0

‘Don’T Let Public See Sex Register’

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE country’s leading counselling and advocacy services provider for abuse victims does not want a sex offender register to be made public.

Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson, director of the Bahamas Crisis Centre, said a public register would be ineffective and would lure people into a false sense of security.

Her comments when contacted yesterday came after the government published draft regulations for a sex offender registry earlier this month on its website.

Many likely assume the sex offender register will be public, but neither the regulations nor the substantive law expressly state that the register would be accessible to the public. The law instead empowers the minister of national security to notify the public about the release of certain convicts after consulting the commissioner of corrections and the commissioner of police about the risk they pose. 

Dr Dean-Patterson said: “What happens is public registers really gives people a false sense of security because you think if you’re a sexual offender and you come out of prison you go on the register and then people will get to know where you are and whether you’re likely to be a danger. I always thought the registry needs to be non-public. If we’re going to have a sex offender registry given the size of our country, you talk about them not living near a school, not being near parks, where in Nassau could you not live near a school? I don’t think it’s realistic and it could enhance vigilantism because this is a subject people are so angry about.”

She continued: “First you want to look at what is the purpose of a sexual offenders register. If it is to manage sex offenders so they don’t reoffend, research is showing that it really doesn’t make much difference. I think researchers do feel that a register can deter a first offender or a non-convicted person, that they may be less likely to reoffend, but for the person who has been convicted and hasn’t had an intervention, it doesn’t help. That’s something we need to be very aware of, a sex offender who goes to prison, we need to evaluate the risk they have to reoffend. The higher risk offender you can make an argument that that person needs to go on a register but unfortunately there’s no intervention for any of these people.”

Most countries with sex offender registers do not make their registers public. According to the United States Office of Justice Programmes, which focuses on crime prevention through research and development, studies on the effectiveness of registers in preventing repeat crimes have been insufficient and have shown mixed results.

Dr Dean-Patterson said the government should broaden its efforts to address sexual assaults.

Reducing the backlog of court cases for sex crimes and embracing intervention programmes are key, she said. “You would be shocked at the number of sex offenders in prison, the numbers are so small. We looked at it in 2000 and it was less than 100 and of that 100, a half was convicted and the other half was on remand. I did other research between 2006 and 2008 of the Supreme Court, they had like 11 to 14 cases completed per year and every year we have between 50 and 100 cases. If we have that many cases and you can only finish less than 20 cases, that’s an obvious problem. We need to look at the risk factors and pre-bargaining because literature does show that intervention can make a difference to first offending sexual offenders.”

Contrary to popular belief, studies show the number of sexual offenders who repeat offences is low.

“There’s a small group of sex offenders who reoffend and those are the ones we need to be focusing on,” Dr Dean-Patterson said. “That’s why you need a risk-management programme where you look at the risk different people pose. The majority of victims are raped by persons they know. And in those instances, if you could get them to take a plea and get them in a programme, it would help but the government has to invest in mental health intervention for sex offenders and they haven’t done that and that’s something we’ve been asking for for 30 years. It’s a complicated problem. We need to sit down and work at this, not do these easy fix things because they’re not going to work but they will make people feel like something is done. We have to be able to resource our intervention.”

Support for a public sex offender register soared after the 2011 murder of 11-year-old Marco Archer. Archer was killed by Kofhe Goodman. Although there was no evidence Goodman sexually assaulted the boy, Goodman had prior convictions for sex assault of minors. In 2014, the Christie administration passed an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act that would establish a registry but the law was never brought into force. The law imposes a number of reporting requirements on convicts. 

Comments

TheMadHatter 1 month, 3 weeks ago

"...and get them in a programme, it would help but the government has to invest in mental health intervention for sex offenders and they haven’t done that and that’s something we’ve been asking for for 30 years."

Madam, ive been following you in the papers for many years. I dont know how you function in a society like this which truly does not want change and real solutions. You would think they would be willing to listen to you, the expert, after they've failed for 29 years especially to prevent rapes and molestations which severely harm the futures of both children and adults.

But, no. The same old drumbeat continues. Make a register, lock em up. That's all society knows. The same old stuck record for thousands of years. Our world has new technology and old sociology... very old sociology.

1

joeblow 1 month, 3 weeks ago

... as long as pornographic material is freely available and people can feed their insatiable desires that morph into perversions, these problems will persist. This is why clear moral guidance and boundaries are given in the bible, but people want the freedom to do what they want. The dog will keep chasing its tail until the root issues are addressed!

0

Chucky 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Your comment has no basis in fact. First off their are more poem watchers than people who follow a nightly news program. Abuse has not increased per capital with the rise of the internet and internet porn Lastly, the Catholic Church is by far, the single biggest perpetrator of child sexual abuse in the world. And the guilty clergy have all essentially takin a vow of celibacy. Researchers state that it is this removal and containment of sexual desires that is the single biggest contributor to the drive of the rapist/abuser . It’s time we accept facts, and act on them, if we are to ever solve problems

0

joeblow 1 month, 3 weeks ago

.. this suggests you don't understand the basic concept that ideas influence thoughts which influence behavior. You will not find rapists, molesters etc who do not have pornography and fantasizing as a part of the process that lead them to their acts. This is basic stuff!

http://endsexualexploitation.org/wp-c...">http://endsexualexploitation.org/wp-c...

1

bahamianson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

In America, Offenders are placed on a website for all to see. What are you talking about? I thought we do everything America does. We have their seat belt law, the banks want us to get computerized like them,we accept their moral compass on touchy issues, and the list goes on.

1

pro_test 1 month, 3 weeks ago

In black and white why the Bahamas Ain't a real place and why we so backward. Leave the pervs to walk around invisible to molest people children. Any other part of the world someone in her position would of had to resign any and every post she holds. If they know there will be public ridicule and possibly revenge then we find the perfect deterrent. You have serve your generation these times call for stronger people to make decisions. Thank you 1973

0

Future 1 month, 3 weeks ago

HMMMMMM..... I wonder whose name or names she is trying to hide???????!!!!!!!!!!??????........

0

Future 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Don't ya think the people should know who to look out for and who to keep away from their children?

0

NARSOL 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The people who will molest their children is not a stranger already on the registry. It is a trusted family member, peer, or authority figure of the child, someone who has not been identified as an abuser. To protect your children, teach them to speak out and not keep secrets about things they are uncomfortable with. Assure them that they will not be in any trouble and that you will always love them.

1

Future 1 month, 3 weeks ago

YOU TELL EM, CHUCKY. LAY THE TRUTH ON EM. (But they will turn a blind eye and refuse to see)

0

Baha10 1 month, 3 weeks ago

A “PUBLIC” Sex Offender Register (aka “Marco Archer” Register) is absolutely essential to ensure orderly Society in today’s Internet World. These Aniamls are sub-Human and not cabable of rehabilitation and the thought that such depraved scum of the Earth are allowed to walk freely and “anonymously” among our Children preying on their next innocent Victim, whose lives will be FOREVER ruined, is completely and utterly abhorrent, much less acceptable, to most right thinking people, apart from left leaning liberal quacks like the good Dr., who have no concept of the devastation caused by such menatally deranged sickos, save that they make good case studies for their next academic Thesis while our Society as we know it based upon the most basic principle of “right and wrong” decays as a result of their intellectual corruption ... until their Daughter or Grandson is pervertly raped and abused at he hands of one of these Animals they so keenly sought to save, protect and rehabilitate by way of Experiment, as opposed to castration and very much PUBLIC osterization!

0

NARSOL 1 month, 3 weeks ago

We are an organization in America whose primary advocacy is educating the public on the facts surrounding sexual offending and the sex offense registry, which is public here. Most of what Dr. Patterson says is accurate. Only the tiniest percentage of persons who are on the registry commit additional offenses. Multiple studies show that approximately 96% of new sexual crime is committed by persons not on the registry, persons who almost exclusively are in the lives of their victims as close and trusted individuals. The public registry is destroying America. Every state spends many millions maintaining it and doing all that is required. There is no decrease in sexual offenses due to it. A class of second or third class citizens is created, along with their families and children. Lives are destroyed. It is a monster that cannot get enough to eat. Children as young as nine are on it due to mutual play and curiosity. Put your money into primary prevention, educating children and adults alike with the facts and teaching children especially how to be empowered to speak out about sexual abuse.

2

X-SO 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Thank you NARSOL for your rational, educated, and accurate comments. Some of these people have no idea of what they are talking about. Sex-offenders are not sub-human or second class citizens, although that is the way we are treated in the good ol' U.S.A. because of such people who will not listen to the experts. Many of us just made some really stupid, senseless decisions that placed us on the Registry. These people do not realize that it's not just the 900,000+ U.S. Registrants that are unconstitutionally punished by the Registry, but also the millions of innocent family members of the Registrants, many of which, are the victims themselves. Some of these people who have commented on here need to go to the NARSOL website and educate themselves before making these stupid, uneducated, and irrational comments. The misconceptions that promote this type of mentality actually creates more innocent victims due to the hate-mongering perpetuated by people like Bana10.

1

Baha10 1 month, 3 weeks ago

With all due respect, the problem with the above supposed “rational, educated and (heaven forbid anything but) accurate” assessment is that “normal” people do not engage in such perversion against the most vulnerable in our Society, whether Kids, Women, Elderly and the problem with condoning and making excuses for such mentally handicapped individuals is that in reality they are a danger to “normal” people and must be weeded out castrated, jailed and, if ever let go, shunned. Bottom line is Life is about choices and if you choose though your sick sexual perversions to ruin the life of a minor or other, then be prepared to pay the price ... suffice it to say you, you lay one disrespectful hand on anyone in my Family and there is no Law, Judge ... God that will save you from my retribution ... and if that makes me “stupid, uneducated and Irrational” so be it, but at least I am no Predator of the weak and vulnerable and dare say, Intellectual Cretin trying to rationalize and forgive what is clear criminal behavior.

0

Sign in to comment