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December 12, 2006

Opposition to Iowa's residency restrictions

Among lots of interesting new posts at Sex Crimes is this item noting opposition to Iowa's sex offender residency restrictions from a "group of county prosecutors, county sheriffs and victim advocates."  As detailed in press reports here and here, this group is stressing that the residency restrictions are not working.  Here's more from this article in the Quad City Times:

A coalition of law-enforcement and victim-advocacy groups came together Monday to ask the Legislature to throw out the state’s 2,000-foot residency restriction on sex offenders. "Good public policy needs to protect children," Corwin Ritchie, executive director of the Iowa County Attorneys Association, said at a Statehouse news conference. "This residency requirement doesn’t do that."...

The problem with the current law, Ritchie said, is that it requires tremendous time and effort to enforce but does little to protect children from sexual abuse.  "We find no correlation between where an offender resides, or sleeps, and whether that offender might re-offend," he said.

Clay County Sheriff Randy Krukow, president of the sheriffs’ group, said the 2,000-foot law may make children less safe, because its restrictions force offenders to relocate, sometimes without telling law enforcement where they’ve gone.  "Before this law went into effect, I had 99 percent of (sex offenders) registered," Krukow said. Now he devotes three members of his 10-person staff to tracking where sex offenders are living. He said that takes resources away from other areas, such as drug enforcement.

The coalition cites figures from the Iowa Department of Public Safety showing that the number of unaccounted-for sex offenders has more than doubled since the law took effect, rising from 142 to 346.

Some related posts on residency restrictions:

December 12, 2006 at 07:16 AM | Permalink

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Comments

This law seems similar to one that CA voters just passed overwhelmingingly. Several prosecutors and police groups came out against the proposition. Unfortunately, they did so very late in the election cycle when most people had already made up their minds. The worst part of the CA law is that the legislature cannot undue the law. Under the CA Constitution, any law passed by as a ballot measure can only be repealed by another ballot measure.

Posted by: da_2_b | Dec 12, 2006 1:29:53 PM

The Quad Cities in Iowa has very strict law enforcement.

Posted by: Iowa Enforcement | Apr 12, 2008 11:24:51 PM

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