Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flaws in abuse registries

ABC News reports:
Combatting child abuse is a cause with universal support. Yet a push to create a national database of abusers, as authorized by Congress in 2006, is barely progressing as serious flaws come to light in the state-level registries that would be the basis for a national list.

In North Carolina, an appeals court ruled last month that the registry there is unconstitutional because alleged abusers had no chance to defend themselves before being listed.

In New York, a class-action settlement is taking effect on behalf of thousands of people who were improperly denied the chance for a hearing to get removed from the state registry.

And the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case this fall arising from the plight of a California couple whose names remain on that state's registry years after they were cleared of an abuse allegation made by their rebellious teenage daughter. ...

"Anybody can call a child abuse hotline and report abuse — anybody, including your ex-spouse who hates you, your landlord who's trying to evict you," Kubitschek said.
That is how I got on the California registry. A bitter ex-wife made an unfounded complaint to CPS, and there is no procedure for getting off the registry.

Here is the federal HHS study that resulted from that 2006 law. They don't want any part of the system until it is reformed.

The above story is also here.


Anonymous said...

interesting, in the statistics reported, for 2007 there were about 2 million reports of child abuse, of which 740,000 were "substantiated". That's 37%. A lot of false/erroneous accusations. There were 1740 deaths, a rate of .09 of 1%. Astonishingly small, unless of course it's your kid. An amazing amount of lives ruined, when you think about these numbers. A national registry? God help us.

Anonymous said...

consider, too, that there's usually around 45,000 deaths a year (average) from car accidents. And serious accidents are far higher, so a child is far more likely to be injured or killed in a car than some "predator".