After years of advocating sex offender registries, a few states are rethinking policies allowing juveniles to be placed on them, reports Stateline. In Oregon and Delaware, lawmakers have given judges more power to review who goes on the registry. In Pennsylvania, courts have ended lifetime registration for juveniles. Driving the changes are concerns that putting juveniles' names and photos on a registry stigmatizes them and makes them targets of police.
Thirty-eight states now include juveniles in sex offender registries, though with wide variations. Just 16 states publish juvenile offenders' names, addresses and photos on a website. Nicole Pittman of Impact Justice said registries are contrary to the concept of juvenile courts, where children can be spared the harsher consequences of adult court. But reforms come slowly on the issue of sex offenses. “The policy world is slow to react to that because of the nature of the subject,” said one advocate. “It's an easy target in elections.”