I love both my sons, but at times I felt guilty and ashamed that I cared for Troy even though he had hurt Ted. Each state, US territory, and federally-recognized Indian Tribe now has its own set of sex offender registration, notification, and residency restriction laws. History of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws in the US In part as a result of high-profile cases of sexual abuse in the late s and s, state and federal policymakers passed an array of registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws for individuals convicted of sex offenses. Since his offense fell under juvenile court jurisdiction, Jacob was placed on a non-public registry. Registries create the impression that neighborhoods are thick with recidivist sexual predators, making it impossible for residents, including parents, to discern who actually is dangerous. I felt so deeply sad for what he had been through, and I battled with feelings of responsibility. In reality, however, this policy was based on a misconception: Registering sex offenders and publicizing information about them is predicated on the idea that sex crimes are committed by strangers. In addition to seeking geographic diversity, we sought registrants from an array of locations including both rural and urban areas and ethnic and racial backgrounds. Many of the sexual behaviors of youth are problematic, and need to be addressed in a clinical setting or by the justice system, but placing children who commit sex offenses on a registry—often for life— is going too far. The Lychner Act, passed in , amended the federal community notification laws, providing for a national database to track sex offenders and subjecting certain offenders to lifetime registration and notification requirements. Available research indicates that sex offenders, and particularly people who commit sex offenses as children, are among the least likely to reoffend. A family member or significant other was present for a portion of most of the interviews. Indeed recent laws, like the Adam Walsh Act, reserve the harshest punishments for those who target children without seeming to appreciate that child offenders, whose crimes almost always involve other kids, are particularly likely to be subjected to these harsher penalties. Finally, the impacts of being a youth offender subject to registration are multi-generational—affecting the parents, and also the children, of former offenders.