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January 29, 2007

New article on residency restrictions

Corey Yung, who runs the great Sex Crimes blog, has an article on sex offender residency restrictions up at SSRN.  The article, available here, is entitled "Banishment By a Thousand Laws: Residency Restrictions on Sex Offenders."  Corey has this blog post about the article, and here is the abstract:

Across America, states, localities, and private communities are debating and implementing laws to limit the places of residence of convicted sex offenders.  Sixteen states and hundreds, if not thousands, of local communities have adopted statutes which severely limit the places where a sex offender may legally live. In this article, I trace these new laws to historical practices of banishment in Western societies.  I argue that the establishment of exclusion zones by states and localities is a form of banishment that I have termed "internal exile." Internal exile is an uncommon practice in the West and within the United States. The advent of exclusion zones for sex offenders is a development that could fundamentally alter basic principles of the American criminal legal system.

Ultimately, I conclude that the best policy alternative for tailoring sex offender policy to the nature of the problem includes a move to individualization in sex offender sentencing; provisions for judges to have full access to relevant clinical, actuarial, and social science data about sex offenders; and allowing judges a full menu of sentencing options.  These reforms will avoid the worst effects of residency restriction approaches while being substantially more effective in the fight against sex crimes.

As Larry Solum might say, "Download it while its hot!"

January 29, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

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