Have Sex-Offender Registries Gone Too Far?

[Note: Friends of Justice is a personal blog. I speak only for myself.]

“Some 800,000 registered sex offenders can’t live near parks or schools — or sometimes even in the homes of their own parents. Is it time to re-visit sex-offender registries that cast a wide net and often treat juvenile offenders as if they were adults?”

Listen to this episode of NPR’s To the Point, which features NCRJ Board Member Roger Lancaster.

“My understanding of the literature … is that there are no substantial studies which suggest that the sex offender registries are effective at achieving their stated aim, which is to reduce recidivism rates. Some studies actually suggest that the registries increase recidivism rates, basically because they convert every registrant into an unemployable, unhouseable, permanent social outcast living on the fringes of society. This gives them no conceivable stake in their own rehabilitation. That’s a very serious and significant negative effect of the registries.” –Roger Lancaster