Promoting public safety by holding offenders accountable and by instituting effective crime prevention measures is a core governmental obligation.
The evidence is overwhelming, as detailed in this report, that these laws cause great harm to the people subject to them.
Registration laws should be narrowed in scope and duration.
Publicly accessible online registries should be eliminated, and community notification should be accomplished solely by law enforcement officials.
So-called "Megan's Laws" establish public access to registry information, primarily by mandating the creation of online registries that provide a former offender's criminal history, current photograph, current address, and other information such as place of employment.
In many states everyone who is required to register is included on the online registry.
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Sex offender laws are based on preventing the horrific crimes that inspired them-but the abduction, rape, and murder of a child by a stranger who is a previously convicted sex offender is a rare event.
The laws offer scant protection for children from the serious risk of sexual abuse that they face from family members or acquaintances.