Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 23, 2008

Residency Restrictions for Convicted Sex Offenders Continuing Subject of Attention in New York

The subject of residency restrictions for convicted sex offenders continues to be debated in municipal forums across the country.  A 2007 report from Connecticut Legislative Research Service indicated that at the time, at least 21 states and 400 local governments had adopted laws dealing with residency restrictions.  During the just ending Legislative Session in New York, more than a dozen proposals were introduced to: restrict sex offenders from residing within a quarter mile of any school or licensed daycare facility; restrict certain sex offenders including those whose victims were under the age of eighteen, from residing within 1,000 feet of a school; restrict level three sex offenders from residing within 500 feet of any school building regularly used for instruction; restrict level two and three sex offenders from residing within one-half mile of the residence of the victim of their abuse; address overconcentration, or too many registered sex offenders from residing in a municipality; and allow the sentencing court to impose certain residency restrictions upon sex offenders. In addition, proposals were introduced to: prohibit any registered sex offenders from using or being within 500-feet of any state or municipally-owned park; prohibit sex offenders from entering school grounds or other facilities where children are cared for; and prohibit registered sex offenders from entering amusement parks. 

 

In addition, more than 80 municipalities in New York have adopted local laws imposing various residency restrictions.  A chart of these laws can be viewed here.   

 

A few cases reported on this blog seem to suggest that these residency restrictions may not be on firm legal ground, yet they remain popular with community residents.  This is an issue to watch in 2008.  The forthcoming January/February issue of New York Zoning and Planning Law Report features a more in-depth article on this topic.


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