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house Bill H.R. 1188

Should Sex Offender Registration Requirements be Re-Authorized?

Argument in favor

Sex offender registration programs are too important for Congress to allow their authorization to lapse, and this bill takes care of that while making important adjustments to them.

Jacob's Opinion
···
05/22/2017
Duh. Let's start with getting the Predator in Chief registered!
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queerf0x's Opinion
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05/22/2017
This is a subject that never needs leniency. If you don't want a sex offense charge to "ruin your life" then don't be a sex offender. False accusations make up a minuscule amount of cases, so this isn't a case of "a few bad apples spoiling the barrel." Rape culture in this country is still alive and well, so we need to keep regulations of this nature as up to date as we can. Let's focus on helping the actual victims of sexual assault/abuse instead of coddling the perpetrators.
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haysak's Opinion
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05/22/2017
Of course. Keep sex offenders from fleeing states with a national database.
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Argument opposed

This reauthorization shouldn’t make any changes to existing law or the current sex offender registration programs.

Kaylah's Opinion
···
05/22/2017
I agree with every green comment here. However, as currently defined, the register is over broad. A high school senior who dates a sophomore and has consensual sex may be forced to register for decades. I am a strong advocate for the register, once it is reformed not to include consensual activity.
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Julian's Opinion
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05/22/2017
Recidivism rates among convicted sex offenders is 1.5% to 2.3 %. Lower than any other crime. New Sex offenses happen not from convicted sex offenders, as the media would have you believe, but from someone close to the child. These laws, registration, stamps in passports etc. are unconstitutional. We either are all citizens, protected by the constitution, or we are not. And if not, then God help us. If we decide some people are not protected then who's next on this list? AND it has been proven that none of these laws actually work, reduce sex crimes, or change behavior. Numerous police depts. have said it causes them more work as they have to keep tabs on these people instead of investigating actual crimes. Instead they push offenders to the periphery of society costing society much more because they cannot work or find housing. It is time to change these laws, so that they protect society, not give false promises that have been proven to be useless.
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Sergeant's Opinion
···
05/22/2017
How many of these "offenders" were convicted of horrible crimes like urinating in a park, sex with an "almost" adult when they were barely adults themselves, solicitation in a men's room etc. The child rapists are lumped in with how many of these? Now we see them living in our parks, under bridges etc where they become an additional burden on us the taxpayer. Let's use some "common sense"
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed May 22nd, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedFebruary 16th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 1188?

This bill would reauthorize several sex offender registration requirements and programs through the 2022 fiscal year, in addition to making reforms to the programs. It would amend its predecessor, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, to require the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to provide additional data in its annual report on the enforcement of sex offender registration requirements.

Among the specific reauthorizations and changes this bill would make include:

  • Reauthorizing the Sex Offender Management Assistance program through fiscal year 2022, which helps states and localities implement the sex offender registry

  • Reauthorizing the U.S. Marshals Service’s activities related to locating and apprehending sex offenders who violate registration requirements through fiscal year 2022;

  • Reducing the required registration period from 25 years to 15 years for juvenile delinquent sex offenders who maintain a clean record.

  • Allowing states, Indian tribes, or territories to exempt information about juvenile delinquent sex offenders from being disclosed on a public website.

  • Specifying how to calculate the allocation of Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program funds for local governments after a state’s JAG funds are reduced for not complying with sex offender registration and notification standards.

  • Establishing an alternative method for complying with the in-person verification requirement.

The federal criminal code would be amended by this bill in two ways:

  • The duties of probation and pretrial services officers would include the court-ordered supervision of a sex offender conditionally released from civil commitment subject to court-ordered compliance with medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment.

  • Extend the statute of limitations for a minor victim of a federal sex offense to file a civil action to 10 years (currently 3 years) from the date such an individual reaches age 18.

Impact

Sex offenders; U.S. Marshals and others tasked with enforcing sex offender registration requirements; state and local law enforcement; and the federal government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1188

$353.00 Million
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost $353 million over the 2018-2022 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced this reauthorization bill to build on the “public safety success” of the Adam Walsh Act, and added:

“Childhood sexual abuse is a serious problem facing the nation, and the devastation it causes impacts every societal group, and lasts a lifetime for its victims and their loved ones. Reauthorizing the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act would ensure efforts continue to prevent the ongoing sexual exploitation of our nation’s children.”

This legislation was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of seven bipartisan cosponsors in the House including five Republicans and two Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Billwhittaker / Creative Commons)

AKA

Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017

Official Title

To reauthorize certain programs established by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, and for other purposes.

    Duh. Let's start with getting the Predator in Chief registered!
    Like (161)
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    Share
    I agree with every green comment here. However, as currently defined, the register is over broad. A high school senior who dates a sophomore and has consensual sex may be forced to register for decades. I am a strong advocate for the register, once it is reformed not to include consensual activity.
    Like (234)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a subject that never needs leniency. If you don't want a sex offense charge to "ruin your life" then don't be a sex offender. False accusations make up a minuscule amount of cases, so this isn't a case of "a few bad apples spoiling the barrel." Rape culture in this country is still alive and well, so we need to keep regulations of this nature as up to date as we can. Let's focus on helping the actual victims of sexual assault/abuse instead of coddling the perpetrators.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    Recidivism rates among convicted sex offenders is 1.5% to 2.3 %. Lower than any other crime. New Sex offenses happen not from convicted sex offenders, as the media would have you believe, but from someone close to the child. These laws, registration, stamps in passports etc. are unconstitutional. We either are all citizens, protected by the constitution, or we are not. And if not, then God help us. If we decide some people are not protected then who's next on this list? AND it has been proven that none of these laws actually work, reduce sex crimes, or change behavior. Numerous police depts. have said it causes them more work as they have to keep tabs on these people instead of investigating actual crimes. Instead they push offenders to the periphery of society costing society much more because they cannot work or find housing. It is time to change these laws, so that they protect society, not give false promises that have been proven to be useless.
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    How many of these "offenders" were convicted of horrible crimes like urinating in a park, sex with an "almost" adult when they were barely adults themselves, solicitation in a men's room etc. The child rapists are lumped in with how many of these? Now we see them living in our parks, under bridges etc where they become an additional burden on us the taxpayer. Let's use some "common sense"
    Like (33)
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    Share
    While I do think a registry is a great way for families to stay safe, reauthorizing is a waste of time really. Sex offenders face enough social ostracization to ruin their lives. Re-affirming this label only further crushes them. Likewise, many are not repeat offenders (only about 3% maximum are) so doing this wouldn't fix anything.
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    The registry needs Corrections. Currently someone who pees in a bush can be forced to register as a sex offender. A sophomore who dates of freshman but there's too great of a age difference, can be forced to register as a sex offender. It needs to be corrected.
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    Of course. Keep sex offenders from fleeing states with a national database.
    Like (22)
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    Without a great deal of study. It is my belief that "once a pedophile, always a pedophile." If you're a sex offender, you're on the list. Therefore, the list should alway grow larger. So no cure, always on the list. If you earned this designation, then you wear it for life.
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    My daughter was raped by my stepson. I have seen first hand what the courts do to sweep rape under the rug. We need to do more.
    Like (16)
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    Once you've served your sentence, you've served your sentence. Plus the definition of "sex offender" can often be so broad as to require non-dangerous people to have to register.
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    Why is this even a question?
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    Yes, absolutely need a national data base and repeat offenders should be on it for life!
    Like (14)
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    Sex offenders spent time in prison. Punishing them for the rest of their lives is inhumane, cruel and unusual punishment. It's also more expensive than rehabilitation. It's time for this nation to grow up, and start treating people like human beings.
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    I think this is normally a state issue, but a centralized data base would help with those offenders that cross state lines
    Like (11)
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    This bill retains the elements of the previous bill and offers sensible changes for youth offenders that
    Like (11)
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    We need to control and keep track of sex offenders vigorously. Would you like it if sex offenders just walked away because government sanctions on them were lacking?
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    If I may, I would like to tell a short, personal anecdote. A friend of mine was arrested at the age of 19 and charged with statutory rape for having sexual relations with a 16 year old. Because she wasn't emancipated, her mother decided to press charges. During this person's jail time, the girl would write and send him notes through me confessing her love and willingness to be in a relationship with him. Nevertheless, her decision held no sway. He was subsequently registered under Meghan's Law and had to register as a sexual offender every where he lived. If he moved and didnt register right away, he was rearrested. Some years later he had a son. Due to his status, he was not allowed to develop a relationship with his son. About 6 years ago, my friend killed himself. Let me also say that I am a parent so I wholeheartedly support any and all legislation that is targeted towards pedophiles however, after my experience with my dear friends and some others who are in the same exact situation, I believe that we need better defined guidelines to separate predators from others who are lumped into the same category only to have the rest of their lives ruined and destroyed.
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    The sex offender registry has been proven to have little practical effect on public safety.
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    We need to amend the laws. There is too much confusion in the law. There is too much restriction in its life time listing. We need to amend it so that the punishment truly fits the crime.
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