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How a Sex Crime Can Screw Your Future

How a Sex Crime Can Screw Your Future

According to the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM), there are approximately 150,000 convicted sex offenders who are serving time in federal and state prisons throughout America, and numerous others have been sentenced directly to supervised probation. Some individuals who are incarcerated face a lengthy prison term, and sometimes even imprisonment for the remainder of their lives. Those who are released must comply with specific rules and conditions that limit their actions for years after their time is served. For some, the conditions of release apply for a lifetime. Conditions of release often include:

  • Limitations on contact with certain individuals, often including no contact at all with victims, and limited or no contact with minors
  • Required attendance of treatment specifically designed for sex offenders
  • Restrictions on internet access
  • No drug or alcohol use
  • Limitations on where the offender can live or work
  • Supervised parole/ probation

While the punishment of convicted sex offenders is essential to prevent these crimes from recurring, many sex crime convictions carry penalties that are disproportionate to the actual crime committed. Even worse, sex crime accusations are often easy to make, and even easier to make believable in court. Astonishingly, some sex crime convictions are made with little more evidence than the word of the accuser. Sadly, even simple romantic encounters between contenting teenagers can be blown out of proportion and result in jail time, offender registration, and other ramifications for years to come.

The Effects of a Sex Crime Conviction After Incarceration

Unfortunately, the effects of a sex crime conviction do not end once an offender is released from incarceration, and they can be devastating to virtually every aspect of an individual’s future. In Minnesota, convicted sexual offenders must complete offender registration. Their information,┬áincluding the residence of the convicted individual, the date and details of the crime itself, and other data is typically displayed and is made available to anyone who is interested. Unlike other crimes that allow individuals to start over after serving their prison term, sex crimes that require registration create a “brand” on the offender that cannot be removed. Such branding can cause:

  • Limitations on the offender’s ability to secure housing
  • Difficulty obtaining employment
  • Social stigma that affects both past and future relationships
  • Physical and/or emotional harm from members of society
  • Suffering of family members
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