Proposed sex-offender registry will not deter crime, criminal lawyer warns
"They say it's for child sex offenders but we can guarantee you it will not just be those offenders, it will be all ex-offenders.
The Conservative government’s plan to create a publicly-accessible database of child sex offenders will do little if anything to deter sex crimes and could actually lead to an increase in offences, an Ottawa-based defence lawyer warns.
Michael Spratt, who has testified at numerous parliamentary committees on criminal legislation, says the sex registry is being sold as a way to protect children and assist parents, but it is nothing more than “false advertising.”
The Conservative government’s legislation, introduced Wednesday, would create a publicly-accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders. It would also require registered sex offenders to provide more information when they travel abroad and permit more sharing of information between federal agencies.
“Online registries, they’re seductive, they sound like a good idea and they’re easy to sell to the public and they’re an easy position to advertise,” Spratt told CTV’s Canada AM on Friday.
“But if you look at the criminological evidence that has dealt with public registries … that evidence has found that there isn’t a reduce in offence because of the registry, there isn’t a detection in crime because of the registry.”
Spratt says that some studies have actually found that public registries make reintegration of an offender back into society, increasing the chances of a person reoffending.
Spratt, who runs a legal blog, turns to several studies that show what he calls are flaws with registries.
One study that looked at New York’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Law concluded the registry had little to no impact on reducing sex crimes because most offences are committed by those who have not previously been convicted of one."
Thursday, February 27, 2014
CANADA - Public child sex offender database planned