As someone who works in risk-mitigation with people who have committed sexual offenses, what about this Act incorporates research about the risk for sexual recidivism? I work primarily in the forensic evaluation of people charged or convicted for sex crimes, and I also work as a counselor in helping to reduce risk of recidivism. All of my work, and much of the work of the supervising agents (e.g. probation, parole, etc.) who manage these offenders in the community, incorporate actuarial risk tools that were developed (and supported by ongoing research) to address actual risk factors, not perceived risk. For example, if we know that juveniles are much less likely to sexually recidivate, then why treat them as high risk adult offenders? It seems to me that this is purely a politically-motivated decision that is lackluster in empirical support and rationale in managing actual risk. At what point is a child able to pay their dues to society after offending? Isn’t the lack of appropriate sexual education (e.g. learning about State-specific sex laws and aspects of consent, beyond, “no means no”) a large contributing factor to why youths sexually offend? Is there some sort of Sex Offender Policy Board (as there is in Washington State) that offers guidance to lawmakers to make empirically-guided decisions? Who really benefits from this proposed Act? I sincerely hope this does not actually act to degrade individual protective factors or increase risk factors. Think about it, how does life-time registration improve a person’s ability to be successful in the community. There are real barriers to housing and employment, among other barriers, that can make any person feel like there’s no hope for a better future…to make a person feel like there’s no reward for living a healthy and productive life. Please consider reaching out to the leaders in research, especially those involved as in the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA; the organization that guides the standard of practice for us forensic evaluators and treatment providers who work with people convicted of sexual offenses). Let’s do something that actually helps our society.


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