Pros & Cons of the Sex Offender Registry

By Lynda Moultry Belcher

A sex offender registry provides an accounting of those that have been convicted of crimes of a sexual nature. Offenders run the gamut from those convicted of child rape to those guilty of indecent exposure. This registry provides a list of the criminal's name, as well as his most up-to-date address and the nature of his crime.

Pro: Accountability

Registering as a sex offender gives these types of criminals a certain level of accountability. Because they are required to maintain updated information at all times and they are forced to contend with this public record in other facets of their lives, it encourages them to refrain from re-offending.

Pro: Informed Neighborhoods

Because this registry is a matter of public record, those living in neighborhoods know exactly who is living around them. The registry allows parents with small children to know before they move into a home whether sex offenders, particularly those with offenses against children, are living in the vicinity.

Con: Discrimination

Sex offenders listed on statewide registries often experience discrimination, anger and sometimes verbal or physical assaults by members of communities in which they live. Their place on the registry can also cost them job opportunities and make it challenging to move beyond the crime they committed.

Con: False Sense of Security For Individuals

According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety Office of Research and Statistics, the registry creates a false sense of security among individuals living in communities. Once they know where sex offenders are, they focus on keeping their children away from those areas. However, children are most likely to be sexually assaulted or molested by someone they know, such as a parent, immediate family member or family friend.

About the Author

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.