Does it make sense to force offenders
into homelessness and poverty?
Our current laws are not evidence-based, play off stereo-types and public hysteria and only further problems for offenders and the public.
Resources and policies in Massachusetts have been devoted almost exclusively to punishment, exclusion, and demonization as opposed to treatment and prevention of those we label sex offenders. Policies based on misinformation and hysteria have not made our communities safer.
DID YOU KNOW…
- There are 31 different offenses that can put you on the Sex Offender Registry, including consensual sex among adolescents.
- A judge has no discretion to take into consideration particular circumstances of the offense.
- There are widespread misconceptions about the recidivism of sex offenders. Sex offenders have a lower recidivism rate than any offender class except murder.
- An estimated quarter of sex offenders on the Registry are there because of an offense in adolescence, maybe decades before.
- It can take a minimum of 20 years without an offense before one can get off the Registry. Most are on for life.
- People with sex offenses on their records receive very little help from the state or Federal government and may be barred from social service agencies. Most lack family support and wind up on the street or in homeless shelters. Many are destitute.
DAILY LIFETIME CHALLENGES
|Limited employment opportunities||Expulsion from educational institutions|
|Limited housing opportunities||No contact with minors; even family|
|Neighborhood harassment||Physical harm|
|Shunned by friends and family||Fearful of “administrative” violations|
|Public humiliation for life||A life of homelessness|