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March 17, 2009

New scholarship on sex offender residency restrictions

I just noticed on SSRN this new article by Professor Asmara Tekle-Johnson, titled "In the Zone: Sex Offenders and the Ten-Percent Solutions." Here is the abstract:

At first glance, sex-offender residency restrictions appear plausible because they ostensibly place a convicted sex offender's residence out of reach of children.  However, these regimes address less than ten percent of the very real problem of child sex abuse, as family members and acquaintances of children commit more than ninety percent of this abuse.  On the other hand, many schemes effectively banish almost 100% of convicted sex offenders to society's literal and social margins, condemning many low-risk offenders to a lifetime of isolation while breeding optimal conditions for high-risk offenders to reoffend.  The practical implications of this policy choice, therefore, are dangerous and real, lulling the public into a false sense of security.

This Article challenges prevailing judicial orthodoxy that many sex-offender residency restrictions are constitutional under the Ex Post Facto Clause.  The Article applies the analytical framework of Smith v. Doe, the U.S. Supreme Court's most recent case involving sex-offender legislation. It also forges a new way of thinking about these regimes as land-use policies that "negatively" zone individuals out of the urban cores. The Article proposes an innovative "positive" zoning scheme, the Sex-Offender Containment Zone, which zones high-risk convicted sex offenders back into the city in a manner that is effective, humane, and constitutional.

March 17, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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infact iam living in ghana where sex offenders are treated like minor crimes.This is because some of the offenders are either relative or a rich and prominent person.as a matter of fact it does happens to the poor families and the illiterates who do not know what to do or afraid of the rich person or the prominent man.

Posted by: edward kweku arkhurst | Mar 18, 2009 8:04:46 AM

I am a student journalist who hates sexual abuse and offenders.But as a Ghanaian where majority of the people live in abject poverty the victims were given little monies as compensation and the case settle in the house,infact some of the illiterates are even afraid to disclose the identity of the person simply because he is either rich or a politician

Posted by: edward kweku arkhurst | Mar 18, 2009 8:24:02 AM

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