

If it's true that only 25% of the registrants will re-offend in their lifetime then based on a registry of 600,000 offenders we will have about 150,000 known convicted sex offenders committing crimes in the future. If 90% of the offenses are committed by offenders who are known to their victims than about 135,000 offenders will be able to groom children or victimize them despite the public registry and other sex offender laws.

What we need to be asking ourselves is how is it possible to have a public registry and STILL have thousands of children in harm's way? There are two basic possibilities. 1) The parents did not know the offender was on the registry and did not take precautions or 2) The parents did know the offender was on the registry and did not take precautions. So either we need to do a better job with public notification or we need to improve public awareness of the risks involved with exposing our children to known deviants. So when you look at the big picture and reality hits you square between the eyes the bottom line is we STILL have not been able to stop known offenders from hurting our children at least in 1 out of 4 cases. Taking people off the registry does nothing to solve the problem of a possible 135,000 sex crimes. Less information is clearly an illogical solution.

Sent by Hope | 3:06 AM | 9-19-2007

A while back I got a press release from a company that was marketing a service to parents in which they'd give their kids some kind of GPS device that would alert their parents every time they entered a neighborhood where a registered sex offender was present. How this could ever make a parent feel more secure I don't understand, as it's often hard to find a given neighborhood without at least one registered offender. Maybe next they'll offer a Google Maps mashup through which you can creating driving directions from point A to point B and avoid coming within proximity of any registered offender. I feel safer already.

Sent by andy carvin | 9:42 AM | 9-19-2007

The sex offender list is too vague. People ASSUME someone is on the list for this horrible crime, which even if the crime is not horrible, the legal terminology seems horrible.

Let's say a 17-year-old takes a picture of his 16-year-old girlfriend and puts it on the net. If he gets caught, he is procecuted FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE AS A SEX OFFENDER.

Take everyone off of that list except child molesters and then the list would be more appropriate.

Sent by Dave Wilson | 11:11 AM | 9-19-2007

Inspra and others who would like to be more involved in the movement against childhood sexual abuse, a good place to begin is the organization Darkness to Light. I posted the link up above, but it didn't work for some reason. I'll try again:

http://www.darknesstolight.org

If this link doesn't work, you can simply type "Darkness to Light" into a search engine, and it should come right up.

D2L has a program called "7 steps to protecting our children." What I like about this organization is that they place the responsibility for preventing and detecting child abuse squarely on adults' shoulders. We all must take part in this important work if we are to stop this epidemic.

One thing I think people don't realize is how much we pay as a society for all of the effects childhood sexual abuse has on its victims. The effects of childhood sexual abuse are deep and long lasting: depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, self-injury, substance abuse, and even suicide. How much are we paying in health care costs for all of these problems? How much are we paying to take care of all of the stress-related illnesses that stem from CSA? How much are we paying in lost productivity? That's not even to mention the costs in human suffering--how can we even measure those?

Another possibility: My children's school district has a sexual abuse prevention team, made up of school employees, a district attorney, probation officers, clergy, social workers, and a couple of parents. (I'm one of the parents!) One of the things we do is put on educational presentations, such as "How to keep your child safe on the Internet" and one about how child molestors operate. Perhaps contacting the school district in your area and asking if they have a program like this would be a good place to begin.

Something that everyone can do is break the silence. There is a powerful taboo against speaking about this topic honestly. Our media so often focuses on the tragic, yet statistically rare cases of abduction by strangers, when really, they should be reporting on what is most definitely a national health and safety epidemic.

If a virus with devastating consequences were affecting one in four of our girls and one in six of our boys, it would be headline news. Why isn't childhood sexual abuse headline news? I don't understand it.

Sent by Shannon Riggs | 12:38 PM | 9-19-2007

When the stupid become dumb:

People not registered as sex offenders make up the factual (hard empirical evidence) majority of sex crimes against children.

Children are more than likely to be sexually, emotionally, physically abused, neglected or murdered at the hands of their own parents and this is supported by hard empirical fact. This is by no means a complete summation of the more apparent dangers posed to children in comparison to registered sex offenders (the least likely danger of all dangers TO CHILDREN).

People labeled as Registered sex offenders are such a small group (a spec of dust comparitively) to worry about, validated empirical scientific evidence demonstrates the %5 reoffense rate. This is just the start (tip of the ice berg) of the "New World Order" where civil rights are trumped in the name of "protecting the children."

Imagine false accusations being taken as FACT and sex crime investigators planted at every school and neighborhood just itching to implicate anyone in their path as a child molester? This is what happens when stupid people become hysterical. Stupid people cannot distiguish fact from fiction nor do they understand what a democracy really is?

Sent by Erika | 2:25 PM | 9-19-2007

The HRW report is not saying we don't have the right to protect our children from dangerous predators. But most of the people on the registries are not the dangerous predators that we think of when we hear the term sex offender. There should be no need for a registry because dangerous predators should not be free. All others should serve their punishment and then be allowed to live an offense free life without the life long burden of a scarlet letter. The current laws are not protecting anyone. The rare horrific crimes of a stranger will continue to occur. Our focus needs to be on protecting children in their own homes where they are most likely to be assaulted. No registry will stop that kind of crime.

Sent by BJ | 5:20 PM | 9-19-2007

(My first comment to Family Watchdog that was deleted)
(Shortened so this can be posted on NPR)

Dear Family Watchdog:

While you quote "[s]o much is wrong with this report", it is also quite true that there is so much wrong with the sex offender laws in this country, especially with the proposed Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and
Safety Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-248), Guidelines, as promulgated by the U.S. Attorney General.

Finding myself convicted of having consensual sexual relations with my teenage girlfriend (some 12 years ago, now I am starting my own family) and being impacted by these laws, I have some input. Believe me, if you think your family should consider me dangerous, you are delusional and paranoid; however if you find empathy (i.e. see yourself in my shoes), please read on.

Consider:

- Consensual sex among teenagers (ages 13-19) triggers the offenders registration as a sex offender in most cases. This is because upon conviction, many teens plead out to the myriad of "risk of injury to a minor", and "indecency with a minor" statutes, which are usually misdermeanors or very low level felonies, upon a promise of no jail time; but later find themselves exposed to registry requirements as Registries broaden the crimes encompassed within the registration scheme.

- For now, most young adult convicts are not listed since they are NOT dangerous, as most states either find that they are a Level I offender and do not list them on the registry, or exempt them entirely because of state law.

Sent by Mark in Jersey | 5:51 PM | 9-19-2007

As someone who has been the victim of sexual assault, I've spent much time researching laws related to the sex offender registry. I've looked at the data from more than 30 states and have found that the reported recidivism rate is somewhere between 1-12% meaning most state reports VERY low recidivism. Uusing these numbers, we can logically conclude that the majority, most, about 90% of new sex crimes are being committed by someone not on the registry. This gives the public a false sense of security - if a sex offender isn't a neighbor then their children are not at risk, when in fact, the opposite is likely true. Just because a sex offender doesn't live in your neighborhood doesn't mean he/she couldn't drive, walk, or run there.

Also, if the government (and Family Watch Dog), is so concerned about protecting children and families, wouldn't they be paying more attention to identifying those who are at risk for committing a new offense rather than wasting billions of dollars on the management of those ex-offenders who post little to no risk to the community?

In my opinion, it is ridiculous and unethical to be spending billions of our tax paying dollars on a registry that has absolutely no empirical/scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness at preventing sexually based crimes. If it was working, wouldn't the recidivism rate be 0% and wouldn't we see the incidence of sex crimes significantly decrease? In my research on the issue, there is just no evidence to indicate these laws are actually accomplishing that and the HRW report provides initial evidence of that which I agree with 100%. I'm baffled as to why the government keeps wasting valuable resources on managing it and not focusing on how we can work to identify, track, and treat those who present a risk for committing a first offense (although I do understand the difficulties in catching people who are at risk vs the ease of continued punishment to those who???ve already offended - but should we pursue what is easy for the sake of public opinion or what is difficult to ensure protection and prevention).

Kudos to the HRW for publishing such an eye-opening, accurate and truthful report. I just wish people would actually do their research (looking at published and peer reviewed data) before making judgment calls about its validity (and FYI ??? the media is typically not a valid source of information!).

Sent by Kathleen | 6:37 PM | 9-19-2007

I must first congratulate the sex offender registries for making possibly important information available to the public. That is the only thing positive I can say for them. Unfortunatly my father got caught in a "sting" for sexual predators in 2005, he never consented to doing anything sexual and never saw a child, as one didn't exist, but was nonetheless arrested and convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a child. He recently finished his probation and was fianlly starting to get back into society with a good steady job. Instead of being able to put this behind him his new neighbors called the police when his job took him out of town for two months, saying they thought he was "fleeing". He returned to town and quickly recieved a call from the police telling them they had a warrant for his arrest. He went to the police to find out what was happening and was arrested again and spent 30 hours in a holding cell. While his neigboors may have thought they were protecting society from a criminal all they have really done is use the information found on a registry to turn his world upside down again. I hope that when he has his hearing this will be dismissed, but unfortunatly as long as everyone has access to the registries and any class of "sex offender" is listed this is bound to happen again.

Sent by Diane | 7:58 PM | 9-22-2007

I welcome the Human Rights Watch report. This is such an emotional topic that reliable information is hard to come by. But not that hard. The Center for Sex Offender Management operating out of the Justice Department is a neglected source. And the information there is similar to what the HR Report contains.

Sex offender registries are a poor answer to a serious problem. They do nothing to make it less likely that a sex offender will re-offend; paradoxically, by making it almost impossible for an offender to hold a job or get housing, we increase the stress in a stress-related disorder and increase the chances of a re-offense. Without a home or stable address, we make it that much harder for law enforcement to keep track of the offenders and we drive many underground.

There are more positive approaches. The money we spend on sex offender registries would be better spent paying for treatment for offenders. There are highly developed methods for treatment of sex offenders which have proven quite effective. We could also implement an approach used in Canada, Circles of Support and Accountability (get info. by googling it), where trained volunteers from the community meet weekly with a high risk sex offender to make sure he is following his relapse prevention plan and to provide help with jobs, housing, and generally mediate his relationship with the community. Offenders assigned to COSA circles have a significantly reduced recidivism when matched with a control group of offenders without this support.

Sent by Roswitha | 9:26 PM | 9-22-2007

I am a retired Police Officer and I can tell you this was an area I became very involved with before I retired. Sorry people, but for the most part these are feel good laws that do nothing to help protect you. The US Dept. Of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics on Recidivism shows that within 3 years of release from prison 3.5% of released sex offenders will be reconvcited of a sex crime. It also says that over 90% of sexual assaults are commited by a person well known and trusted by the victim and in most cases that is a family member. Now if every state classifed sex offenders based on empricial testing and not based on the crime. And then they were classifed by the danger level they are, and post only those sex offenders that are the greatest risk to reoffend on a public sex offender registry then sex offender registrys would have some effect on helping the public to maybe not be a victim of a sex crime. Please go to the goverment web sight and check it out yourself. We are now waisting a lot of time and energy on many who are no crime risk at all. The public needs to educated. This stranger danger thing is not what we think it is. Tim P.

Sent by Tim P. | 11:04 AM | 9-24-2007

These sex offender registries claim to be about protecting kids. there is much research -- now including the human rights watch report -- that undermine this basic premise. but the most dangerous feature of the registries and related draconian measures is that they reflect and promote an hysteria raging in our society that endangers all of us. This hysteria, based on a demonization of those labeled "sex offenders", poses a great danger to the quality of life of young people. Not only are the lives of hundreds of kids now forced to register ruined forever through the public shaming of having their mug shots and addresses posted on the internet. (many for non-violent behavior that many of our legislators engaged in when youngsters). But all youngsters are now forced to live in a society that makes their sexual feelings suspect and that makes suspicion, rather than reality-based trust, the primary modus operandi in life. More and more adults who pose no danger to children now fear having anything to do with them. All of our lives are impacted by this breakdown in community. And it is community that best assures the safety of young people.

Sent by Paul Shannopn | 2:50 PM | 9-24-2007

This is going to shock a lot of the people who have already commented here, but I'm going to come out with it anyway because, FOR THE CHILDREN, this needs to be said.

I was a victim of familial sexual abuse. I was victimized from the age of about 6 years to 9 years of age, when I finally told my parents.

Many people have commented (which is comparable to the beliefs of most of society) that children never get over this kind of thing, and the damage that's done is hard to relieve with therapy, etc.

I will tell you why it's hard to relieve with therapy, and it's not because of the sexual acts themselves.

I came through my ordeal JUST FINE, and if other adults were as smart as my parents were at the time, all children would.

I came through it just fine because my parents didn't FLIP OUT. They didn't treat me as if I'd been murdered. They treated it like any other "boo boo" I'd had as I was growing up. They got me the help I needed, but MAINLY they treated me as if nothing THAT out of the ordinary had happened to me.

The most detrimental aspect of child molestation cases, is the parent/adult's reaction when they are told.

If you treat the child like they've been killed, they'll believe that they have.

In a large portion of child molestation cases, the child is not physically harmed. What happened to them didn't "hurt" physically, on the contrary it felt pleasurable. They don't understand why, they just know it felt good. The last thing they need is to have to analyze why something that felt good was so reacted to as so terrible when they told. Sometimes children let this information slip out, they don't really mean to be "telling" on the perpetrator. So when they do, and the mother, father, or both start with the "Oh my God, my poor baby"'s, the damage REALLY begins.

If everyone could learn to calm down about sex in this country PERIOD, and quit acting like chickens with their heads cut off, our children would suffer less.

We'd have less sexual activity at younger ages where are children are concerned, if everyone sqawked as loudly against all of the sexual innuendo in Family Hours television shows, all of the sexuality used to SELL things in commercials and on billboards, and the sexuality in the music our pre-teens listen to. I shake my head everytime I have nickleodeon on for my grandson and I see elementary aged kids dancing around a stage singing songs that have sexual content in them for those "kids bop" cd's. It's kids singing songs that older teens listen to. There's too much sex in them for the teens, let alone 4th-6th graders. But no one seems to be concerned about that at all.

The dreaded sex offender is the most reviled, and hated of all of our citizenry, yet our citizens remain FASCINATED by sex in general.

One last thing, and then I'll shut up. For those of you keeping your children inside, not letting them go outside to play, I hope you have them in therapy, because you are crippling them physically AND emotionally for life.

Do you think child molestors and other sex offenders just now appeared on the scene? They've been here all along. Give your children the tools to keep themselves safe, and let them play for God's sake. You're raising a bunch of emotional wrecks, who aren't going to be able to do anything unless you are with them. Good luck getting them out of the house when the time does come.

Sent by Jackie S. | 9:53 PM | 9-24-2007

to all you right to know sheep out there just wait till you or someone you love have to deal with this registries then we will see you sing a deferent tune,

just ask my 15yr old son who was with his 13yr old girl friend!!!

Sent by dee booney | 6:17 AM | 9-25-2007

The broader point of the HRW report is that sex offender laws are blanket laws. And that there are people labeled and are being labeled as a sex offender with the de facto meaning of sex offender being Child Molester. These laws are unfair and unjust, and yes the legal systems and legislatures can make distinctions but choose not to do so.

The HRW Report is not talking about being nice to child molesters or rapists, it is saying these laws are not the cure all. Treatment and prevention must be an integral part of reducing sex offenses. The problems appear intractable, and many people believe the making of many laws will stop sex offenses. They will not.

The HRW report is about fairness which is the basis of Due Process of Law, and it is speaking to the injustice of sex offender laws.

Sent by Bennie | 8:31 PM | 9-25-2007

A large part of the problem is the way lawyers hand out plea deals. My youngest brother was placed on the list after a 17yr old co-worker accused him of several lude acts. Ironicly, this presented after my brother landed a promotion that the 17yr old had wanted. After ten thousand dollars his lawyer told him his only choice was to plea out; state he was guilty. The family hired a private detective and the lawyer still gave no other options and refused to fight. After months of home detention, his wife divorced him and he now resides in a county jail simply because he is homeless. All attempts to find alternate housing have been crushed by the probation department and now the family just sits and waits for a miracle. I work in law enforcement, have a BS, Masters and 2 years of law school...I still can't believe the outcome.

Sent by Jack Close | 9:04 PM | 9-25-2007

What's the difference between a rapist and a child molester? As a parent I'd like to be aware of both potential threats to my families safety. The federal govt. has been keeping tabs on these creeps since the 1940s. Maybe some the recidivism dropped because they convicted sex offenders have been registering since the 40s it's only recently has their info and crimes been so readily available to their victims or potential victims. I think a lot has to be said about the registration process beig a deterrent.

Sent by Tony | 2:40 PM | 9-26-2007

The percentage of recitivism rate is not clearly defined by statistics.One crime served equals rules to live by on the streets. Any rule broken by an offender such as a having a beer is considered as another sex crime and added to the sex crimes reports therefore upping the percentage on reported sex offense crimes. The lie is in the statistics as false staements.I read a report in college on "How to lie with statistics" this is surely one the media beefs up, to the disadvantage of pyschologists who are trying to help rehabilitate the offender or "accused" offender.

Sent by Cheryl Costella | 11:54 AM | 10-2-2007

What're you going on about? Cheryl, I bet Meghan Kanka would disagree with you if she could, but she can't becuase she was raped and killed by a group of repeat sex offenders that lived in her neigborhood. So Meghan's killers were sex offenders who continued their crimes and it wasn't just "having a beer " as you state. You are not only misinformed and are more than naive if you think that any infraction of the law by a registered sex-offender is considered an addtional sex-crime.

Sent by Tony | 3:22 PM | 10-3-2007

EVERY MOTHER SHOULD KNOW THE FACTS, WATCH DOG WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN THEY WILL HAPPILY LIST THEM , Thank You, HUMAN RIGHTS For caring .
The Human Rights Report is accurate. They have no vested interest. Yes, There have been children murdered and sexually assaulted. These laws are not effecting them, they are where they belong. Human rights is addressing the discrimination and punishment of the 600,000 people, young and old that are being punished and banished from society because of those heinous crimes. The Mothers of this country need to know the facts.The fact that these laws are entrapping and harming children just like yours and mine. Thousands of children are listed in registries, in detention center, jails, prisons because of these laws. GET THE FACT SO YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN , TEENS ESPECIALLY - Read what other mothers have learned -Ethical treatment for youthful offenders - http://www.ethicaltreatment.org/

Sent by Nancy C | 2:24 PM | 10-5-2007

RE: I find this entire discussion digusting and repulsive. I wonder what Sarah Tofte would say to the parents of Jessica Lunsford.

Sent by Colleen Clancy Foster | 8:27 PM ET | 09-18-2007
I would tell them that 600,000 people should not be held responsible. Read the report before judging.

Sent by Nancy | 4:56 PM | 10-5-2007

I can't speak for all states but in CA a juvenile sex offender's name, crimes or address are not disclosable to the public unless they commit a sex crime as an adult. In fact statutory rape is not a registrable offense, unless a Judge orders it. I think we discount the effectiveness of the registry as a deterent. In fact one habitual sex offender convicted of molesting a child and exposing himself to a 10 yr old girl in the lobby of a soup kitchen , stated during a parole interview that the CA registry acted as a deterent. He said that he feels as though he will always be recognized and that stops him from giving into his impulses. Sure the registries lump all the sex offenders in the same category but what are we trying to doing here, break them down into differing levels of creepiness? Let's not forget all those on a sex offender registry has had their day in court and have been found guilty. The CA registry used to have a booth at the state fair before they went on-line and they would keep a tally of hits. On more than one occassion a spouse or girlfriend uncovered the fact that their current spouse or boy friend were sex offenders.

Sent by Tony | 6:49 PM | 10-5-2007

I have read these comments with great interest, because, in our neighborhood, (Western New York State) there is a proposed level 3 housing project for 30 sex offenders in a neighborhood with day care centers, many children who still have the freedom to play and congregate, is near a popular bike path, and state college, also- bars, a pornagraphy store, and other high risk, or tantalizing areas/and populations.

The City of Buffalo has higher standards..i.e. 1500 feet, vs the State standard of 500 feet of contact between a level 3 offender and at risk populations. (we are working hard to keep the higher level of distance, which would effectively keep this facility out of this 'tempting' neighborhood.)

With the registry, we already know of 23 level 2 and level 3 offenders. And this registry notes if the victim was 'known' or not. As well as other relevant infomation. (see below)

I agree that what would be considered a 'romeo and juliet' scenario is not appropriate to be on a sex offender's list for life, or without explanation. And while many states don't have a differentation between offences, NYS does. (in NYS, level 3 being the HIGHEST risk of re-offending...not just any crime, as some have mentioned, but of a sex offense. In New York State,the Level 3 designation has a very high re-offending percentage. And in the registry, the type of offense is clearly stated, the age of victim, forced contact, type of contact, weapon used, etc. as well as work address, car license plate numbers, etc) In that scenario, I don't consider it an intrusion to the parolee...in fact I've never seen a level 1 offender on the registry for our zip code)

I would suggest this type of registry, nationally, to both assist the commenters of this forum to have accurate information, and to offer low risk/no risk offenders from other states to have a proper chance at a new life, and to truly inform the public as to the level of risk in their city or neighborhood.

I also agree that many offenders are of known origin, and that is part of what the NYS regisry attempts to provide.

What I'm trying to say, is that there should be a national standard for 'high risk' (level 3 in NYS) offenders) . And that we all need to know that sexual abuse is not limited to a certain demographic, and 'stranger danger' is not the 'end all' of teaching our kids, (and our adult friends!) about staying safe. Perhaps if we focused more on community health (and by that, I mean physically, mentally and psychologically) we may be able to stop some of these offenses before they happen.

Despite what some of the responders have said, this kind of crime has a tremendous impact on a victims life. And yes, I agree that we should explore a 'registry' of murders also. However, those crimes usually come with a more severe sentence. Rape, child molestation, etc....is somehow considered a 'lesser' crime, even when it has often taken away the 'life' of the victim.

And for the commenters who have been on a registry for a lesser crime..such as urinating in public, consentual teenage sex, etc...I would hope that this kind of registry would help to restore their lives in a manner that is not even remotely associated with the most violent sex offenders.

This is a multi-layered issue that requires a multi-layered approach. Unfortanatly, too many of us in this country just want an easy sound bite to use for our platform thinking. We need to start thinking for ourselves, and then holding (i.e. voting and getting involved) our representatives accountable! That is how we can build our communities, our families and our cities in the best way possible.

Sent by Sandra Gordon | 3:43 AM | 10-6-2007

Hi,

Social scientists say that one of the things that make it difficult to stop sexual predators is the fact that their anti-social behavior is mostly invisible to most, except, sadly, to their victims. They are not the type of criminals that are easy to spot or who
act suspiciously and avoid coming into contact with law enforcement officers or agencies. On the contrary, many Sex offenders have established
themselves and are familiar figures in the community or neighborhood. They make their dark side known only when they strike. Oftentimes, they are people whom their victims trust - uncles, neighbors, teachers and the like.

Sent by Zweibel | 1:41 AM | 10-8-2007

My husband is a registered (no-risk) offender. We were leading a new life until the internet listing came about... We have a young girl now goes to a local elementary school; we try to keep her life as normal and "protected" from the information as we could. However, it is so painful as anybody could come up to us and question his 20-year-old offend to the daughter of his former marriage, to whom he's maintaining a smooth relationship. So whose lives is this listing help to destroy? Obviously his, already did his probation, gone through therapy and more than eager to start new life, mine, who do nothing wrong but loving and supporting a human being, and our daughter, who is so believing in a good life in front of her! I could only hope that we could all put a human face on anybody on the list and try to be a bit more considerate...

Sent by cho | 3:50 AM | 10-10-2007

Are these posting of sex offender real good for us we sit on our computers and look up people who yes have done wrong but may be getting treatment Who is to say we have the right to "get in someone else life" Some sex offender are in the "wrong" i kow some girls who are from the ages of 13 to 17 who lie to older guys about there ages and the guys get busted because they didn't do something for the girls they slept with. What r guy suppose to do check id before sleeping with some one hello they can make fake ids Girls now and days look older then they realy are.

Sent by maggie | 9:18 PM | 10-10-2007

If these so called sex offenders who are not guilty of any more infractions and can prove it, there are ways for them to get relief from regisering. I believe one need not be charged and convicted of any crime for a period of years and have a psyscologist and judge sign off to that fact. I'm not certain of all the details but if one were truly rehabiliatated and could prove it there is relief, that's all I'm gonna say on that subject call a lawyer and get relief. I believe the sex registrants future employers, spouses or girlfriends have a right to know, wouldn't you want to know if you daughters new boyfriend was convicted (not suspected) of molesting children or raping women?

Sent by Tony | 1:19 PM | 10-11-2007

Some of these comments severly offend me to be honest. I am married to a man that was convicted of inappropiately touching his sisters. As a child he was put into jail and when out he has had to register fr quite some time, he was done with it and now new laws say oops sorry we want you to start all over again. I myself was a rape victim, and from experience it takes someone without a soul to take another's. Non violent sex offences people commit when they are children should not condemn them for the rest of there life. And like other people said where are the lists of the murderers, where are the lists of the drug dealers. The new laws of 2007 for sex offenders is outrageous in that the words sex offender leave no room for interpretation whatsoever..as said before did you pee on the sidewalk, or was it a gf bf thing. I can understand violent crimes being watched closely but alienating people for things like this is an overzealous unconstitutional act that our government has let go by. As it has been happening more frequently with our laws. There was a comment I had read where the individual had stated that he couldnt wait to go to the U.K. because they were going democratic and we were going communistic. However sad to say the prejudice of the new sex offence laws say just that. Should a person be punished the rest of there life if they were a child at the time it happened for a nonviolent crime versus the many violent offenders or murderers or drug lords or gangsters. As I have been reading through several articles on this matter een therapists and doctors are saying that over 90% of adults never committed a sex crime as a child ..OVER 90%. Yet the less than 10 percent of children convictions are bunched in as i they were an adult. Talk about stopping child development. Some of you say that this is to protect our children...how can you protect your child if you support them burning other people who committed their offense in childhood, and are now trying to do what is right. For example there was an article on a 13 yr old boy that put his hand on the lap of a female friend of his while on the bus. That was it , there was no advance not pushing for anything else nothing...that child whether his intentions were good or bad was sentenced to 25 yrs of sex registration. A 13 year old boy had to go to a police station and is labeled as a sex offender. Things like this are not right.

Sent by angie | 12:42 PM | 12-21-2007

these laws do nothing but protect the politicians. they don't protect kids.
i am an offender i have 4 kids ages 13-10-7-5. we have had to live in vehicles,in a tent , motels. i make over 110,000 dollars a year welding. i have had state agents tell me that these laws are wrong. they do nothing to protect children. most kids that are abused are abused by a family member. why should my kids have to suffer, they shouldn't have live like that so society can feel safe. if you want to feel safe, keep an eye on your kids. do you know where your kids are or what they are doing right now. i know where my are and what they are doing. TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY,KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR KIDS....
MY kids have suffered enough,i don't let them play sports in school or other activities because of these lists, i can't go and watch them play, or be involved in school activities. these laws are uncontutionial and just plain wrong. what happened to live & let live.
i have been married for 14 years and have 4 kids with my wife. they should not have to be punished, for something that happened 22years ago. WAKE UP AMERICA, YOUR FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS ARE NEXT. WATCH OUT YOU WILL BE NEXT FOR REGISTRATION BECAUSE U GOT A TICKET FOR NOT WEARING YOUR SEATBELT OR SOMETHING STUPID LIKE THAT. ENJOY YOUR SENSE OF SECURITY AND SAFETY THE LIST WILL PROTECT YOU. BY THE WAY LOOK OUT FOR THE FAMILY MEMBER THAT IS MOLESTING YOUR KIDS, IT'S NOT THE PERSON DOWN THE STREET[WHOS ON THE LIST] IT'S UNCLE JOHN
WHO GOT HIS HANDS ON YOUR KIDS.
WAKE UP PEOPLE,YOU ARE NEXT IN LINE FOR REGISTRATION.....

Sent by FISHERMAN | 10:05 AM | 12-29-2007

Really Fisherman, maybe you should have never touched kids. It's too bad for your family but it's better for mine. I don't feel safer because of the Sex Offender Registries but I am glad that Law Enforcement is keeping tabs on you and your sex offending kind. The Registry helps me protect my kids by pointing out (w/pictures and crime details) what creeps (like you) are in my neighborhood. It's a good tool especially since your children's friends should be aware that you are a convicted pervert. I feel that the registry's annual registration is a great way to keep tabs on creeps like you and give you a sense of being watched since your conviction of a sex crime shows you lack impulse control and the need to be monitored.

Sent by Anthony | 1:19 PM | 4-2-2008

I am a registered s.o.I was sexually abused as a child.That made me very isolated person.I never tried dating women I was interested in because I felt they wouldn't want me anyway.I had sex with however wanted me and that ended up being an underage girl.3 years later while in drug rehab. she talked about our relationship and I was arrested.
I ended up with a second offense not because I was guilty but because I was accused.They threatened me with long person sentences if I didn't sign a plea
and held me hostage in county jail until I finally gave up and signed.
Since getting out I have found it hard to have a descent place to stay and find
employment,even though I finished HVAC school top of my class.They said stay clean and work hard and the registration
thing wouldn't matter but it does.
I am a Christian and have faith that God has a place for me.God Bless

Sent by vw house | 4:57 AM | 4-23-2008