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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Public Sex Offender Registry System: Ineffective and Wasteful - By Sandy Rozek


"Mark B." (a pseudonym) is a Virginia RSO that contacted me 6+ months ago, and I notified all 140 Virginia Legislators, the VADOC and the Administration of how his listing on the VSP Registry and his VADOC Probation restrictions were barriers that make successful re-entries for VA's RSO's and him an impossible goal.

Mary


Public Sex Offender Registry System: Ineffective and Wasteful, October 31, 2016
By Sandy Rozek

In 2009, Mark B. was convicted of a sexual crime, served 13 months in prison and put on the public sex offender registry. Fearing he would be unemployable at any meaningful job, Mark started his own company traveling to antique shows to take old-fashioned photos for people. The business was successful, and he was proud to provide for his family and be a contributing member of society. 

In 2016, it fell apart. An unknown person sent anonymous emails to his largest clients telling them of his status and sending a link to his public registry listing. The resulting emails to Mark severing the business relationships alluded to "public safety" and "parent concerns." The anonymous emails continued, and Mark faced bankruptcy. He is slowly rebuilding, but living every day fearing his new accounts and the old ones he still has will receive a similar email and cancel as the others did. 

Proponents of the public sex offender registry say it's needed to help parents protect their children from sexual predators, but there is no evidence it does that. Very few registrants meet the criteria for predation. Furthermore, the vast majority of sexual crimes, especially against children, are committed not by those on the registry. They're committed by those close to the victims in trusted, often familial, positions. Re-offense by those on the registry living in the community has always been, across the board, in single digits before Megan's Law and afterwards.