Public shaming for safety?:Ethical implications of publicly accessible sex offender registries

Winters, Christina and Horstkötter, Dorothee (2015) Public shaming for safety?:Ethical implications of publicly accessible sex offender registries. In: European Association of Psychology and Law. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

The United States of America is the only country in the world that requires convicted sex offenders to register their names, photographs, addresses,and other personal information on databases that are readily accessible to the public online. The federal mandate otherwise known as SORNA(Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act) allowsthe publicto search national and state databases to locateconvicted sex offenders anywhere in the United States and its territories.A lack of nationwide consensus regarding what constitutes a sex offender, personal information thatregistrants are required to provide, and the use of risk assessments haspresented difficulty in evaluating not only theeffectiveness of SORNAwith regard to deterrance and recidivism reduction, but also its ethical justifiability.Withoutaninternational example to comparethepost-implementation effects of such laws, and without historical examples to gauge potential outcomes of such an ubiquitous disclosure of criminal status, the United States stands alone in attempting to understand the psychological and social effects that public access to these databases has caused, in addition to ethical considerations that are raised.This reviewdiscussesethical issues arising from SORNAlaws, including offender privacy and rehabilitation, community trust, vigilante violence, and the nationwide lack of uniformity with regard to registration requirementsand the use of risk assessments. This presentation willexplore ethical considerations surroundingtheexistence of publicly accessible sex offender registries forthe offender, victims, andcommunities. Treatment issues including current policy recommendations and revisions for risk assessment standards will be addressed.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
ID Code:
126011
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
20 Jun 2018 14:28
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2020 07:13