Reply To: NO! We don’t need another sex offender law to fight

Jeremy from Indiana

This is one of those situations where I have a mixed reaction. While I don’t agree with residency restrictions because they are ineffective and unconstitutional, I am inclined to allow such a law as this to pass if proper safeguards are in place. Of course, they probably won’t be in many states that enact such a law.

First of all, a law such as this should only apply to offenders on supervision. Any law that removes liberty without affording due process is unconstitutional. Second, as the article notes, family reunification should be an exception to the law. My view is that the victim or the victim’s therapist should be able to apply for an exception if the victim wants to resume contact with the former abuser and the parole/probation officer and/or treatment provider allows it. This is the same process for registrants on supervision who want to resume contact with their own children when they were not the victims of the crime.

Many of the commentators on here are trying to bring up the same arguments relating to recidivism, but that is not the purpose of a law such as this. This is to protect the victim from further anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems. The offender does not have to re-offend for these problems to exist. Just their mere presence can cause this.

There are similar laws for other crimes. In my state of Indiana, a person convicted of theft cannot be around the area the theft happened while on supervision. This is a similar law as long as it’s only applied to those on supervision.