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August 16, 2007

The latest sex offender panic news from Ohio

Ohio_cover24938 A helpful reader sent me a link to this remarkable cover story from City Beat, entitled "Next Comes Burning at the Stake: Is Ohio getting too tough on sex offenders?".  The article covers lots of important ground, and these lengthy snippets provide only a glimpse into the strong work in the article:

It's been 10 years since Ohio started registering sex offenders, notifying neighbors when they move nearby and putting their pictures on sheriffs' Web sites.  Has the program improved public safety?  No one knows. The state has never studied the results of this relatively new and controversial approach to crime prevention.

But that hasn't stopped the Ohio General Assembly from passing a much tougher version of the law, requiring even more people to register as sex offenders -- and for longer periods.  The new law, which took effect July 1, won unanimous approval in the Ohio Senate.  But there are serious questions about whether legislators even knew what the law would require. 

Passed under pressure from the federal government, the law creates a classification system so severe that some juveniles convicted of sexual misconduct could be branded as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.  But far from enhancing public safety, some policy analysts say, the new law could backfire -- making it harder for former offenders to stay out of trouble and making it more difficult for victims of sexual abuse to get help....

The law brings Ohio into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. While the federal government can't force states to enact laws, it can create financial "incentives" for states to adopt them.  In this case the incentive was a 10 percent bonus in grants created by the Walsh Act if Ohio enacted the law by July 27.  States that don't pass the law by 2009 will face a 10 percent cut in other federal grants.

Ironically, the Ohio Legislature rushed for nothing. Congress hasn't acted to fund the bonuses in the first place, according to Amy Borror, spokeswoman for the Office of the Ohio Public Defender.  "There absolutely was a sense of urgency that the legislature wanted to pass it before they adjourned for the summer to meet this July 27 deadline ... to get 10 percent of nothing," she says.  "Congress hasn't actually appropriated any money for that so, as of right now, it's 10 percent of zero.  Even if there were money, even if it were $1 million or $2 million, that pales in comparison to the cost of implementing this."

August 16, 2007 at 05:44 PM | Permalink

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» A Good Article about Sex Offender Laws in Ohio from Sex Crimes
A helpful reader sent this interesting article to me (probably the same helpful reader who sent it Berman's way):The climate right now is so punitive around what to do with people who commit sex offenses, says David Singleton, executive director [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 16, 2007 10:36:47 PM

Comments

the predators in Ohio are ugly. http://pray4predators.typepad.com/

Posted by: swanny | Aug 30, 2007 2:13:24 PM

the predators in Ohio are ugly. http://pray4predators.typepad.com/

Posted by: swanny | Aug 30, 2007 2:13:41 PM

the predators in Ohio are ugly. http://pray4predators.typepad.com/

Posted by: swanny | Aug 30, 2007 2:13:47 PM

the predators in Ohio are ugly. http://pray4predators.typepad.com/

Posted by: swanny | Aug 30, 2007 2:13:55 PM

This new law does not make sense at all. Anyone with a criminal record would re-offend as many times as he or she wants. A real criminal would not care if he has to register for life. I feel that would drive them to offend because they might feel isolated. I my self am a so call sex-offender because when i was eighteen my girlfriend was under age. Seven years have passed and i am more mature and too smart to re-offend. I don't feel like a victim but i do feel the laws are not studyied enough before passing. At my age how am i going to succeed with such a record.

Posted by: Edward | Nov 14, 2007 7:16:54 PM

I'm an Everyday type of guy. Look yes I have to register. But I agree with the Megan's Law. I just don't agree with the new Adam Walsh act. I believe that every sex offense case needs to be dealt with on a case by case basis.
If people would look at the statistics they would realize that this doesn't help. Yes there have been offenders who have re-offended. But you have people who have made a poor decision to get involved with someone who was either youner then they stated or was even in high school and had sex with thier boyfriend or girlfriend and the parents found out. which then caused them to file charges.
If people would look at the truth. 90% of all child victims are offended from a family member or a close friend of the family.
I truly believe that if someone molest's a child they should spend they're live's in prison. But also a lot of registered Offenders have taken a plea bargain because the prosecuters have lied to and threatened them to the point that they had to give up and give in to them.

Posted by: The Dude | Mar 4, 2008 6:16:29 PM

comeon.. sex offenders have to be dealt heavily with!

Posted by: NotJstPink | Mar 10, 2009 5:14:02 PM

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