Opinion: The sex offender registry should assess risk, otherwise it is purely punishment Apr 13, 2019 | 6 comments This is a great opinion article out of San Antonio. It discusses the perils of the registry. https://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/article/The-sex-offender-registry-should-assess-risk-13763987.php Facebook Twitter Google+ 6 Comments Dustin on April 15, 2019 at 1:08 pm A well written and well intended article, but still flawed. First, the risk assessments the article calls for are certain to be based primarily (if not entirely) on the violated statute (versus individual circumstances) due to the number of cases that would be assigned to whatever state office tasked with them, as shown in the states that already have some form of risk assessment for its tiering system. Such assessments are not “individual” and defeat the entire purpose of conducting them. Second, there’s still no reason that even accurate assessments need to be made public via the registry. As Gerald pointed out, actual risk of nearly all registrants is already nearly zero (based on actual vs. perceived recidivism analysis). It’s pretty oxymoronic to provide public “warning” of individuals who in all likelihood pose no threat, regardless of previous offenses. Third, even LE doesn’t require a separate registry of those who have convicted of sex offenses. There’s nothing on the registry not already available in NCIC and state counterparts or a suspect’s own criminal record, both already immediately available to them. It has never provided a lead into the investigation of new sex crime. Even in (the very, very few) cases where the accused in the new crime were a registrant, he is either identified at the time or through DNA, and his status as a registrant is never known until after identification or arrest. LE claims that the registry is a “good tool” do so for one reason – money. Federal and state grants to maintain it are based on the number of registrants. That’s why registrants who have died, left the area, or are presently incarcerated remain on it, despite posing no threat to any community. Personally, I’m willing to bet that a significant part of such grants are spent elsewhere in any given agency. In my service days, risk assessments were used to determine whether or not certain actions or operations should take place. For example, if a mission called for an airborne insertion during bad weather, the commander would have to determine if the presumed success of the mission was more important or hindered by the decreased safety to his soldiers. But over the years, they have morphed into a presumed ability to foresee the future. The results of current risk assessments are by design fraught with a lot of “maybe”s, “possibly”s, “potentially”s, and “could”s for the sole purpose of allowing the assessor to be correct regardless of what actually happens afterward. The effect is quite similar to carnival fortune tellers or horoscope readings, and ultimately serves no purpose. Reply Mp on April 15, 2019 at 11:04 am I too sent him a thank you. Recognition of good…..is good. Reply JJJJ on April 13, 2019 at 3:55 pm I went to the author’s web page and found his email address. I emailed him the following: Thank you for your courage! I am one of many who has worked very hard to rebuild my life through rehabilitation and by paying my debt to society. Yet I daily face flagrant violations of my international human rights and rights under the United States constitution. I am a tax paying law abiding citizen of both Florida and the USA, and yet I cannot even enjoy my local public beach, library or park! I am banished for life from these Lee County amenities for which I daily pay taxes. Also, I am required, on a quarterly basis, to report in person for interrogation to my local sheriff’s office under threat of a new felony charge. I have no “right to remain silent”. I paid my debt. I did my time. I want only quiet enjoyment and peace. I want to be left alone! The Registry is nothing but a government black list – an illegal bill of attainder. It is blatant fascism that caters to (and stokes) public hysteria. Thank you for your courage, sir! (Pulitzer was fearless like you, as I recall.) Reply Gerald on April 13, 2019 at 11:53 am A very good article. Of course, states will always resist changes that would assess the true risks for each offender, because they already know that the real risk of reoffending is close to zero for most of us. The assessors would also likely be pressured into basing their decisions on a quota system where a certain percentage of offenders MUST be placed in the high risk category. As the article pointed out, perhaps the real solution is honestly weighing the obvious harm caused by the registry to the registrants and their families against the bogus claims that it protects society, despite the lack of evidence to support that claim. But that would require legislators to admit that they were wrong, which is unlikely because they are so full of their own self-righteousness. Reply Bill on April 13, 2019 at 9:06 am This was a very well written article. Thanks for sharing it. Reply Doug on April 13, 2019 at 8:40 am Awesome article ! I just tried emailing him to thank him and urge him to spread this article nationally but my email would not go through, Would someone else try to get through to him? He’s a former Chief Judge and attorney. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel reply Comment Policy PLEASE READ: Comments not adhering to this policy will be removed. Be patient. All comments are moderated before they are published. This takes time. Stay on topic. We welcome all opinions and encourage free discussion. Be respectful. Do not attack, abuse, or threaten. Your email address will not be published. Note: Markdown can be used for formatted text. Comment * See the Comment Policy above before posting Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. If you are a human, do not fill in this field.