Daily Archives: March 21, 2007

Sex offender legislation roundup

Wednesday seems to be a busy day for legislators around the country. Here are the latest developments in sex offender related legislation from the nation:

Vermont:

  • A civil commitment bill is being proposed, which would also require that high-risk offenders report to "the authorities" or face life imprisonment.

Alabama:

  • House Bill 54, which would prohibit two or more convicted sex offenders from residing together in the same dwelling.
  • While people generally are allowed to live where they want, [State Rep. Robinson] said, “We can focus on the number of them living in one dwelling.”

  • House Bill 55 would require notification of a sex offender’s address to everyone living within 2000 feet of that residence.

    “It’s strange that a (registered) sex offender can’t work within a certain boundary of schools and day care centers, but they are living across the street from the same children and senior citizens whom we are trying to protect,” Robinson said. Alabama law prohibits sex offenders from living or working within 2,000 feet of a school or child care facility.

Georgia is proposing a host of changes:

  • Senate Bill 249 includes a provision to allow for elderly and disabled people to petition the court to be exempt from the sex offender residency restrictions.
  • The bill also removes school bus stops from the law as part of residency/work restrictions.
  • The bill also changes how the 1,000-foot exclusionary distance is determined. The distance, as proposed, would be measured from the actual building, at its closest points, instead of the property line of the school, church, day care, park or area where minors congregate.
  • The new legislation also increases the reporting requirements for sexual offenders.
  • Failure to comply or provide false information is considered a felony punishable by imprisonment for no less than 10 and no more than 30 years. Conviction of a second offense is punishable by imprisonment for life.
  • The bill also restricts where convicted sex offenders can work or volunteer and how close the place of employment can be to a school, childcare centre or church. The distance shall be determined by the location in which such individual actually carries out or performs the functions of his or her job.

Very interesting stuff all around, especially the proposed changes to to Georgia’s legislation. I’m curios to know how many other states measure the 1,000 (or 2,000) feet from the actual building itself and not the edge of the property that it rests on.