Archive for Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sex offender restrictions may backfire

November 16, 2006

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Restrictions on where sex offenders can live may sound good, but actually put communities at greater risk, law enforcement and victims' rights advocates said Wednesday.

"The bottom line is, it doesn't protect children," said Pamela Dettmann, a senior assistant county attorney from Burlington, Iowa.

Kansas lawmakers are considering legislation that would prohibit sex offenders who are released from prison from living near schools or day-care centers.

But officials from Iowa said a similar new law there has had several unintended consequences.

It has forced sex offenders to live in remote areas where it is difficult for law enforcement and parole officials to keep track of them.

And the number of sex offenders who are unaccounted for has doubled since the law went into effect last year.

Additionally, some communities now have clusters of offenders living in motels or other places outside the residency restriction.

Dettmann also said that the law misdirects public attention on the problem of sex crimes against children by focusing on "stranger" offenders, when most sex crimes against children are committed by a relative or acquaintance.

Iowa officials urged Kansas lawmakers to shelve proposals on residency restrictions and instead direct efforts on treatment of sex offenders and educational programs for young children.

In Iowa, law enforcement officials and prosecutors have joined forces to try to repeal the law there.

In Kansas, a judicial committee took no action on the proposal but will make its recommendations before the January startup of the 2007 legislative session.

Comments

alm77 8 years, 8 months ago

We could just to this to all of them, then they could live where they want:

http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5456126

mom_of_three 8 years, 8 months ago

Sex offenders shouldn't be living across the street from schools and that needs to be stopped. There has to be a way to protect the kids.
Even though most sex crimes seem to be by a relative or aquaintance, doesn't make that person less dangerous to another child. He/she still needs to stay away from kids.

werekoala 8 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, but I really don't think the location of residence is going to stop a motivated child molester. That's why they all drive windowless full-size vans, y'know.

I also have a tendency to look at the other side of the issue - while the rest of you may look at a map and see "sex-offender-free zones", I look at what's outside those zones and see "welcome, perverts!"

I guess I just don't like the idea that we're going to say that certain parts of town are going to be pervert central. And more to the point - if these people are truely dangerous, shouldn't they be in jail?

werekoala 8 years, 8 months ago

oops, just realized my last post might sound like I don't think sex offenders are real or dangerous. I just meant to say that I'd rather not have a bunch of additional restrictions on people in the general population - if they're not safe to be around kids, don't go through all this BS, just keep them in jail!

And since most pedophiles were themselves abused as children, if we really start locking up these folks permanently, we might stand a chance of nearly eliminating this problem in a generation or two.

compmd 8 years, 8 months ago

mom_of_three, that might be true IF a sex offender had a thing for kids. Look at how many sex offenders committed a crime against an adult and NOT against a minor before you play the "think of the children" card.

Reality_Check, thank you.

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 8 months ago

Won't someone p-l-e-a-s-e think of the children?! Like Helen Lovejoy, huh. Shippem' all off to an island. Pin a big red M to their chest. Kill 'em all. Think about things that have a greater statistical likelyhood of having anything to do with your lives instead.

hipper_than_hip 8 years, 8 months ago

It's an easy enough problem to solve: make child rape a capital offense.

Bone777 8 years, 8 months ago

Figure out a true treatment for these people and forget worrying about the part of the law that states "no cruel or unsually". Make it cruel, make unusually, make it work.
Castration, hormone, labotomy...........

packrat 8 years, 8 months ago

While many other criminals who have served thier sentences have restrictions on things that they own, i.e. certain felons and guns, no other group has a restriction on where they can live. Nor does any other group have their pictures printed on the internet.

If we do this for one group of offenders, shouldn't we do this for others. I, for one, would like to know if any murderers or drug dealers live close by.

We should do this for all felons or none of them.

Confrontation 8 years, 8 months ago

"There has to be a way to protect the kids."

There are many ways if you are a decent parent. Don't let your kids hang out alone with religious leaders and youth group coordinators. If any adult is more interested in being your kid's friend than yours, then don't let him/her near your family. If any adult showers your kid with random gifts, then keep an eye on that person. People who take jobs that put them in close contact with children should be monitored. Not all people who work around kids are sick perverts, but sick perverts want these jobs. Stop being a stupid parent and use common sense.

Bone777 8 years, 8 months ago

When a person is totally committed to achieving something, (i.e. molesting your child) they will do it. It just takes one moment of letting your child out of your site (the bus stop, a public restroom, a park, etc,etc,etc.)

The guy in Idaho, Joseph Duncan, broke in, tied up and beat to death three people, before taking the kids for his own pleasure.

I don't know any "decent parents" who could have stopped that.

Jeffrey Watts 8 years, 8 months ago

Always amazes me that folks are more worried about a sex offender than they are a murderer. Where's the cry for a murderer's registry?

People are such sheep when it comes to anything involving children. Their brains somehow turn off and they resort to the pitchfork and torch.

gccs14r 8 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget that an 18-year-old who sleeps with a 15-year-old who told him she's 16 and then gets charged by her parents for statutory also gets branded a Sex Offender. Not everyone in the registry is a creepy old guy with the hots for young children.

sublime 8 years, 8 months ago

Boscoe---Are you defending these monsters? Are we all brain dead "sheep " as you call us because we want to protect the children?Yes you are right ,I am way more worried about sexual predators .Murderers get harsh sentences.Predators get plea deals,short state hospital stays,and probation.....makes me sick!! Oh ,you were wrong about the pitchfork and torch......I would settle for bare knuckles and a blowtorch

Jackalope 8 years, 8 months ago

The issue of sexual offenders is a very complex issue. Simply placing a dead line around schools and parks solves nothing. I have never seen or heard of a person bent upon criminal activity caring about or even considering the status of the location of the crime (out side of lighting and concealment) or the actual criminal penalties resulting from the completion of the crime when the criminal act was being contemplated in the first instance. Lines on a map will not stop those who desire to commit a crime. It is just another headline grabbing feel good bit of legislation that legislators dearly love as it costs the state nothing. And, you get what you pay for. True sexual deviancy cannot be solved with a line painted around a geographic area. It can only be faced, if at all, with extensive treatment, supervision and behavior modification. And we are not talking about the absolutely silly 30 day treatment program prescribed for drug abuse that cannot hope to modify any behavior in such a short period of time. But, an effective program that has any hope of success, how little it may be, costs lots of money and the legislature is not prepared to actually face any problem that costs money. They don't even want to spend money for prisons to hold those with such deviancies that they can only be locked up. It is my suggestion that every time a repeat sexual offender selects another victim that one legislature be selected at random and introduce to the local cross bar hotel for a year or so.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 8 months ago

So how about the fellow who had sex with his girlfriend, got convicted and placed on the sex offender list they are there for a very long time) , they grew up, got married, had childern who are now being harassed by you idiots?

Should he have to move his young daughters into the "pervert zone"???

You people with all the answers to this problem make me sick

sublime 8 years, 8 months ago

frwent---Thats a weak argument. How often does that really happen?What the rest of us are talking about are these sick twisted freaks who take pleasure in hurting kids.Anyone that views a child as an object of desire should die a horrible death.If that "makes you sick",then I hope you choke on it.

Bone777 8 years, 8 months ago

frwent - Mary Kay Letourneau - married with children. Still a sicko. A lot more freaks and weirdos on the registry than anything else.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 8 months ago

Sublime and Bone....there are people on that list that do not belong on it. I know. This topic is a hot, political, hysterical myth. Sure, there are evil, perverted, dangerous criminals who prey on childern. There are also hysterical, myopic witch hunters that feel anyone who is accused is guilty. Never mind the facts. And the news media does their share, "Look, SEX OFFENDERS DISCUSSED HERE ONLY ON CHANNEL xx!!!!!!!" "They are in the bushes!!!!!!They are in the trees!!!!!!!!They are in your mailbox!!!!!!Look!!!!!There is ONE ON YOUR ROOF!!!!! Sells a lot of soap and shoes for these media minions. But the real truth, well, no one listens. You are not. And innocent people are snared by vicious people who are stupid, willing to lie and misrepresent facts and allow innocent persons to be accused wrongly. Child sex abuse is a real problem and needs real solutions, but the hysteria has got to go. Flashing red headlines on the evening news does not mean your neighbor is guilty.

ileen 8 years, 8 months ago

What about an 18 yr. old boy that had sex with his almost 14 yr.old girlfreind . He was sent to prison . But what about her she is still sexual active and now is in a gang, at 13 this same girl had charges brought on a 15 yr.old boy for the same thing mom didn't care about this girl she allowed this young boy to live with them have sex with her daughter and put the girl on birth control this woman should have protected her daughter but didnt and yet we punish the boy but the girl is still sexual active the sad part of this is she has gotten her 13 your sister involved this girl is sexual active also . This 13 yr. old has a boyfreind he is 19 he will soon be going to prison. These girls still walk the streets and are free . Tell me what did we stop. You say that these boys should not be near a school or play ground . This is against their constitutional rights its called banishment. They are still Americans . Who are you to take their rights away from them . Doesn't this make you just as bad as they are. When we take their rights watch your's are next. These same girls that I talk about have no accountablity in there part of this its just the boys that pay.

ileen 8 years, 8 months ago

As I read the comments there are alot of people that say they want to protect children . If you want to do this so much why are you setting on your hands and do something about Mark Foley that took advantage of young boys . He will never have to register as a sex offender , find a job, a place to live, where was your concern and the pastor that said gay marriage was bad and yet he had a gay lover and then the many techers that take advantage of your kids. Mark Foley help write the laws that put our teenagers in prison why is he allowed to go free . Teenagers make mistakes but to make them pay for the rest of their lives is wrong. We expect our teenagers to know better but. they don't they do dumb things. Take a look at yourself have you ever made a mistake?

acg 8 years, 8 months ago

Child rapists should be put to death, end of story. A sicko pervert that would harm a child in such a low and disgusting manner doesn't deserve a second chance, at all, ever! The recidivism rate for this particular crime is extremely high, which tells me that all of these "rehabilitation programs" that these sickos go thru aren't doing a darned thing. So they should be put to death. Problem solved. Where to house them? The morgue!

badger 8 years, 8 months ago

You know, I don't know that I'll make a lot of friends with this statement, but here goes:

You can't keep your kids, or anyone else's, 100% safe and have them grow up normal, well-adjusted human beings.

My mom taught me the basics. Don't talk to strangers. Don't go anywhere with someone if mom or dad hasn't said it's OK. If someone touches you where your bathing suit covers, tell mom or dad. No adult should ever tell you to keep secrets from mom or dad.

She knew where I was, and who my friends were, she met all my teachers and knew the neighbors. But mostly, she talked to me. "How was your day? What did you do? Where did you go? Mr. so-and-so? Who's that, does he work at your school? Where did you get that bear? How was music practice? Did you work on your scales or play music this time?" Not so much grilling me as starting me early on in the habit of telling her things.

I don't know if, as a young child, I was ever targeted by a sexual predator. I don't know if any lived in our neighborhood, or taught at my school, or were in our church. Neither did my mother or father. I was propositioned as an adolescent a few times, and said, "NO" and then told my mom what had happened.

Was I in danger? Possibly. But kids are in danger from the time they start breathing on. You could protect them from the stranger danger, but what about a funny uncle? You can teach them to look both ways before they cross the street, but how about a car that jumps the curb? The fact is, you know why sex offender registries don't work perfectly to keep kids safe? Because every offender has a first time. Because many offenders are never caught. Because offenders will drive ten blocks to a grade school if they have to.

This notion of 'keeping the children safe' is a losing battle if you expect to be able to actually keep them more than marginally safe. Far better to teach them the skills to help them react when someone does try to pull them into a car, when someone does try to touch them inappropriately, when an adult does try to press a friendship into something else. Far better to know your kids' friends and teachers, their friends' parents and your neighbors.

I'm not liking this false sense of security that the predator lists put out there, or this misplaced faith that somehow, if we just write the right laws, our children can grow up in happy idyllic perfection with no threats to their safety or well-being ever.

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

Well said Badger and I agree wholeheartedly. I discussed "funny adults" with my children. Promised them that if anyone ever messed with them they would never get an oppurtunity to be around them again. I also made them know that they would never be blamed for anything that happened. Victims of child sexual abuse feel alot of guilt and molesters use that to their advantage. Talk to your kids - its uncomfortable but worth it in the long run. And I will probably make people mad but statutory rape between 2 teenagers should be treated differently than a case where an adult has molested a child. Not go unpunished but handled in a different way - therapy for both parties, possible detention - I don't know. When I had a foster daughter she told me at age 15 that she was sexually active. No way I was gonna stop her so she was put on birth control and given the lecture about respecting yourself and your body and not giving away a very precious gift to just anybody. Her and her boyfriend thought they had the never ending love affair of the world - for about 5 months. She's a mommy now - cant wait til she gets to face this problem to see how she handles it.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 8 months ago

I guess the thing that bothers me about the sex offender registry is that most people don't care what their offense was. They assume they're a danger to children, without even knowing if that was what their crime was. And even if they know their crime involved another adult, they still think they're a danger to children. Pedophiles and sex offenders can be two different things entirely.

Not to mention that people have been wrongfully convicted over the years for probably every crime that there is. How are sex offenders any different? I'm sure there are those who have been convicted, perhaps based on highly unreliable eyewitness testimony, who actually did nothing. How are you going to know? Yet people are willing to crucify people who are on the sex offender registry.

With some, just the accusation of sexual abuse against a child is enough to crucify them. There have been a lot accused of this crime, but never convicted, either because there wasn't enough evidence or the victim recanted. Yet these people are often run out of towns and their lives ruined completely by communities who think they know everything.

Is the sex offender registry going to keep a determined pedophile away from children? No. Is keeping a pedophile from living anywhere near schools going to keep them away from children? No.

As somebody pointed out earlier, the grand majority of sex crimes against children are perpetrated by someone the child knows...either a family member or a family friend. So what good is it going to do to know about those who have been convicted of this crime? They won't be preying on your children...they're more of a danger to children in their own family than in yours.

Stranger abduction and molestation are relatively rare. So most of those strangers on the website aren't going to be a danger to your children.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 8 months ago

If you move into a neighborhood where one resides, since their address is listed on the site, wouldn't that be your fault?

Still, stranger abduction and molestation are relatively rare. They will prey on children in their own family, not yours. They'd have to be pretty desperate to pick on a child they don't know. Not that it doesn't happen, but again, it's RARE.

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

Back to the foster child - she was a mess when I got her. One of the reasons she was placed with me was due to her accusing her previous foster father of raping her. She described the event as full penetration rape. She was checked out by a gyno - no penetration. The accused passed three lie detector tests. Her story changed every five minutes. Finally she admitted to me that she didnt want to stay in the previous foster home because they were very religious so she made the story up. So - this poor foster father - just trying to make the world a better place - had to go through about 5 months of hell. You bet we were giving him the hairy eyeball at first. He and his wife decided that fostering children wasnt worth the risk. What a waste of a valuable resource. I know she felt bad about what happened but it didnt change a thing.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 8 months ago

And how many people are there out there who went through the same thing, and ended up getting convicted for a crime they didn't commit?

It happens. That's the problem with the sex offender registry and residency restrictions. You have no way of knowing which ones actually committed crimes and which ones didn't.

And of course there are those who never get caught. There could be someone living in your neighborhood right now who is a pedophile and not on any registry.

So how are your children any safer?

conservative 8 years, 8 months ago

I don't think there should be any restrictions on where we bury child molesters.

ileen 8 years, 8 months ago

I said before that we put the boys is prison for having sex with 13 yr old girls ( this girl is now 15 ). but what about these girls that continue to have sex. What did we stop? Yes we stopped that boy but the girl still continue to have sex and when she brings her 13yr. old sister into this kind of life then what. It is said that a girl of 13 cant make the decision to have sex will that is not true . Because I have letters that a 13 yr old girl sent to her 18yr.old boyfreind that is in prison for having sex with her telling him how many boys she has been sexual active with, she gives names of the boys. and as far as burying sex offenders . Maybe both of you should have a son brother, father be listed as a sex offender then you would know what it is like

LaDawna 8 years, 8 months ago

I care where sex offenders live because it happened to me for...about 4 years. I was a victim at the age of 10 when my parents first got married (by my step-father) and I couldn't tell anoyone until I was 14. When I did, he didn't spend one night in jail. Now at the age of 16, my fiance is being charged with the same crime, he's 18. At the time I was 15, but that still doesn't give someone the right to charge him for wanting to be with someone. He has already spent time in jail and my step-dad didn't have to spend one minute. They were talking about sending my fiance to prison for up to 7 and a half years, where my step-dad only got the minimum sentence of 5 years.
Now, does this seem a little unfair to you? It does to me because we have already commited ourselves to eachother, we are now engaged and planning on getting marriend within the next year. This all started at the end of August when the cops finally did something about it...My brithday is September 2nd...We have a report that the person who turned us in did it in November of 2005...Now doesn't that seem strange to you? We weren't allowed to see eachother for about 3 months and on November 6, 2006 he proposed to me, when the judge said he lifted the no contact restrictions, in the court room. We are hoping that everything goes alright, because the judge postponed it...it might be alright. He said our case was unusual and that he would look it over. Not only is my fiance being charged with 2 counts of CSC in the 3rd degree (up to 15 years each) they also said he might go on the sex offenders list...do you know what that could do to a man who just turned 18? My mother is also being charged with child neglect and they are threatning to take me and my 15 year old brother away. All of this happened within a 6 year period for me and I'm sick of it. We will be married within the next year, depending on how long he goes to jail or not. If he goes to jail, or if he goes to prison. We've already agreed we will stay together...who wouldn't stay with someone after all this happened? If I would have known that they were going to try and ruin his life, I never would have gotten together with him. We were dating for almost a year when all of this happened. Now we are getting married. They didn't keep him away from me, they just pushed us into wanting to get married even more. I know I'm young but, it's my decision and I do think I'm mature enough to make this decision.

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

Being listed as a sex offender and being one can be two different things ileen. If I caught an adult messing with one of my kids or grandkids I would use them as fertilizer. Yes I have made many mistakes in my life but they never involved raping a child. As for the 18 year old in prison for statutory rape with the 13 year old - didnt he know it was illegal? Arent there plenty of sexually active 16 year olds he could have turned to? As for the 13 year old - her mama needs to yank a knot in her tail.

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

LaDawna - good luck to you. I also thought I was ready at 17 to be married. Mother of three by 24. Divorced soon after. It was so hard on my children trying to be raised by a kid that had no clue. I know you wont listen to me - I didnt listen to the adults in my life either. Why are we always in such a hurry to grow up?

conservative 8 years, 8 months ago

ileen,

you might notice that I specifically stated child molesters, and not sex offenders. I recognize that not all people on the registry fit that category.

But for those who do inappropriately touch a child. Damn right, bury them.

LaDawna 8 years, 8 months ago

Pagan_idolator: Thanks, I know I'm young, we are waiting until I'm at least 17 or maybe even after I graduate. I've been through enough that I had to grow up quickly and I understand that the success rate of being married young is not as good compared to if we get married when we're older, but I'm willing to take that chance. I just want him to be alright, and I don't want his life ruined. Getting married was more his idea, but after all of this happened I agreed to it too. We'll try to make it work, and I pray it works out well.

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

Well LaDawna - young marriages have worked before. Hope things work out for both of you.

ileen 8 years, 8 months ago

Pagan_idolator: You can't watch a kid 24/7 and if they decide to have sex you can't do anything about it . Do you think that they would tell you, not a chance. The mother of the 13 yr. old girl that I was talking about allowed this boy to live with them and knew that they were having sex . Had she been doing her job and protecting this girl chances are this would never have happen. This girl runs the house . If she is such a child why is she allowed to date. Shouldn't she have a keeper. Also if she took a gun to school and shot someone she would be tried as an adult. On one hand she is to young and on another she is an adult, which is it she is either to young or not. I still say what did we stop. She was not stopped from having sex she is allowed to continue. I do agree with one thing that you said The boy should have known but so should have the mother she was the older adult and it was her child. And if you say that all sex offender should not be next to a school, well then we should stop teacher , pastors, cops, congressmen because they all abuse kids. These boys only crime was having sex with their girlfreinds not a small child. But a teacher can have sex with child and in some cases face no charges

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

Actually I didnt say anything about sex offenders next to schools - we have three right in our neighbor by a school. What I am saying is 2 teenagers having consensual sex should be treated differently than an adult raping a child. And you dont have to tell me about teenagers sweetie, I have three adult sons and 1 adult foster daughter - got an education in that area a long time ago. Yeah - the girl you are talking about and her mother are very, very wrong but that doesnt make the guy right. Whats the answer? I wish I knew. The current way we treat participants in statutory rape cases is stupid. What do you want them to do to the girl? She has already done far worse to herself than the authorities can. Sit back and watch the train wreck thats coming. It always does at some point.

ileen 8 years, 8 months ago

No this doesn't make the boy right. But neither is she , but her mother could have put a stop to this . This girl should be in counseling and so should he. And sweetie I raised 6 kids and know how kids are . If we punish the boy then we should punish the girl also she broke the law to . She is still allowed to continue on maybe we will stop her when she gets aids by that time many more will go to prison.

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

So what are your ideas? How do we fix this? Arrest both? There has to be a better way. Oh yeah - the mom needs her butt kicked. Thats what comes from trying to be your kids best friend instead of their parent. However the law is a person under 16 cannot have consensual sex. He is 18 - legally an adult. However since we both have experience with kids I think you will agree that an 18 year old male is no where near an adult. I just hope he gets through this in one piece. My experience with kids who go to prison is they come out so much worse than when they went in. The only way to fix this ileen is to change the law so that teenage lovers arent charged the same way as violent rapists and child molesters. And yes - the girl should be dealt with as well. I think the fact that she was having sex at such a young age should have alerted social workers that she needs intervention. It already looks like we cant rely on her mother to do anything about it. Perhaps the mother should have been at least charged with accessory to statutory rape. Counseling is a good idea but of course its easier to throw his a$$ in jail and release her to continue her very messed up lifestyle. Maybe the friends of this boy can give the heads up to every male they see her with. Is she worth prison?

Linda Endicott 8 years, 8 months ago

Quite frankly, with some teenagers, both boys and girls, they're so defiant at that age that the only way you could make sure they weren't having sex would be to lock them in their rooms.

And then the state will come and arrest you for child abuse.

pagan_idolator 8 years, 8 months ago

No doubt crazyks. I dont know what the answer is except to make sure your sons know that if they are over 16 and the girl isnt they could go to prison. Consarnit! Dang infernal teenagers!

Arment24 8 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunately, if these people want to offend, then they are going to regardless of if they are living next door to a school, or 3 miles from it. almost 90% of sexual assaults against children occur inside the home by a relative or somebody they trust like a family friend. telling them where to live will not stop children from being sexually abused. Parents need to know where their children are all the time and who they are with. Parents need to take a more active stand to protect thier kids now than 20 or 30 yrs ago because it's not the same world, it's more dangerous to our kids. My wife and I are always with our kids and they tell us where they are going and who they are with and we make it a point to meet thier friends so we know what our kids are doing. Parents being involved in thier kids lives now a days is very important in keeping them safe from predators. Referring to what happened in Lowell, If MY kid went into a bathroom by himself at 9, I would dam sure be standing outside the door making sure he was ok.

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