Labeled for Life: A Review of Youth Sex Offender Registration Laws

Malik Pickett, Emily Satifka, and Riya Saha Shah with Vic Wiener,
shadow of young man looking out window.

Over 200,000 children in 39 states are placed on sex offender registries for juvenile adjudications of sexual offenses. Each state’s laws impose different restrictions on individuals labeled as sex offenders and the consequences of being placed on a registry of sexual offenders are devastating. This report outlines every state’s laws on youth sex offender registration and provides a roadmap for legislative reform to end this harmful practice.

About the Expert

Riya Saha Shah is a Senior Managing Director of Juvenile Law Center. Riya began her career at Juvenile Law Center in 2005 as a Sol and Helen Zubrow Fellow in Children’s Law. In her role as a Senior Managing Director, Riya serves on the organization’s Management Team and is a leader in Juvenile Law Center’s programmatic justice work. Since the beginning of her legal career, Riya has engaged in litigation, policy advocacy, and amicus efforts to reduce the harm of the juvenile and criminal legal system.

Malik Pickett is a staff attorney at Juvenile Law Center who joined the organization in 2020. He advocates for the rights of youth in the juvenile justice system through litigation, amicus and policy advocacy efforts. Prior to joining Juvenile Law Center, Pickett worked as an associate attorney with the law firm of Wade Clark Mulcahy, LLP where he litigated personal injury and construction defect cases and as a legislative counsel for the Honorable Pennsylvania State Senators Shirley M. Kitchen and Jay Costa. 
Vic Wiener was a 2020 Skadden Fellow at Juvenile Law Center and is now a staff attorney. Their fellowship focused on ending the practice of placing youth on sex offender registries. Vic continues to work on youth registration and focuses on other collateral consequences of involvement in the juvenile and criminal legal systems and on decriminalization for young people.