Reply To: The power of the written word

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Chuck

It is heartening to hear that in the case of Canon City, there may be some rational thought being applied before a new law is constructed. For those who do not know, the major industry of Canon City Colorado is the state prison system. It is there, more specifically at Fremont Correctional Facility that the bulk of Colorado’s imprisoned sex offender are held. Included in the constellation of facilities in Canon City is, or at least was when I was an inmate, the Therapeutic Community, for Phase 2 level of treatment of SOs.
Many of the prison staff live in Canon City, as well as many family members who move close to be near their incarcerated loved ones. Any residency restrictions would likely become a hot topic since newly released inmates could very likely be housed throughout the area due to the fact that their family has relocated there. This also places them in close proximity to many of the prison guards and administrators homes. So I could see why the political division could be intense.
Since proximity laws have not been shown to reduce recidivism, and seem to be focused on all sex offenders as child predators, rather than the bulk of them being family members, it seems that residency laws would not be implemented so easily. But I can already hear the outcry of those who work in the correctional industry saying we don’t want them in our neighborhood.
My son was a sheriff in our local job in the where I now reside. He was very aware of the fact that many of the men who he had to supervise were released in the same Community where we live. He was always nervous that somebody was going to retaliate. He was anxious about being recognized in town, but he also agreed that that was bpartly due to his choice of careers and choice of his own home. From his perspective as a cop, and mine as an exfelons, I can see that great leverage might be placed on the city council in Canon City from bother sides.
Yet my concern is, where are post incarcerated citizens to go when released? If you don’t have family, they stick you on a bus and send you somewhere where will you get dumped off at have to walk around looking for a new life. But if you have family nearby who can take you in, evidence shows that you are less likely to offend.
I think that with the help of NARSOL and truthful statistics, Canon City could become a reasoned consideration when it comes to residency restrictions. It will be interesting to see if this will be a test case, or a repeat of so many other reactive laws.