The Sex Offender Registry: Public Safety or Witch Hunt?

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The Sex Offender Registry: Public Safety or Witch Hunt?
News icon.jpg by Dragonlover - July 10, 2016



Hello. Many of you know me as Dragonlover on the various Boylove sites. But, there is one thing that you may not know about me: that I am a registered sex offender. Yes, that’s right. I am on that amazing and damning list that, according to legislation, is there for nothing more than public safety. But is it really? Or, is it a part of some witch hunt perpetrated by the powers that be to be an underlying addition to one’s prison term? I think it is the latter. I am currently on the Lifetime Registration Plan; meaning that I am required by my fine state, to appear in person at a state police barracks and verify my personal information every three months. Can I add that that procedure is humiliating in and of itself? You walk into the police barracks. Then you turn in your photo ID to the clerk. Then you have a seat and wait. Wait with other guys who are there for the same thing. As you sit and wait, you wonder about those other guys; what got them into this situation? And you know that they are wondering the exact same thing about you. And then, after about an hour of waiting, the officer calls your name. You are taken back to a room dedicated to Sex Offender Registration. You have a seat on a wooden bench in front of a camera. The officer types in some information into his computer. He asks you if you have any changes to report. If you say yes, you tell him what has changed. He then asks you when the change took effect. If you tell him anything longer than three days ago, he will more than likely arrest you on the spot, as the law states that you have three days to report any change. Congratulations. You have yet another felony on your record, plus another significant jail sentence. But, if there is no change, it will run more smoothly. The officer then takes your picture; one with your glasses on, and one with glasses off. Then one profile shot. He then prints out a copy of the form for you, which you should keep in the event there is any question about your registration. You can then leave. Leave until three months later, when you have to do it all over again.

Oh, and the state is kind enough to mail you a reminder of your civic duty to comply with the law. The letter states that you have between this date and this date to appear in person and verify your information. I have no problem with that. But, the envelope that the letter arrives in is clearly marked that it comes from the Megan’s Law Section of the state police department. Great. Which means that if anyone you live with has access to picking up your mail, they know that you are involved with the Sex Offender Registry in some way. And trust me, the people who see that will see you in a whole new and evil light. You will notice that they treat you differently. That is why if you live in a shared home, and you’re expecting that letter to arrive, you should try and be sure to be the first one to get to the mail. That way you can take your letter without anyone else seeing it. I have lived in many different places. And I have had to play the same game at every place. When that letter is due, make sure that I get to the mail first. A few years ago I was living at one place. The letter arrived a few days early. There was a knock on my room door. It was the guy who rented the room next to mine. He had mail in his hand. “Hey man. You got mail,” he says, handing me the letter. I could see his eyes focus on the return address. “State police huh? I know what that is. My cousin gets these every three months. So what? You rape some kid or what?” He then walks off. As I close the door, I think to myself, “Looks like its time for yet another move.”

I did some more research. It turns out that nowadays not only does all of your Sex Offender information appear on the state police website, but there are other sites run by vigilantes that post this information as well. Only, somehow (probably from sites where you pay the 99 cents to get information on people) they post ALL of your information, including your email address and phone number. That information does not appear on the state police website. They will even post the exact details of your crime. The idea behind these sites is definitely not public safety. It is to stir up trouble for you. But then, what about the state police site? Is it really designed with public safety in mind? Perhaps so, on a subliminal level. But really, it is designed to be punitive. When I was released from jail in April of 2004, I had no idea that life would be so difficult. My attempts at finding any type of employment were met with a firm “No.” Back then, employers had to go to a little bit of trouble to dig into your background. Forms had to be signed and filed. Fees had to be paid. But now, anyone, including employers, can find out everything about you with an investment of as little as one dollar. Yes, I was on a site the other night that, for 99 cents, I could find out anything about anyone. So, I paid my 99 cents and put in my name. ONLY my name. And boy was I surprised at what came up. My jail booking photo from 1999. Court documents. How much time I served, when and where. Previous addresses, including my childhood home. Previous phone numbers. Outstanding bills to credit card companies. I mean, this site had everything. And that was just one site. One site out of hundreds.

So now, being that even getting a fry cook job at McDonald’s is now impossible because even they do background checks now, I am on disability. My reason for filing for disability was for mental health reasons. The initial claim was denied. So I hired a well-known attorney to represent me in my appeal. One of the things the attorney asked me was if I had a criminal record, to which I said yes. He asked what the crime was, and I told him. He said that that would probably play in my favor at the appeal hearing. And it did. The whole process took 18 months, but I was finally awarded a decision from a judge in my favor. I now have the pleasure of living way below the poverty level for the rest of my days. I do however, have some of the best health benefits available to any American.

So, I pose the question again: is the Sex Offender Registration Law in place for public safety, or is it there for punitive reasons? You be the judge.