‘Many state laws targeting convicted sex offenders violate the rights of people who pose little risk, a leading human rights group said Wednesday. It called for repeal of laws restricting where these ex-offenders can live and for curbs on access to online registries.
Human Rights Watch depicted its report, two years in the making, as the first comprehensive study of sex-offender policies in the United States. It said many of the laws are of questionable value in protecting children from sex crimes, but expose offenders who have served their sentences to harassment and violence.
“These are laws that weren’t based on reason — they were based on a few horrific cases,” said Jamie Fellner, director of the U.S. program at Human Rights Watch. “But it’s very difficult for politicians to demonstrate the courage to urge changes in these laws.”‘