Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sex Offender Website - Family Watchdog or Invasion of Privacy?

Go to this site and type in your address (or the address of your school, church, playground, day care center...etc). There will be a map which will come up with a little house on it that represents your house. All of the little colored boxes around your home are registered sex offenders. Red is for offenses against children, yellow/white for rape, blue for sexual battery, and green for other sexual offenses. Just click on a little colored box to be given the exact address of the sex offender as well as additional information on the crime which the individual was convicted, and a photo if one is available.

Arguments against such services range from "people deserve second chances" to "these people (predators) may have received successful rehabilitation" to "invasion of privacy". Blah, blah, blah. Many feel the need to note that every day is full of risks and there is no way to protect yourself or your children from these risks.

Personally, not only do I see this as a legitimate exception to sex offender's right to privacy, I don't really care all that much about the rights of sex offenders at all. Harassing anyone on the offender registry is punishable by both a fine and jail time, this is their protection.

Instead of merely saying "Hey, get used to it, life is full of risks" to law-abiding citizens and their children, we should be saying "Hey, get used to it" to sex offenders themselves. Why not, instead, say to would-be offenders and convicted sex offenders alike: "If you manage to ever become free again, you run the risk of being added to this website where we will establish your whereabouts to better protect society from your criminal sickness forevermore"?

If there are four known child molesters and one known rapist residing within 2-3 miles of my home, I should know it.

Now, thanks to Family Watchdog, I do.

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