Marking kids for life on sex offender registries
For decades, our country has been putting children as young as 8 years old on sex-offender registries. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are registered for things they did as kids, their entire lives tainted by youthful indiscretions as common as streaking or teenage Romeo and Juliet romances.
While lawmakers may not have been aware of the destructive consequences when they the passed registration laws, including the federal Adam Walsh Act, that include kids from the juvenile courts, new research confirms, definitively, registering youth is not an effective response — under any circumstance. It doesn’t make the community safer and it certainly doesn’t get at the root of the problem. Yet, 39 states and the federal government continue to do it. This July, lawmakers will markup the Adam Walsh Act, and it’s time to correct course.