Event Title

Unjust and Unethical: The Endless Punishment of U.S. Sex Offenders

Presenter Information

Chelsea Arnold, Seattle University

Publication Date

August 2021

Start Date

21-8-2021 1:10 PM

End Date

21-8-2021 1:25 PM

Moderator

Mashaal Shameem

Description

Sex offenders are arguably one of the most stigmatized populations in the United States. Because of this, almost one million sex offenders are subject to extremely punitive laws far past the end of their prison stays. These laws make is nearly impossible for individuals with past sex offenses to reintegrate into society in any meaningful way. The laws in question are sex offender registration  laws. While the public may gain a false sense of security from these laws, evidence suggests that they do not work, nor are they fairly applied. The most poor and disenfranchised members of U.S. society are disproportionately subjected to registration,  while powerful members of society are free to carry on their acts of sexual violence with impunity. If the true goal of sex offender  registration laws is to reduce sex crimes, then more effective, ethical, and justly applied alternatives to sex offender registration should be considered. In this presentation, I will examine sex offender registration laws, including the repercussions and unjust application of these laws. Furthermore, I will suggest a few different reasons why these laws exist, despite their lack of efficacy, unjust application, and unethical approach. Lastly, I will suggest what criteria would be for an ethical set of sex offender laws, and some tangible ways this may play out in future policies.

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Aug 21st, 1:10 PM Aug 21st, 1:25 PM

Unjust and Unethical: The Endless Punishment of U.S. Sex Offenders

Sex offenders are arguably one of the most stigmatized populations in the United States. Because of this, almost one million sex offenders are subject to extremely punitive laws far past the end of their prison stays. These laws make is nearly impossible for individuals with past sex offenses to reintegrate into society in any meaningful way. The laws in question are sex offender registration  laws. While the public may gain a false sense of security from these laws, evidence suggests that they do not work, nor are they fairly applied. The most poor and disenfranchised members of U.S. society are disproportionately subjected to registration,  while powerful members of society are free to carry on their acts of sexual violence with impunity. If the true goal of sex offender  registration laws is to reduce sex crimes, then more effective, ethical, and justly applied alternatives to sex offender registration should be considered. In this presentation, I will examine sex offender registration laws, including the repercussions and unjust application of these laws. Furthermore, I will suggest a few different reasons why these laws exist, despite their lack of efficacy, unjust application, and unethical approach. Lastly, I will suggest what criteria would be for an ethical set of sex offender laws, and some tangible ways this may play out in future policies.