May 8, 2012

Green Bay looks at proposal to eliminate sex offender living restrictions

HUmm, Decker's comment about 200 offenders knowing those they victimized, I guess we could call it a quasi-study, refuting the need for residency laws! Right?
5-8-2012 Wisconsin:

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - It’s a new approach to dealing with sex offenders in Green Bay. Assistant City Attorney Kail Decker calls it a more practical and effective approach to getting sex offenders to be in compliance. The city has a problem with an increasing number of sex offenders going underground. Law enforcement and the city attorney’s office says that’s because of the current 2,000 foot residential restriction from where children congregate.

The current ordinance is so restrictive that it eliminates 90% of the city to live in. Decker says in reality, 5% is actually residential. Decker says that a sex offender can go anywhere they want because the city doesn't prohibit areas from where children congrgate. Decker argues that a 150 foot proximity of where a sex offender can go, would be more enforceable. “The hardest part about this will be objective analysis.” Decker said at the Monday night Protection and Welfare Committee meeting.

Decker says if the current ordinance was in place when the city’s more than 200 sex offenders committed their crime, it would not have stopped anything, because they knew their victims personally. “In every single case the victim and the offender knew each other, and in 90% of the cases they knew each other for an extended period of time.” Decker said. The new ordinance would scrap the Sex Offender Residency Board, that dictates where sex offenders can live within the city.

It would a sex offender to live anywhere they want, as long as they inform the city of their address, as prescribed by state law. The city would also step up notification of nearby homes that a sex offender has moved in. Right now, families can find out through the state department of corrections website. The committee is hesitant to toss out the current ordinance. Alderman Jesse Burnett says this is an enforcement issue. “We would be trying to enforce a new ordinance by saying we can’t enforce this one and it logically it doesn’t make sense.”

Burnett said. Before the committee moves forward with anything, they also wants to get to the bottom of why the state department of corrections is ignoring the city’s ordinance and blatantly placing sex offenders in the community without informing the city, or making them apply to the Sex Offender Residency Board. But the board itself approves many appeals for exemptions from the law. Decker says over 400 cases have filed an appeal in the five-years the ordinance has been in place. Of those filed, 225 were approved, menaing 64% have gotten an exemption from the city’s ordinance. ..Source.. by

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