How Does the Sex Offender System Work?
A number of countries have adopted the sex offender registry system with an aim to closely track and monitor the activities of those who have committed sex offenses and have been convicted. Even the activities of those who have completed their sentences for their crimes will be closely monitored and tracked.
In the Federal system that has been put in place in the US, those who have registered in the Sex Offender Registry are evaluated on the basis of their offenses of convictions. A program has been created to put these registrants in the appropriate tier.
Purpose of the sex offender registration system
Governments want to ensure the safety of their citizens, their kids, and their families. It is by proactively taking measures such as introducing the sex offender registry system governments ensure that citizens stay informed of details like who their neighbors are and what their activities are.
NSOPW or The National Sex Offender Public Website provides the state-wise, territory-wise, and areawise details of convicted offenders including those in tribal areas. Some of the details of the convicted sex offenders that can be found on NSOPW are the addresses of the offenders, their physical appearance, and most importantly, their criminal history.
Who are the people who have to register on the sex offender registry?
Those individuals who have committed certain specific sex crimes and who have been convicted have to register on this registry. This is a common requirement in all the states of the USA.
Those who have committed very violent crimes and have been convicted have to generally remain registered for longer durations. They are required to keep updating their addresses more frequently than others.
How do the sex offender registry system work and help families?
- Once families come to know through the sex offender registry system that a sex offender is living close by or in the neighborhood, they can take appropriate steps for increasing the safety of their family members.
- Parents can have an open conversation with their children and advise them to be careful while interacting or meeting with strangers. Children can also be advised to speak up if they feel that something is not very much right.
- If parents feel that their kids should keep away from a neighbor who has registered on the sex offender registry, they should explain to them the reasons behind the decision. If the kids are too young to understand the complexity of such offenses, they can use phrases such as "the person may not be safe to interact with," or "the person is a stranger even to us (the parents)," etc. It is always better to give pointed instructions for advising them to stay away from such neighbors. Telling the kids not to accept any treat from such people or to avoid them and stay away from them when they come across them on streets or in the nearby stores may help also.
- Parents will do well if they try to learn fully about the rules that have to be followed by sex offenders who have registered on the registry. A number of states in the USA have laid down laws for restricting where sex offenders can live. For example, rules in some of the states do not allow sex offenders to live near schools or agencies that offer day care services. The best method for knowing these rules is to visit the registry website. Parents can attend community meetings in their areas for receiving updates on details of registered offenders or those who have newly registered on the registry.
- Parents who have been utilizing the services of babysitters or caretakers should provide the list of such neighbors to the service providers so they can ensure that such people do not have access to their homes or to the children.