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Friday, December 27, 2013

Gangster to Greyhounds: The Past, Present and Future of Offender Registration By Elizabeth Reiner Platt - NYU School of Law

 
It’s free to read and it’s only 56 pages long.
Mary 

Gangster to Greyhounds: The Past, Present and Future of Offender Registration
by Elizabeth Reiner Platt  New York University School of Law December 2013:  http://socialchangenyu.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/platt.pdf 

Contrary to popular belief, offender registries are not a recent phenomenon. Offender registries are government-controlled systems that track the movements and other activities of certain persons with criminal convictions. While today they are most commonly used for sex offenders, registries have been adopted
since the 1930s to regulate persons convicted of a wide variety of offenses including embezzlement, arson, and drug crimes. Early registries were widely criticized as ineffective and overly punitive, and many were eliminated through litigation or legislative repeals. Others simply fell into disuse over the course of the 20th century. Now, there is a growing body of research that demonstrates that
modern sex offender registries are similarly ineffective at reducing crime. Sex offender registries are costly, vastly overbroad, and error-ridden. Even worse, the overwhelming stigma of public notification provisions may actually increase recidivism among offenders.2 Despite their repeated history of failure, enthusiasm for publicly available, internet-based registries for every offense imaginable has only grown in recent years. There have been proposals across the country to register those found guilty of animal abuse, arson, drug offenses, domestic violence, and even failure to pay child support. Existing registries are
expanding and becoming increasingly punitive. Without a concerted effort to stop the tide of offender registration, we are at risk of repeating past mistakes on a much larger and more treacherous scale.
Offender registries are backwards, punitive measures that do not make communities safer. Unfortunately, those in favor of more nuanced, data-driven methods of reducing violence and sexual abuse face substantial barriers in overcoming precedent from years when registries were far narrower in scope than they are today. Advocates must work to distinguish current registries from their predecessors, educate legislators and the public on the ineffectiveness and perverse consequences of offender registries, and continue to conduct research to determine what actually works to prevent harm. While it is an uphill battle, we may take comfort that the facts are on our side.

I. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................728
II. THE HISTORY OF EARLY REGISTRIES, 1930S–1980S....................................729
III.MODERN REGISTRIES .............................................................................................736
A. The Rebirth of Registries: Sex Offender Registries of the 1990s........736
B. Current and Proposed Non-Sex Offender Registries ............................738
IV. POLICY ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE ADOPTION OF REGISTRIES ...........742
A. Legislative and Public Support for Offender Registries.........................742
B. Intent of Offender Registries ..................................................................745
1. Informing Individuals About Criminals in Their Neighborhood.......745
2. Strengthening Police Ability to Solve Crime. ....................................747
3. Deterring Offenders............................................................................747
4. Limiting Access to Victims. ...............................................................748
5. Creating an Additional Penalty to Crime...........................................749
C. Efficacy............................................................................. ............................749
1. Studies Show that Registration and Notification Laws Do Not Prevent Crime .............750
2. The Myth of the Incurable Offender...................................................753
3. Registries Are Both Overinclusive and Underinclusive ....................754
4. Direct and Collateral Consequences of Registration .........................759
a. Stigma, Ostracism, and Violence...........................................759
b. Employment Discrimination and Restrictions......................761
c. Housing Discrimination and Restrictions on Residency and Movement..........762
d. Restrictions on Privacy and Speech.......................................763
e. Additional Consequences........................................................763
f. Effect on Children and Families..............................................764
g. Juvenile Sex Offenders ...........................................................764
5. Unintended Consequences of Registries ................................765
 

V. LEGAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST REGISTRIES..................................................767
A. Early and Contemporary Challenges ......................................................767
1. The Ex Post Facto Clause......................................................................768
2. Other Claims Based on Registries as Punishment...............................770
3. Procedural Due Process ......................................................................770
4. Substantive Due Process.....................................................................771
5. Equal Protection Clause......................................................................774
6. Challenge to Registries Created by Federal Law: The Commerce Clause, Nondelegation Doctrine and the Tenth Amendment. ... ............................ .................................775
B. New Challenges to State Registries .....................................................776
C. Distinguishing Prior Case Law..............................................................777
VI. RECOMMENDATIONS .......................................................................................778
VII. CONCLUSION......................................................................................................782