From Innocent Boys to Dirty Old Men: Why the Sex Offender Registry Fails Our Children
The Criminal Law Bulletin, Vol. 47, Issue No. 6, 1 (Lead Article)
40 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2011 Last revised: 24 Oct 2011
Date Written: August 31, 2010
This article surveys the requirement of registration as a sex offender and ultimately concludes that the registry fails to protect children and society from individuals who commit sex-related crimes; furthermore, it concludes that the registry fails to prevent sex crimes from occurring. The author studies the legislative history of various Acts related to sex crimes as well as statistics on sex crimes to surmise that Congress in large part relied on myths about sex offenders in enacting legislation like the Adam Walsh Act. As a result, the registry is incapable of preventing the commission of sex offenses. The author further resolves that the registry endorses and perpetuates hatred toward sex offenders by creating a stigma whereby sex offenders are unable to reintegrate into society and lead productive lives. The article concludes by proposing that the registry is counterproductive as it causes great harm to individuals without offering a greater positive benefit to society as a whole.
Keywords: SORNA, Adam Walsh Act, sex offender, registry
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