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DE: Lawmakers eye local residency restrictions on sex offenders

[ – 6/21/18]

DOVER, Del. — The state House is poised to vote on a bill preventing municipalities from establishing housing restrictions for sex offenders that are stricter than what state law requires.

State law prohibits sex offenders from residing or loitering within 500 feet of school property. The bill to be considered Thursday would restrict the ability of municipalities to impose broader residency and proximity restrictions.

Supporters of the measure say the Department of Correction sometimes has difficulty tracking sex offenders released from prison because overly restrictive local ordinances can severely restrict their housing options.

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  1. Janice Bellucci

    The State of Delaware is taking a step in the right direction by preventing cities from passing their own residency restrictions. Perhaps the State will consider at a later date the eradication of all such restrictions. As both government and academic research has determined, residency restrictions do not increase public safety. Instead, they decrease public safety by making homeless more people required to register as well as break up families.

  2. AJ

    Bill sponsors say homeless sex offenders are less likely to comply with registration requirements and are less able to access required treatment and comply with other supervision conditions. They say that could contribute to recidivism and affect public safety.
    Oh my. There’s actually a glimmer of progress here. A legislative finding that the restrictions “could contribute to recidivism and affect public safety”? A little more of the tide turning our way, it seems.

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