Twenty years after going into effect, most Americans are not sure if Megan’s Law has actually done anything to reduce the number of children attacked by sex offenders, although they remain strongly supportive of a public registry for these criminals.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 1,000 American adults finds that 84 percent favor a public sex offender registry. Only 7 percent oppose such a registry.
Sixty-three percent also think convicted sex offenders should stay on a public registry even after they have fulfilled their sentence and their parole or probation period. Twenty percent disagree and think they should come off the list then, but 17 percent are not sure.
However, Americans are not convinced that Megan’s Law has been effective in reducing the number of children attacked by sex offenders. Just 19 percent think it has, while slightly more (25 percent) think it has not been effective. Most adults (56 percent) are undecided.
Fifty-seven percent still think corrections systems should be allowed to hold sex offenders indefinitely if they believe the offender will strike again. Twenty-two percent do not think these criminals should be held indefinitely, but just as many (21 percent) are undecided.