Thursday, August 23, 2007

..[ day eight ] offender residence laws in Ohio and elsewhere around the country are driven by fear, not facts.

DAY 8??????

I had to share this blog from Sentencing Law and Policy A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network, June 7, 2007, Advocacy against sex offender residency restrictions in particular this quote:

"Of particular note, and worthy of a full read, is this amicus brief filed in the Ohio Supreme Court in a case challenging the application of Ohio's residency restriction. Here is part of the brief's argument summary:

Research has shown that sex offenders with stable housing and social support are much less likely to commit new sex offenses compared to those offenders who lack stability. Residence restrictions deprive sex offenders of stable housing and social support, and thus significantly increase the risk of recidivism. In addition, sex offenders who become homeless, or fail to provide accurate addresses as a result of these restrictions, will be more difficult to supervise and monitor in the community, thereby increasing the risk to children. Recent studies have concluded that sex offender residence statutes create a false sense of security that may leave children more vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Equally troubling is the lack of evidence that these laws actually protect children. To the contrary, those states that have studied the issue carefully have found no relationship between sex offense recidivism and the proximity of sex offenders' residences to schools or other places where children congregate.

In reality, sex offender residence laws in Ohio and elsewhere around the country are driven by fear, not facts. Despite widespread belief that sex offender recidivism rates are high, recent studies have shown that such recidivism is the exception, rather than the rule, particularly if the offender has received treatment. In cases where recidivism did occur, residence restrictions had no impact. Instead, efforts to enforce sex offender residence laws drain valuable law enforcement resources."


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