The following is an excerpt of a letter to the editor that was published in the Missourian and written by Vicky Henry, President of Women Against Registry (W.A.R.):
“The punitiveness of our sex offender laws, registry and restrictions are totally unsupported by any empirical evidence. It destroys marriages, creates homelessness and perpetuates joblessness by listing the employer and address.
If a registrant gets married and the wife can’t deal with the stress of living under a microscope and being in danger and files for divorce that annihilates the family.
Academics have repeatedly said folks need three things to successfully reintegrate: a job, a home and a positive support system, but that falls on deaf ears.”
What was once a law enforcement tool has now become so punitive, stigmatizing and restrictive that it prevents a registrant, no matter how severe the crime or how long it’s been, from the possibility of ever living a viable life. There may be those who deserve this type of humiliation and hopelessness, but there are clearly too many who are not.
Knowing the registry has been proven ineffective, to what ends do we need to go to humiliate human beings until they are properly punished?