August 22, 2012
While lawmakers often believe that placing youth on sex offender registries and making them subject to public notification laws protects the public, these approaches are costly and ineffective.
For example, since most sexual offenses are committed by friends or family members of the victim, the threat of public registration increases likelihood of underreporting, isolating victims and those who commit offenses from treatment. Furthermore, including youth on public registries disconnects them from their family and community as well as future opportunities, making it more likely that they will re-offend.
However, given the prevalence of registries, NJJN has created a new policy platform with recommendations on the best way to keep our communities safe and avoid or minimize the very real damage done when public sex offender registries include youth.
Art: rgesthuizen, public domain, from Open Clipart Library,