By Karl Dickey
America has become a mishmash of ordinances and laws keeping those who have been released from prison from residing in areas of schools, playgrounds, parks and anywhere children can be found en masse. Some cities have prior offenders not able to reside within 1,000 feet, some 2,500 feet and more. Some ordinances ban prior offenders the ability to go to a public beach. These ordinances are most often put in place because politicians say they "must protect the children."
What is ironic most sex offenders in the database have no interest in children and their conviction could have been for something as simple as urinating in public or two teens engaging in a normal consensual sexual relationship or perhaps 'sexting' one another. This is the result of laws passed based on emotion rather than facts and reason.
Legislators forget or ignore the fact the overwhelming majority of sexual abuse to children happens within a family's own home and by someone that would not have been in the database as they had no prior record. Additionally, according to the California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 95% of sexual offenders do not repeat their crime. In addition to "protecting the children" mantra, the idea the offenders will repeat their offense flies in the face of reality.
Once a sex offender has been released from prison, he or she must register with their state as to where they are living and that information is put in a central database on the Internet so neighbors can see if any are living in their neighborhood. It is interesting, such a database does not exist for convicted murders or burglars or other convicted felons.
Politicians and mainstream media is to blame for fear mongering the public into thinking everyone in the sexual offender database is a danger to them and their family which is not the case. Politicians would do well to review the most comprehensive study on the issue and change the laws and local ordinances so those who are not a danger to the public are released from such discriminatory databases and are able to lead productive lives.
So, what evidence is there that the public database information is protecting our children? None.