“We’ve had a chance to see the unintended consequences” is how one of the articles in today’s National Review begins. The article is titled “Remove Children from Sex Offender Registries” and it talks about the 1994 Crime Bill, which created many ‘tough on crime’ initiatives that, after 25 years, appear to have failed miserably… foremost among them are sex offender registries. it explains that, “At the time, experts advised that sex offenders never reformed. To protect the community from those found guilty of such offenses after their return to society, registries would require them to identify themselves (sometimes even with signs in their windows). Understandably, penalties were particularly harsh for anyone who harmed a child sexually.” We know that to be very FALSE at this time.
This article focuses on the tragedy of “imposing lifelong pariah status on children”, but the same is true for ALL persons required to register. As this administration is taking a second look at criminal justice, we need to do all we can to get the FACTS to the forefront. We hope that our attendance at the SMART conference, along with representatives of other sister organizations, will help achieve that goal.
Interestingly, the National Review ran another story today about a 16 year old girl who is facing charges for taking a nude selfie of herself. I think this excerpt from the story speaks volumes:
The prosecutor, however, argued that S.K. needs “some guidance, rehabilitation for something deeper” and that she should probably have to undergo a mandatory health evaluation and serve time on probation. What’s more, the prosecutor also insisted that the state “is just trying to help” S.K.
Now, I have absolutely no doubt that a young girl who takes a video of herself performing a sex act and then sends it to people very well might be in need of “some guidance.” What I don’t understand is this: Just how in the hell does anyone actually think that a criminal charge is going to be something that will “help her” in any way at all?