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April 16, 2015

Effective review of on-going reviews of sex offender residency restrictions

This new reporting by Steven Yoder via The Crime Report provides an effective update on what is going on lately with state-level sex offender residency restrictions and other sex offender laws and policies. The extended piece has this extended headline: "You Can’t Live Here: Do residency bans and other tough measures on sex offenders work?  The evidence suggests they are counterproductive — and some states are already shifting policies."  Here are excerpts:

Last month, the California Supreme Court ruled such blanket residency bans [on sex offenders] unconstitutional. It based the decision in part on evidence that residency laws drive up homelessness among offenders and make it harder for state authorities to monitor and rehabilitate them.  It’s the latest sign that science has begun to trump passion on what is one of the most sensitive areas of criminal justice.

During the 1990s, at least 30 states enacted residency restrictions on convicted sex offenders who were released into their communities, as part of what appeared to be an increasingly harsh crackdown across the nation.  Congress passed six new federal laws that ratcheted up penalties on those convicted of sex crimes.  In some towns, the crackdown has extended to ordinances prohibiting those with a sex offense on their record from putting up Halloween decorations....

Today more than 20 states have sex offender policy boards, says Chris Lobanov-Rostovsky program manager for Colorado’s Sex Offender Management Board. That number is down slightly since 2010 — that year, 24 states had boards, according to a 2010 report by the Center for Sex Offender Management, funded by the Department of Justice.

A few of these groups last just a year or two and tackle discrete issues like how to certify sex offender treatment providers. Others take on broader offender management policies, weighing in on the likely impact of proposed bills.

Colorado’s board has run for more than 20 years, and Lobanov-Rostovsky gets about half a dozen calls a year from other states asking for advice on setting up their own boards. He travels to about one state a year to offer hands-on help, though he’s not aware of any states that have set up new boards in the last two years.

Boards normally pull in the groups that matter on the issue, typically including representatives of state law enforcement and other agencies, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges or their representatives, sex offender treatment professionals, and victim advocates.  Some boards have full or part-time salaried staff, as in Colorado’s case. Not surprisingly, boards with staff are more productive than those without, Lobanov-Rostovsky says.

April 16, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Permalink


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Since no one has commented yet, I will:

SO Laws = Jim Crow Laws = ex post facto laws = bills of attainder = creating separate legal classes of people = BS. This situation was created by terribly thought out laws without any concerns for empiricism and due process. Only federal bribery of states with LE money (Byrne Grants) has kept them breathing. It could have (and should have) been nipped in the bud in 2003 but the government keeps wasting resources by trying to polish these POS's.

No matter what 9 black-pajamed mentally deficient, overly and undeservingly self-loving government apologists say.

Happy Earth Day (Keep Drinking the Good Citizen Kool Aid)!

Posted by: albeed | Apr 17, 2015 8:46:54 AM

What happens if ghettoized former sex offenders decide to band together to form radical self-defense groups the way the Black Panthers did during the sixties and early seventies against racist law enforcement personnel or the way the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto did during the Second World War? These two groups were willing to fight the authorities to the death even if they ended up loosing. How much longer before former sex offenders under a bridge in Miami and elsewhere finally decide to say, "enough is enough," and really mean it this time?

Posted by: william r. delzell | Apr 17, 2015 9:59:43 AM

I don't get residency restrictions, wouldn't making offenders (well ex-offenders), difficult to track if they are more isolated in rural areas. If offenders are a threat to society, we do courts allow such rules, I mean they wouldn't allow courts to not allow them near "their own children" right?

Are politicians saying well "since the sex offender happens to be your mother or father we have to allow them near you", it's silly and absurd. I don't know why this has not been argued in court yet.

Residency rules are like banishment, and the addition of a church or school then suddenly makes one ineligible to live there. Do they have residency rules banning offenders from living near neighbors who have kids, wouldn't a sex crime be easier in that scenario a rural or more isolated area or places where kids congregate in backyards or homes that populated supervised centers such as schools?

Posted by: Morgan | Apr 19, 2015 3:37:28 AM

albeed | Apr 17, 2015 8:46:54 AM: You are exactly right. "Sex Offender" laws in the U.S. are immoral and un-American. I will be around random children ALL THE TIME, simply and only, because the Sex Offender Registries exist. It is the moral, American response to their criminality.

F the un-Americans who support the "sex offender" witch hunt. I have brought the war to their doorsteps and they will continue to pay.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Apr 19, 2015 6:55:43 PM

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