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Walter told Human Rights Watch, “ I will never be given a second chance.

It doesn’t matter how long I don’t reoffend, I will always be a sex offender in everyone else’s eyes.” It is difficult to overstate the impact of community notification, particularly online registries, on the privacy of registered individuals and their families.

Public identification as someone who committed a sex offense leads to a host of problems that are described throughout this report and are detailed as well below.Publicly identifying someone as a registered sex offender brands that person—in many people’s eyes—as a dangerous and particularly loathsome person.The branding—which can last for a lifetime—has the entirely foreseeable result of making it very difficult (if not entirely impossible) for former offenders and their families to live peaceful, safe, stable, and productive lives. I stay up at night, worried that I can’t find a job, worried that I can’t find an apartment, worried that I am going to be killed like other sex offenders have been killed, worried that they will take away my family, won’t let me see my children and grandchildren anymore.— Jessie K., registrant in California, convicted of sexual assault 23 years ago While the public safety benefits of sex offender registration and community notification laws may be up for debate, the toll they have exacted upon registrants and their families is not.

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