I had an interesting conversation today with my CIS 101 class at the Wanaque campus about one Web site. It is always a topic that finds classes split, often down the middle. The Web site? It's a government Web site - the National Sex Offender's public registry.
This Web site was put up due to some backlash related to a young woman named Dru Sjodin, who was a student at the University of North Dakota. She was murdered by a convicted sex offender who had recently been let out of prison. The uproar about this this resulted in the creation of the creation of a database on the Internet, called the National Sex Offender's public registry, where people can look up what sex offenders live in their area.
There are a lot of pieces of information - not only can you get names, but you can get addresses, car makes and models, and much more. It is of course a Web site intended to inform and to protect the general population, but there is always the issue of the rights of the sex offenders.
After all, many students point out, they've served their time in prison and have paid their debt to society, haven't they?
Other students have the opposite view point. Sex offenders don't deserve privacy. Some mistakes can't be undone and you have to live with them forever.
My town has five registered sex offenders, one only a few blocks away. I had one student last semester who had a good friend listed on the Web site, and another had his cousin listed on the Web site. Both students did know of the offenses, but it's still interesting to see personal connections to this site.
Web site link:
You can find the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender's Public Registry at: