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The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN): A Matter of Success vs. Consequences - Essay Example

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The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN): A Matter of Success vs. Consequences

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification, or SORN, laws were drafted and implemented in hopes of lowering the number of sex crimes, to deter a perpetrator repeating the offense and allow the public, in some cases, foreknowledge when serious sex offenders are residing nearby (Prescott, 2012). SORN supporters and researchers are confident that the registration and notification requirements make a definitive contribution to the statistical lowering of sex crimes within communities where they are in effect. Currently, 40 states have active sex offender registries that are accessible to the public online, with a varying degree of information, dependent on the state and local laws (Tewksbury & Lees, 2006). The more familiar one becomes with the existing SORN laws and their consequences it becomes obvious that the at present these laws are not being efficiently implemented and are in need of reform. However, there are many that claim that despite the positive intentions and degree of success of the SORN legislation, the laws are not creating a great enough of a decrease and have too great an expense to justify the practice. They feel the complexity of properly organizing, properly maintaining, and the overall cost of implementation do not work out favorably for SORN law continuation. They are also issues with unforeseen consequences, or collateral consequences, which complicate the topic significantly. SORN laws do not just affect the offender but their families and friends. Notification can also have a negative effect on the public. It is not unheard of for citizens to adopt a vigilante mentality and become violent with sex offender in the community. All of these elements are important when considering the efficiency of existing SORN laws: How effective are they in relation to the consequences they inspire? Background Sex crimes have a very complex system of definitions and categories dependent upon the nature of the crime, the level of violence, the victim, and the psychology of the offender. Thanks to procedural law enforcement shows the average person is unusually familiar with “sadistic serial rapists” and “age-specific” Internet pedophiles. The majority of sexual assaults, both on adults and children, are committed by someone the victim knew or was, at least, acquainted with (Farley, 2010). The type of predator hiding in the dark attacking random victims is much rarer. However, these are not the only types of sex offenders; in fact, some “sex offenses” requiring registration do not involve sex at all. For example, in some states urinating in public is considered an act of exposure and if caught, results in the necessity of registering as a sex offender. Is his act inappropriate? Probably, it is. However, urinating in public is not a sex crime. All the same, this man would be perceived as any other sex offender by the public. Police Commander, Sue Schultz explained, “They look at them in a bucket. Any kind of sex offender is a sex offender and will always be a sex offender…”(as cited in Farley, 2010). So it is necessary for the public to be aware that the label of sex offender is not always what it is assumed to be. The demand upon law enforcement to determine what offenders were one time offenders and those which certainly were a danger, or more likely, to become a continual threat. This was no easy task by any ...Show more
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The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification: A Matter of Success vs. Consequences Your Name Due Date Introduction Sex crimes are probably the most shocking, disturbing, and enraging, all too commonly, occurring criminal act…
The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN): A Matter of Success vs. Consequences
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