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US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas described the invasive and damaging nature of registration and community notification: Widespread dissemination of offenders' names, photographs, addresses, and criminal history serves not only to inform the public but also to humiliate and ostracize the convicts.
Harsh enduring consequences also provide little incentive for former offenders to live without offending.
I stay up at night, worried that I cant find a job, worried that I cant find an apartment, worried that I am going to be killed like other sex offenders have been killed, worried that they will take away my family, wont let me see my children and grandchildren anymore.
Jessie K., registrant in California, convicted of sexual assault 23 years ago While the public safety benefits of sex offender registration and community notification laws may be up for debate, the toll they have exacted upon registrants and their families is not.
To the contrary, the laws may be a disincentive: as one registrant has said, No one believes I can change, so why even try?
There are some people who say that such adverse consequences are the fault of the offendersif they hadnt committed the crimes, they wouldnt be facing public hostility now.