The ACLU of Michigan is committed to fighting for the rights of people required to register under Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) and their families, and to supporting survivors of sexual offenses, in order to make Michigan communities safer for all of us. We have therefore litigated and advocated for change to SORA for many years. Most recently, we filed Does III, a lawsuit challenging the most recent version of SORA. You can find more information about this lawsuit, along with documents from this case, here.
The requirements under SORA have also greatly changed over the years. Recent information about SORA and our Does II lawsuit can be found here. Court-approved notices to registrants in the Does II case in English, Spanish, and Arabic can be found here. Court-approved summaries of the Does II decision, which provide information for the legal community, can be found here. A presentation providing updates on our cases and the new law can be found here.
Michigan’s registry is one of the largest in the country, and current estimates indicate that it includes approximately 45,000 Michiganders, and approximately 10,000 more people living out of state. The registry costs taxpayers millions each year with no demonstrable public safety benefit. Registration is based solely on past convictions (no matter how old), not present risk, which contradicts modern scientific research showing that scientific assessments are better at predicting risk than past convictions. And, the registry includes children as young as 14 and people who have never committed a sex offense. The ACLU believes that the new law, which went into effect on March 24, 2021, has done little to fix Michigan’s bloated and ineffective registry and, in some ways, has made the problem worse.
The research shows that registries undermine public safety and needlessly waste taxpayer money. For more information, please visit the Basic Facts about SORA page.
The ACLU of Michigan has been fighting to reform SORA for more than a decade. To find more information on our lawsuits, please visit the Legal Challenges to SORA: Case History page.
Michigan has repeatedly revised SORA over the past three decades. The most recent revision, effective March 24, 2021, continues a failed and bloated registry, and does not fix SORA’s constitutional problems. For more information about the new law, about how SORA has changed over time, and about model legislation that would better promote public safety, please visit the Legislative History page.
The ACLU will post important case documents and major updates on this website. You can also ask to be added to our email list to receive updates by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Because there are almost 44,000 people on Michigan’s registry, the lawyers in this case cannot answer questions for individual registrants. If you have questions about your individual case, you should talk to an attorney.