The current system does not look at the individual. It is a blanket set of rules and there are so many ways an individual can end up on this registry. It doesnt work. Most, if not all, of the current sex offender laws were enacted because some public official was looking for votes. They were not based on scientific data. They are based on a mistaken belief and fear that the recidivism rate of sex offenders is high. It in fact is not high. It is lower than any other crime except murder.
They keep changing and adding laws and ordinances without regard to the impact this is having on individuals, including innocent family members. Many people on the registry had a singular offense and they keep being punished over and over for something that happened potentially many years ago. In addition, all of these unnecessary laws do not improve public safety and they overburden law enforcement, consume tax dollars and burden offenders with needless reporting requirements which further exacerbate the offenders ability to find and keep employment.
Each state already has registries, Florida being one of the most strict. So, in addition to trying to comply with current state requirements, we also have to adhere to local ordinances and sometimes they are vague or conflicting and often put us in situations where compliance is impossible. For example, in my county, we must register, in person, numerous changes within 48 hours. The registration office is not open on weekends; therefore, if something happens late on a Friday, by Monday morning, we are no longer in compliance and risk arrest.
I also believe that the registry also puts individuals on the list at a greater risk. I have had people I dont know and who arent law enforcement show up at my door because I am on the registry. I am female and often afraid to answer my door for fear of who may be standing on the other side.
If one were to look at the scientific data, the recidivism rate of sex offenders is extremely low. If individual risk assessments were completed and the punishment tailored to the crime, not only would this give people their lives back, it would also free up a great deal of money that is currently being poured into a broken system. So many of the requirements are so vague that even law enforcement cant interpret the requirements. The many layers of regulations and reporting requirements constitute cruel and unusual punishment for not only the offender, but also the family members and friends.
The system needs a complete overhaul. An overhaul of the entire system may be an expensive undertaking, but this could be much more efficient and effective, not to mention much less expensive for everyone. This proposal by Attorney General Bill Barr is not the answer.