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Ask a Criminal Defense Attorney: Is the Sex Offender Registry Effective?

Generally, the Sex Offender Registry is one of the more popular government policies throughout the United States. Criminal Lawyer in Buffalo New York who have represented such individuals certainly understand much of the support is based on the public’s legitimate anger toward such persons who have committed horrific and highly publicized crimes against children.

In the 1990s, in response to anger over the media’s attention to horrific criminal conduct, States, including New York, and the federal government created stern penalties for sex offenders.

Although it was severe at the time, in the age of the internet where an offender’s name and address can be accessed to the public by way of a simple google search, the consequences are even greater.

Recently, however, critics  have been demanding review and revision of these policies. One of the most common complaints related to the registry is that it is based on flawed assumptions which are not based reliable data, and as a result, the registry tends to waste money and fails to keep children safe.

According to one critic, Professor Alissa Ackerman of California State University Fullerton, a criminologist and national expert on the treatment of sex offenders, state registries and related policies, “are absolutely and fundamentally flawed. They do nothing to support prevention, are not a deterrent and do nothing for people who have survived sexual violence”

On a federal level, several lawsuits sought to overturn a common penalty against sex offenders which bars such persons on the registry from most public places in town.

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Buffalo New York are likely familiar with many of these which provide the authority to impose such post-release conditions as prohibiting individuals from “child safety zones” which include a “park, school, library, playground, recreation center, bathing beach, swimming pool or wading pool, gymnasium, sports field, or sports facility” either owned or leased by the town.

According to some Criminal lawyer in buffalo ny such a ban could be unconstitutional.  Clearly, Criminal lawyer in buffalo ny are divided on the issue.

While much of the public may have a difficult time sympathizing with the plight of individuals who have been convicted of such crimes, a growing body of research appears to show that many preconceived notions regarding sex offenders could be misguided, including, that nearly all sex offenders reoffend; treatment does not work; and most sexual assaults are the work of people unknown to the victims.

Clearly, more research needs to be done.

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Buffalo New York may, at this time, find it difficult to imagine a scenario where the majority of public would support reform given the high percentage of support for such policies and the legitimate concern many have for the safety of their children.

As more research develops, Criminal Defense Lawyers in Buffalo New York should follow this issue closely as any condition attached to a post-supervision agreement must be closely analyzed.

If you are facing criminal charges, you should seek the expertise of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Buffalo New York who can assist you if you find yourself charged with an offense.

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