Home > Does the Sex Offender Registry Do More Harm Than Good?: A Debate
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Sexual violence is one of the most brutal and horrible crimes imaginable, and its devastating impact can affect victims for years. To combat such crimes, Congress passed two laws in the 1990s that 1) requires convicted sex offenders to register with local authorities, and 2) mandates that law enforcement alert neighbors of sex offenders who are living in their community. To help people avoid potential predators, the U.S. Department of Justice maintains an online sex offender registry that enables users to search the names of those who have been convicted of such crimes. In recent years, this registry has come under increasing scrutiny. Critics of the registry argue that its goal of protecting the public can backfire and that it actually encourages further crimes by making it difficult for offenders to reintegrate into society. Offenses that are included in the registry vary considerably, they note, from public urination, exhibitionism, and voyeurism to far more severe crimes such as sexual assault and rape. Defenders of the registry argue that it has helped keep communities safe for more than two decades. Eliminating it or reducing its scope, they contend, will endanger vulnerable people and potentially lead to a spike in sexual violence. Does the sex offender registry do more harm than good?
Length: 51 minutes
Copyright date: ©2023
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