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No distinction is made between those offenders who pose a real risk to children and those who pose no known threat. Note that the legislation against residency restrictions is identical to the bill. Of all the constituents that politicians want to help out, sex offenders probably rank at the very bottom of the list. But the New Hampshire Senate should summon the courage to do just that.
By helping sex offenders, as strange as it sounds, the Senate will end up making life safer for everyone else. At issue is legislation that would ban cities and towns from placing broad restrictions on where sex offenders may live. Several communities have attempted such restrictions, and lower-court judges have already struck down two as unconstitutional: one in Franklin and one in Dover. In both cities, local officials wanted to keep convicted sex offenders from living too close to places where children regularly gather: schools, day care centers and playgrounds.
Several other communities still have such ordinances on the books, among them Tilton, Sanbornton, Northfield and Boscawen. The impulse to keep sex offenders away from kids via zoning is completely understandable. But there is strong reason to resist. And the re is strong reason to set such policy at the state level, rather than leaving it to individual communities.
A growing body of evidence — gathered not just by civil liberties lawyers, but from law enforcement officers, public officials and child advocacy groups — suggests that residency restrictions are placebo pills at best and counterproductive at worst.
An Iowa study, for instance, showed that sexual-abuse convictions had remained steady since statewide residency restrictions went into effect five years earlier but that the number of sex offenders failing to register their addresses with local police departments, as the law required, had more than doubled. And a study in the journal Federal Probation draws a clear link between housing instability — an obvious consequence of residency ordinances — and criminal recidivism. Instead, it suggests a strategy of identifying and carefully monitoring the highest risk offenders and creating stable lives for the rest through treatment and access to housing, jobs and services.
The legislation banning communities from enacting or enforcing such residency restrictions has passed the House, but Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley of Wolfeboro expressed skepticism in an Associated Press interview that it would get through the Senate. Passing this bill would help.
Sex offender laws may be doing more harm than good. That is the conclusion Human Rights Watch came to after two years of intensive research into sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws in the United States. Our research convinced us that politicians failed to do their homework by enacting popular laws without seeking expert advice on how best to prevent sexual violence.
Instead of an informed debate about how sexual violence ravages this country, politicians and the media have largely focused on child victims of truly horrific crimes by previously convicted sex offenders — like the murders of Megan Kanka, Polly Klaas, and Jessica Lunsford. Horrific yes, but uncommon, which means the laws are designed to tackle only a tiny minority and fail to address the full picture of sexual violence.
A growing number of child safety and rape prevention advocates agree that current laws are not working. Two popular myths about child abusers underlie many of our sex offender laws: first, that our children have most to fear from strangers, and second, that sex offenders will inevitably repeat their crimes. But the data tell a different story.
More than 90 percent of child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows and trusts. And recidivism rates for sex offenders are far lower than most people believe — authoritative studies show that three out of four do not re-offend within 15 years of release from prison.
New Hampshire Sex Offender Registry
Furthermore, focusing much of our public policy resources on restricting the rights of former sex offenders will do very little, if anything, to protect the 87 percent of victims of sexual violence who were abused by someone who had no previous sex crime conviction. Residency restriction laws, in place in 20 states, are based on another popular belief about former offenders — that keeping them away from places where children gather will reduce their risk of re-offending. But there is no evidence these laws diminish crimes against children and some to suggest the opposite.
A recent study by the Minnesota Department of Corrections analyzed sex offender recidivists to see if where they lived had an effect on their crimes. Depending on where you live, some of the more serious sex offenses include crimes like:. Some states even include behavior such as public urination as a sex crime as in public exposure! Even if a defendant has completed their jail or probation sentences, they may still be required to register as a sex offender if they have shown a tendency to continue to engage in victimizing behavior.
Since many sex offenses are classified as felonies, a conviction will result in the defendant being a convicted felon.
Sexual Offender Registry
This means that the defendant may lose certain civil rights as a result of the felony, such as the right to carry or own a firearm, access to federal student loan programs, restrictions or limitations on driving privileges, or they may lose or have limits imposed on their voting rights. Sex offender registration can also result in restrictions directly related to the nature of the crime, including:.
The main reason behind having a sex offender registry is to allow people in the community to be aware of the presence of registered offenders in their neighborhood or workplace. This is intended as a means of public protection. Often, the state registries give the public access to general information about registered offenders, such as criminal history, current address and a picture.
This information is made available to the public after the offender provides their information for the registry.
Registered Sex Offender Laws | LegalMatch
Each state has its own laws that govern registered sex offenders. There are also federal laws that govern registries. Defendants who have been convicted under state statutes can also be prosecuted under this federal statute if they fail to register and then travel between states, countries, or onto an Indian reservation. It is possible to be removed from the sex offender registry , but it depends on the circumstances of the offense and the laws of your state where you reside.
- N.H. lawmakers debate lifting sex offender residency restrictions?
- What is a Registered Sex Offender?!
- Common Offenses Requiring Registration.
- NH Bill Would Eliminate Restrictions On Residency For Sex Offenders – CBS Boston.
- Testimony for HB 1153 to stop towns from limiting where people convicted of sex crimes can live.!
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There is nothing in the laws regarding registered sex offenders that would keep them from holding a job. People who happen to be registered sex offenders cannot be discriminated against for employment purposes. However, if you are a registered sex offender, you may have certain restrictions as part of your sentence that may disqualify you from certain types of employment. For example, if part of your sentencing and your participation in the registry prevents you from being areas close to schools or daycares, or even being in the presence of minor children, that would be something important for a potential employer to take into account.
Residency Restrictions Depend on Local Laws Residency restrictions vary by distance to feet from places where children tend to congregate and by community. For instance, a registered offender is less likely to re-offend if they have received sex offender treatment, if they are being supervised through the criminal justice system has a parole officer , has employment and some type of support system, such as family members. When a registered offender is not able to re-integrate in a safe way into the community they are more likely to take on a life style being homeless, alone, unemployed that could increase the risk of re-offending.
There is also a difference in the offenders listed on the registry in this way: some are there for sexual offenses against adults, not children. Please also see our FAQs on the Sex Offender Registry and our prevention tool, Concerned about a sex offender in your neighborhood from our website. Safety Planning It is always important for parents and other adults to know Warning Signs in adults or children that might possibly indicate child sexual abuse, as well as to talk to their children about healthy sexuality and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate touching.
Additionally, parents and adults should keep safety planning in the forefront all the time, not just when a potentially "dangerous" situation is presented.
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