Reforming the Sex Offender Registry | WYPR

Reforming the Sex Offender Registry

May 10, 2016

Photograph of Ethan A. (pseudonym) at age 11, four months before he was arrested for committing a sex offense and placed on the sex offender registry in Texas.
Credit Raised on the Registry / Human Rights Watch

Roughly 200,000 people are on the sex offender registry for something they did as a child, as young as age nine. Some committed serious offenses. But pulling down a classmate’s pants or having sex underage can also land you on the registry, with devastating consequences. Sex offenders must steer clear of churches, parks, and schools. They must keep law enforcement constantly informed of their whereabouts. Their photographs and personal information are often public. And they can remain on the list for decades, even life. Critics say the registry does profound, lasting damage to kids who are placed on it, while failing to protect public safety. Is it time for reform?

Our guests:

Nicole Pittman, founder of the Center on Youth Registration Reform

Elizabeth Letourneau, Director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health