A recent sex offender registry study conducted by a University of Michigan law professor casts doubt on the effectiveness of the public notification aspect of some sex offender registry laws. The study concluded that while requiring convicted sex offenders to register with police may reduce the chances an individual will commit another sex crime, when sex offender laws require public notification – such as in Michigan – the chance of repeat offenses actually goes up.
Michigan law requires all individuals convicted of a crime of a sexual nature or certain sex related offense to register as a sex offender. This includes such offenses as criminal sexual conduct, sexual assault, child molestation and abuse and internet sex crimes. The Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) also requires individuals to have their identities, including current addresses and other identifying information, published on the Michigan Public Sex Offenders Registry (PSOR). This information is open to the general pubic and is searchable via the Internet.
If you’ve been charged with a Michigan sex offense, it is imperative you contact an experienced Michigan sex crime defense attorney to prepare a vigorous defense and fight to keep your name off the sex crimes registry.
According to the latest study – these public notification requirements actually increase the chances an individual will commit a subsequent sex crime. The authors found that while registering as a sex offender with the police may help recidivism by allowing police to monitor behavior, making this information public may weaken public safety. Research showed that in jurisdictions where offenders’ identities were known, the deterrent benefit of registering was “more than offset by released offenders’ tendency to commit new crimes when subjected to notification requirements.” Further, jurisdictions with notification laws had higher overall rates of sex crimes. The authors explained “notification requirements actually seem to encourage [repeat offenses] because the associated psychological, social, or financial costs (of notification requirements) make a crime-free life relatively less desirable.”