The Societal Stigma of Sex Offender Registries

In response to Match.com's recent implementation of sex-offender screening on its website, Tracy-Clark Flory wrote about why its proposed security measures would be ineffective. In a follow-up, she writes about why overly broad sex offender registries may further place a burden on those trying to recover:

Our registries desperately need to be reformed, and we could greatly benefit from better data about recidivism for different sex offense types -- but that's a much bigger task than simply screening on Match.com. On that front, maybe I am making perfect the enemy of good. Eliminating some high-risk predators from the online dating pool is better than nothing. Still, Match.com's approach of banning all registered sex offenders -- even those who are low-risk or who committed minor offenses -- strikes me as unjust. In the case of Georgia, the site's ban means restricting access to 95 percent of registered offenders who are not "clearly dangerous" and two-thirds who are low-risk. That seems an inept way to screen out men who pose a serious danger to women -- especially when you consider that most assaults go unreported and most sex crimes are committed by those without a sex crime record.

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