Sex Offender Registry

Sex-Offender Registries Do More Harm than Good: Live Debate 2/12 in NYC

Reason/Soho Forum debate in New York looks at the unintended consequences of a popular mandate. Tickets available or watch online.



All the laws requiring those convicted of sex offenses to put their names in a registry should be abolished.

That's the highly controversial resolution that will be argued at the next Soho Forum/Reason debate, on Monday, February 12 at New York's Subculture Theater.

The Soho Forum is a monthly Oxford-style debate, meaning that the audience votes before and after the proceedings and the debater who has moved the most people in her direction is the winner. Soho Forum co-founder Gene Epstein will moderate one of the most-controversial subjects imaginable. Reason is proud to sponsor the Soho Forum, which is held monthly. Each debate is also live-streamed at Reason's Facebook page and here at Go here for a full archive. To listen to an audio podcast version of the Soho Forum, subscribe to the Reason Podcast at iTunes.

Few laws are more popular than sex-offender registries, which are designed to keep predators like serial child molester Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor, away from new victims after being released from prison. But do the laws actually do more harm than good?

Emily Horowitz will argue the affirmative position that registries should be abandoned. She is professor and chair of the sociology and criminal justice department at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, where she founded a program that helps the formerly incarcerated complete college.

Marci A. Hamilton will take the negative. She is Fox Professor of Practice and Fox Family Pavilion Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion in the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tickets must be purchased in advance.

General admission is $18 and student rate is $10. For this debate, you can bring a friend for free. See details here.

Soho Forum

Soho Forum Debate on Sex-Offender Registries

Mon, February 12, 2018

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EST

Subculture Theater

45 Bleecker St

New York, New York 10012

View Map

Cash bar opens: 5:45pm

Meeting convenes: 6:30pm

Wine-and-cheese Reception: 8:15pm

Tickets must be reserved in advance.

Reason TV's "How Sex-Offender Registries Fail Us" (2012), discussed the case of a married couple in which the husband remained on California's registry for life for having underage sex with his wife.

To watch previous Reason/Soho Forum debates on topics such as trade policy, the legacy of Barack Obama, whether libertarians should vote for Donald Trump, and more, go here now.