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We want to acknowledge our special gratitude to Patty Wetterling, Alisa Klein, Jim Rensel, Nancy Daley, Dr. Levenson for providing guidance and insights in helping us to shape the research and writing of this report. Politicians have responded with a series of laws, including the sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws that are the subject of this report.
Even assuming some public safety benefit, however, the laws can be reformed to reduce their adverse effects without compromising that benefit.
Human Rights Watch would like to thank all of the survivors of sexual violence, former offenders and their families, social workers, advocates, law enforcement officials, and attorneys who shared their experiences and perspective with us for this report.
We are especially grateful to those who trusted us with very painful and personal stories.
So-called "Megan's Laws" establish public access to registry information, primarily by mandating the creation of online registries that provide a former offender's criminal history, current photograph, current address, and other information such as place of employment.
In many states everyone who is required to register is included on the online registry.