California, like many states, has very specific laws when it comes to sex offenders and how they must register so they are more easily identified. When you have committed this heinous crime, it is something that will follow you throughout your life in various ways. Under Penal Code 290, you are required to register as a sex offender if you have been convicted of the crime. When registering, you must take caution to appear in person at the police or sheriff’s department to make it official. If you are moving, you have to re-register at that point as well! So, as you know, these laws can be very strict and are made to protect the public.
But, let’s consider a new situation. Let’s consider that somebody you know as a sex offender is moving to your community where you live with your husband and someday hope to have children with. This thought can appear unnerving, to say the least. You may be fearful of your life and the life of your future children and others living in the neighborhood due to the act that was committed previously by this same person. However, what if you saw things from their point of view? How difficult of a journey has it been for this person after the offense took place and they were convicted of something that will follow them until the day they are no longer here? There are few things you may want to consider:
- Sex offenders are faced with multiple challenges upon their release, making it very difficult to commit another crime. They must not only self-regulate, but also have to find housing, employment, and a community who will support them when transitioning into a better lifestyle.
- Sex offenders are usually somebody the victim knows and trusts. They are not usually someone lurking around alleyways waiting for you to enter so that they can attack.
- Communities offering support are the best aspect that a sex offender can have. Misguided notions help nobody.
Recently, studies have taken place that show that sex offenders are less likely to commit a crime again when they have community support. There is a group that came to light in 1994 known as the Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA), who take volunteers and use a restorative approach to integrate sex offenders back into the community. The group, through multiple successes, has been brought to light for showing communities that ex-offenders are least likely to offend when they have others who will believe in them, be there for them, give them support, and assist them while still holding them accountable and keeping them on track. Sex offenders realizing that they will not always be high-risk and getting the help they need will almost always bring great benefits for a society.
So, if you are part of a community where this is a real fear for you, you should ask yourself a few questions. For instance, would you rather ostracize somebody or help them get back up on their feet and start fresh? Would you want to be somebody who was being outed by an entire community over something that you can learn from and change? Where does compassion for others come into play with all of this? These are things that many members of communities are learning about each and every day.
If you need legal help and don’t know where to turn, you should know that there is an attorney who always has your best interest and is willing to work with you. Call the Law Office of Peter Blair to find out more information if you believe you have a case. We will get to the bottom of your case and answer all of your burning questions, as well as aid you through the process. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
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