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April 15, 2009

Iowa legislature working on revising state's sex offender residence restriction

This local story out of Iowa provides details on a fascinating legislative development from the state that largely pioneered the use of extreme sex offender residency restrictions:

Key lawmakers say they are close to an agreement on a plan to revise state laws dealing with sex offenders and scaling back a controversial law that prohibits offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day care.

Law enforcement officials have criticized the 2,000-foot law for years, saying it’s difficult to enforce. Large areas of cities were off limits as places to live for convicted offenders whose crimes were against children.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has been meeting behind closed doors in recent weeks to hash out a plan to revise the law and still provide protection to the public. Sen. Keith Kreiman, D-Bloomfield, said the latest version of working group’s plan would apply the 2,000-foot rule only to the most serious offenders. “I think the agreement will have the support of law enforcement and victims’ groups,” Kreiman said.

But the plan would clamp down on all people on the state’s sex offender registry and prohibit them from going into or working in exclusionary zones that would include schools, libraries and places where groups of children gather. Offenders also would be prohibited from loitering within 300 feet of areas covered by those zones. Under the plan, corrections officials would have discretion to decide which sex offenders would wear bracelets with real-time, GPS tracking abilities. Sex offenders on the state’s registry would have additional reporting requirements to local sheriff’s offices.

Kreiman, who is chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, said he’s not sure whether a deal has been reached on the package. Majority Democrats are looking for support from Republicans as well as Gov. Chet Culver before bringing the package to a vote. “I think we’re very, very close” on reaching a deal, Kreiman said.

April 15, 2009 at 06:32 PM | Permalink


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Iowa to sex offenders: Nice residence available, short walk to schools, playgrounds, and churches.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 16, 2009 4:32:34 PM

"“I think the agreement will have the support of law enforcement and victims’ groups,” "

I wonder why politicians just now decided to listen to victim advocacy groups. They've been against residency restrictions from the start!
Only those unable to see past their own agendas insist upon clinging to residency restrictions. In the meantime, children continue to be abused by those they ought to be able to trust, more and more sex crimes go unsolved... but hey--politicians get to protect their jobs.

Posted by: Rika | Apr 17, 2009 12:01:06 PM

I would just like the laws to be more victim friendly. The person who comits the awful crime of sexual abuse or rape is able to go around like all is fine untill court and the judge makes a decision.That is just crap

Posted by: victims mother | May 20, 2009 12:14:10 AM

why come killers, drug user and sellers are not on a list of some kind?

Posted by: twotall | Jun 15, 2009 12:30:53 PM

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