April 11, 2011

The Editorial Board Gets it Wrong: Confuses Sex Offender Registry with Child Abuse Registry

Did anyone fact-check the story below? If they did they obviously do not know the difference between the sex offender registry and the state child abuse registry.

Simply look at the numbers: The article claims Texas has 654,000 sex offenders, when it should say that many belongs to the child abuse registry. The article cites the Dallas Morning News, but they have it right. see Editorial: The state’s abuse registry needs to be reformed -AND- Texas' central registry of child abusers is called into question
4-11-2011 Texas:

Reading this article below shows us they simply do not get the differences between the two registries: "Sex offender tag must be accurate by Express-News Editorial Board
Labeling an individual a sex offender can change a life for forever.

Registries for convicted sex offenders are an effective way to continue to monitor them after they have had their day in court.

In Texas, however, some state employees have the authority to place men, women and even children older than 10 on a sex offender list with little or no due process.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has been keeping the registry since the mid-1990s and includes the names of more than 654,000 people, including more than 36,000 children 10 to 18 years of age, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Only state protective services employees have access to the registry, but the information on the registry can be used to keep individuals on that list from various jobs and volunteer opportunities involving children.

A name can be added to the registry after a protective services department caseworker investigates and finds evidence of abuse.

The accused are notified of the abuse finding, but they are not told their names are being added to a registry. That makes it difficult for them to request a review of the findings and seek an appeal before an administrative law judge if they are unhappy with the outcome of the review.

That is unfair and unjust.

Rep. John Zerwas, R-Katy, has introduced legislation that would require the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to provide a person a copy of the allegations against them and allow them to appeal before they are added to the department's sex offender registry.

Since March 2006, about 3,300 people whose names have been included on the registry have requested reviews and 1,245 have had their names removed, the Dallas newspaper reported.

No one should be placed on a sex offender registry without having an opportunity to address the allegations

Last summer, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals took the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to task for allowing correction officials to classify some parolees as sex offenders although they have never been convicted of a sex crime.

The court took issue with the fact that the alleged sex-offenders were never allowed a hearing and allowed to correct false information.

Being labeled a sex offender is a serious matter. The unconvicted-but-accused deserve an opportunity to defend themselves. ..Source..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd like to say that I am surprised by this, but I am not. States, like Kansas for example, have slowly been adding people to this "black list" for a myriad of crimes that do not involve sex at all. It is really about inflating the numbers to make the sex offender "problem" look worse than it really is on an unsuspecting public. I can only guess how many people were "pro-sex offender registry" until they found themselves or a loved on on this list. Several states keep you on the "abuse registry" even if you've just been "reported" by someone-no guilt found. It is yet another way people can misuse laws to retaliate at someone they have an axe to grind with. As for the editorial board, they have some serious explaining to do. Do I smell a class action in the air?