Tennessee (and soon Minnesota) help users find meth dealers

(via boingboing)

Perhaps hoping to shame meth dealers into living more carefully, the way sex offenders presumably do after being listed in sex offender registries (I don’t know if they change their behavior, but I believe that is part of the intention of the program), it seems Tennessee is going to try shaming meth dealers into better lifestyles (go on and check the site – you can look up meth dealers near you).  As written in this Slate article, what does this really do, other than make it easier for addicts with internet connectivity to find a convenient dealer?

What exactly will this punitive harassment accomplish? It certainly won’t encourage meth offenders to assume a lawful place in society. Minnesota State Attorney General Mike Hatch, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate for governor and no softie on the drug issue, considers the meth registry a referral service for users. “What better place to find a meth dealer than on an Internet Web site,” Hatch said last week.

Or maybe not. The Tennessee meth registry doesn’t promise accuracy, covering its ass with a disclaimer on the home page stating that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is in charge of the database, doesn’t verify any of the information sent to it by counties. If it’s not accurate, why bother?

Even if desirable, are the registries practical? Law enforcement doesn’t have the resources to keep tabs on sex offenders who refuse to register. How are they going to track the thousands of meth offenders streaming out of prisons? Would any police chief, sheriff, or state attorney general advocate such a deployment of resources?

Perhaps the folks responsible for these programs didn’t consider this?  But what does this registry really do?

[tags]Meth offenders registry, Tennessee helps you find a meth dealer[/tags]