Once someone has been convicted of a sex crime, it is likely that his life will never return to normal. Because of our strict sex offender registry requirements, a convicted sex offender will be publicly branded for the rest of his life, even after he has served his sentence.
Wisconsin’s sex offender registry requirements are already strict, and individual cities can choose to add additional requirements. Waukesha City Council just voted in support of a measure to toughen the city’s sex offender residency restrictions. The proposal states that no convicted sex offenders on the state registry can be placed in Waukesha unless they were residents here for at least 14 days prior to their offense.
The city council member responsible for the proposal said that he doesn’t believe Waukesha should be taking sex offenders from neighboring cities such as Oconomowoc, Sussex, North Prairie, or Mukwonago. His message was clear: if you have been convicted of a sex crime, we don’t want you in Waukesha.
This is a clear example of the public branding which convicted sex offenders will face for the rest of their lives. Because the public has such a negative “gut” reaction to sex crimes, especially ones involving children, the punishment for convicted offenders continues well after any jail sentence is served.
Increasingly restrictive measures such as the one in Waukesha make it more and more difficult for a convicted sex offender to return to society. Those who have been charged with a sex crime such as child pornography need to understand that the law and public sentiment are against them. In order to avoid a lifetime of consequences, it is important to obtain the best possible legal defense.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online, “Waukesha alderman moves to toughen sex offender residency limits,” Laurel Walker, 08 March 2011