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Do All Sex Offenders Deserve Scarlet Letter?

April 12, 2009

gazette.com (Colorado) : Do all sex offenders deserve a Scarlet Letter?

There are about 11,000 names on Colorado’s sex offender registry. The burgeoning list is growing difficult to manage and just about everyone agrees some of the names don’t belong on it, but don’t look for changes soon. The support groups for sex offenders don’t have much clout.

Colorado Attorney General and former 4th Judicial District Attorney John Suthers acknowledged there are some who don’t belong on the list. “There’s an issue on the periphery, but I don’t want to overstate it,” he said. “What’s driving the numbers is we have a lot of sex offenders.”

“When we enacted some of this stuff we didn’t look at the unintended consequences,” Dell volunteers for Colorado CURE (Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants) said.

Colorado is one of many states that will not be able to meet a July 1 federal deadline for implementing the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006. Suthers confirmed Colorado asked the U.S. Department of Justice for a deadline extension. California has decided it cannot afford to track everyone on a list created by a strict ballot initiative in 2006.

“What we really want do is protect people,” said Chris Lebanov-Rostovsky of the state’s Division of Criminal Justice. “Let’s make sure that we classify these people based on risk.”

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