ERIC Number: EJ882096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 7
Sex Offender Registration: Balancing the Rights of the Individual with the Public Good--A Commentary on Comartin, Kernsmith, and Miles (2010)
Berkowitz, Carol D.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, v19 n2 p226-230 2010
This article presents the author's comments on the article "Family Experiences of Young Adult Sex Offender Registration" by E. B. Comartin, P. D. Kernsmith, & P. W. Miles (2010). In the article "Family Experiences of Young Adult Sex Offender Registration", Comartin, Kernsmith, and Miles (2010) put forth a telling argument about the impact of the sex offender registry (SOR) on the offender and his or her family. Their report is based on a comprehensive review of the literature and the views expressed by family members during a focused group experience. Though the title of the article suggests a focus on the impact of SOR on families, the manuscript is more comprehensive, providing a review of the current SOR programs in general. Comartin, Kernsmith, and Miles (2010) note the paucity of cases in which the perpetrator of sexual abuse is a stranger--only 7%--and seem to suggest that the program therefore isn't warranted or "cost-effective." The author contends that this in and of itself would be an insufficient argument against SOR. Although much of the article is devoted to background information and a discussion of registries, the article attempts to capture the effects of having a member on an SOR on the rest of the family. Comartin, Kernsmith, and Miles (2010) are to be commended for bringing a controversial topic to the attention of the child maltreatment community. It is important to maintain a dialogue about the unforeseen consequences of all approaches aimed at reducing child abuse.
Descriptors: Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Prevention, Recidivism, Criminals, Law Enforcement, Family (Sociological Unit), Disclosure, Records (Forms), Cost Effectiveness, Civil Rights
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A