Possible changes to sex offender registry - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Possible changes to sex offender registry

Texas - State officials in Texas are urging lawmakers to reconsider placing juvenile offenders on a public sex offender registry.

This all stems from a report being released Wednesday about the lasting harms these children face.

A report by the Human Rights Watch says placing children who commit sex offenses on a public registry, often for life, can cause more harm than good.

That's because laws require an offenders' photograph and personal information to be placed on online registries which often makes them a target for harassment and violence.

Problems with registry policies have attracted attention across the political spectrum, including at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

They say Congress should provide for greater flexibility so states can choose to place certain youths in a non-public registry that would be accessible to law enforcement.

Right now Texas only has a public registry, and children as young as 10 years old can be placed on it.

Lawmakers are being urged to rethink this policy.

The report recommends making all juveniles exempt from the public registration laws, citing research suggesting they are less likely to re-offend than adult sex offenders.

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