The Takeaway | July 17th, 2019
As the trial of Jeffrey Epstein unfolds, more and more details of his life have come under scrutiny, including the fact that he was embraced by high society despite having to register as a sex offender in New York and Florida.
The growing chorus of criticism and outrage against Epstein has focused on how his wealth and high status shielded him from the criminal justice system for so long. But this case has also thrown light on sex offender registries, and the faith that much of the public, and politicians, put in them.
There are more than 900,000 people on the sex offenders registry and growing, but studies show that the sex offender registries do not reduce recidivism and prevent sex crimes and laws restricting where offenders can find housing and employment make it almost impossible for many on the registry to reintegrate into society, ostracizing them and essentially creating a life sentence for those who have already paid for their crimes and in some cases, first time offenders.
Guy Hamilton-Smith, a legal fellow for the Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, joined The Takeaway to talk about sex offender registries.
Listen at WNYC