California's Sex Offender Registry is designed to help increase the
safety of those who live in California by keeping track of individuals
who are charged with certain sex offense crimes. Critics argue that there
is no proof to support that the registry fulfills this goal. This is one
of many reasons why legislators are considering reforming the system.
The Sex Offender Management Board's vice chair recently told the SFGate
that the registry treats all offenders equally. He goes on to note that
the system, in place since 1947, needs to be updated. Because of the focus
on all offenders resources are depleted and the state is less able to
focus on those who are more dangerous and more likely to reoffend.
Instead of treating all equally, legislators are considering a proposal
to implement a tiered system. The system would allow those who are convicted
of certain crimes to petition for removal from the registry after a certain
period of time. One example of the types of crimes that would likely qualify
are so called "Romeo and Juliet" situations. These are sex offenses
involving an adult, perhaps a 19 year-old, having consensual sex with
a minor, perhaps a 16 year-old. Those in support of the changes argue
that these individuals are not a risk to the state and that it is unfair
to treat them as such. Instead, the proposed bill would focus efforts
on monitoring kidnappers and sexually violent predators.
Because of the state's broad requirement, the list has grown to over
100,000 individuals. Of this group, the article notes almost 900 have
not committed a sex crime in over 55 years.
Source: SFGate, "
Board wants to remove low-risk sex offenders from registry," Melody Gutierrez, May 25, 2014