Sex Offenders and Cell Phones in Michigan.

I live in Michigan. And we have a one-size-fits-all sex offender law (or we used to–please correct me if my information is out-dated). I just know I once read that people who get caught urinating in public have to register as sex offenders the third time they get caught. I also know they mention frequently in the media that sex offenders in Michigan are not allowed to own cell phones.

Alot of the restrictions they have that I am aware of seem rather strict. They’re not allowed to go to parks. They are not allowed to be in libraries. They can’t go to schools (as I asked before, How do they pick up their kids?). But cell phones? To be blunt, why shouldn’t a public urinator be allowed to own a cell phone? For some people, that is their only phone. And in Michigan, as in most other places I’m sure, there aren’t too many pay phones left. What do they do if they need to call someone while they are out of the house?

Thank you in advance to all who reply:)

I fully agree that some sex-offender registry laws have gone overboard (and the public urination one is often cited as the most over-zealous one) but for me, if I got caught pissing in public once (and was then prosecuted for it), I am quite certain that I would make sure that it never happened again…

Getting pinched for pissing-in-public on three separate occasions seems like there may actually be something else going on.

I just reread my post, and it does seem a little debate-y–like some might (mistakenly) believe it belongs in GD. So let me make my question clear: I am asking for what the rationale is behind this strange restriction. I am not asking people if this restriction is morally justified or not. I hope this makes my question clear:).

This thread is probably going to be swamped with the “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!” crowd, but I’ll try to take, what I think is, a more reasonable approach.

I think this alone is complete bullshit. I’ve never been caught, but I do know that I’ve urinated in public quite a few times in my life. By “public” I mean in an area that isn’t a bathroom. I’ve never done it, like, in front of people.


This is also complete bullshit.

This is all more bullshit, tbh.

Do released murderers have to stay away from people? Do released thieves have to stay away from stores? No. The purpose of prison is punishment and rehabilitation. If a person is still considered to be a threat to children then that clearly indicates that he isn’t rehabilitated. They’ve done their time.

And this is coming from someone who is definitely not a murderer, not a thief and not a pedophile.

The point of these laws is to give police officers and parole officers an option to arrest people and/or check up on them and if needed put them back in jail.

If a guy gets out of prison he is more likely to reoffend. It’s much easier to see he has a cell phone and haul him in. Then the cops or parole officer can assess if he’s been up to no good and if needed revoke his parole.

It’s easier to revoke parole than to recharge and reconvict on another crime.

That’s the point of these laws, not to prevent another similar type crime from happening. It’s just a tool to for the authorities.

Just like the government ties up highway funds so states don’t lower the drinking age. One has nothing to do with the other. It’s just a tool

So you’re saying that the point is to just make a bunch of laws so that ex-offenders can be caught breaking at least one of them and then thrown back in jail? No. Put them away for life if you want, but that’s ridiculous.

Let’s distinguish between parole - still doing sentence, but allowed out if you follow the rules - and the sex offender registry, which brands someone as a danger to society for the rest of their life and imposes restrictions on their behaoviour forever.

Parole gives police the opportunity to “check up” on a convict without needing to deal with details like warrants or probably cause. Since the person is free on sufferance, would otherwise be in jail, it’s a not bad trade-off if not abused.

The sex-offender registry is just political over-reaction. You don’t need to pee 3 times to get on one; in many places, once is enough. All that has to happen is that the wrong peson catches you and complains, and the prosecutor says that you indecently exposed yourself; bam! you’re a pervert and on their list for life.

This is a political reaction we see too much of nowadays. When something bad happens, “do-something! There-otta-be-a-law” is the reaction instead of a more reasoned “Hey! That’s already against the law! Why did the person not get caught sooner/faster?” Politicians love passing new laws, it shows they are “doing something”. By tthe time unintended consequences show up, they’ve already been re-elected and the public has forgotten they did it.

Prosecutors love the stupid laws - when they set their sights on you, guaranteed they can find so many laws to charge you with that you will go broke if you don’t plea bargain down and boost their conviction rate statistics -which gets them re-elected.

So a law starts with common sense - sexual predators, especially those that prey on children, are driven by urges and cannot be rehabilitated. It strays into stupidity - lets add all these other crimes to the list, since sometimes sexual predators do these acts too. What should we stop predators from doing? stay away from schools, parks, the internet - since everyone “knows” that all sex predators troll the intenet and 50% of all internet users are trolling for kids… Oh, kids text too, so lets ban pervs with cell phones… Pretty soon it gets silly.

It sounds like the Michigan law was somewhat sensible - for a relatively harmless crime like indecent exposure, let’s wait until the perv has proven himself a repeat offender.

Whether a person should be condemned to a life of restrictions for a minor crime - well, it’s up to th supreme court to decide what constitutes cruel and unusual; death for stwealing a loaf of bread is - but a life of restrictions for peeing in public, or being 3 years older than your girlfriend?

OTOH, sexual urges are pretty basically rooted, and as attempts to “cure” homosexuality have shown, the cannot be reliably changed. So what do you do with known problems, and how much does a person have to do before you decide they are an ongoing risk to society and must be somehow “curbed”? Based on the number of convictions we read about for simple possession of child porn, there are a lot of people out there who get off on this but have not actually acted on it with children. Should they be locked up or branded for life if they just fail a psych test but don’t actually offend? All topics for great debates.

The short answer to the OP is - the politicians don’t care. Worst case, the guy cannot live his life without eventually violating a rule, and they send him to jail. Best case, the guy skips town/state and they export the problem. He certainly won’t live a normal life after that in their state. Meanwhile, the better, upscale towns have enough parks and schools that the pervs won’t live in the comfortable upper-clas subirbs that wll vote for that politician.

The people most often caught by these laws are people who are homeless. And it is increased by the current trend to have fewer & fewer public restrooms available – it’s fairly common for restrooms in office buildings or shopping malls to be restricted to customers, which will exclude most homeless people.