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Amicus Brief: Pennsylvania v Torsilieri

Amicus Brief: Pennsylvania v Torsilieri

Research Legislative & Court Responses Management Public Registries Risk Assessment Public Attitudes

In their April 2019 amicus brief for the case Pennsylvania v. Torsilieri, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) presents a critical analysis of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The brief argues that SORNA's rigid offender classification and extensive registration requirements are ineffective in assessing the actual risk of recidivism and dilute the effectiveness of sex offender registries.

ATSA challenges the one-size-fits-all approach of SORNA, highlighting that it overestimates risk in most cases and erroneously implies that a majority of registered sex offenders pose a high threat to community safety. The organization contends that such broad categorization based on offense type, rather than individual assessment, leads to misallocation of law enforcement resources and public misunderstanding about the actual risks of sexual offense recidivism.

The brief advocates for a more nuanced and evidence-based approach in classifying and managing sex offenders, emphasizing the need for individualized risk assessments and judicially determined risk profiles to enhance public safety effectively.

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