you can look up to see if there are sex offenders in your town in MA on the internet, including names and photographs. this courtesy of a ruling by the supreme judicial court (i love these people more and more...first gay marriage, now this)http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/08/03/sjc_allows_internet_posting_of_sex_offender_information/
the people representing the sex offenders claim that this will limit their ability to return to living a normal life.
part of me feels a bit guilty for saying this (the church i belonged to as a kid was way into the *turn the other cheek* business, and i really do believe that most people convicted of a crime should get rehabilitation and another chance at success) but FUCK THEM.
what about me and my difficulty returning to a normal life? what about the thousands of dollars spent on therapy, and pills. what about the days missed from work because of the anxiety related to my PTSD? what about my sex life? what about all those nights where i missed out because i was afraid to leave home? what about the loss of self esteem...which effected not only my quality of life, but also my income as i didnt feel confident enough to ask for the raises i deserved. there is not a single aspect of my life that hasnt been affected by being a survivor of sexual violence. and they want me to be concerned with the ability of perpetrators to return to a normal life?
i am one of the biggest liberal hippies i know...i do my best to live my life in a way that is compassionate towards others. but i really can't find it in my heart to feel too sorry for these people. i am glad that there are people out there who *can* find it in their hearts to work with them, and to help them in their rehabilitation, and to advocate for them. I *know* that a large percentage of sexual predators were themselves victims of abuse, and that allows me to have enough compassion for my perpetrators to not walk around angry all of the time.
but really? there is a high recidivism rate for sexual predators. and while i understand that there must be a lot of pain in someones life to lead them to treating another human being in such an inhuman way...i just can't do it. i can't summon up enough concern for their return to a normal life to care if the online registry is bad for them or not. i want to keep myself safe. i want to keep the women, and men, and children in my community safe.
i just can't think of any better solutions.
EDITED TO ADDhttp://www.channel1.com/users/matsa/understandlaw.htm
Apparently, if you go ten years without another offense, you can petition to have your name taken off the list.
Only level three offenders are listed online, which are determined by the board to be those who have the hightest likelyhood of recidivism, and the highest degree of danger to the public. Still not sure exactly what that means (couldnt find examples of what could get you listed as a level three offender).
The Registry is led by a seven member Board legislatively comprised of (a) three licensed psychologists or psychiatrists with special expertise in the assessment of sex offenders and with knowledge of the forensic -mental health system, one of whom must have special expertise in the assessment of juvenile sex offenders, (b) one person with experience and knowledge in the field of criminal justice who acts as chairperson, (c) at least two persons with at least five years of training and experience in probation, parole, or corrections, and, (d) at least one person with expertise or experience with victims of sexual abuse. All Board members are appointed by the governor for specified terms, with the exception of the chairperson who serves at the pleasure of the governor.
just some more info