What We Believe
The Michigan Sexual Offender Registry (MSOR) is an Ineffective Tool
- MSOR should apply to ADULTS who are VIOLENT or PREDATORY OFFENDERS. We believe that Michigan’s citizens deserve a registry that will accurately identify high risk, violent and predatory offenders. This will assist in keeping our citizens safe while allowing law enforcement agencies to monitor registrants and protect our citizens effectively.
- MSOR casts too wide of a net, unfairly branding thousands of young people and low-risk individuals, subjecting them to persecution and humiliation, and destroying their lives and their futures.
It is Time to Make Michigan Safer
- Michigan deserves and needs a registry that will ensure the safety of all our citizens. It’s time to make the Michigan Sex Offender Registry one that will be meaningful, useful and effective for everyone; individuals, communities and law enforcement agencies.
- Public Safety resources are unduly strained in managing an INDISCRIMINATE, overly inclusive MSOR that includes:
- Individuals who have NO CRIMINAL RECORD
- Juveniles unfairly indicted under criminal sexual conduct laws, created for adults
- People who have successfully completed rehabilitation and treatment and are recognized as low-risk for repeat offenses
The Current MSOR does more Harm than Good.
- The MSOR is one of the largest in the country with over 42,000 names. It does not discriminate between low risk and high risk individuals, actually hurting our ability to monitor and track those people who pose a serious threat to our citizens.
- Public Safety resources are unduly strained in managing an indiscriminate, overly inclusive registry. Those resources are diverted from effectively tracking true high risk offenders
- Valuable resources are siphoned away from juvenile treatment programs that demonstrate a high rate of success with our young people.
- Many young people whose offenses consisted of “heavy petting” or teenage consensual sex, and who have no convictions on their record, are being deprived of housing, educational, and employment opportunities as they mature into adulthood – for no other reason than their names are on this list.
- Many of the people on the registry list face seeing their names on the MSOR for the better part of their lives. Even without a conviction on their record, they face a lifetime of ostracism and shame.
Changes in the MSOR that will Make a Difference
- Remove the registration requirement for juvenile offenders. There are enormous differences between the nature of a juvenile offense and those of an adult predatory sex offender. Research demonstrates that most youth who break the law during their childhood or adolescence can and will mature out of this behavior given appropriate treatment and consequences.
- Remove the registration requirement for individuals who do not have a conviction on their record. Individual with expunged or set aside convictions and those who have successfully completed assignment under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) should not be on the registry
- Adopt a tiered approach to identify “high-risk” offenders founded on empirically based risk factors. Law enforcement is hampered in its efforts to protect Michigan citizens from high-risk offenders because the current MSOR is so broad and requires enforcement to use precious resources tracking low-risk offenders.
- Provide a reasoned, circumspect petition process for removal from state and federal registries. A provision is needed to allow registered individuals, identified empirically as low-risk to the community, the opportunity to petition for release from the registry. No public good is served by stigmatizing and isolating low-risk or rehabilated individuals, exposing them to harassment, and depriving them of the normal opportunities for education, employment and housing.
- Establish a central location/agency to assist registrants with compliance. A definitive resource should be available to answer questions regarding Michigan Sex Offender related laws and the specific registration requirements. Currently it’s difficult for individual to comply with Michigan’s laws because they are hard to interpret, frequently modified and difficult to access. Because of these challenges law enforcement agencies and municipalities often misinterpret and misapply the law.
SORA NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
IMPORTANT & EXCITING UPDATE on Federal Does v Snyder Case:August 25, 2016 the Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion unanimously declaring that portions of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry are unconstitutional because it punishes registrants and does not have a corresponding public safety benefit. It was also declared that restrictions added to the law in 2006 and 2011 cannot be applied to those convicted prior to when the changes went into effect without a determination of danger. Those changes imposed geographic exclusion zones barring registrants from living, working or spending time with their children in much of the state; imposed extensive reporting requirements; and automatically extended registration to life without a means for review or appeal for the vast majority of registrants. Keep tabs on the ACLU “SORA info” link for updates on what this means for registrants!
ACLU SORA info page: Updated information on the case and information for registrants.
6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion: Released August 25, 2016.
2016 SORA FAQ: Frequently asked questions on the 6th Circuit Opinion and background information on the case.
Court Says Michigan Sex Offender Registry laws creating ‘Moral Lepers’: Washington Post Article
Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry law is so vague that parts of it are unconstitutional, including the requirement that offenders stay at least 1,000 feet from schools, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, in a 72-page ... Keep Reading
DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to look at the case of a man who’s on the sex offender list for life, although his conviction was erased nearly 20 years ago. Among the issues: Is ... Keep Reading