Operation Clean Sweep: Is it Effective?
Operation Clean Sweep and the registration of sex offenders are for “community safety.” Whenever a child goes missing, the police pick a person of interest by looking at the nearest registered sex offenders. In the article a Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy is quoted, saying that if a child in a neighborhood “comes up missing, we'd like to know where sex offenders are so we can check on them first.” This sounds like a good way to protect the public. When the safety of children is involved, most people don't think twice about the constitutionality or effectiveness of a law. What people don't realize, however, is that the registration of sex offenders has no positive impact on public safety. In fact, studies show that requiring sex offenders to register can be detrimental It “may actually be more likely” to cause them to reoffend when they are “subject to community notification” (read our recent post on this topic).
Sex Offender Recidivism Rate is Lowest
Most people don't realize that sex offenders are the least likely to reoffend out of all crime categories. According to reports, 13.4% of robbers, 23.4% of burglars, and 33.9% of larcenists reoffend, while only 2.5% of released rapists reoffend. If this is the case, why do we focus so much on sex offenders? Why don't we have “burglary offender registration”? Why aren't we sending police in Littleton, Aurora and Denver door-to-door to be sure that former robbers are living where they are supposed to? Why don't we locate larcenists whenever something goes missing? It is because we as a society are afraid of sex offenders. Many sex offenders are so shunned by their communities that it drives them to reoffend. Some places (such as Englewood), even have laws that don't allow sex offenders to even move to that city.
Sex Offender Registration: A Smoke-Screen
Our government likes to appear as if they are doing something to protect society. Closely monitoring “scary” sex offenders is a good way for them to appear like they are protecting our children. But, if your child goes missing, wouldn't you want the police to focus on actual suspects, and not just turn to a list of sex offenders in the area? The label for sex offender is very broad. A man who urinated in public one too many times will be a registered sex offender. Do you want the police hunting him down and wasting time and resources? It is important for us to not be afraid, but instead to fully understand the laws of our country, and constantly question their effectiveness in a rapidly changing world.Request a Free Consultation