“If a person wants to straighten out,” a Maryland resident
said, “they should be given the opportunity to straighten out, but
it’s important for people to know things like that.” The Marylander
was referring to the location of people who have been classified as sex
offenders, who may live nearby.
As Daniel J. Gross reports for the Gazette, there are more than 8,000 people
throughout Maryland classified as sex offenders. These people are required
to be on the
sex offender registry, which lists the person’s home and work addresses, as well as the
person’s birth date.
Officers then check in on the registered person from time to time to ensure
The length of time a person must be on the sex offender registry depends
on the nature of the conviction. As Gross reports, a fourth-degree criminal
conviction will require a 10-year registration period, while a first-degree
sex offense like rape will require registration for life.
The quote at the beginning of this post about a person “straightening
out,” while at the same time the public is notified of that person’s
whereabouts and what he or she has been convicted of, highlights the tension
between doing the time for a conviction and yet still being punished for
it in the long-term.