Make sure you view the Police Chief Magazine link. It's full of crap, IMO. Or view the PDF here.
By Howard Nemerov
As state and local governments create more restrictions over where registered sex offenders may live, there might be dangerous, unintended consequences. Experts now claim that these laws, passed to keep sex offenders away from places where children congregate, result in what they call “clustering.”
When police raided the home of convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and freed Jaycee Lee Dugard, a girl who'd been kidnapped 18 years earlier, they were astounded to learn that more than 100 other sex offenders lived is [sic] the same area.
Experts say this “clustering” may keep registered sex offenders away from schools and playgrounds, but as they congregate together in smaller and smaller areas, other problems arise:
“Packing them away from cities means there are fewer treatment options, less oversight and less support,” say Miai Christopher, executive director of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. “And stability is the most important element in keeping sex offenders from committing further crimes.”
“It is not where they aren’t living that is the problem, it is where they are,” says Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “If you put these guys together it will lead to a higher incidence of sex abuse as they talk about this stuff. I see it as a dangerous trend.”
- Ernie Allen is an idiot who wants to be an expert. If you listen to him, you'd be under the impression that sex offenders are getting together to carry out some mass molestation or something. Give me a break!
How this relates to Liberty
First of all, this article is not some politically-correct defense of sexual predators.
There appears to be a consensus among law enforcement that convicted child molesters are likely to suffer greatly if allowed to live among the general prison population, so they are often isolated in (more expensive) secured areas. From Police Chief Magazine:
…child molesters fear going to prison. They have heard and read stories about what happens to child molesters in prison.
- And the police allow it, and even instigate it, in many cases. See this article for one example.
For many, there would probably be support for President Obama if he promoted this “public option.”
The issue here is how passing more laws can have unintended, harmful consequences to those the laws are supposed to protect, but not those passing the laws.
It is most important to remember that government agencies have immunity from criminal prosecution, based upon Supreme Court decisions. In other words, if predation increases after your state legislature passes restrictive housing laws for sex offenders, you have no recourse beyond changing the laws after the fact. You, and your children, are on your own.
In Austin, clustering appears to be happening. Performing a search at the Texas Department of Public Service (DPS) “Sex Offender Registry” for zip code 78701 returned the following results.
- Of course it's going to happen, it's common sense. You force them to live by unconstitutional buffer zones, which no evidence has been produced to show they actually do anything, except exile people, of course they are going to congregate together. It's not rocket science!
This area defines East Austin, which is a lower-income area for the most part. The red dots are for what DPS defines as a “high risk” offender; purple dots represent “moderate risk” offenders; yellow dots “low risk.” The gray-green dots represent “unknown risk” offenders, which may mean they are harmless or dangerous.
There are two clear clusters of “high-risk” offenders:
- Around the intersection of Highways 183 and 290.
- A rectangular area between Highway 183 and Springdale Road, south of Farm Market Road 969 and north of 1st Street.
“Moderate risk” offenders reside mostly within the entire area between Highways 183 and 35, but not east or west of it.
There appears to be an economic factor involved as well. The following DPS search was for zip code 78734, where the upscale bedroom communities of Bee Cave and Lakeway reside. There are very few sex offenders in these areas, despite the fact that there are more secluded areas west of Austin. So there’s more to this issue than “packing them away from cities.”
In any case, consider this article a public service: Keep up on the issue, carry concealed, and love your children by keeping an eye on them and teaching them to beware of friendly strangers.
"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)