With a total county population of just over 365,000, Butler County, Ohio isn’t too densely populated. But within those 365,000 residents, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office monitors about 460 sex offenders on any given day. When you add in juveniles and offenders that come into the county for work, that number jumps to over 700 and while the merits of sex offender monitoring are questionable, the costs are not.
According to the Middletown Journal, the annual cost of “dealing with sex offenders” in the county is $179,000 (and that’s a low-balled estimate). This cost includes salaries for the assistant prosecutor who handles these cases and the deputies who monitor them once they leave prison.
The laws that require sex offenders to register were enacted to make the public feel safe and were said to potentially decrease the risk that an offender would reoffend. Recent studies, however, contradict these justifications, saying that sex offenders required to register are actually at a greater risk of recidivism than others.
The overwhelming attitude among the general public is that sex offenders are all predatory and deranged, incapable of stopping their urges and destined to make the same mistakes again and again. It’s this fear that has driven the policies across the nation to keep sex offenders “under control”. But the stigma associated with registering and the subsequent inability for these offenders to lead a normal life may increase the odds that they will violate another law and be sent back to prison.
People who live in the neighborhoods of Butler County and other similar counties statewide, want to know that their children won’t encounter a sex offender. Here, letters are sent out in neighborhoods when an offender is released from prison and plans to settle down up the street. School buses may rearrange their routes to avoid the publicized address and everyone will be on alert that a registered sex offender has moved into the area.
As for the offenders themselves, their perception of the registry is mixed. Some believe the registration hinders their reintegration into society. It prevents them from truly being able to rehabilitate. Others see the value and know why members of the public would be wary of them.
There is no other crime for which the stigma is greater. Being accused of a sex offense can be the most dramatic thing to happen in your life, especially with the knowledge of how it could change everything.
If you are accused of a sex offense, contact our attorneys today to discuss your case.