Nebraska Story #1: William

The registry never gets better, even when the people listed on it do.

How do you succeed when the state is working to make you fail?

  • The registry leads to homelessness, joblessness and punishes families.
  • William’s determination to become a better person was undermined by the law.
  • Only a few registrants can ever be removed from the list.

This is a series of Nebraska stories about life on the registry. All names have been changed, even when the registrant said we could use his or her name. Some details may be changed to protect the people in the stories but the laws that cause so much grief are very real.

William had lived successfully on the registry for years.

He was a good support for other people learning to deal with the public humiliation of being on the registry. He rebuilt his life after prison with humility and a quiet determination to be a better person.

When his employer reluctantly laid him off because of changes in the economy, he lost his apartment and moved into his parents’ home.

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Finding a new job took time because too many employers refuse to hire registrants. Finding a new apartment was difficult for the same reason.

People change over time but the registry doesn’t recognize that change. Only a small number of registrants can be removed from the list early, and some can never be removed.

The registry never gets better even when the people listed there do.

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