The recent decision by the PA Supreme Court that sent a Constitutional challenge to public sex offender registries back to square one is a setback for those who know that sex offense registries are ineffective. Reactive measures like the registry divert resources away from policy which has the potential to prevent sexual crimes.
While we will likely not see the constitutionality of PA’s registry decided until 2021, it is important that we maintain a dialogue with elected officials.
Short of going to see them in person, a physical letter delivered to your Representative or Senator’s Office is the best way to make your feelings known about the need to take focus away from the registry. It is important that they know the reality of what kind of negative impact the registry has on everyday people and families and it’s important that we take the time to educate them.
Use the “Find your Legislator” link under Resources on the top menu to find the name and address of your PA Rep and/or Senator. (Bonus points of this person sits on a Judiciary Committee!) Fill in your return address, your legislator’s info, and update the date. Replace the italicized text with a personal story that describes your experience with the public registry. Sign the letter with your name. Feel free to adjust anything you like, but please do not write as if you represent PARSOL.
The most impact will be had by physically printing this letter out and sending it through the US Postal Service. We urge you to take this route. A second option would be to attach your completed letter and send it via email to your Legislators.
Thank you for your effort and willingness to speak on this issue. It is up to each of us to educate others about the opportunity to do better in PA and focus on prevention instead of greater punishment.