You are here

WHY do we register children as sexual criminals?

By Riya Saha Shah….

Ten-year-old Leah pretended to have sex with her younger step-siblings. She said it happened a few times and that she was just acting out scenes from the movies. A couple years later, Leah’s conduct was discovered by law enforcement.

Leah was 12 when she was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in juvenile court and labeled a sex offender. The law required her to remain on the sex offender registry for 25 years. She says she lost jobs and internships as a result. When she was about to enter her freshman year of college, an old friend called her up to tell her she’d seen Leah’s name and photograph on the state’s online public registry. Even though her friend knew the circumstances of Leah’s conviction, it seemed all anyone would see when they searched her name was “sex offender.”

According to the Center on Youth Registration Reform’s estimates, Leah is one of the approximately 200,000 individuals placed on sex offender registries for actions they engaged in before they were 18 years old. Proponents of laws that require children to be placed on sex offender registries argue that providing the public this information will help people keep their families safe from harm. But many believe that including children on registries does much more harm than good.

While laws differ from state to state, sex offenders can include individuals who engaged in benign sexual experimentation, those who “sext” with their peers, as well as those who committed a forcible rape. The classification of offenses differs by state, but in all cases, registration is imposed after young people have been held accountable in the court system. Before they are deemed rehabilitated and fit to return to society, many offenders spend years incarcerated and undergo treatment to address their sexual misconduct. But the society to which they return is not likely to accept them when they’re labeled sex offenders.

Depending on the state, registration can last anywhere from a few years to the individual’s entire lifetime. During that time, they may be required to appear in person — in some cases every week and in others, every 90 days or more — to update and verify their information. This can include details like where one’s car is parked, their online usernames, and, if they are homeless, a few places they may frequent. If a young person fails to provide this information or to return to the police station to report any changes in this information, they may be charged with a felony offense and incarcerated.

These laws are based upon the assumption that juveniles who commit sex offenses will commit them again. Research has showed that the overwhelming majority of juvenile sex offenders won’t — between 97% to 99% of young people who commit a sexual offense never reoffend. Not all sex offenses committed by juveniles are sexually motivated; some young people who are required to register have cognitive or intellectual disabilities or are on the autism spectrum.

Keep reading here

This topic contains 18 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jane Smith 1 month ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #24678 Reply

    emma

    My son had just turned 18. He had a court appointed attorney. His dna was inconclusive and now, he’s 28 with a unproductive life and me as a parent living it with him. Most of all. He’s homeless. A son and mother living miserable in Texas. He never had a teenage life and on it for a lifetime.

    • #26847 Reply

      Jerry P.

      My heart goes out to you and your son emma… Love your way…

  • #24680 Reply

    Dave

    Moms get mad and make laws to punish men unconstitutionally the government starts wielding this new power against women and children now it is big news and a problem because moms are mad again. Solution is quite making stupid laws to satisfy vindictive angry moms.

  • #24685 Reply

    William H

    With recidivism rates at 1-3 percent, the age and the nature of the event, what exactly is the point. Legislatures, who pretend to hold their head above the norms of society, go out of their way to enact draconian laws which do more harm then good. Justice is not served. Instead innocent lives are destroyed forever. All for the self righteousness of an over zealous minority group of egoistic politicians. Instead of using common sense, like counseling such ‘offender’s’ or juvenile probation, our justice system seeks them out, humiliates them and their families and often incarcerates them among a population of serious criminals. When it comes to ‘sex’ crimes as loosely defined in this article, our justice system is not working to protect the lives of citizens but is destroying the lives of innocence.

  • #24686 Reply

    Grace Imburgia

    Thus us totally insane! What can we do to stop this.

  • #24691 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    Some of you may be interested in watching this documentary on this topic, by CNN’s Lisa Ling.

    This Is Life With Lisa Ling–Age Of Consent

    • #24790 Reply

      Anonymous

      @fred Keymaster
      …thank you for the Lisa Ling article/link!

  • #24698 Reply

    Jeremy from Indiana

    Remove the word “juvenile” from this entire article and it’s still just as true.

    • #24724 Reply

      Alan R Hyde

      I believe I have the answer but others would never believe my answer .. they would never believe it/

      by the way, what we think is not what they list .. they go by blacks law…https://www.polskawalczaca.com/library/a.blackslaw4th.pdf
      BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY – Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence,
      Ancient and Modern
      By
      HENRY CAMPBELL BLACK, M. A.

      Please refer to page 1308 you find the word, OFFENDER…
      OFFENDER. Commonly used in statutes to indicate person implicated in the commission of a
      crime and includes person guilty of a misdemeanor. NOTE THE meaning of implication without a trail for which NO due process and Equal Protection… State ex rel. Smith v. Jameson, 70 S.D. 503, 19 N.W.2d 505, 508.

      SEE Just THE IMPLICATION OF WHICH is justified to have anyone as a OFFENDER.

      look at the word OFFENSE:
      OFFENSE. A crime or misdemeanor; a breach of the criminal laws. People v. Brenta, 64 Cal.
      App. 91, 220 P. 447; State v. Hirsch, 91 Vt. 330, 100 A. 877, 879; Ex parte Brady, 116 Ohio St. 512, 157
      N.E. 69, 70. State v. Johnson, 212 N.C. 566, 194 S.E. 319, 322.

      now as you see, Some one is implicated in a commission of a crime which the breach of criminal laws just on Implication alone with out DUE PROCESS of law.

      here, a example. any one which has charges, are then deeded as a offender and which is a threat to the safety of the general good. because just the IMPLICATION without due process. if the same go es to trail … he is still a offender… age is not a factor it the IMPLICATION of a breach of contract.

      now you start to see would anyone which they are allow to make contract but what of the ones which contracts are not because of their age.

      this leads to a elem of well FRAUD…
      note the word of fraud…. page 864.

      FRAUD. An intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right; a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury. Brainerd Dispatch Newspaper Co. v. Crow Wing County, 196 Minn. 194, 264 N.W. 779, 780.

      Any kind of artifice employed by one person to deceive another. Goldstein v. Equitable Life Assur. Soc. of U. S., 160 Misc. 364, 289 N.Y.S. 1064, 1067.

      A generic term, embracing all multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to get advantage over another by false suggestions or by suppression of truth, and includes all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling, and any unfair way by which another is cheated. Johnson v. McDonald, 170 Okl. 117, 39 P.2d 150.

      “Bad faith” and “fraud” are synonymous, and also synonyms of dishonesty, infidelity, faithlessness, perfidy, unfair-ness, etc. Joiner v. Joiner, Tex.Civ.App., 87 S.W. 2d 903, 914, 915. [TEXAS LAW]

      just to note.

  • #24716 Reply

    Larry Evans

    i sorry the justice system has been broken for a long time, because of their position as a legislator their idiots ram laws
    through trying to convince the public they are looking out for the common good. this has been a false narrative all along. they didnt have the intelligence to vision ahead, the cost to tax payers the burden put on communities, police departments, scare tatics, stated to the public to make them beleive there was a so called “SEXOFFENDER” hidding in every bush outside every home. BS they should be heald acountable for the outrageous claims they made to justify
    their pandering for votes and the cost to those accused and their families. i spoke with a 17 year old who’s high school
    girlfriend’s mother got mad and called the police on him after months of him staying at their house sleeping in his girlfriends room( the mother totally aware) he was wondering what will happen for him i told him his Dream of being an Dentist like his uncle was over, he would only find a good job if he started a business for himself, his opertunities in life were pretty much wiped out, he was crushed, people want to look down their nose and say he deserves it, “WRONG” on every level. he was no danger to anyone but they charged him with things he never did only to force him toward a plea bargain because of his parents not having the thousands of Dollars. ( some justice system.)

    • #24825 Reply

      Jonny everyman

      No one is forced to take a plea bargain. They use a big sentence to scare you into it.

  • #24730 Reply

    Donna

    Our society is certainly at a point now where common sence and rational thought is non existent. History has shown that at that point is were things start to turn around. What kind of people support such absurd punishment. I can tell you all with sincere honesty that I and my husband are glad we grew up in a generation where “Leave it to Beaver” was a moral compass, unfortunately our children were not and now one of them suffers for it. Keep up the fight people and support Narsol and your state affiliate in whatever way you can.

  • #24735 Reply

    Kendal

    Easy answer is that as a society we have become f’ed up beyond reason.

    Until we get over this, then crap like this will happen over and over and over again.

  • #24739 Reply

    R. Arens

    Very shameful when the very system protecting children from such atrocities becomes the bully. They ought to be ashamed of themselves! If any such bureaucratic d__kwad is reading this right now, Shame on you!!!

  • #24738 Reply

    Jane Smith

    While I feel for children on the registry I feel for all. I’d like to see the registry abolished for all. It’s a false sense of security… for those that thinks there’s a monster on every corner. It’s doing more harm than good. People are committing suicide because of it. That’s not ok. The registry is draconian.

  • #24742 Reply

    William H

    Agree with “remove the word ‘juvenile'”. The “registry” serves no purpose. It never will. The recidivism rate could be zero. It only serves to give a select group of pompous politicians or self righteous individuals a higher calling. In other words, the true intention of the registry is it makes zealots feel good. But who doesn’t want to feel good ? Like an addictive drug they want more of it. In their parochial minds where bigotry and group think is the rule, legislatures with like minded constituents want a broader spectrum of “sex” laws with harsher penalties. It makes them feel good.
    Soon the number of people in the U.S. on ‘registries’ will exceed 100,000. But in the minds of legislatures and their ilk that won’t be enough. It’s not just a means to mortally punish the offender (and their loved one’s) but is also a profitable business as well. More court’s, law enforcement, counselors, attorneys, correctional facilities, ad nauseam.
    The offender should be punished for the crime. If the offender is a juvenile, litigation should be in a juvenile court. But the notion that a registry is an effective deterrence is false. It’s a method to label those who have offended as sub human’s and periahs. It affects them in a way that’s unimaginable.. for life. It impacts their loved one’s and those who are related to the offender. Yet we’re told it’s not punishment by the courts. Even though it made possible by court’s and legislatures and the pompous self righteous who get satisfaction thinking that it’s going to protect the defenseless. It makes them feel good.
    The registry is open to the public, it’s on the internet forever, in detail for all the voyeurs who get satisfaction from looking at it. It’s only purpose is to further punish and shame a select group of people. If the registry worked, (and it never has) then a reasonable person would conclude that perhaps a registry for other crimes would work as well. More registries less crime. I don’t think so.

    • #24753 Reply

      Kendal

      The number in January 2012 was 747,408

    • #24867 Reply

      Jonathon Merritt

      In my estimate, there is only one way to make these self righteous azure schnozzled folk feel really bad.
      I do this by being successful,Financially secure,owning two houses,a business,and having a great lifestyle.
      This is also my way of paying my debt to society, by being an asset to that society and not a burdon.
      You can not pay any debt to society with humiliation,destitution,and being miserable.
      I am sure it satisfies the basest of instincts of those who hoped that we had not survived incarceration
      and still hope that we all die in a fire.

  • #24951 Reply

    Wes gray

    We live in a sick society. Children are not adults, should not be charged as adults or for many so called sex crimes. Normal child sex play and experimentation now a crime!? 6 year old children labeled as sex offenders! We know how many of our children have killed themselves over this stigma alone. We are human not animals. 40 years of witch hunt. We have to stop it. Get angry, fight back, demand justice and accountability. They are murderers. Join and start advocacy groups now, get your voice out, United we can make changes, power in numbers. We need to protect our children against the same liars that claim to do the same but doing just the opposite. Act now, refuse to put up with the abuse any longer

Reply To: WHY do we register children as sexual criminals?
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...

  • *You must check the "I am not a robot" box and follow the recaptcha instructions.
  • *Your submission must be approved by a NARSOL moderator.
  • *Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • *Excessively long replies will be rejected, without explanation.
  • *Be polite and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • *Do not post in ALL CAPS.
  • *Do not promote your business, your blog, your website, or any other business, blog, or website.
  • *Please enter a name that does not contain links to other websites.
Your information:





<a href="" title="" rel="" target=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <pre> <em> <strong> <del datetime=""> <ul> <ol start=""> <li> <img src="" border="" alt="" height="" width="">