Picture this: Your spouse is accused of child abuse. The two of you do everything you can to fight the charge – hire the best attorney you can afford, deny the allegations, work to discover the truth – but to no avail. Your spouse is convicted and heads to jail. Thankfully the charge is only a misdemeanor, and the sentence won’t exceed nine months. But nine months seems like an eternity to your family, and in truth, it’s only a drop in the bucket when you consider how long this sentence is actually going to last.
Not sure what we mean by that? Well, consider the facts….
If you follow our blog, or have visited our site at all, you probably know about Michigan’s Central Registry, which is sometimes called the “child abuser registry.” For those of you who aren’t familiar with this registry, it’s a database containing the names of convicted and suspected child abusers in Michigan. The controversy surrounding this registry comes from the “suspected child abuser” portion. CPS workers are able to add a person’s name to the list without that person having ever been convicted of a crime.
Consider the impact that being on the sex offender registry has on the lives of people who were convicted of sex crimes. Even after serving their sentence in prison, having paid their debt to society, they are added to a list of sex offenders which can be accessed by the public at any time. Their neighbors. Anyone in their community. Concerned family members of every person they start a relationship with, whether a friendship or something more intimate. Everybody has access to that information, and they are never able to get away from the social stigma it carries.
This ‘stain’ permeates every aspect of their lives, ruining friendships, interfering with jobs, and making the chance of a new life after incarceration almost impossible. For people whose conviction was the result of a false allegation, a misunderstanding, or a single mistake, this is an absolute tragedy. It would be no different for people accused of child abuse.
For years after their prison sentence was over, they would continue to exist inside an invisible prison, unable to escape their past, and denied any chance at a real future. For those whose convictions are the result of false allegations, manipulated “victim” testimonies, CPS lies, differing beliefs about parenting or discipline, the reality would be just another sentence handed down by the court, even after they had already served their time.
Join us next time, when we will be looking at what the law will require if it is passed, and what this will cost the state, both financially and in terms of manpower. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of child abuse or neglect in the state of Michigan, contact The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766-5245. Our experienced attorneys have spent years defending the people of Michigan against trumped up child abuse charges and false allegations. We are parent advocates and avid family defenders. We can help you too!