Re-codification committee says dump residency restrictions

By Courtney Yuen….

A proposed change to Ohio’s Criminal Code could eliminate residency restrictions for sex offenders.

The Criminal Justice Recodification Committee has finished reviewing Ohio’s extensive criminal code after two years. However, not everyone agrees with some of its recommendations.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) opposes this specific recommended change, saying it’s meant to keep children safe. Right now, sex offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare center or pre-school.

“They made some recommendations on a variety of bills,” said director of government affairs for the FOP Michael Weinman. “One of the most alarming is allowing the sex offenders to live anywhere.”

He said the restrictions create a safe zone in areas where there’s a concentration of children.

“From a police perspective you’re getting the potential offenders away from those victims,” said Weinman.

State Public Defender and vice chair of the Criminal Justice Recodification Committee Tim Young said there’s no empirical data that shows these restrictions protect kids.

He said residency restrictions can leave some sex offenders homeless, which can create more problems.

“As soon as you destabilize someone to homelessness you’re far more likely for them to commit another crime,” said Young. “There’s a higher likelihood of crime with these restrictions than without.”

He said eventually some of these offenders stop reporting to sheriffs and probation officers, leaving law enforcement without any oversight or control.

“I want our government to spend money on things that are effective and if we’re spending money on this and we spend millions on this, on enforcing these restrictions, on enforcing registration requirements,” said Young. “I know that means we’re taking money away from actually making my children safe.”

He said the Recodification Committee had a broad range of members including prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and law enforcement officials. Young said they’re hopefully their recommendations will be introduced as an omnibus bill when the next legislative session begins.

published at WCMH-TV Columbus

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    • #19145 Reply
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      Saddles

      Seems likes those people in Ohio are bring out their crystal ball or predicting the future of an individual. Guess the sex offender or offender is in a class by themselves. Someone should use common sense in these things but as most know it seems the human race is about money and not thinking things thru but than I’m not paid to think only those with a masters degree are paid to think.

    • #19518 Reply
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      Anthony

      Dump the child residential restriction zones and the registry of sex offenders period. EVIDENCE SHOWS NEITHER ONE OF THESE SO CALLED NONE PUNITIVE MEASURES PROTECT CHILDREN AT ALL! APPLIED RETROACTIVELY WITH A NEW CHARGE FOR NONE COMPLIANCE IS PUNISHMENT.

    • #19593 Reply
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      Jeremy from Indiana

      This is great news! Hopefully the lawmakers are smart enough to follow the recommendations though. I won’t be holding my breath on that.

      In another article, one of the recommendations is to remove Level 1s and possibly Level 2s from the registry altogether. Good things are happening in Ohio!

      I am worried about Ohio legislators complaining about registrants relocating to Ohio after they become the least restrictive state in the nation. This is why I strongly advocate this to be a national issue rather than a state or local issue. When the neighboring states of Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia see their population of registrants decrease, it may also cause those states to increase restrictions to keep them moving to Ohio. As an Indiana registrant, this is very troubling.

    • #19645 Reply
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      david

      On the bright side- at least there’s good data showing residency restrictions don’t work.

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