UT Online Sex Offender Registry Criticized By Some

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The Utah sex offender registry seems to be an Internet hit, though not with everyone, reports the Deseret Mornintg News. In the past month the Web site, was accessed 34,876 individual times, totaling 151,190 page views. It averages about 5,000 hits a day. With a ZIP code or a last name, anyone can see photos and physical descriptions of those in their neighborhoods who have molested children or raped women. They can find out where they live and what kind of cars they drive. They can learn whom the perpetrators target as victims.

Rep. Paul Ray sees the registry as a vital public service. “The nice thing about the registry is it allows the public to know where dangerous people live,” Ray said. “They used to fly under the cloak of darkness. They can’t do that anymore.” Defense attorney Greg Skordas sees it as a dud. “I think the sex offender registry is horrible. I think it is one of the worst things we’ve done,” he said. Adult Probation and Parole official Jeremy Shaw said the registry is good for the public, but it can lead to perpetrators being isolated and alienated. “We’re not doing them any good in the long run because we’re setting these guys up for failure,” he said. University of Utah psychology professor Don Strassberg isn’t a fan of the registry. “We don’t have a murderers registry. We don’t have an armed robbers registry. We don’t have violent assaults registry,” he said. “But, my goodness, if an 18-year-old touches a 15-year-old on the breast, he could wind up on the registry.”

Link: http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695262647,00.html

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