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Analyst: Sex Offender Laws Do Not Prevent Crimes

November 3, 2009

cbs4.com : Analyst: Sex Offender Laws Do Not Prevent Crimes.

Tallahassee – Sex offender laws aimed at keeping offenders at least 1,000 feet away from places where children gather don’t work, according to a legislative policy analyst.

Marti Harkness told a Florida House committee Tuesday that such limits are ineffective and said more productive measures would include installing electronic monitoring devices and reducing the 1,000 feet measure to smaller areas where children congregate.

“These aren’t my conclusions, but rather what I’ve seen in the published literature. What I have seen points to the fact that they aren’t doing what they are intended to do, which is protect people from offenders,” Harkness told CBS4. “The research shows no relationship where the offender lives and whether or not they commit a new offense.”

Under Florida law, sex offenders must live at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks and areas where children gather. In Miami, ordinances increased the limit from 1,000 to 2,500 feet and it has resulted in many registered sex offenders taking up residence along the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

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