PA rep Tom Mehaffe stumps for 5000 foot sex offender restrictions

By Theresa Robertson and Dana Mace . . . On June 6th, Representative Tom Mehaffie, R- Lower Swatara Township, wrote an article in Press & Journal attempting to rally support for the need of residency restrictions in Pennsylvania. He indicated he will be proposing legislation that “would prohibit Megan’s Law registrants from residing within 5,000 feet of any public school, private school, parochial school or preschool.” PARSOL reached out to Rep. Mehaffie via phone and email to invite him to the table to discuss the content of the article.   Rep Mehaffie introduced HB 2507 on June 18, 2018. The bill would amend Subchapter H of Act 10, restricting anyone whose offense occurred on or after December 20, 2012 from living within 5,000 feet of schools and childcare centers.

In Pennsylvania, local jurisdiction residency restrictions have been deemed “invalid and unenforceable” by the U.S. District Court for the Western District in Fross v. Allegheny County (2009).This ruling was upheld in 2011 by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.   Importantly, residency restrictions have been found to contribute to conditions that deter successful community re-entry (Levenson, Ackerman, Socia, & Harris, 2013), and they do not reduce sexual recidivism (Duwe, Donnay, & Tewksbury, 2008). In fact, a research brief authored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (2015) concluded:

…the evidence is fairly clear that residency restrictions are not effective. In fact, the research suggests that residence restrictions may actually increase offender risk by undermining offender stability and the ability of the offender to obtain housing, work, and family support.   There is nothing to suggest this policy should be used at this time.

PARSOL is committed to contributing to the prevention of child sexual abuse by advocating for sexual offense laws that are effective in increasing public safety.   We encourage all to write or email Rep. Mehaffie’s office to let him know that residence restrictions for individuals who have committed sexual offenses will not protect our children or the public and urge him to consider examining the current research on residence restrictions before introducing the bill he mentioned in his article. The research is clear. Residence restrictions will NOT offer protections to our children or our communities and may actually diminish public safety!

State Rep. Tom Mehaffie, R-Lower Swatara Township, represents the 106th House District. Reach him at 717-534-1323 or tmehaffie@pahousegop.com.

Theresa and Dana are members of PARSOL, NARSOL’s Pennsylvania advocacy organization.

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar admin 11 months ago.

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  • #42409 Reply
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    admin

    By Theresa Robertson and Dana Mace . . . On June 6th, Representative Tom Mehaffie, R- Lower Swatara Township, wrote an article in Press & Journal 
    [See the full post at: PA rep Tom Mehaffe stumps for 5000 foot sex offender restrictions]

  • #42454 Reply
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    B. Webb

    They need to look at the mess in Miami-Dade, then look at all of the research that shows how residency restrictions do not work to protect. All they do is keep ex-offenders, homeless, unemployed, and more likely to commit another crime. There is so much research out there now, not just in the US, but Canada, Australia, the UK, on all facets of the Sex Offender Laws. It’s time to stop trying to look “tough” on sex crimes, and actually, do what is right, all you are doing is giving a false sense of security.

  • #42456 Reply
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    Pablo Gutierrez

    http://www.abc27.com/news/local/cornelia-wolf-mother-of-gov-tom-wolf-dies/1254117634

    Cornelia Wolf, mother of Gov. Tom Wolf, dies

    My respects on his loss!

  • #42569 Reply
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    Tim L

    OK, Mr. Mehaffe why just make it the mile rule?

    Banishment via electronic list.

    **** The unaddressed liberty interest at issue in Alaska V Doe, denied by the majority. Mr.Steven’s exact words in decent, “If no liberty were at stake, who would complain? ” He pinpointed the misuse of notices of conviction as a , “touchstone” forcing, “a necessary AND sufficient condition” justification for ex-post language readily apparent (In b\w as law text).

    The very same case collateralized THE GOVERNMENT USE of a database. Essentially sanctioning making bad humans (At first ONLY child molesters and child rapists) subservient to STATE machines. A computer is a machine, right? Are you compelled to maintain the machine? Yes.

    If a state can do that much and survive then AFED can go much farther with respect to database use as it implicates individual liberty. And so they do in Saratoga Springs UT. (See https://www.eff.org) for more on that.

    While many a case has been filed and adjudicated concerning SOR most fail to aim at the right target in the first place. As example, offenders ramble on about injustices that are indeed not as in the Connecticut V. Doe. case.The most undeserving
    case to “earn” review by the Supreme Court in American history. The guy had waived his rights on the issue by his own free will. Then used his daddy’s big money to go running to the courts complaining, just like the gay couple in colorado. Unlike them, he lost 9-0. it makes me wonder how that particular case got on the agenda in the first place. In the U.S. agendas are considered an administrative function. It was Mr. Rehnquist then and Mr. Roberts today, a probable non coincidence.

    Sex sure does sell in America even purely political use of a database. I forgive them for they know not what they do to themselves. Helpless sheep in an elitist owned world. Is it any wonder the people act as they do? We follow our leaders.

  • #42572 Reply
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    Maestro

    I’m personally sick of the use of the phrase “public safety” when it comes to sex. Aside from those who have actually raped an adult or child, I’d say a good majority of the people on the registry are there for consensual relationships, be it the person was a yr under age or was a teacher/student (even of age), or a teen who lied about their age or teens sexting or adults caught in public places being sexual, etc.
    I would like the governors, the legislatures and anyone else to please explain how these “offenses” are a threat to the safety of the public.

    I’ll wait. 🤔

  • #42630 Reply
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    Sadd;es

    Maestro said one thing one thing on here once that got my attention when I first started on here. He said there using Old Testament. Sure after going thru 5 PO’s that couldn’t understand me because I talked a new language to them which was Christian or the Good News, they finely found the right one I could communicate with, even thou he said to me we could of stoned you. I wonder if that would of been for public safety. I guess they would of done that if I was looking at porno too. See were are not under the Old Laws and see we all learn even in our understanding, even our President. I guess at times we all are harden in our ways.

    Why do you think the people were so upset about the kids being taken away and seprated from there parents. now that was an outcry. Some kids were still breastfeeding. Thats terrible for any government to do and inhumain. I’ll be off probation in 5 years but I will still have a label that will carry me around. I even know some of your men’s storys might be the same or a bit different but we are all here to help make change not for just ourselves but for others being stupid or getting wrapped up in this sex registry hijinks .

    Sure I got my letter sent off to President Trump and as maestro said they just toss those letters in the trash. Some government officers are sympathic and some are not but speaking out in a positive way. One can use the Power abuse theory or the love thy neighbor theory. I wonder which is better in this day and age for this sex ordeal. Now we can all dish out the lines that they are a bunch of hypocrities or something or have hard hearts but it is what it is for right now. and NARSOL can’t do everything thats why each of you have to voice up, write letters to whoever also. Why do you think the American people were so upset about the kids locked up in this imigration thing. Is that not a form or power abuse or Governmental abouse. Public is still defined as public. A computer is only a communication device but when Government abuses than it is a bit kayotic. The detective in my encounter said to me, while I don’t know what to charge you with, but I’ll think of something and those were his famous lines. Its not all about beliefs, its about truth and principal in so many ways.

  • #42661 Reply
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    James Stambaugh

    Mr. Mehaffe,

    I love how you want to ban Sex Offenders within 1 mile of schools, daycares and etc. If you did the calculations you would be pushing 15,886 people to the hills of the mountains because of you and law you want to push. I find this colonizing sex offenders in a group and making us a target. My question is why can’t we have our own town so therefore you and your other means of people that don’t like our kind leave us alone? I think Pennsylvania would find that very concerning. I think 15,886 sex offenders should start showing up and start making our voices heard, people like you, just likes to bully us because of our crimes and that we are good for nothing on earth! Don’t Pennsylvania have laws for Bullying in which you are doing to Sex Offenders? By pushing laws on Sex Offenders leads to depression and other mental issues on those who committed the crime. I will challenge your law! If anyone wants to contact me email me at jwstambaugh2007@gmail.com. Lets take a stand to this guy. Pennsylvania does have Bullying laws for students which we can use in the Courts of the Commonwealth.
    I just wished Mr. Mehaffe would have the nerve to get ahold of me so we can talk. I’m doing quite well for a sex offender and I got my life in order. Known that I was caught up in an Internet Sting that if you look into was illegal by the Attorney General and they continue to do it to date! How can you be an authority of law when you lie on an probable cause or warrant when you assume an identity of a minor which is false identification. If, we the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania give false identification to Authorities we get arrested! Why is it a two sided law? The Statue of 6318 needs to be looked at with good attorneys that will take a fight to the Courts! If everyone else can protest in this world I think we as sex offender need to start protesting for our rights!

    HERE YOU GO PLEASE READ SEX OFFENDERS GETS THE LAWYERS READY:

    Court gives MN registrant settlement in residency restrictions suit

  • #42691 Reply
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    saddles

    James I like your comment as it makes a lot of sense. Now as I have said there is good and bad in everything but I never expended on the good and bad. Sure some feel bad about getting caught up in all this mess. One person said on one article of the articles on here its “feel good laws” now which is bad the feel good laws or the getting caught up in all this?
    Is it a “feel good law” to seperate families? Is it a feel “feel good law” to deceve people or is that the good about principals.
    Are we as a nation calling evil good and good evil is is government using principals incorrectly. Were is any values today or morals when government dictates. We could talk about the good and bad in gay rights but we dont’ want to go there on this sex offender forum. Keeping families is the basic of Human principals or Rights. These limits and rules about how many feet from this or that area are a bit overzealous if we can use that word. I hope this nation is still about God and country or is it becoming a principal to themself or a dictatorship for true justice. People have a right to live anyhere they want or are they tresspassing against the minds of others in some of this sex offender rubish. Who is corrupting who I wonder.

  • #42692 Reply
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    James

    Mr. Mefahee,

    Please read this article maybe you will get an understanding of Residency Restrictions:

    Home > NARSOL Posts > AZ RSOL tries to dispel residency restrictions ignorance

    AZ RSOL tries to dispel residency restrictions ignorance

    May 29, 2018 

    By Bianca Buono . . . A loophole in Arizona law allows sex offenders to live near schools, in some cases just feet away from campus.

    Per state law, it’s only illegal for a sex offender to live within 1,000 feet of a school if that person has been convicted of a dangerous crime against children.

    According to the state sex offender registry, one sex offender in Mesa lives steps away from two schools, Ishikawa Elementary School and Stapley Junior High. The Maricopa County Adult Probation says his victims were adults, not children.

    We combed through the registry and found dozens of similar cases.

    But it doesn’t end there. It turns out the law isn’t actually that cut-and-dry. A 12 News I-Team investigation has found that even crimes against children won’t keep some offenders from living near schools.

    In one case, Loma Linda Elementary School in Phoenix can be seen from this offenders front yard. He was convicted of raping a child under the age of 16 in Massachusetts. His probation ended in September of last year, allowing him to live wherever he wants.

    While some parents are shocked people with this type of criminal history can live so close to schools, some people are calling  for what they call rational laws.

    Directors of Arizonans for Rational Sex Offense Laws Terry and Patricia Borden say sex offenders already have a hard enough time finding a place to live after they’re convicted, and that it would be wrong to forbid them from living near schools.

    Their message to concerned parents?

    “Their children are more likely to be put on the registry than be molested by someone on the registry,” Borden said. “Ninety-five percent of sexual assaults do not happen by people on the registry.”

    Regardless, the fact that these sex offenders living near schools are legally doing so doesn’t make the news any easier to swallow for parents.

  • #44291 Reply
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    Misdemeanor Offender

    If Rep. Mehaffie and other politicians follow such hot-headed and mean-spirited legislation bills then perhaps I should begin exploring that Mars One mission? At least the planet Mars doesn’t have residency restrictions – yet.

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