Archive for November 16, 2009

Analysis of New York Sex Offender Law

November 16, 2009 Comments off

American Psychological Association : Does a watched pot boil? A time-series analysis of New York State’s sex offender registration and notification law.

Sandler, Jeffrey C.; Freeman, Naomi J.; Socia, Kelly M.
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Vol 14(4), Nov 2008, 284-302.


Despite the fact that the federal and many state governments have enacted registration and community notification laws as a means to better protect communities from sexual offending, limited empirical research has been conducted to examine the impact of such legislation on public safety. Therefore, utilizing time-series analyses, this study examined differences in sexual offense arrest rates before and after the enactment of New York State’s Sex Offender Registration Act. Results provide no support for the effectiveness of registration and community notification laws in reducing sexual offending by: (a) rapists, (b) child molesters, (c) sexual recidivists, or (d) first-time sex offenders. Analyses also showed that over 95% of all sexual offense arrests were committed by first-time sex offenders, casting doubt on the ability of laws that target repeat offenders to meaningfully reduce sexual offending. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

Sex Crimes Laws Need Updating

November 16, 2009 Comments off (FLA) – Editorial: Sex crimes laws need updating.

Our society needs a new approach to sex offender laws that will be effective, just and constitutional.

Mind you, we have no sympathy for people who commit sex crimes, but there appears to be a one-size-fits-all approach as it relates to perpetrators. And our society has branded all sex offenders with virtual “Scarlet Letters” making it impossible to live their lives in society once they have served their time.

Last week, lawyers were arguing the constitutionality of a Lee County ordinance prohibiting the presence of sex offenders within 300 feet of a number of areas. These include schools, day cares, video arcades, pools, parks, playgrounds, zoos, skate parks, beaches or “any similar type places where children congregate.”
One huge problem is that there is no map to show what is off limits to registered sex offenders.

If our aim is to make life as miserable as possible for sex offenders once they serve their time, then they – and taxpayers – are probably better off if they stay in prison.

However, we need to get over our discomfort on this issue and face up to the fact that a vigilante mentality in dealing with sex offenses must go by the wayside.

We are a nation of laws. Let’s start a serious debate – without fear or vengeance – about how we might punish and possibly rehabilitate sex offenders.

Sex Offenders Cluster In Urban Buildings

November 16, 2009 Comments off (NH) : Sex Offenders Often Cluster In Urban Buildings.

There are about 2,400 registered sex offenders living in New Hampshire, and often, they end up living in the same building in the state’s largest cities. Officials and sex offenders said it often isn’t easy for them to find a place to live, and many eventually settle for the same rooming house or apartment building.

Offenders said reintegrating into a place they’re not wanted isn’t easy. “People don’t want to give you jobs, give you a chance for anything,” said an offender.

Hundreds of sex offenders live in New Hampshire neighborhoods. Many are clustered in apartment buildings or rooming houses because they are low-profile and cheap. “If they live in a city like Concord, there’s only a few landlords that will rent to them,” said Scott Dodge, a Concord parole officer.

But it raises the question of whether a cluster of known sex offenders is safe?

(This “clustering” dynamic is what Miami, FL learned when they banished offenders to live under the Tuttle Bridge)

NJ Supreme Court Ruling Changes Sex Offender Laws

November 16, 2009 Comments off : NJ supreme court ruling forces upper twp., others, to change sex offender laws.

Upper Twp.- On Monday night the Township Committee voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance that would have the effect of invalidating an existing 2005 ordinance that regulates where convicted sex offenders can live. The 2005 ordinance that Upper Twp. enacted, restricted how close, a convicted sex offender, could live to schools, daycare centers, parks and playgrounds.

In May, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Megan’s Law adequately protected children from sexual predators, and that local laws went too far, effectively restricting sex offenders right out of many towns and cities, “….the State Supreme Court has determined that the townships and municipalities are not authorized to adopt such ordinances,” said Township Solicitor, Daniel Young.

With such local laws now ‘invalidated’ by the court ruling, most municipalities are striking them from their books to avoid possible future lawsuits.