CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saxer on Banishment of Sex Offenders

Saxer Shelley Ross Saxer (Pepperdine University - School of Law) has posted Banishment of Sex Offenders: Liberty, Protectionism, Justice, and Alternatives (Washington University Law Review, Vol.. 86, p. 1397, 2009) on SSRN: Here is the abstract:

Although most sex offenses are committed by relatives or acquaintances of the victims, our public policy approach has been to focus on the stranger sex offender and punish sex offenders through residency restrictions. These residency restrictions effectively banish these locally undesirable and dangerous individuals from our communities in fear that they may reoffend in our neighborhoods. Rather than being thrust into some wilderness, sex offenders are 'banished' to neighboring counties or states and into poor, minority neighborhoods where they often live in boarding houses with other sex offenders.

Banishing sex offenders through these residential restrictions impacts individual liberty, our national structure, and social policy considerations. This Article offers a legal analysis of the adverse impacts these restrictions impose on the constitutional rights of both sex offenders and our communities, which for economic or political limitations do not have the appropriate representation to mitigate these consequences. This Article also examines what methods from the environmental justice movement might be available to deal with the 'social justice' issue of sex offenders disproportionately burdening poor, minority communities. Finally, because there is not yet evidence to support the efficacy of residency restrictions on sex offender recidivism, this Article concludes that legislators should reexamine the current trend of using residency restrictions to address concerns about sex offender recidivism. Instead, public policy decision makers should look toward alternatives, such as individualized risk assessment and management of these individuals, so that public resources can be properly directed to confine, monitor, and treat those sex offenders most likely to commit serious reoffenses.

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Hello, I am a RSO in Kentucky. While I personally havent had any problems with housing because I've always preferred living in the country, I do however know of many people who have had some issues with housing. When Kentucky changed the footage requirements from the corner to corner of the properties to property line to property line, this did cause a lot of problems for some who owned their homes. Several people I know have had to move out of their homes from their families and live somewhere else. A lot of these people who own their homes are still trying to pay them off. The homes are usually not the nicest on the market either so trying to resell the home is almost impossible. Several of the people I know just had to let the homes go back to the bank which also ruined any kind of credit they did have. In my personal opinion the law is pointless and useless in comparison to how many problems it causes for the registrants. No one cares because we are scum of the earth to most people and politicians. If someone is going to offend or reoffend then no amount of laws is going to stop someone with bad intentions. I'm for protecting our children. I have children as well. But most of the laws we have now do nothing to encourage relapse prevention. They if more than anything create more stress on registrants which increases recidivism. I'm 100 percent for having a sex offender registry but I dont see how it serves any useful purpose for the entire public to have access to it. I also dont agree with lifetime registration. I believe a person should be on the registry for a certain amount of time then be able to be evaluated and based on the evaluation at some point be taken off the registry. Its a lifetime punishment even if you never offend again. I guess everyone has the right to their own opinion about that.

Posted by: Danny | Aug 25, 2009 7:40:30 PM

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