The State and Federal Registries are Aggravating and Unnecessary. There is no simpler way to describe the sterility effect our nation’s new sex offender laws have on a low-level non-dangerous person’s life.
Aggravating because there are no open forums for which a past offender may present his case for relief to. Either you are a sex offender or you are not a sex offender. How cold and disenfranchising is this to a person whom has been a stellar citizen for most all of his/her life then one day during a mid-life crisis, makes a poor decision to order a video of a minor and gets busted for this. Now that person is basically lost and never to return to society a decent person—ever!
The above example of deviancy is one of thousands of types of low to mid-level crimes where a person had made bad choices and ends up a “sex offender.” Yes they broke the law, and yes they have been punished for it. So where is the forgiveness of the social and judicial system? The law has been broken and the punishment with prescribed corrective measures has been served. Now let us move on with our lives.
The true broken cog in the gear here, is what the Department of Justice now requires but in the past was optional: the rehabilitation program(s). What I am getting at is, WHY BOTHER WITH REHAB WHEN ONCE THE REHAB IS COMPLETED THE CLIENT OF THE PROGRAM IS STILL ON THE OFFENDER REGISTRY; SO IN ESSENCE: THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS SAYING, “THE REHABILITATION PROGRAM REALLY MEANS NOTHING.” Completion of the treatment program would be a goal and salient factor of a post offense recovery validation. There are tests for Multiphasic Sex Inventory indicators which can score how well a student of treatment has advanced away from the student’s old behaviors.
So what the DOJ is saying, in a non-intentional way, is that once an adult completes their treatment there is no more hope for that person returning to society as a whole person, void of any shackles and chains; to be harassed forever by neighbors and even friends. In short, and very insulting to the clinical workers that teach these classes—or even polygraphers and doctors who test or prescribe medication to the students–what the “system” is saying is that TREATMENT HAS NO VALUE AND IS NOT EFFECTIVE IN ASSESSING THE REHABILITATION OF THE EX-OFFENDER; NOR IS IT A VIABLE TOOL IN WHICH SOCIETY CAN USE TO REPAIR THE WRONG WHICH HAS BEEN DONE.
If treatment where a viable tool* in which to judge a student’s progress then the Courts would adamantly utilize the process of these indicators to remove the treatment client from the State and Federal registry, once a student has successfully provided the courts with the inventory of a acceptable rehabilitation score. Currently the Courts will ignore nor will they even consider the ex-offender’s right to present his or her progress to the Courts for review and injunctive relief if not complete removal from the aggravating and unnecessary offender registry. California has a program which looks at the rehabilitation of the offender but it is not very well known to the public.
*(and let me note that as the author I am a treatment student who believes treatment has the highest value)