Transparency for Sex Offenders


In another example of the public policy side of transparency and accountability, two articles in today's Deseret news talk about sex offender registries.  As you're probably aware, the Supreme Court heard arguments last week and will rule on their constitutionality.  On one side, the argument is that these people have served their time and this is additional punishment that keeps them from leading productive lives.  One the other side is the fact that their conviction is a public record and the kind of public record that might provide real protection to people.  Utah has an online sex offender registry that is well designed.  I'm glad to see, for example, that the form uses a GET and the results have a URL that is linkable (in keeping with good URL design principles).  Regardless of what is determined about their constitutionality, I'm convinced that this is a case where transparency provides a real public service.  For example, in just a few seconds, I was able to see a list of sex offenders in my neighborhood.   One of them lives right next door to the junior high school.  Hmmm.....