Deficiencies with Existing Sex Offender Registries Increases Online Risks

Flaws with the way we label and register sex offenders’ places internet users at risk. I recently wrote about the impact this has in my blog Illinois Law Bans Sex Offenders from Social Networking Site.

Today, the Wall Street Journal published an article that again highlights the flaws inherent in our current sex-offender registry programs using the tragic case of Jaycee Dugard, the woman allegedly held in the backyard of Phillip Garrido for 18 years.

According to the article, California has been forced to acknowledge a fundamental problem with the state’s sex-offender registry: The list keeps expanding, while the number of officials who monitor sex offenders has grown at a much slower rate.

Speaking on the issue, Janet Neeley, a deputy California attorney general and member of the state’s sex offender board said, there are now so many people on the registry it’s difficult for law enforcement to effectively track them all, and “it’s more helpful for law enforcement to know…who the highest-risk offenders are,” said.

The article references a study conducted last December of roughly 20,000 registered sex offenders on parole in California. That study found 9% posed a “high risk” of reoffending, and 29% posed a “moderate-high” to “high” risk, according to Neeley. But law-enforcement officials and academics say vast resources are spent monitoring nonviolent offenders rather than keeping closer tabs on more-dangerous ones.

Failure to address the fundamental flaws in current sex-offender registry laws means we will continue to fail to protect our children and loved ones from those most likely reoffend – offline and online.

Email your elected officials today and request they review and improve the ways we determine who falls under the sexual predator label, and how we monitor those most likely to reoffend.



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