IN Cities Weighing Sex Offender Park Bans

September 14, 2009 : City Weighs Sex Offender Park Ban, Parents Mixed On Proposal.

More Indiana communities are considering the implementation of bans on convicted sex offenders in city parks because of a recent Court of Appeals ruling. Lebanon officials will consider such a ban Monday night, 6News’ Rick Hightower reported.

Law enforcement agencies and some parents worry that parks are a magnet for sex offenders, but others contend the ban infringes on rights and is unnecessary.

“We’re restricting people’s basic rights. Everybody has the opportunity for a second chance. I thought that’s what this country is all about,” said parent Anthony Spencer. “Just to say because someone made a mistake, banning them from being able to enjoy a park is kind of tough.”

Others think a park sex offender ban is too narrow and may target the wrong people.

“I think it’s something to worry about not only in the parks, but where you live, as well,” said parent Angela Summers. “Somebody may be convicted as a sex offender and really not be a sex offender.”

The Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Plainfield’s park ban on sex offenders, in effect letting the ordinance upheld by the appeals court stand. Greenwood has a similar ban.

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