When there is news of convicted sex offenders committing another sex offense people are often confused as to how this could occur especially since most sex offenders have to register. It is important to understand what registration accomplishes and what it does not accomplish. Basically registration is a notification process. Offenders must provide current information to law enforcement personnel regarding where they live and work and other such information which would facilitate making contact with them. The law also provides for the establishment of a public information site which contains specific sex offender demographics. This is the “sex offender website”. Registration does not prevent anyone from re-offending. The process simply let’s us know (generally) where sex offenders can be found. There is controversy surrounding sex offender registration laws (which are established by individual states and some Indian tribes). Are the laws fair? Do we even need them? Do they open the door for unwarranted discrimination against offenders? These questions are being debated as we speak. What do you think?
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