A state opts to ban Pokémon Go for paroled sex offenders

There are some criminal convictions that can subject a person to a particularly massive number of restrictions. Sex crime convictions fall into this category. The restrictions placed on those found guilty of such crimes can touch on all kinds of very personal and day-to-day things, including what apps a person can use on their phone and mobile devices and what they can do with their free time.

This can be seen in a restriction the state of New York recently placed on sex offenders. The restriction involves the popular augmented reality phone app game Pokémon Go. New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will be making using this app a prohibited activity for paroled sex offenders in the state. This ban will apply to around 3,000 individuals.

The ban is being instituted at the direction of New York’s governor. The governor has also taken actions aimed at enlisting the help of the company behind Pokémon Go in keeping sex offenders off the app. The governor said that the ban and related actions are being taken for the protection of children.

Do you think other states will move towards putting bans on convicted sex offender use of Pokémon Go in upcoming months?

This ban, while from another state, illustrates something it Is important for individuals here in Wisconsin to be aware of. This is that a conviction on a sex crime can not only put restrictions on what a person can do in the physical world, but also what they can do in the digital world. Given the bigger and bigger role digital activity is playing in people’s lives these days, restrictions of the latter type can end up having a very big impact on a person’s everyday life. So, the possibility of digital activity restrictions is among the things that contribute to the very high level of the stakes when a person is facing allegations of having committed a sex crime.

Source: The Washington Post, “PokémonNo for sex offenders, New York governor says,” Elise Schmelzer, Aug, 2, 2016

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