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Sex offender bill reaches the Senate and House in Virginia

If you've been convicted or accused of sex offenses against children in the past, you know that it can have serious implications for your life. Not only can it be hard to get a job or difficult to mend relationships, but people can often identify you by sex offender registries and make judgments before they even know you or the facts of your case.

In Virginia, it's not being overlooked that those on these lists can be in danger. The lawmakers in the state are considering introducing a law that would make it easier for a convicted sex offender to get a job after a sentence is completed. The Virginia Senate passed the bill, but the House may not approve it.

Would the bill make much difference to those with this conviction or allegations in their pasts? Right now, the state police include the employer's name on the public registry, and that can make employers want to avoid hiring convicted persons. If that's changed, an employer may be able to hire more freely without the concern of public scrutiny.

A known danger currently is that sex offenders on this same registry can be attacked or even killed after they leave prison. The registry makes it easy to track them, if a person wanted to. On top of that, people don't regularly check registries, so it may not change anything in the public eye. What it would do is make it less likely for the public to track an offender to his or her job, if that was what the public wanted to do.

Source: WVTF Public Radio, "Changes Considered for VA's Sex Offender Registry," Sandy Hausman, Feb. 09, 2016

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