I have grave concerns with SORNA and the proposed rule changes.

First, this proposal implies you are giving the Attorney General unlimited powers to alter the rules as he/she seems fit. No single government agent should have such control over a million US Citizens.

Second, the proposal implies that recent court rulings that SORNA is punishment should be ignored and be applied retroactively in spite of the US Constitution.

Third, the proposal requires public disclosure of employment info. A 2016 Job and Welfare Survey found the following:

“Registrants living in AWA-compliant states were MORE likely than those living in non-AWA states to report being currently homeless (4.05% AWA vs 2.6% non), being unemployed (47.97% AWA vs 36.36% non), being denied a job (61.86% AWA vs 54.61% non), being harassed at work (53.57% AWA vs 47.66% non), and being forced to rely on public assistance (57.43% AWA vs. 50% non). Registrants living in AWA-compliant states were LESS likely than non-AWA states to have been on the registry 10 years or more (39.19% AWA vs 46.75% non), experienced homelessness (21.52% AWA vs 29.22% non), or consider themselves anti-registry activists (48.3% AWA vs 55.84 non). Registrants in AWA-compliant states are more likely to experience numerous residence and employment hardships but are less likely to speak out against these hardships.” (See http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Once_Fallen_Job_and_Welfare_Survey_Results.pdf)

A survey conducted by the same organization found Alabama’s adult public registrant unemployment rate in May 2017 was 57% (See http://reformalabama.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-unemployment-rate-for-registered.html). Compare that with Alabama’s May 2017 unemployment rate at 4.9% (See https://www.timesdaily.com/may-2017-alabama-number-unemployed-and-unemployment-rate/pdf_2c1fa36e-8459-5a29-9999-f80de7382656.html). The unemployment rate is just over eleven and a half times for Registered Persons as it is for the average Alabamian.

At the time, Alabama posted employer data on the website, which has contributed to the higher unemployment rate, as evidenced by the 2016 Jobs and Welfare Survey.

Fourth, the regulation requirement when traveling for seven days or longer is an unrealistic and onerous proposal. Many people who choose to take road trips may not be able to make a detailed itinerary; I’ve taken a number of trips where I decided to alter plans at a destination, and there have been times travel issues forced an alteration in plans. It is unreasonable to expect someone to know all the details of travel, especially in the event of an event like a family emergency or personal disaster like a house fire. The IML passport provisions added to the AWA have given US travelers the reputation of only traveling for sexual tourism, which is bad for American businesses.

Interestingly, The NCMEC has stopped counting Registrants as we were on the cusp of having a million entries to the registry. With nearly a million names on the Public Registry, we should start looking at this registry a bit more closely and deciding whether this is worth the billions spent annually to keep the registry going. It is not influencing sex crime rates. It increases unemployment and welfare dependence. Three times the amount of funds given to the SMART Office have been spent on the US Marshals to conduct compliance checks than for funding the other programs it offers.

This money could be better spent on effective legislation. We are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and numerous protests to de-fund the police. These events have led to a huge budget shortfall in many US States, and the registry would be a good place to trim the budget.

The sex offense registry is a product of fears stemming from debunked conspiracy theories like Satanic Ritual Abuse and overblown fears about missing children. While these laws may have been well-intentioned, they’ve had disastrous consequences, including violent acts committed by those who used the registry to plan heinous crimes, including harassment, vandalism, assaults, and murders.

If anything, SORNA should be eliminated, not expanded.

(12 / 1)
The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry. Women Against Registry reserves the right to edit or delete any content submitted.
Leave a comment.