Dr. Rebecca Fix, assistant professor at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, wrote a column for Juvenile Justice Information Exchange that was published Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.
In her column "Young Sex Offenders Shouldn't Have to Register; It's Ineffective and Hurts Everyone Around Them," Rebecca makes clear that according to research, registering children as sex offenders isn't only ineffective, it's also harmful.
Rebecca illustrates her point by recounting the circumstances of a 15-year-old boy who was charged with rape after having consensual sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend:
"After returning to his community following confinement, Demetrius was no longer welcome on his high school athletic teams, and anticipates he will not be admitted into college due to his inability to be scouted by college teams. In addition, his family has been impacted by his registration status. Demetrius and his mother are moving to a new town, as their community has ostracized them. Demetrius’ mother lost her friends once word spread about his legal difficulties, and they are no longer welcome in their church."
This is one heartbreaking example of the unnecessary hardships that registration places on children and their families. Read Rebecca's column here.