Sex offender registry may need major modifications by Connor Morgan The sex offender registry ensures those with certain crimes against children cannot live within 2, feet of parks. The discovery and confirmation of Jacob Wetterling's remains puts to rest nearly 30 years of wondering if the Minnesota boy would ever return home. His role in the shaping of laws to protect children from potential victimization is unquestionable. The Iowa Sex Offender Registry's website attests to that fact, with Wetterling's picture and a blurb at the top right of the webpage that reads: The Act set forth guidelines for states to establish sex offender registry programs.
The design of public safety as its inspiration, the registry provides a comprehensive database on both state and national levels, improving public awareness and assisting law enforcement officers in many instances.
The myriad benefits leave many applauding the sex offender registry. However, there is growing concern within the field of sex offender management that various changes made to the requirements and system pose many problems to both potential victims and low-risk offenders. There are more than 80 offenses that can land an individual on the registry -- urinating in public is no longer one of them, due to a change in the law in -- an amount probation parole officer Michelle Reese says can be troublesome.
The ones who are very dangerous can say, 'Everybody's on the registry these days. The change removed risk assessment rankings for each offender, which categorized their risk level to re-offend as low, moderate or high.
The tier system identifies the frequency offenders have to report in and update their address and other information. Tier 1 offenders are required to report on an annual basis, Tier 2 on a twice-yearly basis, and Tier 3 on a quarterly basis. This may prove misleading, according to experts, as many perceive Tier 3 offenders to be the most dangerous. In many cases, it's not. While this legislation sounds necessary, and at the very least sensible, research doesn't indicate the restriction possesses merit.
Moreover, there are very few places within Cedar Rapids and Linn County in compliance with the 2,foot restriction for offenders, and of those places, none are obligated to provide housing for sex offenders.
Some offenders lie about their living situation, as maintaining employment becomes easier by simply violating the residency restriction. Many offenders who abide by the 2,foot rule struggle to remain afloat financially. From transportation troubles to an inability to hold down a steady job due to a lengthy commute, the cycle of jail, transitional facility, and community living becomes a vicious and repetitive one.
All the while, the likelihood of repeat offenses increases with unstable employment. Public perception of sex offenders has never been favorable nor should it be , but specialists question the rationale behind implementing laws based on tendencies that only apply to a small percentage of those on the registry.
At least as long as the registry has existed, there has been a push to be mindful of strangers. While taking caution is appropriate, 90 percent of sexual offenses with a minor involve someone the victim knows. When we try to do a one-size-fits-all and it's a wide-sweeping brush of legislation In fact, both are adamant defenders of the department of correctional services along with state agencies.
For those outside the sex offender management field, Reese says the "essential element is education. Nothing will ever erase what you've done and you'll never be able to overcome that. However, the same does not apply to pictures and videos, as 16 year olds are still considered minors. If an 18 year old sends or receives pictures from their year-old significant other, such an act can land the 18 year old on the sex offender registry.