Thursday, May 31, 2012

'Life on the List': Juvenile sex offenders may be punished forever through registration

Check out an extensive cover story by Emily DePrang at the Texas Observer ("Life on the List," May 31) exploring the pitfalls of putting juveniles on the sex offender registry through the lens of a man convicted of a sex offense with his sister as a 12-year old (she was eight) who, barring some change, will be on the registry for life. (The family did not want to press charges; the state did so over their objection.) A remarkable tidbit: "During months of research for this story, I actively tried to find someone to make a case for how the sex offender registry is working and why juveniles should be on it. As researcher Nicole Pittman had predicted, I could not find that person." A few other notable details:
One little-realized fact of sexual abuse is that more than a third of sex offenses against children are committed by other children. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice published a comprehensive bulletin about child-on-child sex abuse that analyzed multiple studies. It found that about half of juvenile sex offenders are between 15 and 17, the age people might expect offenders to be. But many are much younger. More than a third are between 12 and 14, like Josh was, and one in 20 is younger than 9.

These children are also not generally being convicted of the crimes people associate with sex offenders, like rape. Almost two-thirds of offenses were for fondling or non-forcible offenses like sharing pornography. But they all are sex offenders under the law.
Among juvenile sex offenders, "3 percent of victims were strangers to their assailants, while a quarter were family members." Further:
The conventional wisdom about sex offenders is that if they do it once, they’ll do it again. That’s the whole logic behind having a registry. But statistically, sex offenders are less likely to re-offend than other kinds of criminals, and juvenile recidivism is even lower. A 2006 study of 300 registered sex offenders in Texas who were juveniles at the time of their first offense found that just 4.3 percent were arrested as adults for another sex crime.
Even victim rights groups didn't support the registry for juveniles in its current form:
Torie Camp is deputy director for the victims’ rights group Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. She’s one of many who say the size of the registry makes it less useful and less fair. “The registry currently treats every single sex offender like they were all the same type of offender,” she said, “and with 70,000 people on that list, they’re not. There are some very dangerous people on that list and there are some people who aren’t very dangerous and don’t need to be listed. I would say that includes juveniles. From the research we’ve seen, juvenile sex offenders are the best target group for rehabilitation, and they do not necessarily pose a threat to the same extent as adult sex offenders. I would even argue that there are many adult sex offenders that, having them on the list just scares people in a community. It doesn’t make them any safer.”

Camp added another common criticism, which is that the registry creates a false sense of security. “Our research shows that 18 percent of sexual assault survivors actually make a report to law enforcement,” she said. Far fewer than that result in a conviction, so Camp said while the Texas list is enormous, most people who have committed a sexual assault aren’t on it. “Everybody has sex offenders living in their neighborhood,” she said. “Just some of them are on the registry and some are not.”

But instead of refining the list, sex offender laws keep expanding it
These excerpts are just a taste, see the entire story for much more detail.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, juvenile offenders are normally requird to register for 10 years AFTER their sentence is complete. Which means....a juvenile age 12 who is given 10 years probation will be required to register until the age of 32. Almost as bad as life-time registration though due to the fact that their young life, between the ages of 12 and 32 has been altered. Kind of difficult to go to college or even finish high scholl when your name and face appears on a public registry.

Anonymous said...

"Our research shows that 18 percent of sexual assault survivors actually make a report to law enforcement,” she said. Far fewer than that result in a conviction, so Camp said while the Texas list is enormous, most people who have committed a sexual assault aren’t on it.

People often don't report crime.

Anonymous said...

After reading the entire Observer article, I would definately NOT seek help for my children if I caught them playing doctor, 'you show me yours, I'll show you mine', or exhibiting any other type of inappropriate sexual behavior. No wonder 'people often don't report crime'. Take your children in for counseling and they end up in hand-cuffs. Shameful!

Anonymous said...

Sex offending is not some little innocent game that the liberals would like us to think it is. I wonder why so much deception is used to cover up the real nature of what happens to these young victims.

Harry Homeless said...

So-called sex offenders are often the modern equivalent of witches. There's just too many people out there whose only way of feeling good about themselves is to find someone they can safely demonize.

Most parents abuse their children in ways perfectly legal. That's what makes this sort of witch burning so irresistible. And they could care less what innocents get hurt in the process just so long as they can crow and point fingers.

There's no hope as long as the perverted conservatives are allowed to keep running around desperate to distract from their own crimes against nature.

RSO wife said...

The sex offender registry is a joke that is perpetuated by politicians and fertilized by media hype causing public hysteria, whether the registrants are juveniles or over 65.

While I do think the law enforcement community needs to keep tabs on those felons who may be dangerous, there are way more registrants out there that have never harmed anybody and most likely never will.

People on the registry cannot get jobs, find housing, go to church, go to their children's school functions. They can do nothing without looking over their shoulders. Their families sometimes abandon them because the public attaches the same stigma to their family and they are harassed and condemned just stoping short of being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

Since this is supposed to be a country of equal opportunity, If there is a public registry for sex offenders, there should be a registry - made accessible to the public of course - for other felons such as drug dealers, bank robbers, hit and run drivers -- and the list goes on.

Anonymous said...

I have asked this question many times and yet to get an answer.

Show me one man, woman, child, dog, cat, etc this Registry has saved from being a victim???

Anonymous said...

If any of you had ever actually worked with sex offenders, you would be singing a different tune. I have and do work with them. This article is horribly biased and full of errors.

RSO wife said...

To Anon 8:46: This is my tune. My name on the blog says it all - RSO wife. That means I don't hide behind an anonymous tag like you do. Not only do I work with a registered sex offender, I'm married to, and live with, one and I know what he did and didn't do and nothing he did justifies his being punished for the rest of his life. Not only is he punished, but so am I and so are our children.

I don't know what you do in your capacity of "working with sex offenders" but your view point has absolutely nothing to do with real sex offenders. The majority of the guys who are on the registry will NEVER reoffend. If you listen to the news, you will hear teachers, clergy, scout leaders, neighbors, relatives, etc being picked up on sex offender charges. You rarely hear about guys reoffending. It's people like you who cause the media hype and the public hysteria to flourish.

Anonymous said...

If you commit any kind of sex crime against a child, you deserve everything that comes your way. There should be no sympathy for a piece of shit pedophile. The sex offender treatment providers in this state are milking so much tax money it's unbelievable. If you're a pedophile, you deserve to be castrated and die a slow painful death.

Anonymous said...

A juvenile registrant can petition the court at any time to deregister. Ive seen it happen many times.

rodsmith said...

well 11:13 i think hatefilled little twits like yourself should get the same thing...As soon as possible so we can get your brand of stupidity out of the gene pool before you BREED!

and i STILL HATE this damn verifier !

Anonymous said...

Texas is over run by uptight closet perverts who make these crazy sex offender laws because of their own guilt, all the while suffering from having the jesus stick up their white ass.
Anon 8:46 The only people who profit from sex offenders are the ass clowns who get lazy degrees in social work and cant work any where else but court ordered counseling.
Anon 11:13 The state of Texas is perfectly fine with pedophilia practiced in juvenile lockups. You must have a big ol jesus stick up in your ass.

Anonymous said...

To RSO Wife and others who think that sex offenders rarely reoffend: You're wrong. Way wrong. Most sex offenders offend dozens and even hundreds of times BEFORE they ate caught for the FIRST time. They also re-offend at a staggering rate. Again, I do this for a living. My opinion is based on real world observation and experience, not politics or agenda driven news pieces.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Gravens said...

I personally have known several juveniles that have petitioned the court and been refused. In my case since I was adjudicated in 2000, the laws are different in regards to me. The cost of petitioning for removal is about $2,500, and that doesn't even include the outrageous lawyer fees.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this article makes the case for non-public registration, which is allowed in the juvenile arena. A study on non-public registrants would be very insightful.

Anonymous said...

11:13:00

Why stop at sex offenders we could make the Austin or any city traffic much more safer if we did the same to speeders.

"We must have law and order if our society is to survive."

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:46- you are a complete idiot and I would like to see you verify the fact that sex offenders re-offend at a high rate. I'm sure you will think differently when someone you love winds up on the ever-growing, over-loaded registry. The Observer journalist did her research- you, on the other hand, have not.

Norma Jean said...

Anon 8:46- Obviously you are a licensed sex offender treatment provider and work for the STATE. Of course you would disagree with the article and in the process do a little fear mongering. You know who butters your bread. Hell, they buy your bread.

I've studied your twisted treatment, your manuals and your perverted tests. How many plethysmographs have you administered to a child while showing the child suggestive/borderline or outright pornographic images? Don't you think that in and of itself is sexually abusing a child? I do.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6/01/2012 08:17:00 PM said:

"Why stop at sex offenders we could make the Austin or any city traffic much more safer if we did the same to speeders."

OK, do that, and I'll gladly put my name at the top of the list. Feel better? It will be my argument that we need to raise the speed limits. I bet a huge number of the public agrees with me. Now, show me the pervert who will gladly put their name at the top of a list for pedophiles, and argues that we should make child sex legal.

You people crack me up. The reoffend rate for true sex offenders is incredibly high, and the system spends an ungodly amount of resources trying to make sure they never reoffend. The list is just one way to try and make sure that doesn't happen by giving the unsuspecting public a fighting chance against them. True sex offenders should be nailed to a tree and castrated with a chain saw. The only reason you think their crimes are insignificant, is because you must be perverts yourselves and you think what they did is OK. Got your NAMBLA dues paid up? Who knows, maybe they can afford a lobbyist.

Research done, know the facts said...

An anonymous poster here posted something that simply is not true...that reoffense rates are incredibly high. Not one study (and now there are many studies) show reoffense rates high at all. If all types of offenses are averaged the reoffense rates are 8.5%...and incest is 4%. So we are viscously punishing over 90 people out of 100 that would never commit another crime. Anonymous..stop spouting off what you have heard and look at the real facts. Read the research. I have.

Research done said...

Also, the majority of those on the registry are NOT pedophiles...they are falsely accused, teenage lovers, and children as young as 10 years old that were just curious about their bodies. Get a grip.

ShellyStow said...

I have to weigh in on two things; first, I will be pleased when/if those who use the term "pedophile" use it appropriately. It is a medical/psychological diagnosis designating one with a primary sexual attraction to prepubescent children. It is inappropriately used to indicate those with a sexual interest in teenagers. Many pedophiles have never inappropriately touched a child. Most pedophiles who do choose their victims from their circle of family members and friends' children, and those folk, once caught, have a very low recidivism rate.

The second issue is in response to the person who persists in saying recidivism rates are high and talks about multiple offenses before being caught. That is not recidivism. Since there is no way whatsoever to track what someone has or hasn't done before he is even on the radar, any speculation is just that. Recidivism as it is accurately measured is across-the-board very, very low for registrants.
Shelly Stow

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6/01/2012 08:17:00 PM = TROLL or either very stupid or both.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6/01/2012 08:17:00 PM = LSOTP How do you think they make their money and drive their BMWs and Volvos?

Anonymous said...

What do these sex offenders do? We don’t know, but we do know that they do it only once and they are really sorry for it and they don’t do it again. It a one-time-deal for them. Really, most of us don’t want to think about, must less talk about, what they do. We do know that what they do they do to a girl around their own age or a year or two younger—I hear she’s about two years younger—which makes it sort of a Romeo and Juliet type of thing. It’s all overblown and wrongly reported. They are mistreated all the way around.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but pedophile = sex offender.

And, you can't possibly argue that re-offend rates are low. The most important thing to understand is that recidivism rates (re-arrest rates) are a gross underestimation of the real rate of re-offense. Most sexual assaults are committed on children and they report at rates under 13%. Making matters worse most sex offenders commit more than one kind of sex offense. Adult rapists molest children and heterosexual sex offenders commit homosexual crimes. It is called crossover. Also, even our best risk assessment/prediction tools do not allow professionals to reliably say on case-by-case basis who will not re-offend. Because the real rate of re-offense is unknowable due to the low reporting rate problem, the responsible conclusion is that eventually well above 50% of convicted adult male sex offenders will re-offend unless we develop truly verifiable means of control while they live in our communities. And, one of the best control tools we have is the registry.

rodsmith said...

no offense 7:40 but your joking right? we KNOW crimes are underreporter..NOT JUST sex crimes.

But you can't argue about the ones NOT reported. All you can base your numbers on are REAL REPORTED and CONVICTED crimes. On those numbers the average reofence rate for normal criminals is 60% within 3 years. For Sex Crimes in general it's 3-5% within 3 years. Yes certain subsets of sex crimes are higher WE KNOW THAT. So stop with the bullshit made up facts!

Anonymous said...

So rodsmith, using your logic, which would be more damaging: having your hubcaps stolen 60 percent of the time, or your daughter raped 5 percent of the time?

rodsmith said...

neither 7:16 but i'm not going to let a hatefilled lieing sack of crap like yourself to use bogus numbers and made up statistics to ILLEGALLY opresse 1,000,000 individuals becasue of the crimes of 10-15% of them!

The FACTS are that sex offenders over all have a lower reoffence rate of every crime EXCEPT murder yet they are the ONLY ones tracked for life ILLEGALY after leaving prison and it's only becasue of santimonious twits like yourself who have let hate and fear control you that it has happened. Every time one idiot like yourself speads the LIES about MASSIVE reoffence and the stupidity that ALL sex criminals REOFFEND keep those with a BRAIN from stopping the madness!

Anonymous said...

PROVE that the sex offenders don't reoffend. It seems that they DO. It also seems that part of any reason they msy not is because of the restrictions placed on them and that they are on the list.

Anonymous said...

Well rodsmith, it appears you have once again reverted to the blithering and vile idiot you always do whenever you can't come up with a valid response. I suppose then we can all thank God that you must not own a car or have a daughter.

rodsmith said...

well 9:42 first it's not my job to do research for retards!

It's not rocket science hell even a politician can do it!

1. Open Web Browser
2. Type in www.google.com at the top!

3. When page loads enter
"Sex Offender Reoffence Rates"

get ready for over 200,000 hits!

Now the most important thing

LEARN to read and comprehend then

HIT the links and LEARN!

but just to start you off!

http://www.csom.org/pubs/recidsexof.html

http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/how-likely-are-sex-offenders-to-repeat-their-crimes-258/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=misunderstood-crimes

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/08/28/recidivism-rates-for-sex-offenders/

http://www.vnews.com/sexcrimes/recidivism.htm

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/rptfiles/05-08-1203.pdf

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsorp94.pdf

http://www.corrections.com/news/article/24500-facts-and-fiction-about-sex-offenders


So again you just prove your another of the empty headed sheeple who has NO CLUE what your talking about!


sorry about the links grits but seems SOMEONE has to educate the trolls!

Anonymous said...

Lies! You're lying! You're all lying against my boys!
--Ma Barker

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
PROVE that the sex offenders don't reoffend. It seems that they DO. It also seems that part of any reason they msy not is because of the restrictions placed on them and that they are on the list."

Actually, it is up to YOU to prove that we DO re-offend. Oh, and using the term pedophile to encompass all Registered sex offenders shows how much of a blatant idiot you are.

State the stats and where you got them (and out of your ass, doesn't count) It has always surprised me that people that are so good at spouting off the 'truth' can never actually show where they found that information..

Anonymous said...

I was charged at 12 for sexual crime. My life is now fucked. I'm 21 and still have nightmares. My wife knows about it too. How do I tell my son about Daddy (me) being a criminal. Smh somedays I wish I was never born.

Anonymous said...

7:40 you're ignorant, turn off the tv and read a book! All pedophiles are sex offenders but not all sex offenders are pedophiles!