Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Misguided Law Not An Answer To A Serious Problem

Does Saratoga County really think that passing a law prohibiting sex offenders from living within 1500 feet of a school is even a partial solution to the serious problem we face with sex offenders? Did anyone do any research to see how many sex offenses take place by strangers at schools? How is living 1500 or even 5000 feet from a school going to stop a pedophile from hanging around a school if he is intent on doing so? Should we now pass laws restricting released bank robbers from living within 1500 feet of a bank? Do children only hang out at schools? Should we pass laws prohibiting sex offenders from living near churches with Sunday Schools, malls where kids hang out, etc? Has anyone considered that the internet, not the school playground, is the most dangerous hangout for kids?

Saratoga County isn’t the only county attempting to pass such laws. Many cities and counties are in the process of passing them. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco has come out in support of such laws. Such laws are a waste of time and money. It wouldn’t be so bad if these laws provided a partial solution to the problem of sex offenders, but they don’t even do that.


  • I've been told theres a similar law in the city of Binghamton, and when you make that kind of distance law in a city, theres very few places left for people on the registry to actually live.

    It's a difficult issue, recidivism is high, so people want to be wary of the threat previous sex offenders pose, but on the other hand, they've served their time, so why should they be punished forever by these kinds of statutes?

    You're right that these laws simply aren't/wouldn't be effective, and furthermore they're treading dangerous legal and ethical ground. I think a good question is why even propose such laws in the first place? I think the answer is that people want to feel as though they are taking action to combat an evil, and politicians want to look tough on crime. It's unfortunate that their good intentions are misdirected.


    By Blogger York Staters, at 10:29 AM  

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