But the question of whether [juveniles] should be on the registry is at the center of an ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit against the New Jersey Attorney General that is seeking to eliminate Megan’s Law registration for all juvenile sex offenders in New Jersey.
The lawsuit raises other questions. Is the the community in more danger without him on that list? Is there even a high chance he would commit another sex crime in his life? Does the harm of putting a juvenile on a sex offender registry outweigh the good?
The lawsuit filed earlier this year on behalf of the 23-year-old, who is only identified in the lawsuit by his initials, argues that there was a rush to judgement when laws were passed creating sex offender registries that included juvenile sex offenders. Research over the last two decades has shown that recidivism rates for juvenile sexual offenders are extremely low and putting them on a registry may actually have little effect on public safety while causing severe psychological harm to the juveniles themselves, experts say.
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