Laws based on inaccuracies lead to lifetime of shame for those who offended as juveniles

By Kristan N. Russell and Shawn C. Marsh . . . Few crimes stimulate such visceral reactions and deep-seated fears as sexual offenses. Accordingly, societal responses to sexual offending such as registration and notification laws tend to be quite punitive and highly stigmatizing for the offender. Yet these social control practices are widely considered by the public to be essential for community safety.…

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Michigan SORA changes signed into law

By Beth LaBlanc . . . Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed a bill that would eliminate school safety zones and certain appearance requirements in Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act. The changes, made to comply with federal court orders that called the current law unenforceable, were among 80 bills passed by the Legislature during its lame duck session and signed…

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Michigan Senate approves tightened restrictions

By Samuel Dodge LANSING, MI – The Michigan Senate voted Wednesday to codify court-recommended changes in the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act. The legislation now only needs Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature to become law. State lawmakers approved altering registration protocols for sex offenders during its Wednesday session, fulfilling a 4-year-old mandate from the U.S. Court of Appeals. The federal court…

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Will Michigan legislature ever do right thing?

By William Buhl, J.J. Prescott, and Miriam Aukerman . . . In early 2012, more than eight years ago, five people challenged Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) in court, arguing that the registry branded them as dangerous “sex offenders” without any individual review. One was a man — we’ll call him John — who met a woman at a club open only…

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Registering juveniles creates only harm

By Malik Pickett and Emily Satifka . . . Jason was 14 years old when he met his first girlfriend, a 13-year-old neighbor of the foster family with whom he lived. After a few months of dating, his girlfriend’s mother walked in on the teenagers engaging in consensual oral sex and called the police. Jason was arrested and charged with child…

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A good idea gone bad: How the PA Senate sabotaged the sexual abuse prevention plan

By Randall Hayes of PARSOL In September 2019, the increasingly prevalent and in-demand problem of online images of child sexual abuse (CSA) or “child pornography” rocked the Senate of Pennsylvania in a big way. The influential Chairman of the State Government Committee, Senator Mike Folmer, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography after uploading an image of an…

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Utah officials considering changes to the sex offender registry

By Mark Shenefelt SALT LAKE CITY — State officials are considering changes to the sex offender registry, starting with deeper data gathering to determine whether it is safe for more offenders to be removed from the system after long-term treatment and no repeat crimes. Monica Diaz, Utah Sentencing Commission executive director, said a lack of more precise analysis prevents such…

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The insidious policy of blanket exclusions for registered sex offenders

Abstract reprinted with permission by author By Catherine L. Carpenter . . . Saying something is true does not make it so. And saying it louder does not make it truer. But such is the legislative posture behind modern day sex offense registration laws that punish those who commit sex crimes because of entrenched myths that overstate the laws’ positive…

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Proposed AWA amended regulations more significant after new Sixth Circuit court decsision

Revised and reposted 8/31/20 By Larry, Brenda, and Sandy . . . The new Adam Walsh Act amended regulations are out for comment for 60 days, and after the comment period will likely be adopted, finalized, and published in the Federal Register. NARSOL had posted an article stating there is reason for concern but not reason for panic. We removed that…

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Illinois’ law keeps those with sexual convictions at risk for Covid-19 beyond release dates

By Jessica Pupovac . . . After serving 10 years in prison for criminal sexual assault, Marcus Barnes was counting down the days until his release date on Dec. 17, 2018. He was planning on spending the holidays with his family and reconnecting with his daughter, who had recently graduated from high school and had started communicating with him again. “With…

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