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.
Academic analyses and research studies have consistently failed to show a public safety benefit, or any beneficial results, from public notification — no reduction in sexual offending by rapists, child molesters, recidivists or first-time offenders.
Due to its failure to benefit public safety, the current registry system is wasteful. It’s impossible to estimate the totals spent because expenses are covered both by the federal and local governments. Even by conservative standards, many millions in taxes are squandered with no meaningful return.
Please read Sandy’s entire Op-ed in The Washington Examiner.
13 Thoughts to “Rozek: Sex offender registries abject policy failure; protect nobody”
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But here’s the thing, and I have tried and tried to tell people this for the past three or four years and that is that sex offender laws are meant to do just what they are doing:
1) Punish, 2) Banish, 3) Disenfranchise, 4) Stigmatize/Shame, 5) Break up the family of, or prevent a registered sex offender (RSO) from having one in the first place, 5) In the case of male RSOs, and my personal favorite—“EMASCULATION”.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what sex offender (SO) laws are designed to do. And they do it very effectively too. Proponents of SO laws don’t give a damn about these laws violating the Constitutional ban on Ex Post Facto, Due Process (Substantive and Procedural), Equal Protection or Cruel and Unusual Punishment. They purposely turn a blind eye and deaf ear to statistical or empirical research proving a low residivism rate, and this statistical or empirical research findings comes from some of the best and brightest minds in the Country!!! Which leads me to think something else, in addition to those points I listed above, is afoot with SO laws. A couple of questions right here on the current statistical or empirical research findings on residivism: 1) do reasonable, logically minded people look truth/facts in the face and just deny it? 2) If proponents do deny said statistical or empirical findings, then why have they not published opposing statistical or empirical findings to the contrary? (if they have then I missed it and would like to see it via this blog). I could be wrong but I don’t think they have or can even provide contrary findings. With that, I beg proponents of SO laws to disprove what some of the best and brightest scientist, researchers, clinicians, psychologist, psychiatrist and as to the constitutionality of these laws, legal scholars have been reporting for the last several years and that is that 1) other than murder, sex offenses have the lowest residivism rate of any other crimes, 2) and this from legal scholars, that these laws violate several constitutional rights of SOs, specifically: Ex Post Facto, Due Process (both Substantive and Procedural) and Equal Protection of the Law. with that will somebody please tell what the hell is really going on?
I will tell you what is going on. It is a money game.
Our lawmakers don’t operate on facts, they operate on emotions; fear being one of the strongest. Then they repeat the lie again and again until it becomes the truth.
The sad fact is most people are lazy when it comes to research and data. They rely on others to tell them what to believe, so when our lawmakers play on their fears, it makes it easy to sell them an unconstitutional package because someone told them it is true and neccessary. We also live in a society where too many people are ignorant to what our constitutional rights are.
Now why do they go through the trouble to sell these laws? First and foremost, to secure their own jobs as lawmakers. Being tough on crime is always a winning position and sex offenders are thought of as the lowest of the low. So they keep pumping that position to secure votes. They wouldn’t want to lose a re-election by not passing yet another oppressive sex offender law.
Second, the prison and probation system is an privatized industry that requires a constant supply of fresh inmates to keep the money flowing. Everytime someone is arrested someone else makes money. So passing laws that are very difficult to comply with is just another tool used to feed the prison industry. There are many other equally repulsive tools applied to other groups of people. Lobbiest for the the prison industry influence the lawmakers positions.
Third, federal funds are granted to states that agree to adopt stricter sex offender laws.
Forth, legal fees and fines imposed on people means money for the courts and the county. It is the same concept of a police officer setting of a speed trap. It is not about safety, it is about writing tickets to make money. They are actually given quotas to meet. Many counties require jail inmates to pay rent as well, that is billed after release.
Finally, many states require registrants to pay an annually fee for the luxury of being on the registry.
And lets not forget all the for profit companies coming up to monitor and track registrants.
The facts do not matter. This is not about keeping anyone safe. They don’t care about the kids. It is about making money by exploiting people and they will continue doing it for as long as they can.
Our best hope is with non elected judges. As you can see, our biggest successes have come through federal courts with appointed rather than elected judges. I feel mostly confident that things will go in our favor when we go that route. I have zero faith in our elected officials. They are pure opportunists.
I typed this on a mobile device. It is a hassle to proof read on this screen. I apologize in advance for any typos.
I don’t know if “links” are allowed, but I submit this as an example. On Oct. 27, 2016, St. Louis, Mo., NBC news affiliate reports of an elected state Representative, a County Sheriff Detective, and a Captain, speaking on SO laws to be made harsher, up to and including the death penalty.
Every statistic, every comparison, every claim that this Legislature and two Agents of Law Enforcement make are utterly absurd and ridiculous. This is nothing more than pure sensationalism from the media and it’s obviously a grandstand technique for a politician and the county sheriff.
I’m starting to believe that one day, it will be illegal to be a “registered” sex offender. After all, they keep coming up with new ways to add or enhance the punishment that already exists. Maybe the “registered” sex offender will become the “New Mass Incarceration”. Won’t need a trial. The act of “registration” is all the proof that is needed. (kind of like living under a Khmer Rouge -I’m just thinking out loud.)
I’m so sick of this crap about “making laws tougher”… tougher than what? No matter how “tough” a law is, people STILL commit crime. They toughened the drug laws and people still sold drugs. They toughen the home invasion laws and people still break into houses. They need to STFU with this toughen laws nonsense.
Murder will get you life or even the death penalty and guess what…. Chicago had 14 murders by shootings over the weekend leading up to Halloween.
Yeah. I see how people care about how tough laws are.
Read news about the largest inmate strike in America that’s been going on (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-prison-strike-snap-story.html) and it made me feel like those hoping for positive change in sex offender laws and registry need more stronger voice than what has been happening so far, otherwise more restrictive and draconian laws will continue to be made locally, statewide, and nationally.
I have always thought that if we do not get the right action from scotus at some point down the road (whenever we become better organized as a group) we should march on Washington like the million man march or any of the other rallies that have happened in the past in DC. There may come a point where that is what we will have to do to be heard. It’s going to take a good percentage of registrants along with their family and friends to get the numbers high enough for people to really take notice. As it stands right now, if we took even a third of the registrants and each brought 2 people that would be almost 900,000 right there. Just some food for thought.
I think most of us would love to eventually be able to do that. First we have to start getting people together and talking.
You should check out RSOL’s New Fearless Project.
Good place to start is with those RCs who are in WDC, MD, VA, WV, DEL and PA who are willing to gather and walk the mall to the Capital Bldg when the lame duck session is in. They are the closest and easiest to get in and out without causing too much travel fuss and would be a good measuring stick of the reception. Of course, those who could and would travel in with them are a bonus to gather on the west steps of the Capital Bldg, the north side of the White House or both. Would not hurt to make contact with your elected officials while there with a standard info packet for them.
Seeing the enthusiasm on the last National RSOL annual event where there were participants who traveled from different states, I suppose if umbrella groups like NRSOL organize a march in DC, those who are in the registry along with their families who are also suffering and those who are fighting for the cause can take few hours off or a day off and march alongside. Then our voices won’t be limited to that in the wilderness.
If you want to start to do away with these laws then start at the source. W need to get people like John Walsh who testifies to Congress that sex offenders are really bad people because of high profile kidnap and murder cases like his sons case. I wish I as a registered person could get the chance to ask Mr. Walsh where he got his information and why he never bothered to fact check it. But then again he makes money off his dead son so he isn’t going to care about fact checking.
There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
The following news article made me question the rule of law in the US, once again.
In America, like the rest of the world, there are two sets of rules, one for the elites in power and one for the everyday people.
If everyday Americans get caught sexting an underage teen/child, the penalty for that “pervert” is jail/prison time along with years of probation and also being in the Sex Offender Registry for decades if not for life. For example, soliciting a minor is a felony in the US.
However, if an elite gets caught doing the same thing, things are conveniently swept under a rug. The person checks himself into a sex addition treatment clinic and that’s the end of the story.
Whereas everyday Americans who get caught in such act are Required to go to such treatment centers by the court or their probation overlords in addition to other restrictions, along with the infamous Polygraphs, etc. But I don’t think there will be any Weiner Polygraph.
Don’t forget John Walsh. He had a relationship with an underage girl, who he later married. How many 1000’s of young men who did the same thing are now on the registry?