Proximity to schools is not a factor

{youtubejw width=”455″ height=”344″}KAZjwIXOcCw{/youtubejw}

SEXUAL OFFENDERS Proximity to schools is not a factor

SOSEN – JTC “Bridge Of Tyranny”

Re Fred Grimm’s March 5 column, Lobbyist pushed laws that push outcasts into homelessness: As an associate professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, my primary area of research is sex-crime-policy analysis. Recent research in Florida confirmed that a sex offender’s proximity to schools and day care centers was unrelated to sexual recidivism.

Sex offenders who lived in close proximity to such facilities were not more likely to reoffend than those who lived farther away. Researchers from Minnesota also have reported that not one of 224 recidivistic sex offenses would have been prevented by a residential-restriction law.  Sex offenders do not molest children because they live near schools. They abuse when they are able to establish relationships with children and their families and misuse positions of familiarity, trust and authority. According to the Justice Department, 93 percent of sexually abused children are molested by family members, close friends or acquaintances. Children are most likely to be assaulted by people they know, not strangers lurking in schoolyards. Thus, residence restrictions do little to prevent the most common situations in which children are likely to be harmed.

CNN Interviews Mary and Ricky Blackman

BELOW AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN

{mp4-flv}ricky{/mp4-flv}

{mp4-flv}turner video – 1{/mp4-flv}

{mp4-flv}turner video – 2{/mp4-flv}

Stilwell, Oklahoma (CNN) — As a teenager, Ricky Blackman carried an Oklahoma driver’s license with the words “sex offender” stamped in red below his picture.

His crime? Having sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was 16. The offense occurred when he lived in Iowa, and the label followed him to Oklahoma.

As a Tier 3 offender on Oklahoma’s sex offender registry, Blackman could not attend high school, visit the town library, or go to his younger brother’s football games.

But the label did more than limit where Blackman could go. It transformed him from an outgoing, sociable jock into an introvert who has trouble trusting people, his mother says.

“He’s not the same,” said Mary Duval, a straight-talker who has become a full-time activist to reform sex offender legislation since her son’s conviction.

“I used to get a kick out of Ricky,” she added. “He was so fun-loving and just full of life. I mean, there’s no other word. Ricky was full of life and now he’s definitely more cautious, more reserved.”

Now 20, Blackman tenses up when he sees children at a supermarket and avoids talking to girls his age, even if they initiate contact, his mother says.

“I got a lot more fear in me, I mean, because anything could happen,” Blackman said. “Say you’re on the registry, and you’re in the mall and a kid comes up missing. Well, guess what? You’re the first person they’re going to because you’re on the sex offender registry.”
Ricky was full of life and now he’s definitely more cautious, more reserved.
–Mary Duval, mother

Legal System out of Balance

When Legislators Fail to Protect the Public and Courts Fail to Protect the Constitution.

Ineffective and counterproductive sex offender laws have swept across the nation.  From the national registry to local residency restrictions, lawmakers have failed to heed the words of experts in the field of sex offender issues. Instead they took a hard line approach that was popular with an uninformed public. In doing so they have not only failed the country but they have also stretched the fabric of the constitution far beyond the point of easy return.

At the same time the courts have given a series of nods to laws that, if they were not aimed at sex offenders, would have been cast aside as ridiculous. These laws have included ex-post-facto elements (additional punishment after the fact), and they also fail the equal protection aspect of the constitution.  Another concern has been the First Amendment. Some courts have found that sex offenders no longer have the same rights to First Amendment protection, while other courts have ruled that the requirement of a sex offender to turn over his internet identifiers does not fall under the First Amendment