Clueless Showboaters

There is work to be done in the legislative/public policy sphere to protect people from sex trafficking.

Wouldn’t it be great if the product of that work actually protects people? As it stands, sadly, politicians are stuck on the erroneous idea of adding punishments for Registered Citizens.

The International Megan’s Law bill pending in the U.S. Senate is a prime example of political showboating that will accomplish nothing, according to Chrysanthi Leon, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice and women and gender studies at the University of Delaware.

The (proposed) law focuses on people listed in sex offender registries (or Megan’s law databases). The core problem with this approach is that empirical research has established that people on the registry are not the ones who will commit new sex crimes,” Leon writes.

“The U.S. Department of Justice’s own 2002 study shows this: New sex offenses are much more likely to be committed by people not already caught or registered as sex offenders. When the concern is sex trafficking, this is even more misguided, since no connection has ever been made between the two groups. Despite our fears of sex offenders, there is no empirical reason to expect registered sex offenders to be the ones exploiting children abroad.”

Read Leon’s op-ed piece at DelawareOnline.