Public Defender explains why many of her clients prefer prison to registry

Rachel Marshall, a public defender in Oakland, California, writes at that many of her clients would rather spend more time in prison than be on the sex offender registry.

I had always assumed that sex offender registration was limited to those who committed the most egregious and dangerous offenses. I had also trusted that the Supreme Court was right when, in 2003, it stated that sex offender registration laws are not punishments but merely administrative requirements to protect public safety.

But I realize now that many of my clients would choose to take on more jail time, more fees — anything to avoid being labeled a sex offender for life. That’s because our current sex offender registration laws apply an unbending and inhumane one-size-fits-all approach that does not prevent future sex crimes and in fact makes us all less safe.

Read what Marshall wishes more people understood about the sex offender registry.

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