Registries cost millions; Accomplish nothing
By Steve Blow . . .
If the goal is more stigma and shame, the operation succeeds spectacularly.
For starters, the entrance is hidden around back of Dallas police headquarters, behind a rusting door, next to a small sign: “Sex Offender Registration Entrance Only.”
Inside, the atmosphere only gets worse. The dreary waiting room is almost always filled to capacity with people sitting glumly, waiting for hours to meet the strict reporting requirements of being a registered sex offender.
On the day I visited, a TV tuned to ESPN played high on one wall, but no one seemed to watch — except for a police detective, that is.
When he stepped into the waiting room to call the next man back for processing, the detective stood for several minutes to watch a sports story.
“You can see there’s no urgency,” Josh Gravens whispered to me across the waiting room. “A lot of these guys are in a hurry to get to their jobs, but he has time to watch ESPN. Very typical.”
Gravens is a registered sex offender himself. But on this day, he was there just to give me a glimpse of life on the registry. (Please see The Dallas Morning News for full story)