Registries are “a bad tool” says Vander Wall in interview

By Mike Mason . . . ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – When Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, it required states to enact a sex offender registry for those convicted of certain sex crimes.

In the 28 years since the law has passed, sex offender registries have become a tool for the public to identify offenders and find out where they live. Now one national organization is working to eliminate those registries altogether. Robin Vander Wall serves as the chair of the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws, or NARSOL.

“Our vision has always been that this is a bad tool,” Robin Vander Wall says.

Vander Wall is calling for an end to sex offender registries nationwide, saying it prevents former offenders from moving on with their lives. Vander Wall said that NARSOL feels the constant exposure from the internet isn’t fair and only fuels violence and discrimination.

Others say that the sex offender registry is a vital tool designed to help people protect themselves. Some sexual assault convictions can lead to a sentence of life in prison. Some who advocate for keeping the registries consider serious sex offenses as malicious and evil as murder, such as Executive Director of Standing Together Against Rape — or STAR Alaska — Keely Olson.

“Child sexual assault, kidnapping, those kinds of things; they’re unclassified felonies and they’re going to be treated akin to a homicide,” Olson said.

STAR Alaska provides free services to survivors of sexual trauma, which they say is a critical component of their recovery. Olson feels sex offender registries are especially important in Alaska. . . .

Sex offender registries were created before the internet exploded, and Vander Wall says since that happened it has created chaos and fear, virtually casting offenders out of society. He says the public has a misconception that sex offenders are more likely to reoffend. . . .

“If we really live in a culture that believes in second chances, is committed to restoration and restorative justice, then there’s just no place in that culture for a sex offender registry, period,” Vander Wall says.

Watch the video on KTUU.   

5 thoughts on “Registries are “a bad tool” says Vander Wall in interview

  • November 26, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    When I was sentenced to 2-4 years in NY for statuatory rape in 1993 this law wasn’t even enacted. yet I have to register for life in the state of South Carolina and now they are even charging registrants $150 annual fees to be on the registry and failure to pay the fine is Failure to register a felony I’m already homeless and have been pretty much since my release from prison in NY since it is difficult to find a place to live plus i fear for my safety even if I could live somewhere. I will remain homeless. But is it legal for the state of South Carolina to force us to pay a $150 yearly fee can anyone answer this for me? This is in Greenville SC

    • November 26, 2022 at 6:11 pm

      This is what South Carolina law says:

      62.10. (SLED: Sex Offender Registry Fee) Each Sheriff is authorized to charge and collect an annual amount of one hundred fifty dollars from each sex offender required to register by law. If such sex offender has been declared indigent by the Sheriff of the county in which the offender must register and provides proof of the declaration at the time of registration, the fee will automatically be waived. If an offender is not declared indigent and fails to pay the fee, he is officially declared unregistered. This fee shall be divided between the Sheriffs and the State Law Enforcement Division with one hundred dollars of the fee retained by the Sheriffs and the remaining fifty dollars remitted by the Sheriffs to SLED on a quarterly basis. These funds must be used to support the Statewide Sex Offender Registry.

  • November 23, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    Thank God someone is standing up to these laws.

  • November 23, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    The registration for sex offender’s only causes people with hate in their hearts to commit hate crimes against person’s who have done what the court sentence plus finished their parole to be attached by people with nothing but hate in their hearts, once a person gets out for armed robbery or murder they don’t bother them on social media what gives when a person is finish with parole then it should be over with

  • November 23, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Robin I totally agree. It puts a target on an Offenders back where they live.


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