The Real Point of Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

It’s refreshing when an elected politician speaks the truth, especially when they don’t mean to.

There was a segment on McNeil Lehrer this evening titled “Housing Sex Offenders,” which chronicled the very real problems with various versions of Jessica’s Law that have sprung up around the country.

The name “Jessica’s Law” started in Florida, based on the name of a victim, but is now the de facto name given by the media to various and sundry laws dealing with sex offenders.

The report focused on California sex offender residency restrictions. California’s fairly new law prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of parks, playgrounds, schools, etc. Sounds like a great idea but problems in this regard have been well documented.

PBS showed a map of Los Angeles with all the prohibited living places in red. At first, it’s easy to tell that literally almost every place in Los Angeles is covered; and then the announcer let’s us know that the places that are ‘OK’ are almost all business and commercial.

The point of this is not to make folks’ hearts bleed for sex offenders. But let’s acknowledge what the real point of these laws is. Or better yet, let’s hear from San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who when asked by the reporter the perfunctory ‘where are they supposed to go?’ replied:

The real intent of Jessica’s Law is to put people that violate children and others in prison and keep them there.

Bravo! We’ve convicted and sentenced the offender, but he’s served his time and now we want to put him back before he reoffends. The constitution prohibits us from going back and adding time to his sentence, so…

Let’s make it literally impossible for him to live anywhere legally. Then we charge him with that violation, and the problem is solved.

For anyone out there that reads this, and is nodding their head, “Yes, that makes perfect sense”… I’m not sure any amount of logic or reason will convince them of the underlying fundamental unfairness of such a system.

On an off note, for the few of you have inquired as to whether I have retired from blogging, apparently the answer is ‘No, it was just a vacation (from blogging only) and I’m back’.

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
http://blog.austindefense.com/admin/trackback/56967
Comments (23) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Donna - January 19, 2008 4:06 AM

It is a Constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Since the days of public demonstrations of humiliation; where locking someone's head and hands up in the town square for all to come and see, mock, throw food and vegetables at; or tarring and feathering a person - or MORE to the point, the use of the Scarlet letter sewn into the skin - has America deemed the use of Public Humiliation to be cruel and unusual. While sex offender lists might best serve the authorities as current lists of offenders of various crimes do; making it public violates the very foundation of accepted practices AGAINST public humiliation and violates the Constitution in EVERY way against cruel and unusual punishment.

db - January 21, 2008 3:26 PM

i have a question how do i go about changing things on the sex offender registry site that isnt right. it's all wrong and the state police says i have to get a lawyer which i cant afford. the local police says they have all the right info but it's not. help

tom - January 23, 2008 4:33 PM

Well db, it can be a long process and many phone calls. Took me about 2 years of complaints to do it on mine. I never had the funds for an attorney I kept contacting them, until someone changed it. A attorney would help and speed up the process, in fact I think they should be held legally accountable in civil court for misrepresenting your information and any undue hardships therefrom.
Even tho I am a registered sex offender I can empathize with both views of the law and reasons as to why and why not. But I do know I am first and formost a United States Citizen, and my understanding of studies and research in law leave me with the impression that we as a Country are going about this all the wrong way. Yes sex offending is wrong, but going against the fundamental safe guards of our constitution and justifying it to fit to make it ok and give our great leaders a blank check to toss us around as seen fit is a grave violation. When I say us I am meaning any person sex offender or not. We all are tax payers and citizens regardless of convictions. We have families, beliefs, morals, and lifestyles and have the right to freedom before and after any conviction. People make bad choices sometimes, and sometimes a bad choice can be simply that a bad choice. A bad choice does not make a person bad. Sometimes a bad choice can be ill related or due to living an unhealthy lifestyle and not being taught the difference between right and wrong through a lack of comprehension. We can make all the Laws we want as a country but its not going to change the individual liberties we have as a nation with the freedom to act as we want. People will continue to make choices as they want and even reoffend if they want or commit any new crimes of any sort as long as they continue to make bad choices for what ever reasons they may have.
If we go back in time it was legal to have relations with what we now consider to be minors of 13 years of age or older. We as a nation decided to create laws to promote educational awareness and get certain aged persons out form the factories so we can educate and grow as a nation. In some religions it speaks of being a man or woman at the age of 13 and living a life style that is required in its responsibilities to create and provide a family and live life. When it was ok to have sexual relations with a person of legal age at that time was it wrong? Was a person deemed a sexoffender? No I think not. So what makes a sex offender a sexoffender the laws correct? Its the laws that we as a nation are paving a path on that will dictate how we will view ourselves and loved ones down the road. I do know we need to be careful when implementing laws when it goes against our constitutional safe guards. They were created by our forfathers for a reason and may someday come back to bite us and event he persons passing the laws when least expected. Deviate sexual acts of any kind weatherr approved or not approved by society have been around for thousands of years. At one time being gay was illegal and unacceptable,and frowned down apon. however now its fine and a right to express oneself as they sexually wish.
Our sexual behaviors are tought to us from youth to adult stages. This is my bad choice. This was my penalty and I suffered for this, as many others have. In my eyes sexual relations with force and without consent are wrong and I am not speaking about these. I am speaking about people who are punished for the consentual acts that are looked at as sex offending.
Maybe tomorrow we will have to register our race, or even because we are simply male or female that have certain morals, and values that differentiate from other citizens and segregate us and our living conditions because we dont want our children to grow up with those beliefs and or lifestyles.
Why cant we as a nation just accept people for who they are and live our lives. I met alot of good people while being incarcerated, regardless of their crimes I seen them do good deeds and acts. One time there was an old man who was a child sex offender and local gangs were going to stab/shank him because they thought it would be fun, and he deserved it. One man a convicted murderer steped up and told them if they did this there would be problems with him and them the gang. And what they were about to do was wrong and to leave the old man alone. The gang did leave him alone. The Murderer basicly saved the old mans life and yet i bet hes currently being judged frowned down apon by society if he was released already.
I was convicted I payed my debt to society I did my time. Please stop passing laws that install fear in other peoples eyes. I have a right to live life and function in society as a responsible person, and have a family work and goto school and have the basic fundamental liberties that are afforded by our great constitution.
Maybe if we continue to fight these improper laws and the court cost exceed the 10% revenue from the feds then the states will change their thoughts.
But enough is enough let people live their lives. If they reoffend then deal with them then as we would with any other criminal case.

Linda McCarthy - January 25, 2008 9:57 PM

Last Saturday, my 38 year-old son was released from a CA state prison after having served two years subsequent to being convicted of receiving and sending child pornography over the internet. He understands the gravity of the crime he committed and how he exploited the children he looked at. He has never molested a child or anyone. he has a good attitude, but I am becoming very discouraged. For the past week we have looked for a place he can call his residence- a studio or garage would do..and without any success. Most areas of housing are off-limits to him, because jessica's law does not delineate between sex offenses. The 2,000 foot rule makes it near to impossible to find a place in a legally-permitted area. My husband and I are willing to cosign for him, so he can get settled and seriously look for a job; it's a catch-22- a lose/lose situation, it seems. He's grateful to be out..is not complaining. Help?

mcoonrod - January 29, 2008 4:19 PM

as mother nto a registered,I have been forced from church,Wal-mart and next,the neighborhood.Because the police inform neighbors,and people love to talk.I can forgive them but life is horrible for us.He never raped anyone.Plus he is mentally handicapped,from severe head injuries 11 years ago.

Yvonne Lesser - February 5, 2008 11:18 AM

I am a 60 year old, sex offenders mother. I live states away from my son. He is trying to get his life straightened out and runs into brick walls at every corner. Like I told him,"He'd have been better off killing someone". All would have been forgiven by now. Instead he is literally living on the street with no place to clean up etc. and trying to hold down his job. At times he's actually said, " It's impossible, I might as well go back to prison". I realize that his life shouldn't be a bowl of cherries, but since when should this be picked out to be the worst sin to be commited? Once they've done thier time the government needs to back off a little. Maybe they want them back in prison so we can continue to support them at the tune of about $100. a day.

wishingandhoping - February 27, 2008 11:44 PM

I am the fiancee' of a registered sex offender. People need to keep in mind that just because some one is accused of a crime, does not always mean that they have committed it. I used to be so judgemental when it came to sex offenders. I thought that they were all scum. I was so wrong. Just because someone is convicted of a sex crime does not mean that person is a 'child molester' or even that force was invovled. People need to stop being so judgemental. These people are already being punished having to live with what they did, they dont need to be denied their rights just because of what a piece of paper says about them.

shay - March 12, 2008 11:26 AM

My huband years ago had served for a crime he did not commit and is now still being affected in public now for this information.We have a family and no problems with the law he is being picked out like all this information and needs to be represented for help.Society is a catch 22 with laws that are hard for everyone. I do believe that many of the laws have been used to control voilent repeat crimes in
which I can agree upon. Not everyone that commits a crime will repeat it and this is what society is so scared about.I did not want to come out and say anything but my family is being affected and vandalized recently discriminated and this is not justifiable.
Rehabilitation with many people is more than possible and my life with my husband has been good until the past year.What happened many years ago back in the 40s and through the late 60s crimes were committed people served payed their punishment and it was okay to continue your life? Society needs to address many issues of theses new laws. Yes, there has to be a better organized way of not labeling civilians that serve and do straighten out and are functional in the world without banding them.Many of these people have been punished and have shown society that they are good not bad any more.What happens next to our society is unknown and not a promising note for taxpayers that want better in life. Privacy is being exploited and its not the answer to everyones problems.Yes, many people are not repeat problems and society should see this and make this acceptable too.

becca - April 21, 2008 4:41 PM

Are you people kidding me? My son is sexual preditor, he molested a friends daughter when he was 14. I am out raged that he is not on an offender list. I am outraged that once he turned 18 he was released from the sex theropy group home. I do not think he should be able to be free. AND HE IS MY ONLY SON. I am sickened daily with the thought that he destroyed another life for his own satifaction.... I think my son should be in jail for ever. I have moved away from him, private number, and stopped contact with my own parents because they have helped him, I think he should rott in jail with all th other pervs...

GREERSAN - May 28, 2008 12:50 AM

THE SEX OFFENDER LAWS ARE A TESTING GROUND ON A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT ARE EASY TARGETS.THESE LAWS WILL EVENTUALLY
FILTER TO THE GENERAL POPULATION.
ONCE, CIVIL RIGHTS OF A CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ERODED, LOOK OUT!
LAWS THAT PROHIBITED THE FREEDOM TO LIVE WHERE YOU CHOOSE, WORK, OR RIGHT TO PRIVACY IS AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION. THE SUPREME COURT KNOW THIS. THE MOST PRACTICAL THING TO DO WOULD BE TO DEFINE LEVELS OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND BASE THE LAWS ACCORDINLY. THEY HAVE MADE THESE LAWS TOO BROAD. PEOPLE ARE BEING PERSECUTED. MURDER IS NOW THE CRIME OF CHOICE. WHEN WILL WE WAKE UP AND JOIN TOGETHER. THERE ARE 550,000 X FAMILIES. PREDATORS NEED TO BE TREATED, AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE A CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES NEED TO BE GIVEN A CHANCE. CERTAINLY, CHILDREN NEED TO BE PROTECTED, BUT THEIR PROTECTION SHOULD COME FROM SMART PARENTS. COMMON SENSE STATES THAT IF A PERSON WANTED TO RAPE, ETC, DO YOU THINK REGISTERING WILL STOP THEM. I AGREE WITH THE LAWYER, THE INTENT IS TO GO BBACK AND LOCK UP.
WHY DON'T WE GO BACK AND LOCK UP OTHER CRIMINALS. jUST HANG PEOPLE AND GET IT OVER WITH.
THE LAW AS WE KNOW IT NO LONGER EXIST.
BE CAREFUL. WE ARE LIVING IN DANGEROUS TIMES. THIS IS NO LONGER A CIVILIZED THINKING COUNTRY. PEOPLE ARE REACTING AND NOT ENACTING. COMMON SENSE HAS GONE OUT OF THE WINDOW. MOTIVATION, AND GREED ARE FACTORS IN THESE LAWS THAT WILL SPILL OVER INTO THE GENERAL POPUS

Magister - July 21, 2008 8:06 AM

It is so sad that our Legislators and Law Enforcement do exactly the opposite of the suggestions of the experts. Isn't there a definition of insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. There is a very good reason why America has one of the largest prison populations in the World and why our prisons have the need for revolving doors. This, and the ignorance of the man making the statement in this article is just one of the things we should be very ashamed of in this "enlightened Nation". And this is all at the same time sacrificing the safety of our children for sensationalism and easy votes. Disgraceful.

J - July 31, 2008 1:36 AM

As someone who spent time in state prison because I was accused of a "sex crime" I am encouraged by some of the dialogue that I see posted on this site. It demonstrates that some members of society actually understand that this area of the law is inflicted with problems, not the least of which is the number of individuals serving sentences for crimes not committed--in some studies of specific categories of "sex related" crimes, the data suggest that as high as 65 percent of allegations are false or unsubstantiated.

Such crimes are the most difficult to "prove" beyond a reasonable doubt, but they are among the easiest to convict, with the majority being settled via the plea bargain process. The reason is not guilt, but a presumption of guilt in which the defendent must prove his/her innocence. Such cases represent an easy victory for prosecutors who are politically motivated to enhance their career at any cost, without regard to the defendent right, actually guilt or innocence, or to the long-term impact upon the family, the "alleged" victim, or the community at large.

This area of law (prosecution) represents a modern-day "witch hunt" largely by groups of individuals who likely have far more egregious crimes they are hiding from than those they persecute. Nazi Germany comes to mind and the holocaust committed against the Jews. Time was served. Leave me, and those who must register the hell alone, and allow us to rebuild our lives.

For those who are skeptical, check out the data. Figures don't like, but liars figure. And we're speaking about bureaucrats and zealots who will malign information in any manner possible to convince the "ignorant" public that they are at risk. It gives them a sense of power. If you look at the data, you will find that those who must register as sex offenders represent a group that have the lowest recividism rate of most, if not all criminal groups. That's right, less than druggies (who are often using drugs for deviant purposes), gang bangers, burglers and robbers, those who commit assaul, etc. On a national basis, recividism is between 2.5 and 5.0 percent. Most other categories are in the 60-70 percentile range or higher.

We cannot hope for change in the immediate future because the self-righteous and politically motivated have the gavel in hand at the moment. We can only hope (or pray) that the public will eventually enlighten itself and develop sound policy concerning the nature of such crimes (which are predominantly psychological issues to begin with!) Remember, most of those who commit crimes against children have undeveloped emotional states from having been abused as children themselves. Seems kind of hypocritical to go from victim (because you are under the age of 18) to "perp" when you become of age . . . especially when you never received any treatment or closure on the abuse you experienced as a child!

Oh, and for the self-righteous, perhaps you might want to look at your own indiscretions before pointing a finger at "sex offenders." Remember, there are three fingers point right back at you.

Thanks for the forum . . .

Kathy - August 17, 2008 6:43 PM

My Son 21 asked a girl college girl if h could touch her and she said yes than turned him in but we feel the Lawyer did not work with him or tryed hard for him the county att. went with the girl lies and he got probation 60days in jail and on the sex offenders list for life he took that cause he did not want to go to court and be in prison cause he was told it could go 50/50 but there was another offer and he did not tell him. We would like to go after the Lawyer and try to get him off the lis.
I can't handle it ans it is killing me I Love my son so much. I just don't know about me.
Her name is Nicole Hall in Fort Dodge, Iowa

Kathy - August 17, 2008 6:43 PM

My Son 21 asked a girl college girl if h could touch her and she said yes than turned him in but we feel the Lawyer did not work with him or tryed hard for him the county att. went with the girl lies and he got probation 60days in jail and on the sex offenders list for life he took that cause he did not want to go to court and be in prison cause he was told it could go 50/50 but there was another offer and he did not tell him. We would like to go after the Lawyer and try to get him off the lis.
I can't handle it ans it is killing me I Love my son so much. I just don't know about me.
Her name is Nicole Hall in Fort Dodge, Iowa

Elizabeth - August 21, 2008 2:15 AM

It is very difficult to convict someone of a sex crime. So by the time someone is convicted, it's probably a clear case. Communities have a right to know if a dangerous person is living amongst them, around their children, near their homes. Offenders talk about their rights. The rest of us would like them to stay away from ours. They created on their own mess.

Bryan - September 12, 2008 8:42 AM

It's good to see that the opinions and attitudes of the general public concerning sex offenders is beginning to change somewhat. I am a RSO and I live in one of the toughest states in the US where the sex offender laws are concerned. Like someone who posted above, I was convicted of a computer pornography charge in 2004, served two years, and now have several years to go on probation. I was fortunate in that I was able to save up some money during the year that I was waiting to be sentenced as well as in that I have a very supportive mother who has helped me a lot since I got out. Some people aren't so lucky.

For someone reading this who might wish that all sex offenders would just "stay away" (Elizabeth-August 21), I would suggest that you first of all familiarize yourself with the facts as stated in some of the earlier posts. Facts such as the extremely low recidivism rate among sex offenders as compared to other types of crime, and how that someone can be labeled a sex offender for a multitude of crimes ranging from public exposure to multiple rapes.

It's very easy to sit back and point fingers at someone else until it effects someone you know personally. While I was in prison shortly before my release, the state changed its registry laws and in a very unconstitutional manner was able to somehow get them applied retroactively to ALL sex offenders who had committed crimes since 1996! As a result many people, people who had long ago paid for their crimes and had done nothing wrong, lost jobs and property due to having to comply with a set of residency and work restrictions that they now found themselves in violation of. Keep in mind that a large percentage of these people were on the registry for non-violent offenses. Is this fair? Does this protect society in any way at all? No, it was all political hoo-haw designed to get votes while appearing to be "tough on crime". It's fitting that since the enactment in various states of such laws that some of the leading elected officials have found themselves getting caught with their "hands in the cookie jar", so to speak. Representative Allen from Florida comes to mind, as well as Senator Craig from Idaho. However, like it has always been, those with power and money rarely have to answer for themselves like the rest of us do.

One very sad result of my states laws was the death of a young boy, who came into contact with a sexual predator as a direct consequence of the new laws. Seems that there was a guy living on his own who had molested someone in the past and was on the sex offender registry. When the new law went into effect he had to move because his residence wasn't in compliance with the new law. Having no other place to go he had to move in with his father, who is also a registered sex offender, who lives in one of the few neighborhoods that is in compliance with the law. (Interesting that it was fine with the authorities for him to live with his father, who is a likely cause for the guy molesting in the first place, but not fine to live on his own where he was harming no one.) It wasn't long after that that a little boy in the neighborhood came up missing and was later found dead, a victim of both the man and his father. Now, it's true that the law didn't make or force these two men to do what they did, but it's also true that the boy would never even have come into contact with these two men had the law not made one of them have to move in the first place! Of course, when questioned about it the architect of the states new law expressed regret about the circumstances but continues to proclaim how his law is protecting the public.

As a side note about the dangers of digging deep ditches while wanting someone to fall into them, one of the other writers of the new law, a woman, someone who was very vigilant in seeing that the bill passed through the state congress, can now sleep peacefully at night knowing that, shortly after the bill was passed, her own SON was caught doing the very things she was so adamantly against and is now serving one of the toughest sentences in the nation. Way to go mom!

The point I am trying to make here is this. Sure we need laws to protect the public; that's the whole point for creating laws in the first place. But in the creating of these laws let's be sure that our real goal is to actually protect the public and not to keep punishing someone for something they have already paid for. Is it in the interest of public safety to banish an entire group of people from society, making it so that they can't find a place to live or a way to support themselves or their families? I recently saw a news clip about a group of guys in Florida who live under an overpass because there is no housing in their area that is in compliance with the residency laws. How is that in the interest of public safety? When laws force people to either comply or do what they have to do to survive is is reasonable to expect them to comply? And as was noted in a prior post, how long will it be before other groups of people are systematically stripped of their rights as citizens of this country just because public opinion happens to be unsympathetic towards them? Who is next?

One final fact I'd like to point out here. Since it is a well known, documented and undisputed fact that the MAJORITY of kids who are abused are done so by either family members or friends of the family (people who are known to them), why would anyone think they are protecting anyone by passing laws to keep those people who are LEAST likely to abuse them (people UNKNOWN to them) away from them? Let me put it this way. If it is really the interest of children that we are so concerned about, which is what the passers of these laws always say, them why don't they pass laws which will actually protect children from the one category of people that they are most likely to get abused by, which is who? Family and friends of the family. I mean, if it is really the kids best interest we are concerned about we could take them away from their parents (a very high risk group for abuse) and lock them up somewhere by themselves to guarantee their safety. Absurd? Sure it is. Almost as absurd as anyone thinking that residency and work retrictions, as well as the whole package of other rules and regulations that go along with being on the sex offender registry, are protecting anyone at all. If these laws are in fact doing what they were designed to, then why don't we hear about a significant decrease in sexual abuse?

Come on people. A large dose of common sense is in order here.

janie - September 15, 2008 4:09 PM

Wah, wah, wah.

DMO - October 19, 2008 5:03 PM

People who has commited such sex offense (regardless of what kind) has made it hard on themselves. I do have some problems on how it is so easy to forgive a drug dealer or addict, a DWI or even a murderer but then to never to forgive a sex offender. To me it's either forgive all of them or don't fogive anybody of a felony crime...period.

On that note, everbody loves this sex offender registry. The kicker here is very soon, your son will be on it to...very soon. Teenagers will have a good time then the mother of the daughter will report it then your love one will be on it, then you all will all of the sudden realize....this law isn't constitutional and is against the rights of my loved ones (but not becca, she probably abused him anyhow). hypocrites. But I agree, we should protected children at all cost, but not act like we are a third world country...we are more civilized than that, or so I think.

Lisa - January 15, 2009 9:47 PM

My son is fighting a felony conviction of rape and sexual assault. He was convicted and is now in the process of appealing. The sad thing about this whole mess is that he went to a girl's house at her invitation at 1:00 am. He entered a house filled with people he did not know. No one heard or saw a thing but he was convicted solely based on he/said she said. She lied on her various testimonies and so did her friends. Unbelieveable? Now my son faces the possibility of time in prison and to register as a sex offender for life.He refused a plea bargain because he is innocent.The police are also allowed to use pretext call to try to get him to admit to rape. He has never ever been violent with anyone male or female and has 2 older sisters who he loves very much. This is a girl with a very promiscuous history and previously had a history with my son as well. Somehow this jury was able to convict him with NO evidence that a rape had occurred. This was our first ever experience with the system and believe me we are truly let down. There is no justice it seems for the man. The girl doesn't have to explain explicit pics and sayings and quotes on myspace and facebook. we were told that this would prejudice the jury....Did my son make a mistake in going to her house for a booty call? Absolutely. Did my son have consensual sex with this girl? Absolutely. Apparently she had a boyfriend which she denied to my son when he asked her if she had one. But I guess it is easier to falsely accuse an innocent young man than to potentially lose her boyfriend. May bad karma follow her the rest of her life.This is where I think the pendulum has swung to far to the rights of the female. And as a mother of twin daughters, I do believe that a man should be held responsible for forcing himself on an unwilling female. But why do these young woman today not have to take responsibility for their actions and doing things that they may have consented to and later regretted.They do not want to take any blame in these situations.
So now you have a really good person who would not ever hurt anybody intentionally and knows right from wrong, has his life ruined at age 23. He will most likely not be able to finish college, find a decent paying job, be subjected to narrow minded and vengeful people for the rest of his life? And meanwhile this girl is continuing on with her partying ways and her life is and will be just fine. Just seems surreal. I pray that bad karma will eventually find her.

Kent - July 6, 2009 12:53 PM

The thing everybody is going around here is this. Should there be registry? YES Should all SO's be on it? NO. Those with non violent offenses should not be there. Rapists, child molesters, yes you should be on the registry. Young men (and women) convicted of Statuatory or Sexual misconduct and under 21 with victims over 13 at the time of the crime, no. These young people should not be penalized their entire lives because they just happen to be the person that daddy caught them with.

John doe - August 15, 2009 12:36 PM

I am a registered sex offender. I committed my crime. At the age of 18, I raped a 17 year old female. There is no sugar-coating what I did. I pled guilty and recieved a 10-yr sentence, refused parole and entered the Texas Sex Offender Treatment Program voluntarily prior to release several years back. I am now married and have lived quietly in the same neighborhood for many years, supporting myself.

Unfortunately, in order to get jobs, I have had to lie and decieve employers. I have had to create false pretexts to conceal my past so that I can make enough money to life, though I have been steadfast to never again engage in illegal behavior. As a result I am proof that the only way to survive when complying with registration is to lie and decieve those who trust you to work for them.

My wife is the only person I have in my life who really understands and accepts me for who I really am without respect for who I WAS. I have met with many elected officials and prospective employers who I did tell about my past and I found they sympathized with my situation but lack the courage to change a system where the percieved consensus is the image portrayed by the silence of the majority and the outcry of the media.

At this stage, at an age of 33, I have changed my stance on the death penalty. If I cannot be a part of society, I find it more logical that society should have executed me long ago. This would have been a far more humane punishmnent. It has been 15 years since I committed my crime and I hate that I lie to others about myself. Each week I have to spend a day alone reminding myself of who I really am so I do not get lost in the deception.

Last year a guy I knew in prison had grown tired of the same problems. He left and went underground. I occassionally get anonymous notes from him or other communications saying he is fine, but I know he has gone underground and faces additional prison time for his refusal/failure to comply with sex offender registration. He has left the state of Texas (from what I am told)and found a small town up north where he works and leads a quiet life in a community that has accepted his new identity. I do not ask questions since I cannot contact him and he does not offer any information that will compromise my position. But each time he crosses my mind I am forced to ask if he is what the authors of registration considered when they promised to keep society safe. He has no support system, lives alone and secretively. From what I learned in my counselling, this is a dangerous position which I myself work to avoid and he has embraced without hesitation.

Since I am now currently unemployed, does anyone know where a sex offender can get an honest job? I am tired of lying.

Imagine - February 14, 2010 11:31 AM

What about the parents that beat their kids, almost to death. Or abuse their child in any way???
How come there is no registry for them?

Sex offenders most of the time only do this once and do their time and learn from their mistake and try to the best of their ability to move on

My boyfriend is a sex offender, he got arrested at 19. NOW FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE HE WILL WISH HE WAS DEAD.

Congrats AMERICA THE LAND OF THE FREE you are an amazing place...

Amy - January 10, 2012 12:48 AM

I am saddened, encouraged and outraged by the posts. I am the best friend of a U.S. army veteran and amazing man, who is serving time for a "sex offense". A peer-to-peer computer program placed a video on his computer that was not requested, viewed or sent. His court appointed attorney urged him to take a plea since a jury would “view him as a monster.” He had no criminal record, not even a speeding ticket. Now, because he trusted the country he defended and the legal system, he will forever be labeled a sex offender. No viewing, no physical contact, nothing, but a lifetime of torture.

Do video stores keep track of everyone who checks out slasher movies and label them as murderers? If I possess a copy of Gone in 60 Seconds am I a car thief?

I am a teacher, mother and survivor of child molestation. In no way do I condone child pornography, abuse or violent crimes; however, there are laws against double jeopardy, but some how we have failed to apply them to those who have served their time. I can't look on line to see if a murderer lives on my block or if my next door neighbor is a crack dealer, but I know that the grandfather across the street has been married to his "victim" for over 20 years, is five years older than her and her family did not approve of their relationship.

The current state of registry laws and residency restrictions is deplorable! Shame on us as American's for going back to segregation!

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.







Remember personal info?
Send To A Friend Use this form to send this entry to a friend via email.