Monday, January 12, 2009

Driving Sex Offenders Underground (NY): Lawmakers send sexual offender residency law back to committee.

KINGSTON – Passions ran high over a proposed local law that would set restrictions on where high-risk sex offenders could live. The law would “… prohibit sex offenders from residing, having employment or otherwise enter or remain within one thousand feet of areas and facilities that would provide them easy access to potential victims.” That would include schools, daycares, playgrounds and public pools, among other places.

Ulster County Legislature Criminal Justice and Safety Committee Chairman Frank Dart cautioned against acting in haste: “Would you rather have a sex offender that you know is living next door to you, or, have a sex offender and drive him under ground, and you don’t know if he is living behind a plaza, in the woods, and you don’t know where he is?”
“This could endanger the public, if we act too fast," ”warned Democrat Brian Shapiro.

In the end, the Democrats prevailed. The proposed local law goes back to committee.