I am writing to voice my opinion AGAINST the proposed regulations. To go further, I think SORNA and IML should be completely repealed as it is an ineffective use of resources and taxpayer funds. Sex offender registration based upon risk management used by the individual State is a much better way to work to protect the public.
The defense of sex offender laws based on the false premise used by SCOTUS many years ago stating when Justice Kennedy states sex offender recidivism risk is “frightening and high” has been scientifically proven to be incorrect and unjustly taken as a false fact. This has been used many times since then to justify a punitive set of laws that have been applied retroactively to a class of US citizens which is contrary to the US constitution. How can requirements changing over time be interpreted any other way when they cause great psychological harm not only on the offender but the offender’s family, spouse and children? It is used as a form of vindication of the sex offenders in the general population with no basis for this continued oversight. A study by the DOJ, your department, in 2019 shows the recidivism from sex offenders is lower than that of other offenders to be rearrested (http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=6566) which should lead to reason that this regulation may be overstated at the federal level of government.
Besides being ineffective due to the low rate of recidivism among convicted sex offenders, a 2003 study in New York (Sandler, Jeffrey C, et. Al., Does a Watched Pot Boil? A Time-Series Analysis of New York States Sex Offender Registration and Notification Law. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 2008 Vol. 14, No. 4, 290) quantitatively shows that 95.94% of rapes and 94.12% of child molestation arrests are persons with no prior criminal history, thus outside the scope of SORNA from the start. In most instances, child molestation cases, the victim is known by the sex offender prior to the molestation, so the registry serves to purpose to begin with.
There have been many new studies done over the past decade which show a myriad of statistics, but most notably, they are done more scientifically with a larger population over a longer length of time to discredit some of the early notions about recidivism rates found in sex offenders.
SORNA is a tool being used by the federal government as a tool that does not promote criminal justice reform based on science, but rather making rules and regulations based on fear and misinformation. President Trump during the RNC showed he agrees with second chances through a pardon shown on national television as part of the event, but creating regulations based on fear and not based on science show a sense of vindication rather than offering a chance of redemption for those with a sex offense in their past.