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GA: City Council passes emergency ordinance banning homelessness

With an outcry from neighbors about recently released sex offenders living under a nearby bridge, the Ringgold City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance banning homelessness Monday night. Full Article


COLUMN: Georgia City Wrong to Target Sex Offenders in New ‘Homelessness Ordinance”

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This would be funny if it weren’t so tragic and if it wasn’t destroying people. The city creates a registry, the city creates laws so people on that registry can’t live anywhere, they city is creating a law to jail people who don’t have anywhere to live due to those laws they created. To add to the insanity, probation is placing the people under the bridge because they have nowhere to release them do to the strict residency restrictions imposed by the city, now the city is shocked to find out probation is placing people under the bridge, and everyone… Read more »

@ Eric,

Yeah, I’d say that’s a reasonable interpretation.

Particularly laughable is the councilwoman trying to claim the ordinance doesn’t criminalize homelessness. 60 days in jail or $1000 fine (like the homeless can pay that but refuse to put a roof over their own heads) for violation sounds like a criminal sanction to me, especially considering that that’s the maximum sanction that can be imposed in city or county ordinances in Georgia.

Email sent to the author Tyler Jett ( 423-757-6476). Dear Mr. Jett, I am writing in regards to the article you wrote on Ringgold’s choice to “ban” sex offenders and all homeless people from the city. First, society has been led to believe sex offenders have a high recidivism rate. This is false. Robert Longo wrote the original 1986 non-scientific Psychology Today article stating “frightening and high” recidivism rates to be as high as 80% (35 to 80). Barbara Schwartz wrote the Department of Justice manual cited by the Supreme Court but admits she just “made up a model”. The… Read more »

Thanks for that amazing post, and unlike the journalists, you included researched data. Well done.

Mr. Jett actually wrote back saying “Thanks, [me]. I have been doing a lot of research and in particular found this piece very helpful. Unfortunately I am not able to dive very deep on a fast deadline with some stories, but I am working on a more thorough about the issue.

Please do not hesitate to send along to me any more information you find pertinent.”

@R M:
Well done on the letter to the journalist. Given his request to send along anything more you have, perhaps the before/after study done in NJ showing the uselessness of ML would be helpful…especially since NJ is Ground Zero of ML. The URL for info about the study and the study PDF itself is:

@AJ: Thanks, I’m still debating whether to write him back as I am still debating whether he is genuine in his request. I more than likely will put together a much longer response with cites and synopsis.

@ everyone: As a side note, has anyone else contacted this author?

Mr. Jett wrote back again: “Right now, I’m most interested in the history of sex offender restrictions. How they began and why. Who were the forces pushing for the change.” My response: “Hi Mr. Jett, There are plenty of websites, court cases, books, college classes, historians, psychologists, doctors, governments, etc. that will answer your question. Which ones you believe depends on whether you want the truth or want to continue the fear and hysteria that our government has instilled into society. Remember history as it was taught in schools and then look at which ones have later been debunked, found… Read more »

@R M: Well done on continuing and nurturing the conversation with him. It sounds as though he does truly want to dig deeper into it. The sources you supplied him are great, and I think he can also benefit from government studies. Heck, maybe even direct him to SMART’s own words that we’re a heterogeneous group. The more he can be shown that even government studies–outside the political realm–show it all to be nowhere near the advertised fear and problem, I think the more likely he’ll be a “convert.” As you said to him, there is a LOT of information… Read more »

@AJ: Yeah, I didn’t want to overwhelm him with info. It’s up to him as a journalist to investigate and I just wanted to point him in the right direction. If he asks, I can provide tons of research. He did say in a previous response that “Unfortunately I am not able to dive very deep on a fast deadline with some stories…”, so I’ll respond as needed. I took 4 days for me to respond to his last reply so I won’t apply (too much) pressure. There was one article/post that I saw not too long ago that was… Read more »

Well, it could be worse. At least they didn’t make it illegal for A registrant to register. With “failure to register” being a felony, it would automatically make a “registrant registering” A felony also. I think I will pick Florida as my guess for what state will try it first.

(full of sarcasm) (except the Florida bit)

Wow! This is very disturbing! They ban offenders from living in certain areas and making it very difficult to become employed, yet they complain when the individual becomes homeless? Wouldn’t it be easier to assist these people with employment/trades, help them obtain housing and become assets to society? I see how the US goes to foreign countries, help those in need, but yet they don’t help their own? Disturbing! California might be the worst! It’s now time to look at things in an alternative manner! I’m a Republican, but I think the new Governor (liberal) will do things differently. As… Read more »

The more I think about this it appears to be a calculated strategy to keep the undesirables locked up. They are not allowed to live anywhere and then they are arrested and jailed for not living somewhere.

Ok, here is a link to the presidents talk on the new prison reform bill. It is an impressive talk by President Trump. The theme is that people who make a mistake in the United States get a second chance. He emphasizes opportunities at fair housing, training and jobs. All of which are currently withheld form those on the registry, and as is certainly seen in this article on denying housing and then jailing those same people for not having a place to live.

“(D) INELIGIBLE PRISONERS.—A prisoner is ineligible to receive time credits under this paragraph if the prisoner is serving a sentence for a conviction under any of the following provisions of law: … “(xxiii) Any section of chapter 109A, relating to sexual abuse, except that with regard to section 2244, only a conviction under subsection (c) of that section (relating to abusive sexual contact involving young children) shall make a prisoner ineligible under this subparagraph. “(xxiv) Section 2251, relating to the sexual exploitation of children. “(xxv) Section 2251A, relating to the selling or buying of children. “(xxvi) Any of paragraphs (1)… Read more »

That language on the ineligible prisoners is a Chris Smith echo and also the Jeff Sessions Memorial language text, IMO.

Ok, so only sect people who make mistakes get a second chance. I guess he left that out of the speech.

Another thing overlooked:

“In response to neighbors’ complaints, a DCS spokeswoman sent the Times Free Press a “frequently asked questions” form designed for Ringgold residents which includes a statement that the agency is not required to inform neighbors about a sex offender living nearby.”

Wasn’t the registry supposed to BE that notification? A lot of states require separate community notification when registrants move in – isn’t that redundant to the registry? Doesn’t that just further demonstrate the uselessness of at least the public registry?

The city council could have banned ignorance ….. instantly putting themselves in violation!

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