Ironically, one of the arguments against recently proposed criminal justice reform makes a strong case for reform of Connecticut’s sex offender registry.
When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed elimination of bail requirements for most misdemeanor offenses failed last week, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides re-emphasized that “we can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. “We cannot say all misdemeanors are not dangerous, and we cannot say all felonies are dangerous. We have to look at it on a case-by-case basis.”
This is exactly the reason Connecticut’s sex offender registry direly needs changes to reflect the different levels of risk and allow those with good behavior a chance to petition to be taken off the list. Now, a listing on the sex offender registry can be a life sentence. There is no distinction between a sociopathic serial offender and a teen who makes a one-time mistake. Further, we believe all low-risk individuals should never make it on the registry.
Connecticut’s one-size-fits-all registry — which results in unemployment and homelessness — is long overdue for reform.
Cindy Prince is the Executive Director of CT For One Standard of Justice in Monroe.