Sunday, October 23, 2011

MI - Tribe starts sex offender registry

Original Article


By Rick Mills

Sex offenders in much of Isabella County now have to register and report twice, once to the state and separately to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

Those who register with the state but fail to report to Tribal Police could face federal prosecution and up to $5,000 in civil fines in Tribal Court.

Tribal Council adopted a sex offender registry ordinance in July and has been notifying law enforcement, registered offenders, schools and local employers.

Federal law requires Tribes to either enact their own registry or delegate their authority to the state.

Besides prosecution and civil fines, the Tribal ordinance threatens “exclusion,” which could mean forcing violators to move from the five townships and half of two others that comprise Indian Country.

Under agreements signed just shy of a year ago, the state recognizes the townships of Deerfield, Denver, Isabella, Nottawa and Wise, plus the north halves of Chippewa and Union, including part of Mt. Pleasant, as Indian Country as defined by federal law.

Local police and attorneys are fielding calls from confused sex offenders and say the process is redundant.

City, state and county officers already confirm addresses of sex offenders and track down those who do not comply.

These same sex offenders are now required to appear in person at the Tribal Police Department to perform this same verification procedure as well as pay a fee,” said Mt. Pleasant Police Capt. Tom Forsberg. “This is a clear duplication of effort.”

There have been no talks about sharing verification duties, and Tribal police officials seldom attend meetings held between local police agencies, police officials said.

The Invisible Man: How the Sex Offender Registry Results in Social Death

Original Article


Elizabeth Berenguer Megale
Barry University School of Law

The Journal of Law and Social Deviance, Forthcoming

This Article establishes that over-criminalization serves to marginalize unwanted groups of society, and particularly regarding the sex offender registry, it results in social death. The author relies upon the notion of crime as a social construct to establish that the concept of “sex offense” changes over time as society and culture evolve. From there, the author incorporates the work of Michele Foucault involving the relationship of power, knowledge, and sexuality to show how the trend toward more repressive social controls over sex-related activity is related to a shift in this relationship. The Author identifies three characteristics and the associated traits which arise when over-criminalization exists, and further shows how these characteristics and traits are present with respect to the sex offender registry. This Article offers critical insight into the relationship between over-criminalization and repressive control systems and concludes that over-criminalization exists when repressive governmental controls seize power and render non-existent informal social controls. It follows that the sex offender registry is a repressive governmental control that has concentrated power in the government and criminal laws while shifting power away from informal social controls to result in the social death of those unwanted, those labeled sex offender.