New Zealand[ edit ] The New Zealand government has plans to introduce a sex offenders register by the end of It will be managed by the New Zealand Police and information will be shared between the Police, Child, Youth and Family , the Department of Corrections , the Ministry of Social Development , and the Department of Building and Housing —government agencies which deal with child safety.
Like the Australian and British registers, the New Zealand sex offenders register will not be accessible to the general public but only to officials with security clearance. It will also include individuals who have been granted name suppression. This proposed register has received support from both the ruling National Party and the opposition Labour Party. However political lobby group the Sensible Sentencing Trust has criticised the proposed register for its lack of public access.
The sex offenders' register is expected to be operational by once enabling legislation is passed and changes are made to the Corrections Act to enable information sharing. It records the details of anyone convicted of a sexual offence against a child or a mentally disabled person. The public does not have access to the registry; it is available to employers of people who work with children or mentally disabled people, to authorities responsible for licensing institutions that care for children or mentally disabled people, and to those responsible for approving foster care and adoptions.
People listed on the register are prohibited from working with children or mentally disabled people, from managing institutions that care for children or mentally disabled people, and from being foster parents or adoptive parents. This Sex Offenders Registry is only accessible to the Police Service and other branches of government. There are several gaps in this policy noted by members of the Caribbean Committee against Sex Crimes, most notably that the registry only deals with offenses committed within the Jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago.
Persons who are registered Sex Offenders from other jurisdictions are not registered when they immigrate or are deported to Trinidad and Tobago. United Kingdom[ edit ] In the United Kingdom, the Violent and Sex Offender Register ViSOR is a database of records of those required to register with the Police under the Sexual Offences Act , those jailed for more than 12 months for violent offences, and unconvicted people thought to be at risk of offending.
Sex offender registries in the United States Sign at the limits of Wapello, Iowa ; sex offender-free districts appeared as a result of Megan's Law. Sex offender registries in the United States consist of federal and state level systems designed to collect information of convicted sex offenders for law enforcement and public notification purposes. All 50 states and District of Columbia maintain registries that are open to public via sex offender registration websites, although some registered sex offenders are visible to law enforcement only.
Information pertaining to names, addresses, physical description and vehicles are made public via official websites. In addition, registrants are often subject to restrictions that bar loitering, working or living within exclusion zones that sometimes cover entire cities and have forced registrants into encampments, such as the Julia Tuttle Causeway sex offender colony.
In some states non-sexual offenses such as unlawful imprisonment may require sex offender registration. Some states scientifically evaluate the future risk of the offender and hide low-risk offenders from public. In other states, offenders are categorized according to the tier level related to statute of conviction. Some states exclude low tier offenders from public registries while in others, all offenders are publicly listed. A majority of states apply systems based on conviction offenses only, where sex offender registration is mandatory if person pleads or is found guilty of violating any of the listed offenses.
Instead, registration is a mandatory collateral consequence of criminal conviction. Civil right groups,   law reform activists,    academics,   some child safety advocates,       politicians  and law enforcement officials  think that current laws often target the wrong people, swaying attention away from high-risk sex offenders, while severely impacting lives of all registrants,     and their families,   attempting to re-integrate to society.
The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld sex offender registration laws twice, in two respects. Several challenges to some parts of state level sex offender laws have succeeded, however. Application to offenses other than felony sexual offenses[ edit ] Sex offender registration has been applied to crimes other than rape, child molestation, and child pornography offenses and is sometimes applied to certain non-sexual offenses.
Public Indecency , in violation of C. In New York specifically, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment are registerable offenses only if the victim is under 17 and the offender is not a parent of the victim. Montana, for example, has a publicly accessible violent offender registry that includes crimes such as aggravated assault, robbery, assaulting a police officer, both deliberate and non-deliberate homicide and a third conviction for domestic violence.
Kansas has publicly accessible registries of people convicted of both serious drug offenses and people convicted of crimes involving a weapon. Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Montana all have publicly accessible registries for those convicted of murder. Florida requires all felons, regardless of the crime, to register with law enforcement for 5 years after release, although the Florida felon registry is not available to the general public.
If a felon in Florida is convicted of enough non-sexual felonies in a certain period of time, however, they are required to register for the rest of their life on a "Habitual Offender" registry that is available to the general public. Ohio has a publicly accessible registry for people convicted five or more times of drunken driving. In , a murder registry was proposed in Rhode Island and an animal abuser registry was proposed in Pennsylvania. A bill to create a publicly accessible registry for domestic violence offenders passed the Texas House of Representatives in , but was not voted on in the Texas Senate.
Public disclosure of sex offender information[ edit ] Currently, only the United States allows, and more often than not requires public disclosure of offender information, regardless of individual risk. Other countries do not make sex offender information public, unless the risk assessment has been conducted and the offender has been determined to pose a high risk of re-offending.
In the United States[ edit ] In some localities in the United States, the lists of all sex offenders are made available to the public: However, in other localities, the complete lists are not available to the general public but are known to the police.
In the United States offenders are often classified in three categories: Level Tier I, Level II, and Level III offenders, information is usually accessible related to that level information being more accessible to the public for higher level offenders.
In some US jurisdictions, the level of offender is reflecting the evaluated recidivism risk of the individual offender, while in others, the level is designated merely by the virtue of conviction, without assessing the risk level posed by the offender. In general, in states applying risk-based registry schemes, low-risk Tier I offenders are often excluded from the public disclosure.
In some states only the highest risk Tier III offenders are subject to public disclosure, while some states also include moderate-risk Tier II offenders in public websites.
Some states have disclosed some of Tier I offenders,  while in some states all Tier I offenders are excluded from public disclosure. Thus, identical offenses committed in different states could produce very different outcomes in terms of public disclosure and registration period.
Offense classified as Tier I offense in one state with no public disclosure, might be classified as Tier II or Tier III offense in another, leading to considerably longer registration period and public disclosure.
These disparities in state legislation have caused unexpected problems to some registrants when moving from state to another, finding themselves subject to public disclosure on their destination state's sex offender website, and longer registration periods sometimes for life , even though they originally were excluded from public registry and required to register for a shorter period. Some states appear to apply "catch-all" statutes for former registrants moving into their jurisdiction, requiring registration and public posting of information, even when the person has completed their original registration period.
At least one state Illinois reclassifies all registrants moving in the state into the highest possible tier Sexual Predator , regardless of the original tier of the person, leading to a lifetime registration requirement and being publicly labelled as a "Sexual Predator".
Determining the tier level and whether or not a person would be subject to public disclosure, when relocating to another state, can be close to impossible without consulting an attorney or officials responsible for managing registration in the destination state, due to constantly changing laws and vagueness in some states legislative language.
While these disparities in level of public disclosure among different states might cause unexpected problems after registration, they have also caused some registrants to move into locations where public disclosure of lower level offenders is not permitted, in order to avoid public persecution and other adverse effects of public disclosure they were experiencing in their original location.
Sex offenders who have completed probation or parole may also be subject to restrictions above and beyond those of most felons. In some jurisdictions, they cannot live within a certain distance of places children or families gather.
Such places are usually schools, worship centers, and parks, but could also include public venues stadiums , airports, apartments, malls, major retail stores, college campuses, and certain neighborhoods unless for essential business. In some states, they may also be barred from voting after a sentence has been completed and, at the federal level, barred from owning firearms, like all felons. Some states have Civic Confinement laws, which allow very-high-risk sex offenders to be placed in secure facilities, "in many ways like prisons", where they are supposed to be offered treatment and regularly reevaluated for possible release.
In practice, most states with Civil Commitment centers rarely release anyone. Texas has not released anyone in the 15 years since the program was started. Regardless of whether they are at work, offenders must extinguish all outside residential lighting and post a sign stating, "No candy or treats at this residence - sex offender at this residence".
Facebook and Instagram prohibit any convicted sex offender from accessing or contributing to their websites. This is contrary to media depictions of stranger assaults or child molesters who kidnap children unknown to them. According to ATSA , only in the states that utilize empirically derived risk assessment procedures and publicly identify only high risk offenders, has community notification demonstrated some effectiveness.
S states do not utilize risk assessment tools when determining ones inclusion on the registry, although studies have shown that actuarial risk assessment instruments, which are created by putting together risk factors found by research to correlate with re-offending, consistently outperform the offense based systems.
According to a Department of Justice study, 5. Despite the public perception of sex offenders as having high recidivism, sex offenders had the second lowest recidivism rate, after only murderers, but sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison.
However, since sex crimes are the most under-reported crimes,  whether or not the Department of Justice's 5. Recidivism rates only measure how many people return to prison or are arrested for a new offense and do not measure how many people actually commit a new criminal offense some criminals commit new offenses after release from prison but do not get caught. In the late s, a study showed that Indiana sex offenders have recidivism of about 1.
A study by professors from Columbia University and the University of Michigan found that having police-only sex offender registries e. Some sex offenders may come to view their central identity as being that of a sex offender due to the registry, and the more a sex offender views themselves as being a criminal the more likely they are to reoffend. However, the study also found that making sex offender registration publicly available may deter some potential first time sex offenders from committing an offense that would get them on the registry in the first place.
The thought of getting on the sex offender registry may or may not deter non-sex offenders from committing sex crimes. A study found no evidence that New York's registry or notification laws reduced sexual offenses by rapists, child molesters, sexual recidivists, or first-time sex offenders.
The results of the study were that sex offender recidivism was, in fact, slightly lower in states where sex offenders were not required to register. This made Agan question whether creating sex offender registries was a rational idea. The study also showed that blocks in Washington DC where sex offenders lived did not have higher molestation rates than blocks where sex offenders did not live.
For example, residency restrictions will make it harder for a sex offender's spouse and children, not just a sex offender themselves, to find housing. Residency restrictions may even cause a sex offender's family to be homeless. Sex offenders' spouses and children can also face harassment and financial hardship as a result of their loved one's sex offender status.
More than half of the children of sex offenders say that fellow students treat them worse due to a parent's RSO status.
The Human Rights Watch organization criticized these laws in a page report published in ,  and in another report in The state of Washington is among those that have special provisions in their registration code covering homeless offenders, but not all states have such provisions. A November Maryland Court of Appeals ruling exempts homeless persons from that state's registration requirements, which has prompted a drive to compose new laws covering this contingency.
News reports in revealed that some registered sex offenders were living outside or under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami, Florida because Miami-Dade County ordinances, which are more restrictive than Florida's state laws, made it virtually impossible for them to find housing.
However, many have lapsed back into homelessness, sleeping alongside railroad tracks. These crimes are rarely reported in the media or prosecuted.