Outdated, Overly used, or simply irrelevant?
To start I am a 34-year-old male, and I have been on the registry since the age of 18. My arrest and conviction took place in 2005, one year after the date of my crime.
I will not attempt to make the argument for the crime or against it, nor will I attempt to reason with the crime... I simply wish to give parts of my story as it may help other registered citizens and encourage participation. I also wish to discuss the registry and its impacts which will hopefully plant the seed of those reading to be understanding to encourage them to get involved.
I will start with the crime, how it came to be, and everything else I have experienced since that point in my life. Both the negative and the positive. Finally, I wish to of course mention the registry itself. I do not wish to even touch my childhood as like others my childhood was fine. I was the child of a Naval father and my childhood was good. The powers that be like to shine the light of falsehood on a lie that anyone convicted of a Sex offense was abuse and have mental health issues or are disturbed and sick by nature... This is the biggest misinformation campaign I have heard and I found that so-called truth to be present in only a small percentage of registered citizens. Let's continue...
In 2005 I was convicted of indecent Liberties without forcible compulsion in the lovely state of Washington. I was convicted of having a relationship with a fourteen-year-old at the age of 18. I and the victim of my crime did not have sexual contact, however, the crime in court was explained as a crime of intent. The formal sentence said 'sexual contact' which they later explained was in the form of kissing and holding hands. The before mentioned action is classified as a crime as it is intimate contact with a minor with immoral intent. I spent a total of 13 months in the Washington prison system for that crime. Washington has no parole system you simply serve 2/3 of your sentence regardless of the crime or time given. Since the date of my release I have encountered many problems, problems that this system of registration has created. These problems have come in the form of police harassment, community harassment, educational issues, and issues related to the workforce. First and foremost, the police have visited my home and used the registry as a cause for a visit, then commencing with telling neighbors of my status on the registry. They would not tell what my crime was or the date of it, but just tell them I am a registered citizen. This issue also caused those neighbors to create issues with myself and CPS involving my child. My offense does not prevent me from having contact with my child or prevent me from having custody. This alone has caused major issues with the community. Thankfully the state child protection services agreed with the court and allowed me to continue raising my child. However, the damage was done to me in the community. Because of these issues, I made the decision to rebel against the system and simply not register which resulted in 3 more prison sentences over the course of 10 years. I have also been denied at three different universities because of the status of registration. Luckily I did find one where I am currently enrolled in my third year for a degree in Management Information systems. Many companies have also used the registry to deny me employment in my career path. They made it clear that it is not my offense, but the registration itself that would make them look bad. To be clear I have never been a part of or convicted of any form of cybercrime or crime involving any type of electronic device. The fact that a company claims my offense is not an issue, but the registry status speaks volumes on its own.
I do some work with a commercial renovations company and the registry brings it's own level of problems in that as well. Each time I go to a new area to work on a project I must register and have the whiplash of laws associated in different areas constantly changing and even sometimes preventing me from going there because of the location of the project. This is 2020 and I was adjudicated in 2005 which is 15 years since my offense where no other sexual offense has taken place... I would say the registry is serving no purpose in this case. I will not breakdown the laws and statistics of crimes and who commit those because WAR does a great job of providing that information, I will say the likelihood of someone previously convicted committing another sexual offense is much lower than that of a non convicted person committing that same crime. So the question has to be what does the registry do? Who does the registry help? Of course, who should and should not be included in such a practice? We are all told the registry is protecting the population, but from what? I will not sugarcoat the reality or fact of life... Some cases and arguments could be made that a smaller non-publicly accessible registry may help law enforcement with more heinous crime types and repeat offenders... however, states also have a contingency plan in the form of civil commitment. If civil commitment is passed off as a place for offenders who the public is not safe with, then what is the registry?
The country of Germany breaks the SORNA requirements and only obeys a specific level within its country. The German population or government will not require a registered citizen to leave their country or register, except in cases of violent sexual offenses. The country is fearful of any type of registration and persecution of anyone because of WWII. They fear this image being inside Germany and have said that America is playing a dangerous game with this registry.
I hope everyone is in a place where they feel safe and confident in themselves to share their story and support for WAR. WAR is doing an amazing job with issues and assisting us, And it is past time for registered citizens around the globe and their loved ones to show their support for them. There is no law preventing those who are off supervision from banding together to show support for an organization.