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National

OUR OPINION: Restricting where sex offenders can live will not stop abuse

Maine – It’s hard to fault the Biddeford City Council for wanting to do something, anything, to help assuage the fears and frustrations related to the sexual abuse allegations that have come to light in recent months.

The stories of abuse and the subsequent shame, anger and depression are enough to make your heart ache and blood boil, and to compel you to do whatever you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Restricting where child sex offenders can live, as Biddeford councilors did on Tuesday, is the most obvious way for the council to react. As a local legislative body, it may be all it can do. Unfortunately, it won’t make the children of Biddeford any safer. In fact, it may make them less so. Full Opinion Piece

Join the discussion

  1. USA

    Well, lets first be honest. If you truly have an issue or problem and want to commit a crime, almost nothing can or will stop you. If I had an issue, I would get into my car and drive somewhere? So, how does prohibiting someone from living in a certain area make anyone safer? IN addition, as already noted, these silly laws are breaking up families, causing people to lose jobs and many lawmakers are causing more harm then good! Yet, we had the DA of ie: OC prohibiting people from visiting parks, libraries and even beaches? Can you imagine anyone being banned from the beach? I believe one man even lost his job, because it was located near the Ocean? As everyone is aware, when people are working, obtaining higher educated, marrying and being family oriented, the recidivism rate drops significantly. So, that less than 2 percent rate drops even more. These laws create hysteria, anger, break up families and for the layman person, its scares them! Yet, we have murderers, gang members, prostitutes, drive by shooters and wife beaters running around with more rights! Wake up America !

  2. Dr

    I agree with USA, I just saw on the news tonight a man on Halloween ran over three girls killed them ,he’s a repeat offender drunk driver, hit and run , and he gets 14 years in prison he’ll be out in eight and he’ll be a freeman. When he gets out he won’t have to register with the police he will be free to leave the country he will be free to do what he wants and he killed three teenage girls . It seems these laws are upside down and I’m sure getting sick of it .

    • Timmr

      Or take what happened recently in Waco. What was it 9 killed and over 100 injured in a gang brawl. Those people in criminal motorcycle gangs choose to belong to those gangs, involving themselves in violence and drug trafficking. It is not like a one time mistake in judgement to belong to a gang, but a lifestyle. Why aren’t they on some public registry? Banned from bars and public spaces by local crime fighters. Made to register in every community they are present in or face jail time. Well?

  3. td777

    At least the writer knows it won’t prevent any crimes, it’s a shame the city council refused to acknowledge that. The writer did fail to mention the recent decision here in California when mentioning other states.

    • Timmr

      I’m finding that many states have government funded studies showing that sex offense recidivism is low, residency and presence restrictions don’t work and the public registry actually increases re-offense. So, what I am not finding is why the lawmakers still support these measures. One needs to do a study of why lawmakers support laws, when they have the information to show those laws don’t work. That’s the crime that needs to be studied more.

  4. Two states east

    On residency restrictions, from the now offline RSOL New Jersey FAIR dated in 2011:

    “In a 2004 “Criminal Law Bulletin” article…Eric Janus argued that sexual predator laws provide a model for undercutting Constitutional protections. The process, Janus said, starts with a universally despised group of people who, like suspected terrorists attract no public sympathy. He warned that we are at are at risk of becoming a “preventative state” in which the paradigm of governmental social control has shifted from solving and punishing crimes that have been committed to identifying “dangerous” people, and depriving them of their liberty before they can do harm. To most Americans, I fear, this prospect is not nearly as scary as the possibility that a sex offender lives down the street.” Jacob Sullivan/ reason.com.

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