Saturday, February 2, 2013

Registries Don’t Keep Sex Offenders from Restricted Areas

Time Magazine   Laws requiring sex offenders to register with local authorities are meant to discourage them from moving into the neighborhoods, but the latest study shows they may not be having the desired deterrent effect.

The research provides new information on the contentious question of whether public sex offender registries and housing restrictions actually improve public safety.  Housing restrictions typically bar offenders from living near schools, daycare centers or other sites likely to have a high concentration of children who may become victims.  As of 2011,  nearly 750,000 registered sex offenders were listed in the U.S., whose names can be searched in state and federal registries. But the latest analysis shows that offenders change residences frequently and that over the course of a 30 month period, a third will move into areas where they are not legally allowed to live. [...]

Looking more closely at the offenders who move to restricted areas, however, 51% of those who registered only once and then failed to comply again lived in these regions, compared to 30% of those who registered faithfully.  That could suggest that those who are seeking to hide their activities, presumably in plain sight, are moving to these areas, possibly to find new victims.

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