Nation’s Largest Sex Offender Registry Finds Sex Offender Registry Does Not Work

Categories: Day Blakely Donaldson, Featured, Headlines, Information, Justice, Privacy, Sex Offenses, and US Law.

California, which has the largest sex offender registry in the United States, has received the news from the California Sex Offender Management Board that their registry is not working. The board reported that the fast-growing registry included too many unnecessary people and that it did not help law enforcement or the public differentiate potentially risky offenders from those who would likely not reoffend.

The board reported that about 95 percent of solved sex crimes are committed by people who are not on the registry, and said that the registry was created, in part, on assumptions that have since been proved to be wrong. The board called for an overhaul of the registry.

The board recommended to the California legislature that only high-risk offenders, such as violent predators and kidnappers–that is, offenders whose offenses are also characterized by something other than sex–should be required to register for life.

The list currently has 100,000 offenders registered, and is growing. California requires lifetime registration of all sex offenders. The nature or circumstances of the offense are not usually relevant to registration.

When the board reported earlier this year, they had found that the registry included many offenders “who do not necessarily pose a risk to the community.” Nine hundred such registered offenders last offended more than 55 years ago.

The registry is also used for Megan’s Law, a tool of law enforcement used to notify the public about sex offenders. It offers the public a searchable website of what are considered the most serious registered sex offenders. However, around 80 percent of all of California’s 100,000 registered offenders are posted on the Megan’s Law website.

In 2011, the California Sex Offender registry was audited. The audit found that the government department responsible for the state’s prison and parole system, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, had been illegally abusing the sex offender registry by forwarding all offenders for examination as possible sexually violent predators rather than using discretion. That is, anyone convicted of any sexual offense was forwarded to be considered for classification as a violent offender and so registered. The law did not permit this.

Not only that, since 2005, the audit found that although 59 percent of released sex offenders violated parole, only 1 percent committed a new offense. That one percent represented 134 convicts. Of those 134, only one committed a new sex offense.

By Day Blakely Donaldson

California State Auditor


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  1. Anonymous

    Obviously the people of California are going to fall for another budget crunching idea disguised as a long thought out policy observation that missed the mark. You people in California need to quit “falling” for this crap. The only thing that doesnt work is your lack of border enforcement to keep out the deviants and public sector employees who are gonna get paid no matter what..

  2. This could be filed under the “no sh*t, Sherlock” category. The registry was never designed to reduce recidivism. It was intended to be a system of legalized vigilantism. It is intended to cause harm to those forced to register. Lets stop pretending it was designed to protect children.

  3. yellowroselady

    Let’s get real folks! Ariel Castro (Ohio), Jerry Sandusky (PA) and many others we hear and read about were NOT on any public registry and that is EXACTLY THE POINT. The public has been groomed to believe all they have to do is check a registry and be aware of “those on it” and their family will be safe. The truth of the matter is that according to credible studies the recidivism rate for another “sexual” offense is 3.5% and those who are beginning to educate families are advising the other 95% of sexual offenses come from within their environment (family, friends and those having access to the children) and NEVER get reported.

    There are over 769,402 men, women and children (as young as 6, 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the “crimes” range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child and many others.

    If you multiply the number on the registry by 2 or 3 family members you can clearly see there are well over 2,500,000 wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant….all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and provide the three things that professionals state are needed for successful re-integration; a job, a place to live and a good support system.

    Education is the key….so set-up Child Abuse Prevention training to empower kids and teens to protect themselves and to speak up if someone makes them uncomfortable or oversteps their bounds. Parents cannot be everywhere. Please notice the suggested training includes both sexual and physical abuse as both are problematic in our society and the safety of all children is of the utmost importance.

    Vicki Henry
    Women Against Registry dot com

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