Does sex offender registry really work?

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  • Fix-ur-hair Lake Forest, CA
    May 13, 2017 12:45 a.m.

    The real intent of the registry is tyranny and fear. The Sex Offender Registry by design creates a climate of intimidation that leaves in it’s wake laws so intrusive that it is impossible to live and yet be at all times in compliance. It’s like passing laws stating you (as a registrant) are disallowed to stand in the rain yet disallows any form of cover or shelter to get out of the rain. The real question isn’t should they stay in compliance? It’s how can they stay in compliance? I'm a dad that saved my son's life twice but laws were passed kicking me out of parks and beaches in Orange County California in 2012...Rightfully a panel of judges ruled against it but for a couple of year I and others like me couldn't be present to protect their children in parks... Violate my rights not cool but I can take it, but violate my child's safety by the forced removal of the child's parent from a park or beach? Children are known to get hurt in parks and beaches but registered sex offenders have NO history of acting out in parks and beaches after finishing their parole or probation. No the registry doesn't work other than for tyranny.

  • hmmm
    July 12, 2009 6:05 p.m.

    We have 4 sex offenders living within a block of us. Being a child victim myself (as 1 in 3 people typically are) I'm aware that yes this sort of thing happens to normal people and those who are comfortable and think they are safe are wrong...just because it hasn't happened to you doesn't mean you are safe. Because I know of the offenders in my neighborhood my children are not allowed to play outside in our yard and must hold my hand when we are out. For all of you saying that the re-offending rate is "low" ...LOW is still too high. If I know that offenders are nearby, I am certainly not going to wave my children in front of them like candy. You don't bring a former drug addict to a party with drugs...just use common sense. And how do we know who will re-offend and who won't? Just let your children play in your front yard and "hope" that your local SO is a reformed one? I don't think so. This is about being safe and smart.

  • Joe Truth
    June 17, 2009 10:58 p.m.

    Why do we need to have teenagers on the SO registries with the rapists? The real and final answer is... States recieve federal money for every head count on the registries. More offenders... more money. States also will recieve reduced funding for not abiding by the Federal Sex offender laws. More draconian laws... more money. Why only sex offenders on the registry and not thieves and drug dealers? Simple - it is easier and more palatable to undermine personal rights with people society views as less than equal to their rights.
    This is why our founding fathers used langauge such as "certian inalianable rights" i.e. rights that can never be taken. Unfortunately, we live in a society ran by fear mongers who capitalize both directly and politically by manipulation and each preceeding generation will not even know that thier rights have been taken away from them. How does democracy die? To thunderous applause.

  • Just moved in
    June 12, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    We just had a sex offender move in right across the street. The reason we knew? The sex offender registry. We also live right across the street from an elementary school. The registry gave me a lot of useful information such as the date of the crime and the type of offense it was. Come to find out, it only happened 5 years ago, he served a year in prison and is still on probation. He also cannot speak to anyone under the age of 18. I wouldn't have known this had it not been for the registry and my own research after seeing his name on it. I don't want to lynch mob him and I know people can change, but now me and my family and the other families on our street can be aware and cautious. Knowledge is the best way to deal with this. Have any of you that are critizing the sex offender registry had 3 young children with a sex offender living across the street that was convicted and served prison time for 2 counts of lewdness with a child under the age of 16...didn't think so!

  • Wanda4mercy
    April 11, 2009 10:58 p.m.

    Tens of thousands of young men have been put on that registry for life because they had some kind of consensual sexual contact with another teen! They are being sent to jail and prison and placed on the internet like child molesters and rapists!! I feel like were back in the puritanical witch hunt of Salem Massachussetts! These are not child predators; these are normal teens having consensual sexual contact with other teens!! I am begging all within the sound of my voice to investigate what I am saying. You will find it to be true. These young people DO NOT belong on this registry!!! It is destroying young lives and the lives of their children forever with no hope of ever getting off!! Is this the kind of justice we should administer to the young and sexually curious? To those who are yet in the foolishness of youth?? Is this behavior wrong? Yes, but wrong enough to punish a young person for LIFE????? Before you judge harshly, ask yourself: Would I find it fair if it were my son or daughter???

  • Jace
    Feb. 20, 2009 10:10 p.m.

    Why non-violent sex offenders get put on this list is a mystery to me. There is a big difference between a man raping a child and an 18 and 15 year old having consensual sex. Why are we grouping non-violent offenders together with violent predators?

  • DGS
    July 28, 2008 4:44 p.m.

    I am sick and tired of being punished. The Utah county sex task force come and knock on my door every 3 months. I have kids and a wife this time they come into my house I own like I am on probation got off in 2003. They embarrase me. I have grandchilden too what happen to "Ex post facto punishment" meaning they can not imposed more punishment. Harrassment is punishment! Shame is punishment! I am a good citizen and obey the laws!
    DGS july 28 2008 stop!

  • A victim's family member
    June 22, 2008 8:36 p.m.

    Did you ever think that maybe the victim's family use the SOR to keep track of where that offender is and what kind of car he is driving to protect their child from being victimized again? That's what our family use the SOR for. I wish every offender was on it for life! That way you could avoid moving into the same town the offender resides in. Everyone seems so sympathetic to the offender. How about the victim who has nightmares and is afraid for the rest of their life? I am glad there are former SO's who have made changes in their lives. I hope the same is true for the person who hurt our family so bad. I just don't want to live anywhere near the person nor does our family member who was victimized.

  • details..
    May 30, 2008 2:42 p.m.

    I am a mother and have checked the SOR many times. There are details as to what the offense was. I think this is an important thing to check. The person was caught soliciting a minor over the internet versus the man who molested 8 children (which I found just today) are two very different things. We all need to do our part to protect our children no matter who we live by, but it helps me to be aware more of who lives by me.

  • hypocrite?
    April 7, 2008 6:56 p.m.

    Remember FORMER Governor Eliot Spitzer? He screamed loudest, and he was indicted for the very crime he obsessively prosecuted (persecuted?) others for.
    Maybe we should take a closer look at Paul Ray with his equally bigoted, uninformed, factually inaccurate viewpoint...

  • Andrew
    April 6, 2008 12:20 a.m.

    I live the Uk, thank god we don't have the same system as the US.

    The world is hard enough as it is without very damaging laws to society.

    Sex offenders are not monsters, most never offend again, and should be given human respect after their prison punishment.

    Americans don't seem to realise that by putting these people down more and more they are actually increasing the risk of these people from becoming 'normal' - yet ironically its this they really want.

    People should not become nazis, sadly this is what is has become.

  • Bishop Hinckley
    April 5, 2008 2:10 a.m.

    There has been no proof that any of these registries have helped curb crimes against children.

    These registries are the result of the lawmakers and the general public over reacting to a false-secnario that doesn't even exist based on an assumption that released sex-offenders are going to re-offend which is not substantuated by any statistics out there, but actually to the contrary as sex-offenders have the lowest re-offending rate of all criminals.

    The truth according to the U. S. Governments own statistics shows that 90% percent of all child-sex offenders are family members or extended family members such as Uncle's, Aunts, Granparents, Cousin's, etc. and not total strangers, but the citizens of the USA doesn't want to look inward at this problem, but as always, to point their fingers at a stranger, not to themselves who are the real child molesters behind closed doors of their own homes.

    So all this media hype is always generated towards that stranger hiding behind a bush just waiting to jump on little Johnny or Suzie which is so highly exaggerated rather than tell it like it really is....mom and pop and relatives thats doing this stuff.

  • Dennis
    April 2, 2008 9:15 a.m.


    Ray said :
    "And one of the reasons he so strongly favors the registry is due to his belief, "Once a sex offender, always a sex offender. You can't change these guys"

    Okay, once a crack cocaine user, always a crack cocaine user. h/she can CHANGE.

    Once a pot user, always a pot user, h/she can CHANGE

    Once a thief user, always a thief user, h/she can CHANGE

    Once a sex user, always a sex user, h/she can CHANGE

    Once a child abuser, always a child abuser, h/she can CHANGE.

    Once a sex offender, always a sex offender, h/she can always CHANGE by rehab/therapy/counseling.

    Viola!

  • on the registry
    March 30, 2008 12:23 a.m.

    the real victims of this registry are the children of the people on the registry. I had consensual sex with a girl at a party when I was seventeen. I found out a year later from the police that the girl was 14. There were 5 "adults" placed on probation for sexual acts with this girl. I was placed on deferred adjudication. That means my judgement was deferred for ten years. At the end I was NOT convicted! I still have to register for LIFE! Ive lost two jobs because of this. My children and wife suffer for something from 1991 that I did. Ray is a moron! Youre playing on peoples fears to keep a job! I hope your judged as harshly as youve judged others.

  • Mike
    March 20, 2008 5:32 p.m.

    Are the 100,000 plus missing offenders in an Alqueda training camp? Seems no one knows where they are. How many Tim Mcvies are we going to create with these laws? Are we breeding new American terrorists? What do you expect people with no jobs, homes or food to do just lay down and die? don't think that will happen any time soon.Beware of the monsters you create you never know what can happen.

  • Amanda
    March 20, 2008 4:51 p.m.

    I think if these guys/women on the registry are such a threat then leave them in jail or put them a rehabilitation program, if they are not a threat then let them pay their debt to society and lead normal lives. Not everyone on this registry raped or touched anyone. I have a friend who flashed himself at some minors that looked older... now that was stupid on his part, but he is not a rapist and is being treated like garbage by the state... like they said a scarlet letter here... what if they make a registry for all crimes and just go ahead a monitor everyone and put computer chips in us? I mena hell I iant did nothing wrong, but I think the govenment is given too much power!

  • Warning Signs (cont.)
    March 20, 2008 4:19 p.m.

    Take pictures of children other than their own without permission.
    Speak to children in a childlike manner and always seem to prefer the company of children rather than adults.

  • WhatNext
    March 20, 2008 2:52 p.m.

    Smiley, many people listed on the registry never laid a finger on anyone (keep your filthy hands to yourself?) In fact, many of them never got anywhere close to an actual human, but did look at naughty pictures and get caught. Who caught them? An FBI or local law enforcement official, who is looking at the same naughty pictures to see who else is looking! Is that official on the registry as well? I don't think so, yet his or her eyes saw the exact same thing.

  • CoolRich
    March 20, 2008 1:35 p.m.

    While everyone is happily checking the SO Registry, the guy down the street is selling drugs to their kids while his wife is defrauding their elderly parents. The gang bangers around the corner are shooting up the streets while the muggers living near the park are stealing their wallets.
    All of the criminals I mentioned have a much higher recidivism rate than FORMER sex offenders.

  • J
    March 20, 2008 1:14 p.m.

    I need to say something in regards to the comment by Smiley (8:47PM March 19) "If they would just keep the child molesters locked up forever we wouldn't need a registry". With all due respect, this is an ignorant statement. You are saying that no one else in the United States is a molester except for the ones on the list! Hate to break the news, but there are more new sex crimes committed by non sex offenders than recidivism from offenders on the registry. As more cities, states continue to pass laws that are clear violations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they will be challenged, and the taxpayers will foot the bill and most if not all will get revoked at our cost. Every person has rights, yes even the evil sex offender. Keep tabs on the violent offenders, the repeat offenders instead of every single offender. Sex crimes are not going to magically stop because of these laws, and in some states, law enforcement can't even enforce these insane laws. No law that has been passed or will be passed now or in the future will protect every child!

  • Tim P
    March 20, 2008 10:30 a.m.

    The US Dept. Of Justice statistics on recidivism state that sex offenders have the overall lowest recidivism rate amoung all criminals. 3.5% are reconvicted of a new sex crime within 3 years of release from prison. Futher studies show that 90% of sex crimes are done by a person well known and trusted by the victim with over 50% of those being a family member. Futher 95% of those who commit a sex crime have no prior arrest record. So am I against sex offender registrys NO, I do think that those in office should require ALL KNOWN sex offenders to pay for testing that would show how likely they are to re-offend. Then place only those that are the most likely to re-offend on a public sex offender registry. If we are realy looking to protect the public.

  • Stupiduty
    March 20, 2008 6:46 a.m.

    These laws are nothing more than political tactics used to get politicians names in the paper. It is an election year and what could be easier than railing against sex offenders. Experts are in agreement that these laws are doing more harm than good. They just give the illusion that we are safer. Not to even mention the blatant Constitutional problems with making these laws retroactive.

  • Smiley
    March 19, 2008 8:47 p.m.

    SOR are wonderful. We know who we don't want babysitting. We know who we don't want to move in next to. The benefits list goes on and on.

    Seems like the most people who are against it are SO's or their mommies.

    If they would just keep the child molesters locked up forever we wouldn't need a registry.

    If you don't want to be on the registry keep your filthy hands to yourself!!!

  • AAd
    March 19, 2008 6:44 p.m.

    So then what about people who get around the system? I found out an old neighbor was on the registry. I thought he was a great guy until I realized that he and his wife move every 6-9 months. They're always trying to stay one step ahead of the registry. It takes the people who run it a couple months to process his change of address forms and by the time he's on the registry again he moves. Why he moves is fishy to me, why not stay in one place and deal with it. This registry is helpful but by no means perfect but it is helpful as in the described by It Works.

  • An Offernder
    March 19, 2008 6:04 p.m.

    I was stupid, I got caught in a police sting. I would never touch a teen. Now im on the registry for 15 years, very harsh punisment

  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 1:57 p.m.

    The problem with the registry is that it ignores the family members, teachers, judges, police officers, friends, students, and others that have not offended yet.

    I guess we need a 'Minority Report' defense.

    Perhaps Paul Ray will be one of them. With all the laws that are being passed these days it is real easy to end up on the registry.

  • Steve
    March 19, 2008 2:01 p.m.

    I think the people in the article who pointed out the faults of the registry are correct. They've said things I've always said... it can provide a false sense of security. And why aren't there forced registry lists for other crimes? It has all the apperances of a modern day witch hunt. Also there have been some people in on these lists in various states who wind up getting targeted by vigilanties, the list tells them right where to find them so they can deliver their own "punishments".

  • Dr. Sunkar
    March 19, 2008 12:24 p.m.

    Paul Ray said that "they" will NEVER change.
    My God says otherwise! My God teaches
    forgiveness. The apostle Paul was a murderer.
    After he was saved, he went on to write 13
    of the 26 books in the New Testament.

    Would you rather live next door to Charles Manson,
    or a convicted Sex Offender that has given his life
    to Christ and changed his nature?

    I am the latter. I am a pastor and I minister to
    troubled women and outlaw bikers. No one will hire
    me - period. But that is OK. It is not about a job
    anymore - I live for the opportunity to serve God.
    I HAVE changed. I am living proof.

    Paul Ray and others like him are WRONG!

  • Ray's a political weasel
    March 19, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    Ray is absolutely wrong when he claims "Once a sex offender, always a sex offender. You can't change these guys." Nothing but FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt).

  • No, it doesn't work.
    March 19, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    If it worked, there would be an incredible decrease in sexual crimes. There isn't a decrease and there won't be a decrease.

    A vast majority of offenders haven't even been arrested for their crimes, let alone been put on the stupid registry. And you think you're safe just because someone is listed? Think again.

    The registry has sooooo many things wrong with it; the general idea is a good one. But what it has turned into is a fiasco.

  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    As someone who is on the registry I don't oppose it. The problem is that people like Ray use false statistics and wrong statements to better they ability to pass such laws. Most sex offenders do not re-offend.

    I had several issues since childhood that colored my view of what was acceptable in life. That doesn't excuse what I did but it does tell me that under certain circumstances people will do things that are repulsive to society. Anxiety, stress, low or no self-esteem, and a lack of understanding of what love was were all part of why I offended.

    Getting caught was the best thing that happened to me. It forced me to face these issues. I have changed my entire life since then. I have a loving and supportive family and I am now able to show love in acceptable ways that I was not able to do before.

    Anyone that says sex offenders cannot change are not only wrong, but they cause a fear that will be detrimental to safety for all concerned.

    I will say that there are some that will not change but to lump all in the same category is unsafe.

  • It Works
    March 19, 2008 9:43 a.m.

    A few weeks ago my daughter reported that a volunteer at school made her very uncomfortable. She identified him from the online sex offender registry, and the school was contacted. He is no longer there.

  • Agree with john
    March 19, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    From what I've seen and heard of him, Paul Ray is the typical ambitious huckster politician who whips up public hysteria then rides the wave into higher office.

    Not much different than politicians who support banning "scary-looking" guns in order to "protect our children".

    A wise Democrat once said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Hysteria generally results in poor public policy.

    When you hear a politician say you need his law to protect you he's the one you need to be afraid of, not the supposed demons he's trying to protect you from.

  • hello
    March 19, 2008 8:38 a.m.

    I like that thought; we should have a 'potential sex offender registry.' We could submit people who we feel may become a threat to our children.

  • john
    March 19, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    Ray is selling fear, the politicians favorite weapon. Are their enough idiots in Utah to buy it? That is the question.

  • Anonymous
    March 19, 2008 6:56 a.m.

    Ex post facto laws are unconstitutional UNLESS they are not intended as punishment. Thank God for politicians like Ray who are truthful and admit that these laws ARE INTENDED as punishment. Now maybe some lawyer can rip the heart out of these knee jerk laws and end the new Hitler attitude our society seems to have adopted.