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Residency restrictions cut back in Wisconsin city

By Patrick Leary . . . Because of recent legal challenges to similar ordinances, Racine is making adjustments to how restrictive it is about where sex offenders can reside.

According to City Attorney Scott Letteney, just 3.7 percent of the city’s housing stock is available to sex offenders under the city’s current ordinance. Under the new ordinance, which was approved Tuesday night, that number would increase to 19.6 percent.

To create the additional 16 percent in possible residences, Letteney said the city is removing churches that don’t have daycare programs and parks that don’t have playgrounds from the list of places that sex offenders cannot live within a certain distance of. Additionally, citywide buffer zones for properties such as libraries and schools will be reduced from 1,000 feet to 750 feet.

The reason for the change is purely legal, Letteney said, adding that the Village of Pleasant Prairie lost a recent lawsuit challenging its sex offender residence ordinance, and it included 10 percent of the city’s housing.

“Our concern is that there is such a small residential area available that it wouldn’t meet the constitutional standard,” Letteney said. “By increasing the percentage of residential properties, it’s more likely to pass constitutional muster.”

Chicago-based attorney Adele Nicholas opposed Pleasant Prairie in the recent case. She said that academic research doesn’t show that sex offender registry ordinances lower the rate of recidivism.

“Evidence actually shows that these types of factors actually increase recidivism for some sort of offense because people are cut off from stability,” Nicholas said. “What these residency restrictions are doing is increasing risk factors and decreasing public safety.”

Nicholas said the primary result of restrictive ordinances is increased homelessness of sex offenders.

“Making people homeless in your community is not benefiting public safety in your community,” she said.

This topic contains 22 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Dave 1 month ago.

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  • #19325 Reply

    Keith Krehbiel

    I’m in Oklahoma. The set-back here is 2000 feet from schools, day care, parks. I tell people to watch the local news. In any given week there will be 3 to 5 sex offenses reported on. You will be told one of two things about the alleged offender. Either he/she was on the registry or was not. In neither case did the registry prevent the alleged crime. It is a way for legislators to sound off as being tough on crime and make brownie points back home.

    I was a sex offender. I was a high school student. I served my sentence. I graduated from high school. There is a comparison in there somewhere. Keep looking, you’ll find it.

  • #19323 Reply

    Dick Tracy

    All this is is modern day slavery at its finest; Segregation, humiliation, abusiveness, HATRED from these lawgivers, and let’s not forget the media. NOT ALLOWED, NOT ALLOWED, NOT ALLOWED!! Back in slavery times they separated black families not caring the pain they suffered, and today the same thing is going on. Those that have to register are not allowed to see their children no matter if the registrants suffer or the children suffer, and the law givers do it all for the sake of keeping their job, and collecting a nice check at the end of the day. This has to be reduced one way or another. We’re at the point where the Media has made MURDERERS believe they are better than those convicted of these kinds of crimes. This is too much! Murderers are getting slapped on the hand while a man the sleeps with a 16 year old gets 30 years. Wake up people, we better fight for our rights

  • #19265 Reply

    Bill

    My conviction date was 26 years ago; I’ve been on the registry for 21 years of that here in Michigan, but this is the first year I’ve had law enforcement come to my house verifying my address. I’ve worked all 3 shifts at work and have never seen a law enforcement officer before this year. No one is that lucky. Something tells me they just weren’t doing it. Hoping the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Michigan’s request, so we can all get on with our lives and live in peace.

    • #19285 Reply

      They were making a point

      No Bill, I bet there were quietly making a point or two before things fall apart in the 6th Circuit states.

  • #19240 Reply

    Saddles

    Trish OMG! I like everything you said but to Hell with the Devil. I think that’s what we are fighting.. Don’t forget the song “Devil went down to Georgia. Sure these law’s are getting a bit better in all states thanks to NARSOL and their spearhead efforts. Sooner or later those law enforcements will see the error in all this. Shoot my little internet romp on here getting conned into all this as compared to those that are looking for housing can’t compare with what some sex offenders go thru. I just hope everybody gets fair and equal housing.. Isn’t that statement incriminating on peoples rights with that statement. I believe its time now for all states to take a look at some of this mess. I don’t even look at women any more as that might be a crime in the making.

  • #19248 Reply

    Nena

    Kudos to you Jason. You hit the nail on the head! Segregation not restrictions. People are fighting about how prejudice our Country is and they have the right to make their voices heard to the point of unlawful rioting and hurting others. A sex offender, no matter what reasons they became one is irrelevant to so many in our Country. They can’t raise their voices in protest to let the world know due to fear of being in violation of something and having to start their punishment all over again. These laws are so unconstitutional! To even forbid to be in a church? What happened to their constitution? Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. Is there a clause in OUR constitution stating these things? Dear God, please help and protect all that have been prejudiced against because of SO segregation and oh so many others. This is their America too!

  • #19217 Reply

    kind of living

    so these people are not worried about drunk drivers living close to schools / daycare / parks? or drug dealers ? abusive police officers ? texting drivers ? it just seems to me that all world problems would just simply go away if the sex offenders were in there own state , well ok it is plain to see why they make stupid maps of bubbles ,,because they live in a bubble . in the real world with “rights” as long as your not breaking the law and being a good citizen people don’t get to dictate where you live , everyone knows that these kind of laws are just so the public get to feel like they have a hand in punishing people that the courts all ready punished , this is also punishment for the SO’s family including the children , the very ones these punishers clime to be trying to protect ,, its clear to see that the bubble children are the only ones that matter . Housing / Jobs / childcare / schools/ parks/church’s with schools all off limits to citizens as well as some magic number of 750ft or 5000ft don’t even matter really, “It is unconstitutional” , the SO’s that are lucky enough to have a job at the very least should never have to pay tax’s “EVER” and be paid for there time and trouble for having to move / childcare / child displacement of schools / security in case of vigilantes / enough to build / buy a house so they can live out side of the freak bubble zone . these haters should have to pay every dime if there going to make a whole city a gated community for there private little dog and pony show , everyone else has to pay for private police / laws / community’s / rules just for them outside of the constitution , I should have just saved my self time and said “lawsuit ugg!” “break bubble with club” caveman eat food / need home / need job / Need Library ugg use computer..

    • #19357 Reply

      Dave

      You left out the fact that two punishments for one crime is a double jeopardy violation and unconstitutional.

  • #19219 Reply

    Carole Roberts

    Hopefully the attorney will look at a small “hick” town, Mayville, Wisconsin, (Dodge County) and get that nonsense changed also – ” It is unlawful for any designated offender to establish a permanent residence or temporary residence within 1,200 feet of any school, licensed day-care center, park, trail, playground, place of worship, or any other place designated by the City as a place where children are known to congregate.” The town already had to deal with a crooked police chief, doubt they have the means to fight the restrictions if they were taken on – two men are having to stay locked up until suitable housing can be found in Dodge County for them.

  • #19220 Reply

    Carole Roberts

    Hopefully Adele Nicholas can shake things up in Mayville, Wisconsin, (Dodge County) as they have the same bunch of nonsense, “In 2008, the City adopted Chapter 357 Sex Offender Residency Restrictions. It serves the City’s compelling interest to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City by creating areas around locations where children regularly congregate in concentrated numbers wherein certain sexual offenders and sexual predators are prohibited from establishing temporary or permanent residence. Sex Offenders are urged to contact the city prior to establishing residency in Mayville. A current map of the restricted areas can be found in the Sex Offender Restriction Map. Any offender wishing to establish residency in a restricted area may request a hearing in front of the Sex Offender Residence Board by calling 387-7900.” this was put out my the police department and they are already dealing with a not to honest, former, Police Chief (http://www.fdlreporter.com/story/news/local/2017/04/06/mayville-police-chief-resigns/100134152/) – I doubt they have much left to fight their 1200 foot restricrtion: Prohibited location of residence. It is unlawful for any designated offender to establish a permanent residence or temporary residence within 1,200 feet of any school, licensed day-care center, park, trail, playground, place of worship, or any other place designated by the City as a place where children are known to congregate.

    • #19227 Reply

      Contact Adele

      Contact Adele and bring it to her attention….

  • #19210 Reply

    Keith Herald

    I am a sex offender that moved to Killeen, TX in May 25 of this year. I could not use any Rental Agencies due to my status as a sex offender. They do background checks. I was denied due to my record of the sex offense. That cut my ability to live in most places unless they were individually managed. Eventually I found a place and am happy here. Texas has a life time registry. Until the agencies stop disallowing sex offenders from rentals, that puts a hardship on sex offenders.

    • #19243 Reply

      R. Arens

      The funny thing about picking and choosing who gets what because of their criminal record, when it comes to choosing the lesser of 2 evils, a rental agency is more likely to rent out to a methamphetamine dealer/maker who’ll eventually trash their property, before they’ll rent to a sex offender. Drug dealers, gang members etc. have no respect for other people’s things. No respect for people in general. I was in Mount Pleasant correctional during their transition from s/o’s to drug inmates. I worked in the kitchen. Dude, most of the correctional staff complained that they wish they had the s/o’s back because they worked harder and we’re more respectful. The difference between them and us is that we are honestly grateful for a break when it comes and very rarely, will we ever steer ya wrong. There’s no stability with gangs and druggies in and out of jail stealing from the very hand that feeds them.

    • #19218 Reply

      trish

      You are not a sex offender!!!! 1 homosexual act does not make you a homosexual!!!!!!!!!! stealing a few times in your youth does not make you an habitual offender!!!!!!!! having social problems does not make you a socio-path!!!!!!! The law never has a right to block people from housing!!!! prevent people from employment!!!!!!! How many people have robbery charges does the law stipulate that those individuals shall never work in or near around etc…..lucrative businesses and a murderer can never be left alone with people they are angry and on and on and on!!!!!
      Do we see why pillars in our u.s. law prevents inclusions/intrusions into private life or societal functions!!!!! not to mention the Constitutional violations of all fundamental rights to live free, happy and safe!!!!! for all americans!!!
      The law is in Great violation for mutilating and sterilizing males for sex crimes!!!!!!!! this is never to be allowed!!!! PERIOD!!!!!!!! So to Hell with God the Devil and Politicians and anyone who does not respect your rights!!!!!! Which are never lost!!!!!!!!! or forfeited or suspended or tampered with—-distorted!!!! Some people have support and love and money and power and sex and glory and others do not !!!!!!!! The minority does not depend on a worthless God or a watered down view of ex offenders “all offenders that is”….. some are charged under with crimes/sins by the law …..others are never even known to man kind!!!!! yet all sin and have done crimes knowingly or not!!!!

  • #19205 Reply

    Ranger11bv

    Until Sex offenders are a legally protected class, we will get screwed. I know. I am a combat vet and I cant use federal housing assistance. The life long registry is what is really hurting is SO’s!!!

  • #19201 Reply

    Janette

    My son has to register as a sex offender. He would love to live with his brother in, West Saint Paul, Minnesota. However, the city of West Saint Paul passed an ordinance in December 2016 that made it illegal for a registered person to live within 1200 feet of a school or daycare facility, effectively cutting off the entire city to any registered person. When I called to find out where my son could live in West Saint Paul I was told repeatedly that there is a map online with “bubbles” and I needed to look at the map. Making it my sons responsibility to figure out this map of “bubbles”. When I finally found the map online I found that it was so poorly pixelated that you cannot even read the streets that are outside of the “bubbles”. I called back and I told the person that I could not read the map because it was too blurry and that they needed to tell me where he could and could not live because they were the ones that placed the “bubble” restrictions. Who do you contact to sue a city for blocking an entire city off from anyone living there?

    • #19244 Reply

      R. Arens

      The biggest kick I get out of this is the lack of relevance or reason behind it. First off, something like 85% of victims are friends or family of the perpetrator. I guarantee ya that they weren’t trolling the sandbox to score with jailbait. If you have a 30 year old guy (for example) who got it on with a 15 year old girl (not likely to be in the sandbox) who he met in a chat room, what in the name of all that’s holy, does his circumstances have anything remotely to do with children who frequent city parks? Absolutely nothing! In Iowa, they did away with the 2000 foot law and justified that by stating that with it in place, they had no idea where the offenders were at any given time to check on them. They used to register homeless and sleep out of cars or friends houses in exclusion zones making the law useless because they couldn’t be found. The solution; residency exclusions are now barred but they have loiter laws. Sex offenders can live in what used to be a zone in Iowa but can’t go within 300 feet of schools, parks, daycares, libraries, etc. without written permission and proper notification. So far, it’s been a success. No one has abused this new system. My advice to you is to contact your legislator and recommend Iowa’s law as a platform for Minnesota to copy. Same for everyone else seeing this from other states. Get on the horn, spread the word. Tell your law makers how we do it here and that you guys want choices in where you live too. Remember, they can take s/o’s from society but they can’t keep society from s/o’s. The status quo harms more than it helps. It’s time for a change.

      • #19291 Reply

        Jeremy from Indiana

        Most of the people on the “list” don’t “abuse” any of the unconstitutional laws. I refuse to take your advice to trade residency restrictions for “loitering” laws. Those are just as bad, if not worse. So, now, presuming the registrant has a job of course, he or she has to determine a route to work that is not in violation of this loitering law. Furthermore, even the low pay jobs that require local traveling (trash man, carpet cleaner, cable installer) are now off limits, as if there aren’t enough jobs off limits. What’s the point in giving more options for someone to have a residence if they remove the options for the person to be able to afford such residence?

  • #19192 Reply

    Still illegal regardless

    Regardless if it is 1000ft or 750ft, it is still illegal without substantive due process of each person. This is a bone to quell temporarily the masses, but in reality, they should be sued anyway to get it done to 0ft and institute substantive due process for each person.

    • #19239 Reply

      Lovecraft

      Agreed, 100 to 750 feet just because they think they have a better shot at the restrictions (segregation) being consitutional is not good enough. I have a feeling these residency restrictions are on the way out. They act like 19% is very reasonable…what a joke. Hopefully the rc’s will have their lawyers keep applying pressure.

  • #19194 Reply

    no hope

    wow all the way up to 19% and with the lack of jobs available to sex offenders i bet half if not more of those places are unaffordable

  • #19195 Reply

    Jason Baeten

    Stop referring to it as a “restriction” and call it what it is, Segregation. Then watch some heads spin as the panic sets in.

    Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60 (1917),
    https://www.oyez.org/cases/1900-1940/245us60

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