Some states are wrangling with the question of how to make sex registry fair and reasonable while complying with federal mandates, reports Stateline. In Missouri, one of only 15 states that has substantially complied with the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Republican Rep. Rodney Schad has crafted legislation to create a tier system so that only the most dangerous offenders are listed publicly. Currently, anyone convicted of any type of sex crime, from public urination to child molestation, is placed on the list. “There’s no way to tell who’s dangerous and who isn’t,” says Schad.
Missouri is not the only state pushing back against the strictest registry requirements. Georgia, which had one of the toughest sex offender laws in the nation, scaled back its registration requirements in 2010 for people who had committed crimes such as false imprisonment or non-sexual kidnapping. This immediately removed 819 people from the registry. “What you’re seeing with Missouri and other states that are coming into compliance,” says Elizabeth Pyke, director of government affairs at the National Criminal Justice Association, “is that they’re trying to get to that balance between what they feel is a good system for their state and what keeps them in line with the national rules.”