• Preliminary Survey Results – Law Enforcement Perspectives on SORN


    Here are the results from the
    Law Enforcement Perspectives on Sex Offender Registration and Notification Preliminary Survey Results

    A couple of highlights to include:

    How often would you say you use or access information contained on your state’s sex offender registry?
    Daily or almost daily 18.8
    Frequently                  16.5
    Occasionally               40.7
    Rarely or never          24.1

    Type of staff updating registry information
    Uniformed officer    54.8
    Civilian                     30.7
    Both                          14.5

    From the last bit of data we would see that not only are Police Officers “enforcing” the SORN, there are a number of civilians involved as well. Maybe the poll could have included more data from this group as well. I saw a bit of bias on the answers, for whatever reason, mostly “Moderate” returns of caring or not caring about issues. Hopefully this is not due to the overwhelming devotion to protecting society a Police Officer is socially expected to have. (Apologies if I worded that oddly… I could have said, “…maybe they are afraid of losing their jobs by giving honest answers.” That would definitely been out of line.)

    Editor’s take on the report only. Please read the survey and comment on what you found to be good data that would support the abolishment of the Registration and Notification system in your State.

    I found most of the answers were “Moderate Concern” for the Registry affects. This tells me the police surveyed were more interested in either not having an opinion, or they just did not know or care, so much. So in point, the survey says “nothing” about the explicit view of the Registry’s construct. In an example, where the question was about “distinguish between those on the higher and lower ends of the risk spectrum” (we all know what they were referencing—level I,II,III) there was a higher ‘Moderate Concern’ returned than most of the other questions… this is good. Someone is paying attention. BUT!, then the next set of data points ask, “Public registration may impede sex offenders’ ability to establish social ties to community.” – the officers highest answers hugely returned: “Minimal Concern.”

    A conclusion relating these two datasets would tell me that police do not know enough about the tier-level system or do know a lot about it but either way they want to see changes… OK, now tell me what changes they would like to see: less distinction or more; and what type of change are they looking for. I read the resulting data as, the officers or agents would like to pay less attention to the tier levels. But I am an enthusiastic person, so others may interpret this opposing my read. As to the Minimal Concern for social interaction of a Registrant, I can attest that it is much harder to reintegrate and become a productive citizen without help from society. A concern that even law enforcement should be aware of. I feel this survey left out some compassionate detailed interrogatives to address this. I am sure there could have been plenty off ancillary extensions of every question, so I give the Authors kudos for what they have done and hope the data can be extrapolated into more finite layers, down the road.

    A positive resulting method returned that, up to 54% of Districts had fewer than 10% High Risk Registrants, and less than 28% of Districts polled fewer than 25 percent, High Risk Registrants. pg. 15. This in itself should be a great factor to abolish the cost effectiveness and funding of the SORN program. Another brownie point for abolishing the (public) Registry.

    And the kicker: 59% think it is “Somewhat effective” to categorize offenders using the current muti-tier system. this high number tells me that Law Enforcement think it is not that effective. (Maybe this helps with my query from above to Moderate Concern for the multi-tier system.)

    Also a bit positive was the results referring to “Refining [the] classification scheme” which shows police were enough interested in admitting there is room for improvement. pg 17. So maybe I was wrong, or a bit hasty in assuming that the law enforcement agencies was a mediocre institution to present this poll to.

    Pg. 18 was even more enjoyable as it polled only the agents whom dealt directly with management of registration compliance efforts in their agencies. The Failure to comply and absconding as well as living at unlisted address etc, were very low. – between 2 to 6 percent deal with, on a weekly basis.

    I was almost shocked to find that 70% of Districts still have residency restrictions. 85 percent of these restriction laws are State based laws. (see pg. 21) This needs to be corrected via the San Diego precedence set by Janice Belushi or the R.I. temporary halt blocked by Judge John J. McConnell. There are a few more but States need to be aware that residency restrictions are blatantly unConstitutional. Especially when there are still 75% of States’ Districts enforcing this. One note is the high rate of offenders forced to become homeless: 30 percent is huge and a State or City will have to ‘pay’ for this out of their tax dollars as well as get hit by bad metropolitan statistics when a City returns xx% homeless in a National tally. Who wants to live in anyplace with this kind of promulgation.

    And back to the Bad News. Pg. 23 tells us that only 3% of the inter office duties involved a sex offender treatment provider’s interaction—63% “rarely”. Are we putting the cart before the horse here?

    Then we get a bit of light again on pg. 26. Almost no one admitted to how the overall impact of SORN policies effectively reduced individual registrant likelihood to re-offend, by implementing these policies.

    Page 28 was once again a total disappointment. Let us highlight the questions about [would you] increase public use (of the registry) – returned higher than comfortable. And Redirect Resources to higher risk offenders was moderately reasonable; from an anti-registry view point. We at WAR would rather see tax money spent on high risk offenders and let the treatment providers help reintegrate and monitor progress of lower risk ex-offenders instead of wasting tax dollars on law enforcement solutions for lower risk citizens. Note that Probation Officers hold a certain responsibility to reintegrate registrants back into society. Although this survey included Probation and Treatment providers in micro-sets, there is a lot of discussion to be had when it comes to what else law enforcement can do to curb SORN Myths and Facts about citizens on the Registry.

    Please comment on this survey. This is one of the more up-to-date reports available to the public which provides realistic data that could be used in a legal venue. Documentation of this type is hard to find and we need to cull through this type of data to see how police and law enforcement are handling day to day Registrant situations as well as their “in-house” implementation of these somewhat global regulations they have to work with.

    Categories: Community, Resources, Statistics and Research

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