On the surface, these initiatives appear to be a com- mon-sense approach to safeguarding the public, especially children, from those who have been convicted of committing a sexual offense. Constitution, 2 violate the constitutionally-protected right to travel, or 3 discriminate against offenders in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Some critics argue that it simply " plays to the fears of the public The fine does not apply if the offender's conduct results in his conviction for a new criminal offense or if his parole or probation is revoked because of it Danbury City Ord. There is an array of other information i. In other words, states consider nonresident registrants as a resident when registering, regard- less of the circumstance or how temporary the stay in the nonresident state will be. The first law was the Jacob Wetterling Act , which instituted the registration require- ments for those convicted of a sexual offense and provided guidelines for verifying the residential address of registrants by law enforcement agencies. By January , approximately 14 states had enacted residency restrictions. Florida does not have a universal state-wide residence restriction law.
In addition, the authors thank the Research Network, including the staff and students who assisted in the study. Critics charge that the law has forced some sex offenders to become homeless; others may lie and say that they are homeless to hide the fact that they are not complying with the law. While this controversial residency law has raised questions of fairness and constitutionality, it is currently legal and valid. To further demon- strate this point as to how diverse residence restriction laws can be applied, we will examine Florida and Ohio. Perhaps even more surprising was that three states New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania did not require registrants who were visiting their state to register. Commonly, registrants must notify usually in person the state of changes to their primary residential address, any other secondary addresses i. We also thank the Florida Department of Corrections officials who assisted in funding the study and in developing the survey questionnaire. As such, the numbers must be viewed as an esti- mate and not an accurate representation of registrants in each state or collectively. For example, in Des Moines, Iowa, the state's largest city, officials added parks, libraries, swimming pools, and recreational trails to the list of protected buffer zones. The Present Study The present study describes the registration and residence restriction laws for nonresi- dent visiting sex offenders in all 50 U. The number of municipalities with such ordinances varies by state but according to the bureau, at least municipalities in New Jersey and 60 in Florida have them. South Dakota A sex offender cannot live or loiter within feet of community safety zones. At the time of this study, there were a total of , registrants reported across all 50 states refer to Table 2, column 2. This further means that residence restriction laws are drastically different from one locale to the next. Some scholars have argued that public concern about sexual offending against young children has served as a catalyst for the emergence of these laws. Like state laws, local ordinances on this issue either preclude offenders from certain areas where children are known to congregate or establish distance markers. At issue in these cases collectively was whether the restrictions 1 impose criminal sanctions that penalize offenders whose convictions are final in violation of the ex post facto clause of Article I, Section 10, Clause 1, of the U. But, the collateral consequences for registered sex offenders can be a debilitat- ing issue i. A report in the Des Moines Register on January 22, , reported that since the state's residency law took effect, more sex offenders are eluding tracking by authorities. The appellate court dispensed with each ground relied upon by the district court, and ruled that the law was not unconstitutional on its face. The case was certified as a class action , on behalf of other sex offenders to whom the law would apply. To alleviate this issue, AWA instituted a universal three- tiered classification system for registered sex offenders, thereby requiring sex offenders to register at the same tier level when moving from one state to another Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking, Tennessee A sex offender cannot live within 1, feet of schools, childcare facilities, or the victim. These laws also preclude registrants from receiving other vital resources, such as treatment programs, homeless shelters, various government programs i. Expert witnesses on both sides testified to their beliefs in the expected efficacy of the law. Florida does not have a universal state-wide residence restriction law.
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