MO – Lawmakers consider changing the sex offender registry, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on April 01, 2013

Lawmakers in Missouri are considering making significant changes to the state’s sex offender registry. We hope that any changes they make will aim to further protect children, and not convicted adults.

Among the changes, lawmakers are considering adding “levels” to the registry. While this is a good idea in theory, in reality prosecutors will often allow plea deals for lesser sentences in order to spare victims the pain of a trial. We fear this will lead to less protection for kids.

Another provision is the ability for offenders to petition to have their name removed from the list, dependent on a “risk assessment” done by mental health professionals. Again, this is a good idea in theory, but institutions like the Catholic Church have shown us that a psychiatrist who is friendly to a predator can give him a favorable review, allowing that person to potentially victimize more children.

The state also complains of the burden of maintaining the registry. Yet the burden of keeping an online database up to date is far less than the burden of knowing that another child was able to be abused because of policy changes.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.