REVAMPING THE MEGAN’S LAW REGISTRANT RISK ASSESSMENT SCALE: RANKING REGISTRANTS FAIRLY AND ACCURATELY WHILE EFFECTIVELY PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY

Author: 

Joseph C. Antonakakis

I. Introduction
Pursuant to most state registration statutes, sex offenders convicted of certain sex offenses must register with authorities and are oftentimes subject to strict community notification depending on the facts of the offender’s offense.
A uniform tool was created to ensure the fair and accurate ranking of sex offender community notification requirements.  The Registrant Risk Assessment Scale (“RRAS”) is predominantly used by courts and prosecutors as a uniform scale to ensure the fair and accurate ranking of sex offenders.  The RRAS was drafted by a team of prosecutors, psychological experts, and legal scholars, who had experience working in with Megan’s law and with individuals who had committed sex offenses.
However, the RRAS and sex offender registration procedures as a whole have recently come under fire as being too stringent.  Psychological experts cite new studies on sex offender recidivism, which allegedly affect the practical and monetary efficacy of Megan’s Law statutes.  Read more.