PARSOL Statement on tragic Harrisburg incident

In late August, an adult male on the Registry selfishly and callously shot and murdered a sixteen-year-old boy in broad daylight in the city of Harrisburg, PA. The teen was trying to escape the shooter, and reports have it that sexual assault was also part of the terrible crime against this youth.

PARSOL expresses our deep condolences to the family and friends of the boy and also to the community of East Harrisburg over this senseless loss. May he rest in peace.

While the rates of recidivism among people on sex offender registries are among the lowest of any population, even one incident as horrific as this one is too many. Needless to say, the perpetrator should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and should receive a sentence that reflects the great severity and damage his acts have caused.

PARSOL remains committed to the promotion of policy which focuses on prevention of sexual harm before it occurs. While we do not typically focus on murder, sexual harm and violence do sometimes escalate to this unthinkable level.

A great deal of attention is sure to be drawn to sex offender registries and answering the question of what could have been done to prevent this crime. We do not claim to have all the answers, especially in regards to a situation as grave and solemn as this one.

We can only point to the best advice from research and policy experts that demonstrate that sex offender registries are ineffective at their stated goal of keeping the public safe. Unfortunately, rates of sexual crimes have not gone down since the expansion of sex offender registries that took place in the 2000’s.

We will continue to do what we can to advance a Pennsylvania safe and just for all.

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