Unlikelihood of Repeat Offenses Leads State to Scale Back Juvenile Sex Offender Registry
For years, states have been tightening the registry for sex offenders, and this includes juvenile sex offenders. But, as more evidence comes in, some states are starting to rethink how they handle their juvenile cases. Unfortunately, the changes are slow in coming, and this can mean some big issues for some juvenile offenders, even in the state of Connecticut, where juveniles are not typically registered.
The Truth about Juvenile Sex Offenders
Early information and thinking on juvenile sex offenders had been originally based on what was known about adult offenders. Over time, it has become clear that juvenile offenders and adult offenders are very different. For example, juvenile offenders are far less likely to reoffend than adults, especially if they receive quality treatment and intervention. In fact, some studies have found recidivism rates to be as low as one percent among juvenile offenders.
Juvenile Sex Offender Registry
Every state has its own method for registering juvenile sex offenders. In Connecticut, juvenile sex offenders are not registered, as long as their case is heard and dealt with in a juvenile court. If they are sentenced and convicted in adult court, however, juvenile offenders are required to register, just like adult offenders. Sadly, it is one of only a handful of states that has such a policy—and that can have lasting, life-long implications for a minor that may never reoffend.
In some states (i.e. Colorado, Utah, Washington, Texas, and others), a juvenile’s information—including name, address, and photograph—will be listed just like it is for adult offenders. Some will allow the juvenile to be removed from that registry after a period of time. Others require the juvenile to be registered for life, with their picture updated which, over time, it can begin to make them look like an adult offender, despite never having re-offended.
Adult registration, which posts and shares information about juvenile offenders, can have serious implications for the offenders, their families, and sometimes, even the victims. Homes are often vandalized. Taunting and social isolation often lead to depression, anxiety, and anger. And in states where juvenile offender information is shared, the juveniles are much more likely to be arrested and convicted for a non-sexual crime than those who do not have their information shared.
Parent of a Juvenile Sex Offender? Hire an Experienced Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney
Even in the state of Connecticut, where juvenile sex offenders are not typically registered, there is still a risk of being tried as an adult. If convicted, the juvenile offender would face the same challenges and social ostracizing as those in states where all juveniles must be registered. The key preventing such consequences is to try and keep your child’s case within the juvenile justice system.
At the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner, we believe experience makes all the difference, and that the goal for juveniles should be rehabilitation, not punishment. This is why we work aggressively to keep your child’s case within the juvenile justice system. Learn how we can help with your case by contacting a Fairfield County juvenile criminal defense attorney today. Call 203-348-5846.