P.E.I. has 199 people on the National Sex Offender Registry, but that number may drop

The Supreme Court of Canada has determined it is unconstitutional for someone convicted of two or more sexual offences to automatically be listed on the registry for life.  (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The Supreme Court of Canada has determined it is unconstitutional for someone convicted of two or more sexual offences to automatically be listed on the registry for life. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The number of people on P.E.I. who are on the National Sex Offender Registry could drop after a recent Supreme Court decision.

Since 2011, any Canadian who has been convicted of two or more sexual offences is automatically listed on the registry for life.  The Supreme Court has determined that is unconstitutional, saying the list should be based on an offender's risk to reoffend.

According to RCMP, there are 199 people on P.E.I. listed on the registry. They have to report to police at least once a year, and are subject to travel-related and other conditions. Those who have been automatically added will now be given the chance to appeal.

CBC News reached out to the P.E.I. Rape and Sexual Assault Centre for reaction, but was unable to get a comment.

Conor Mullin is president of the John Howard Society of P.E.I. — an organization that "assists at-risk persons or persons who are involved in the criminal justice process by providing prevention, transitional and support services," according to its website.

Mullin believes the Supreme Court decision could make the registry more effective, without minimizing the effect on victims.

"I think this decision was a recognition by the Supreme Court to say that not all people who offend sexually pose a risk to reoffend," Mullin said in an interview with Island Morning's Laura Chapin.

"And I think that the evidence quoted by the Supreme Court would suggest that in fact 75 to 80 per cent of offenders actually never reoffend. Now that is not to say that there's still that 20 to 25 per cent who do pose a risk that absolutely should be on the registry.... And I think that by limiting the people that are subject to the registry, it's actually going to enhance its purpose."