Is early relief from Registration a possibility?

Facts

This is one of the biggest questions tossed around among registered citizens, but is often more thoroughly looked into upon completion of treatment and any probation and parole requirements. The short answer is “With a clean record, Maybe.” The long answer is hidden deep within the law itself–R.S. 15:544.  We encourage you to reference this law (and read it fully if you have the time) as you read this post.

If you are interested in relief information from a state other than Louisiana, http://ccresourcecenter.org/ has compiled a chart of all 50 states which is accurate as of May, 2015.

However, here at SAFER-Louisiana we are focusing on what this law provides for registered citizens in our state. Below is a concise summary of what is provided in the statute.

  • Citizens who must register for 15 years (Tier 1) can petition for relief after ten years.
  • Citizens who must register for 25 years (Tier 2) currently have no provisions for relief and must register for the entire 25 years.
  • Citizens who must register for a lifetime (Tier 3*) can petition for relief after 25 years.

To be eligible for this relief, the individual must have a “clean” record during his or her period of registration.  as stated in R.S. 15:544, the “clean record” includes not being convicted of a felony or any sex offense, successful completion of a treatment program as provided under R.S. 24:936, and completing any supervised release, probation, or parole which most will have completed before the opportunity for relief has come up.*

*Some offenses that are not tier 3 are being given lifetime supervision and/or probation and parole.

Reflection

Despite Louisiana’s heavy-handed approach to Registered Citizens to date, these provisions are somewhat generous in comparison to some of the other 50 states.  However, I would point out that tier 2 offenses could also use a form of relief for a “clean record.” For example,  Possession of child pornography is considered a tier 2 offense.  Someone who had hundreds of thousands of images probably needs the whole 25 years sex offender registration. But what about someone who had 5 images and does not show any particular leanings towards being attracted to underage people?   I Believe this is where the Louisiana Sex Offender Assessment Panel provided under RS 15:560.2 can actually serve a purpose other than wasting tax payer dollars.  As it stands now, each offender gets a one-time risk assessment which is based on the offense they were convicted of and does not consider aggravating or diminutive factors such as number of victims, criminal intent, etc. as its title implies.

Why does this panel not review cases more than once after a period of time (Say 10 years) and based on track records, treatment profiles, probation and parole feedback, etc. provide a new assessment for the individual?  People can and do change over time for better and for worse.  An assessment may be able to determine if an offender who once posed a significant risk to society now poses a minimal risk or even vice versa!
This is one of the many laws in our state that could use a little tweaking for sure.

written by Discarded Asset on July 24, 2016.

 

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2 thoughts on “Is early relief from Registration a possibility?

  1. flicker73 says:

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I would take it a step further. Why wait 10 years for a review? What about the very intense and very expensive psychosexual evaluation done by a forensic psychologist on the accused SO before sentencing? If an expert reports that a subject “does not pose a danger to the community,” “is not a predator,” and/or “low risk of future offending ” the diagnoses should absolutely be considered. What about a few years into SO Therapy after the workbook has been completed and the therapist has seen the RSO every other week for two years? Wouldn’t this person be able to speak with a decent amount of confidence on the threat level of their client?

    Many RSOs have amassed a pretty sizable amount of documentation by the time they complete probation. It’s so illogical and ridiculous that they have to sit on the proof of their low risk for a few more decades just because of an arbitrary number somebody stuck in a law. It’s also scary to think there are SO therapists who, after spending so much time with the client, really see evidence their client is potentially dangerous but there is nothing to do about it.

    We aren’t protecting anyone when the system is ignoring the expert opinions of the professionals who know better than any lawmaker where danger does and doesn’t lie.

    Liked by 1 person

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