Where Should They Go?

If you haven’t heard about the sex offender problem that Garden Grove is experiencing, go here. I’ll wait for you.

Let me just begin by stating, I don’t like sex offenders. As a mother, they give me the heebie-jeebies. And even though I can dig down, way down, into my humanity and realize that most sex offenders were themselves abused sexually, it still doesn’t mean I want them anywhere near me or my family.

And neither, apparently, does anyone else.

Which is totally understandable.

But, after they have served their sentences, we as a society have no choice but to let them back in. Technically, they have paid their debt, and as long as they follow the guidelines set by law enforcement, can we really force them out of anywhere we’re not comfortable having them? And, to give a little credit, these are the offenders that are following the rules of reporting their place of residence. Some of them do not do that, and drift off to who-knows-where without anyone knowing their past.

Perhaps it is because we know that among sex offenders, there is a high rate of recidivism. Without some major, major rehabilitative efforts, which even then may not work, they commit again. As for the high concentration of them in a couple of motels, I would rather them be concentrated in one area that I can be sure to avoid rather than spread out over a wider distance.

Short of having some kind of sex offender colony which is walled off from the rest of the world, all we can do is gain as much knowledge as we can to their whereabouts and take care of ourselves and our families as best we can.

2 Comments so far

  1. Peter (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

    Gina, I know EXACTLY what you are doing. I truly believe that we as a society are at an impasse that even the Supreme Court won’t ever be able to rectify. Sure, they can make their decisions one way or the other regarding residency restrictions or other management issues involving POST-incarcerated sex offenders, but it will not solve the problem. In my opinion, ONLY a constitutional amendment will solve the problem.

    It is obvious. Nobody wants sex offenders to live in their neighborhoods, or even their cities. I’m a parent, and I would fight tooth and nail to prevent sex offenders from living anywhere that children may live, even if their victims were people they knew. It means NOTHING to me; what means EVERYTHING to me is they committed an atrocious crime against children. That’s enough for me.

    Unfortunately, these sex offenders have rights. If they are not in prison, they will probably get the ACLU to sue the city and we will have to spend thousands of dollars defending the restrictions.

    The ONLY thing, therefore, is to create an amendment to the US Constitution, creating sex offender colonies to restrict where these convicted sex offenders live in the first place. How to do this?

    The first thing that needs to be done is to create an outline of such an amendment. I looked at the process for how an amendment is created. Here is the process:

    Under Article V, there are two ways to propose amendments to the Constitution and two ways to ratify them.

    To propose an amendment

    1. Two-thirds of both houses of Congress vote to propose an amendment, or
    2. Two-thirds of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments.

    To ratify an amendment

    1. Three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it, or
    2. Ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approve it.

    I would submit that the state legislature route would probably be more effective, but the congressional method can be tried first. It can effectively be used as a litmus test for voting, i.e., if someone doesn’t want to vote for proposing the amendment in congress, their 2008 opponent can have a field day in saying that the incumbent protects sex offenders at the expense of children’s safety, etc.

    Such an amendment would solve many problems. First of all, the registry would not exist in its current form. Parents don’t have to worry where the sex offenders live, as they all would, by law, have to live in the colony. This also eliminates the need for GPS, as the sex offenders would be restricted to the colony in the first place. No worries about convicted child molesters stalking your children’s school or favorite park, or trolling on the Internet.

    Next, registrants would constitutionally have to be subjected to non-court ordered search of their premises within the zone. In addition, all their mail and phone calls would constitutionally be authorized to be monitored for illicit activities. Internet usage would also be strictly regulated, with all file storage for every computer actually done at the server-level. In addition, emails would be assigned by the administration, no Instant messaging or accessing MySpace or other children sites allowed, and all keystrokes and sites visited will be recorded 100%. All costs for such usage would be borne out by the offender, incidentally.

    All registrants would be required to work, with their paychecks being handled by the administrators. Deductions for medical, rent, all services, and everything else would be done automatically, and any credit the registrant have be used for discretionary income ONLY from the colony store. Also, EVERY registrant will be required to go through treatment appropriate to his crime, and be certified as cured; otherwise, he can be subject to a felony charge and returned to prison.

    Now, please keep in mind one thing: The sex offender colony is NOT…repeat…NOT a replacement for tough, appropriately long, non-paroleable sentencing guidelines in the first place! THAT IS PARAMOUNT. The colony would exist because society cannot handle the large amounts of offenders in their neighborhoods, with the inherent terror parents have with the knowledge that offenders are around their children. Therefore, the colony is SPECIFICALLY for offenders to spend their entire registration periods in a constitutionally-approved manner, eliminating the need for registries as they exist now.

    Keep in mind, many offenders also are able to leave the registry for certain crimes after a specified amount of time has passed. Therefore, once a registrant’s time period has expired, he can petition the administration to be relieved of the duty to register and live in the SORERA zone. A panel of professionals, law enforcement individuals, and the offender’s victim representatives, will go over the request. If they feel the offender is ready to join society, then he can leave the zone and live anywhere he wants, although he will have to permanently register with law enforcement wherever he goes for the rest of his life. Bear in mind, also, that any registrant who has to register for life will NEVER get the opportunity to leave the zone. Only the most benign of the registrants will ever be allowed to leave.

    So there you have it. With a constitutional amendment, we can control where they live, where they work, and how they communicate, with confidence that they won’t have a “relapse” when our own children are in striking distance.

    Is this what you were looking for, Gina?

  2. Gina (unregistered) on May 1st, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

    Peter, I wasn’t being sarcastic or ironic or anything in my post, if that is what you are referring to.

    I don’t know if a constitutional amendment is what I was looking for, but your comment is certainly well thought-out.

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