ME: Bill prohibiting sex offender living restrictions raises worry

CONCORD — A bill prohibiting residency restrictions for registered sex offenders and offenders against children which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month is causing concern among some legislators, who say the bill would strip communities of their ability to protect children.

HB 1237 is based upon two court decisions where judges found local ordinances restricting residency for offenders to be unconstitutional.

One of the cases cited came out of Dover District Court. In August of 2009, Dover’s ordinance that prohibited registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school or day care center was deemed unconstitutional by Judge Mark Weaver after a challenge by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union. Weaver found the city did not show a substantial relationship between the ordinance and the protection of children. Full Article

Related posts

Notify of

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...


  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t
  4. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  5. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  6. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  7. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  8. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  9. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  10. Please do not post in all Caps.
  11. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links. Posts that include a URL may take considerably longer to be approved.
  12. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  13. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  14. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people
  15. Please do not solicit funds
  16. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), or any others, the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
  17. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  18. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
  19. We no longer post articles about arrests or accusations, only selected convictions. If your comment contains a link to an arrest or accusation article we will not approve your comment.
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I wrote an email to the author of this piece:
Ms. Haas
I do not live in your state, however, I must point out that I applaud the statements made by those who support this bill and Judge Weaver’s ruling. What is missing from your article is the research that shows that residency restrictions are ineffective. They do not protect anyone. They do inflict unnecessary hardship on registrants who have paid for their offense and their families. The aforementioned link is to only one of many articles citing the fact that residency restrictions serve no purpose other than a false sense of security and revenge satisfaction. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported in 2012 that the recidivism rate for registrants (a new sex offense) is 1.9%, so 98% of registrants will never offend again. Many citizens on the registry did not commit a hand’s-on offense and some had consensual sex with statutory consequences, e.g. Romeo and Juliet sexual relationships. It is a fact that many registrants have never been a threat to the public at all but myths and hype drive the public to agree to ineffective laws that waste tax dollars, but really do not protect.

I can only hope that this bill passes based on fact and truth, and is not buried by legislature in an attempt to show themselves “tough on crime” and “protecting the children.” They are not. It would be much more cost effective to spend tax dollars on education and preventative measures rather than punitive ones.

The uproar is mostly to do with taking the hot air out of the rhetoric windbags that keep beating this drum to gain political favor. That’s all. It is not about public safety, it is about using fear, distortions and panic to protect career politicians and public officials.

Don’t forget, there is no correlation between proximity and recidivism even between those registrants who do reoffend. In other words, of the 2% who reoffend, the percentages of THOSE individuals are no different, proportionally, from those who live within the restriction or outside the restriction areas.