State legislators are talking about updating Missouri’s sex offender registry to be more in line with the federal system. Under State Rep. Kurt Bahr’s proposal, three tiers of offenses would be created, corresponding with how serious the crime was, the 3rd, being the most heinous.
Bahr, R-St. Charles tells Missourinet affiliate KSSZ in Columbia that the proposal would make the registry more effective.
“If we can clean the list off of those people who have minor offenses, then the list becomes more helpful because now you can say ‘If this person is on the list, then they’re likely to be more worrisome,’” Bahr says.
His legislation would offer low-level, one-time offenders an escape from being placed on the list for a lifetime. A punishment he says, that makes it difficult for people to rehabilitate.
“If they do not have a job, if they do not have housing, and if they do not have social interaction with others, if those three things aren’t met, somebody is likely to commit another crime,” says Bahr.
First and second level offenders could petition the courts to be taken off the registry after 10 and 25 years respectively. Top tier offenders would be on the registry for life, as would anyone who repeats a sexual crime while on the list.
By Brad Tregnago of Missourinet affiliate KSSZ in Springfield