We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.

Sex offender residency restrictions: What does the research say?

1-29-2015 National:

Earlier this week, I reported Muleshoe could set an ordinance restricting registered sex offenders from living near schools, playgrounds and daycare centers.

More on that here: Muleshoe woman cites child safety in support of sex offender ordinance

Some of our online commenters suggested City Council consider more research on the subject before they take action. As always, thank you for your feedback.

But what does the research say? Searching for studies that seemed as objective as possible, here is some of what I found:

* About 93 percent of sex crimes are committed by an offender already acquainted with the victim, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics. Personal observation covering sexual-assault cases in the South Plains supports this statistic. I have not yet covered a case in which an offender attacked a stranger on a playground, but that does not mean it couldn’t happen. See Chart HERE

* A 2007 study by the Minnesota Department of Corrections that reviewd 224 cases of sexual-offender recidivism determined those repeat offenders committed the attacks more than a mile away from their homes. The researchers summarized, “Not one of the 224 sex offenses would likely have been deterred by a residency restrictions law ... Even when offenders established direct contact with victims, they were unlikely to do so close to where they lived.”

* A 2008 study from Lynn University, the University of New Mexico and the University of Nevada researched recidivism rates among Florida sex offenders. It did not find a correlation between the offenders’ homes in proximity to schools and playgrounds and their likelihood of reoffending.

The study concluded, “Sex offenders who lived within closer proximity to schools and daycare centers did not reoffend more frequently than those who lived farther away ... The time that police and probation officers spend addressing housing issues is likely to divert law enforcement resources away from behaviors that truly threaten our communities in order to attend to a problem that simply does not exist.”

* The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers supports alternatives to residency restrictions as mental health treatment and access to housing and employment.

Sex-offender notification laws and residency requirements began growing in popularity in the 1990s. Now, more than 30 states and hundreds of cities nationwide hold some form restrictions on where sex offenders are allowed to live.

If Muleshoe adopts such an ordinance, it will have company in neighboring South Plains towns Crosbyton and Lamesa. ..Source.. by Josie Musico

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