While I believe we can all agree that living next door to a convicted (or even an unconvicted) sex offender is not a desirable state of affairs, some studies are now showing that ever tightening restrictions about where they are allowed to live and even work, could drive some to re-offend by creating more mental and financial pressures on them.
Besides the obvious intent of protecting our children from these vermin the economic motive also creeps in. A study in Mecklenburg County NC (Charlotte) showed that the mere presence of a convicted sex offender in a neighborhood lowered property values anywhere from $4,500 to $5,500 per home and the presence of sex offenders just in Mecklenburg County has shrunk property values up to 58 million dollars!
On the other side of the coin, some sex offenders that have been convicted, served their sentences, and now, years later, and having committed no repeat offenses since, complain that having to continually wear their "sex offender" tag amounts to an unlawful and unfair extension of their sentences.
No less an authority than Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is surprisingly not ""wildly enthusiastic" about laws that restrict where sex offenders can live.""The key is to know where they are and what they're doing, not to limit where they can live. Because, by doing so, you may be inadvertently pushing them into a situation where we no longer know where they are," says Allen."
So what's the answer?
Ya got me pal but I do believe we must continue to err on the side of caution to protect our children. Creating a hardship on a convicted sex offender by restricting where he or she can live or work is a fairly small price to pay versus the alternative of subjecting an innocent victim to a lifelong nighmare or even death, at their hands.
Here are some sex offender location resources:
Sad business, but necessary in these times