« An ADR perspective on plea bargaining | Main | Juves serving life terms »

October 7, 2007

"Sex-offender ghettos"

The title of this post is the headline on this effective article from my local Columbus Dispatch discussing the reality of sex offender residency restrictions in Ohio.  The article's subtitle highlights its main theme: "Get-tough laws force predators to move but do little to make kids safer."  Here are some snippets from a long article that should be read in full:

Ohio is among 22 states with laws restricting where sex offenders may live.  A 2003 law prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, and a new state law effective July 1 adds preschools and day cares.

Newark is among nine central Ohio communities with additional restrictions.  There, sex offenders may not live within 1,000 feet of city parks and the municipal swimming pool, either. The Licking County seat is among a growing number of communities in central Ohio and across the state that have exceeded state law in the past two years by approving local ordinances further restricting where registered sex offenders may live.

One visible consequence is that when sex offenders cannot live in some places, they cluster in others. Newark resident Elizabeth Chandler lives in an enclave of registered sex offenders in a neighborhood north of downtown.  Clinton Street, in particular, has become something of a sex-offenders row.  They are strung all along the street, and one homeless sex offender even listed his address as beneath a Clinton Street bridge.  As the mother of three young girls, Chandler tries to keep track of the registered sex offenders living in her neighborhood. It's difficult.  More keep moving in....

Last month, a federal judge ruled that the Ohio residence-restriction law could not be applied retroactively to a sex offender whose crime preceded the law's effective date of July 31, 2003.  A sex-offender homeowner has filed the constitutional challenge that the Ohio Supreme Court will hear this week.  Both cases turn on the same issue: Does the state constitution permit the retroactive application of residence restrictions to pre-2003 sex offenders?

The state Supreme Court case is significant because it's the first time the high court has agreed to address the constitutionality of any aspect of the state's residence-restriction law, said David A. Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center.  "This will be a landmark case, however it turns out," he said.

Some related posts on sex offender residency restrictions:

October 7, 2007 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e200e54ef2ba7f8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Sex-offender ghettos":

Comments

Hi,

A Sex offendersmight live among you without your
knowledge. You don’t have enough power to forbid a child sex offender living among people
like you. But you can protect your child by making them awareness of internet dangers where
many of the sex child offenders meet their victims.

Posted by: Terry | Oct 8, 2007 1:53:14 AM

Above is good old fashioned link spam.

Posted by: Jesse Gillespie | Oct 10, 2007 10:22:08 PM

Does the Ohio State Court, or any State or Federal Court, for that matter, gerenally practice violating people's right's. This is America, everyone has right's even those who break the law. They have constitutional rights too! Does anyone care that this nation is locking people up everyday, destroying their lives?
Does anyone see where there sound be a separation between violent predators, and those who commited "Statory Rape"? Does anyone have any idea what this means? It means that it was consentual sex, yes, both parties agreed. Yes, and it is against the law, as it should be, but My Point is, that there is a difference between the two types. If people cannot see that there is a difference, then they are more blind than I orginally thought.

Posted by: Jason | Mar 8, 2008 9:25:31 PM

Just execute them.

Posted by: MadParent | May 20, 2008 1:09:27 PM

I'm just a regular person involved in an organization dedicated to serving our local community. In our discussion with the board of directors, one of its members asserted that law and policy are the same. I disagree with this assertion.

Please help me with:

What is law defined? What is policy defined? What's the difference between the two? And finally, how are these two related?

Thank you very much for your help.

Respectfully,

Vic DeLeon

Posted by: vic deleon | Jan 11, 2009 12:45:18 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB