Remember I previously posted about Connecticut taking 2.5 years to study their Sex Offender Registry?
Well they have already figured out some basic concepts (see the below article) and solutions after only 10 months.
! Now if Connecticut
would just study the last 20 years of our Registry, laws and restrictions
perhaps we’d move towards a smarter system too. Virginia
By Susan Campbell
Before she started work at
Columbus House as senior manager of
housing services, Cathleen Meaden’s job was housing people whose crimes were
seemingly unforgivable. New Haven
Her charges were people on the state’s sex offender registry, and when she’d talk to people about her job, the reaction was often not-very-hidden disgust that she worked in close proximity with people who’d committed such heinous crimes.
“There’s an ick factor,” said Meaden. “I have always said I don’t have a warm spot in my heart for sex offenders,” but as Connecticut continues to chip away at the pernicious problem of homelessness, this particular cohort – people who’ve committed crimes that put them on the state’s sex offender registry -- presents a unique challenge.
Research has shown that the current system – shunning and shaming -- creates precisely the environment least conducive for the prevention of future offenses.
“The label is the most repulsive, alienating label we have,” said Laurie Guidry, a Massachusetts-based licensed clinical and consulting psychologist who focuses on the treatment of sex offenders, and the prevention of sexual violence. “These are effectively the lepers of our time. The larger concern should be on preventing this from happening in the first place.”
Appearance on the registry usually means reduced opportunities for jobs and housing, but the population of sex offenders is immensely diverse. Guidry said that a small percentage of offenders commit the horrific stranger-abduction crimes that make the news.
Of the 5,600 or so people on the state’s registry, no more than 300 could be considered high-risk, said Thomas Ullmann, public defender in
, and co-chair of a 12-member
subcommittee that is studying the sentencing of sex offenders in the state. New Haven
Responding to a slew of federal and state initiatives,
created a sex offender registry
in 1998. People who explore the online registry can find people who’ve been
convicted of sex offenses by their name, their home town, and the like.
Depending on the seriousness of the crime, a Connecticut offender must register for ten
years, or for life. Connecticut