LABELED FOR LIFE: A Review of Youth Sex Offender Registration Laws

August 25, 2020, 12:58 pm

Over 200,000 individuals are on sex offender registries for offenses committed when they were children. Registration can be life-long and can be imposed without any inquiry into the child’s individual circumstances or progress in treatment. Some states require community notification in addition to registration and reporting requirements. Many young people face registration as a consequence of developmentally normal behavior, including playing doctor, streaking, sexting, and consensual teen romances. While some youth commit serious sexual harm and should be held accountable for this conduct, they also need support and effective interventions to change their behavior; the vast majority of youth who act out sexually do not recidivate. A meta-analysis reviewing 107 studies found that across behavior type, over 97% of children charged with sexual offenses never harm sexually again. Moreover, after almost 30 years of placing children on registries, empirical research concludes that the practice does not prevent or reduce sexual violence. Rather, placing young people on registries fuels cycles of homelessness, incarceration, and trauma, for both the registrant and survivors.

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The post LABELED FOR LIFE: A Review of Youth Sex Offender Registration Laws appeared first on Florida Action Committee.

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Author: Florida Action Committee
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