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Amicus Brief: Packingham v. North Carolina (by ATSA and Others)

Amicus Brief: Packingham v. North Carolina (by ATSA and Others)

Research Legislative & Court Responses Management Risk Assessment Internet-Facilitated Public Attitudes

In June 2017, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) contributed to an amicus brief for the Supreme Court case Packingham v. North Carolina. This landmark brief criticizes North Carolina's broad restrictions on sex offenders using social media. It argues that such blanket bans are not only overbroad but also ineffective in preventing sexual offenses, instead causing harmful collateral consequences that impede successful reintegration of offenders into society.

The brief emphasizes that sex offenders are not a homogeneous group, advocating for individualized risk assessments and evidence-based, tailored legislative approaches. It points out that many sex offenders have low recidivism rates and that their offenses vary significantly, requiring differentiated management. ATSA's argument highlights that effective crime prevention and management should rely on empirical evidence rather than misconceptions and fear, calling for legislation that specifically targets individuals posing an actual risk, thereby protecting constitutional freedoms and public safety more effectively.

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