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POLICY ISSUE: Should public sex offender registry laws be changed to reflect new evidence?

Our state--Michigan--has a public sex offender registry where it lists on the web where it lists everybody who commits a sex offense.  It gives their name, where they live and the law they violated to get them on the list.

The idea is to make neighborhoods safer by making people more aware of who lives around them.  Is it working?

Check this column by Brian Dickerson of the Detroit Free Press who reports on a study which shows that instead of reducing them, it has actually resulted in sex offenders committing additional crimes.  When publicly-outed, these offenders take the attitude, the study reports, that they have nothing to lose by re-offending.  

Should Michigan's legislators re-examine the public registry and how it's used?  Is this study sufficient evidence that it's making the problem worse and not better?

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