Is Alabama's sex offender registry necessary or 'pointless'? Updated April 8, at 1: Marshall looks inside a residence in Mobile during an operation to verify the addresses of registered sex offenders. Mobile Press Register Comment shaskins al.
In the Slate piece, criminologist Emily Horowitz of St. How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us," says that sex offender registries, once thought to be a strong front-line protection against sex crimes against children, are largely "pointless.
And it was shocking because usually, when you research something, there's ambiguity--there are some good things and there are some bad things. But with the registry, there's really no research that shows it's effective at all," Horowitz told Slate. More often than not, sex offenders are under the same roof with the victim, either a family member or family friend.
Opinions about the usefulness of sex-offender registries differ, though. Here are some to consider: Chris Newlin, executive director of the National Children's Advocacy Center in Huntsville, agreed that sex offender registries haven't really proven to be effective in fighting child sexual abuse: The National Children's Advocacy Center and its partners - law enforcement, prosecutors, social services, medical professionals, mental health professionals and victim advocates - are working daily to make our community, state, and nation a safer place for our children.
In the age when "Stranger Danger" was the prevailing understanding of child abuse, the utilization of sex offender registries made a bit more sense - let's identify the dangerous people and make our community aware of their presence. However, over the past twenty years, we have learned on primary sobering fact - most sexual abuse is committed by individuals known to the child, including about 35 percent of all sexual offenses being committed by juveniles.
Further, most individuals who commit sexual offenses have no past criminal record for past sexual offending. Thus, the real impact of sex offender registries have been to provide a false sense of security with no significant demonstrated positive impact. Those who have been caught are not the people I worry about the most. The people I worry about the most are those who have been so manipulative and secretive with their behavior to have avoided detection while continuing their sexual offending behavior.
This group of individuals are the ones who will be committing a vast majority of the sexual offenses over the next days, weeks, and months. If you are at Main Street, then the people around you are going to get a postcard in the mail that you are a sex offender and you will be living at this particular address.
The software is frequently updated with sex offenders' changes in residence, job, school attendance, Internet identifiers and other information they must disclose to law enforcement, Jernigan said. If you are moving to a new neighborhood, you can track where there are sex offenders living in that neighborhood.
This registry is really the only thing that law enforcement has to track the offender and it makes them accountable. Logue, who was convicted of a sex crime in Franklin County in , supports punishment for sex crimes but says punishment should not continue after an offender has served his time.
Logue said he plans to lobby against Senate Bill , introduced by Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Sheffield, which would create the crimes of third-degree rape, sodomy and sexual abuse to apply when the victim is under 16 and the victim less than Those crimes would be added to the list of crimes covered by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which he said would potentially add young children to those on the sex offender registry. The bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.