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Monday, August 25, 2014

Jesse Singal: There’s Literally No Evidence That Restricting Where Sex Offenders Can Live Accomplishes Anything


Because I’ve fought against 2 “residency restriction” bills (2010-Athey and 2011-Oder) and the 2011-Landes proposal to not just restrict the movement of RSO’s in public places but carrying a felony punishment, I am posting this great article. 

Mary Devoy 

There’s Literally No Evidence That Restricting Where Sex Offenders Can Live Accomplishes Anything, August 25, 2014
By Jesse Singal
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/08/25/laws_restricting_where_sex_offenders_can_live_don_t_accomplish_anything.html

On Thursday, Joseph Goldstein of the New York Times reported that "Dozens of sex offenders who have satisfied their sentences in New York State are being held in prison beyond their release dates because of a new interpretation of a state law that governs where they can live." In short, since 2005, sex offenders in the state can't live within 1,000 feet of a school, and a February ruling from the state's Department of Corrections and Community Supervision extended that restriction to homeless shelters. 

Because the onus is on sex offenders to find approved housing before they’re released, Goldstein reported, they’ve been left with very few options, especially in densely-populated New York City, where there are schools everywhere. This has led to an uncomfortable legal limbo and sparked at least one lawsuit (so far) on behalf of an offender who is still in custody even though he was supposed to be out by now.