Waukesha passed a sex offender ordinance limiting how close they can live to parks, schools day care centers and recreational trails.
Fox Head weighed in with this,
Ok, as these other municipalities adopt the ordinaces, the state will need to work harder to place these people, it is typical to follow the path of least resistance, ie they will go to the communities without the ordinances. So, the conclusion is to get an ordinance set up to prevent that occurance.
Granted, I agree that 2,000 feet would be better and I like the idea of a cardboard box out in a cornfield, but if 1,000 is what we got, then go with it and we can always refine the rule later.
Cindy Kilkenny notes on a similar ordinance in Brookfield,
I am also a little concerned about the label of sex offender. There are some heinous examples of humanity out there, and some of them wear that label. Others who have been tagged look more like the typical high school senior. And has anyone noticed we only label the men? I would suspect women are as capable of sexually deviant behavior as men. Until we are willing to spend the time to differentiate the issue of sexually deviant behavior as a society, I think we’re sliding down that slippery slope that lets labels trivialize an issue of great importance.
Jessica McBride observes in posting about a Franklin offender,
At the same time, I’m a bit conflicted about these sex offender living ordinances.
It seems to me that if you don’t want the city to restrict where you live, then don’t molest kids. At the same time, don’t we live in a country where, if you serve your time, you’ve served your time? Granted, the restrictions are much like a probation or parole condition. Yet, these individuals – as depraved as they are – aren’t all on probation or parole anymore. What do you think? Are these ordinances getting over the top? I know that’s controversial to say and will be easily pilloried by some. After all, attacking child molesters is the safe side to be on. But why don’t we craft living restrictions for other offenders, too, then. Let’s restrict all felons from living 2 miles from a school, etc.
And don’t ask me whether I’d want a child molester living next to my kid’s daycare center. Of course not. But even if we had such a living restriction ordinance out here, it wouldn’t prevent a sex offender from living next door to our HOUSE or across the street anyway (I live more than the normal restriction zone from a park, school, and daycare). So, I am not 100 percent sure you can stop sex offenders from ever seeing your kid in an urban, suburban, or exurban area. So what are we accomplishing?(15 registered sex offenders live in my zip code).
Nick points out in the comments,
…the danger here has many facets. First of all, the legality of such ordinances is dubious at best. In essence you are punishing someone after the fact, without legal representation. This violates their due process rights, and could even be challenged on the grounds of double jeopardy.
Secondly, it continues to put a spotlight on “registered sex offenders”, when the sad reality is that “stranger danger” type attacks are the vast minority of cases. This gives people a false sense of security and safety where it’s not warranted.
Finally… it sets a bad precedent. If we say its ok to do this to this class of criminal, then another criminal will be next.
Dad29 also brings up a pertinent point in the comments,
If the State attempts to preclude “possible” criminal activity, we are setting up a framework which is truly frightening. It is akin to barring people with DWI conviction(s) from going into taverns or buying beer.
The Freeman on Saturday interviewed one of owners of a rooming house that rents to sex offenders.
My own personal opinion? I’m not all that excited about having sex offenders around, but our society’s laws say that the offenders has served his time. What are they going to do now that they are “free” men and women? And what are we going to do with them to keep our society safe?