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February 9, 2006

A potent and important prosecutorial statement against sex offender residency restrictions

I just received an extraordinary document released recently by the Iowa County Attorneys Association concerning sex offender residency restrictions in Iowa.  The ICAA, as detailed here, is an organization of county prosecutors seeking "to promote the uniform and efficient administration of the criminal justice system."  As explained in its five-page statement (which can be downloaded below), the ICAA believes that the Iowa's broad sex offender residency restriction "does not provide the protection that was originally intended and that the cost of enforcing the requirement and the unintended effects on families of offenders warrant replacing the restriction with more effective protective measure."

The ICAA's potent statement (which everyone should read in full) explains in great detail why Iowa's broad sex offender residency restriction is ineffectual and harmful to public safety.  Of course, persons impacted by residency restrictions have long argued their unfairness and some researchers have highlighted concerns about their efficacy.  But the ICAA statement provides a thoughtful explanation from prosecutors as to why these laws are a bad idea and make our society less safe.

A Google news search reveals that the ICAA statement received some press attention a few weeks ago (see here and here), but not nearly as much as I think the statement merits.  As detailed in this story from Iowa and another from Ohio, the ICAA statement can (and certainly should) significantly impact policy debates over the adoption of sex offender residency restrictions, which are raging in legislatures and local communities nationwide.  Moreover, I think the ICAA statement could (and perhaps should) significantly impact constitutional challenges to residency restrictions.  The statement suggests to me that overly broad residency restrictions ought not even survive rational basis review when subject to serious constitutional scrutiny.

Download iowa_prosecutors_statement_on_sex_offenders.pdf

Related posts on the constitutionality of, and policy deabtes over, sex offender residency restrictions:

UPDATE:  Dan Filler over at Concurring Opinions has this thoughtful amplification of points raised above.  I must especially concur with this statement from Dan: "It is heartening to see rational policy debate creep into what has otherwise been the land of moral panic."

February 9, 2006 at 02:15 PM | Permalink


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» Man Bites Dog? Rational Discussion About Sex Offenders Begins from Concurring Opinions
I want to amplify Doug Berman's post today about a new statement from the Iowa County Attorney's Association. The group - which as best as I can tell includes the county attorney from each Iowa county - has taken a... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 9, 2006 3:57:18 PM

» Iowa Restrictions on Sex Offender Residency from PropertyProf Blog
Over at Sentencing Law and Policy, Douglas Berman has a very interesting post on a statement by an Iowa prosecutors' group opposing Iowa's sex offender residency restrictions. (A while ago, I linked to a NPR story that illustrates just how [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 9, 2006 9:43:52 PM

» Prosecutors statement against sex offender restrictions from a Public Defender
Prof. Berman posted yesterday about this extraordinary (and powerful) statement [pdf] by the Iowa County Attorneys Association regarding sex offender residency restrictions in Iowa. Most of you will remember the buzz generated by several states and cou... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 10, 2006 3:28:32 PM

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Four very different developments in the ongoing frenzy against sex offenders: --- STEP FORWARD: A New York judge has reiterated her view that G... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 12, 2006 9:11:04 AM


Very powerful statement by the prosecutor's association! I will post about it soon. Thank you for alerting me to it.

Posted by: Gideon | Feb 9, 2006 4:01:24 PM

I am looking for laws on sex offenders working in public places in access with young children or young teenagers,

Posted by: Marvin W | Aug 23, 2006 1:44:45 PM

My family has just had our son ripped away to the juvenile system for allegedly doing a lewd act on child under 14. He was 12 at the time of the crime on his 10 year old sibling. Now facing possible sex offender registration. Cannot be released because he is a threat to society, even though it is four years later. Out of control hysteria reigns without any rational thought. We are living it.

Posted by: roberto | Nov 7, 2006 12:57:01 AM

Im a victim of remote viewing by stupid niggess in park forest IL. The local police make it seem like they have never heard of it. These black men and boys watch me, an adult white women int he privacy of my bathroom wiping my behind and showering. They use the remote viewing to watch me at nite when Im sleeping and masturbating or what ever. I have told them over and over to call the police.they are mesmerized and brain washed and in the most scarey way too stupid. One of their mothers last nite was heard to say she was working for the president of the united states, when asked. WHATS HIS NAME. She said AL GORE.
OF course none of that is true, but what is true is she is too ignorant to know who the current president of the united states is. I have reported this abuse as it is a federal crime, as they hack my computer, steal my emails, bother me deny me service and access. Have me thrown out of public libraries and then pay the kids and reward them with free ipods, cell phones cash. Whats the difference between this and a drug dealer givingt cash to kids to sell for them?
not much.
Im a crime victim being abused and the abuse never stops because the park forest police and the FBI never submit to the fact its ALL BLACK AND THEY ARENT RACIST.. this is the nature ofa
a sex pervert voyeur ring originally set up by an obsessed forgeiner.
The authorities never responded and as govt harrassment allowed a prostitute to steal my identiy. To make it short. it is known where these perverts are, they just dont call themselves perverts cause they are too stupid

Posted by: Pam Toll | Sep 17, 2008 9:30:27 AM

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