Georgia supreme court sex offenders residency restrictions november 2007

State lawmakers adopted the law in , calling it crucial to protecting the state's most vulnerable population: Restric- tions in the Town of Cheektowaga and the Village of Sloan include dance halls and skating rinks, and the Town of Elma chose to use 2, feet for its dis- tance requirement. The Village of Waterloo in Sen- eca County adds a residency restriction near land operated as a camp. The Georgia Supreme Court ruling said even sex offenders who comply with the law "face the possibility of being repeatedly uprooted and forced to abandon homes. As of last count, at least 86 municipalities in New York have adopted some form of residency restrictions. The court said that while the stat- ute did identify a class of individuals — sex offenders whose victims were minors — the residency restric- tions were not a punishment. The Village of East Rock- away in Nassau County prohibits registered sex of- New York Zoning Law and Practice Report 4 fenders from living within 1, feet of any school, place of worship, child day-care center, community center, public library, public park, playground and other recreational facility as well as another regis- tered sex offender. The Village of Depew and the Town of Aurora in Erie County drew the line at 1, feet rather than 1, feet for minimum distancing. While none of the cases are from New York, the lessons from other jurisdic- tions are instructive.

Georgia supreme court sex offenders residency restrictions november 2007


Georgia's law, which took effect last year, prohibited them from living, working or loitering within 1, feet of just about anywhere children gather - schools, churches, parks, gyms, swimming pools or one of the state's , school bus stops. The small proportion of residential units not off-limits were largely on farms in rural areas. The court said that while the stat- ute did identify a class of individuals — sex offenders whose victims were minors — the residency restric- tions were not a punishment. The Village of Waterloo in Sen- eca County adds a residency restriction near land operated as a camp. The law had been targeted by civil rights groups who argued it would render vast residential areas off-limits to Georgia's roughly 11, registered sex offenders and could backfire by encouraging offenders to stop reporting their whereabouts to authorities. The 2,foot buffer zone imposed statewide remains in effect today, and it was upheld again in Septem- ber In this case, Willard was not punished for being a member of this group. Further, in denying the claim, the court noted that Willard was afforded all of the protections of the judicial process when charged with violating the statute. State lawmakers adopted the law in , calling it crucial to protecting the state's most vulnerable population: But most impose the offender-free zones only around schools, and several apply only to child molesters, not all sex offenders. Rather, he was punished for violating the statute, which, the court said, was adopted for the legitimate purpose of protecting children. The Towns of Brandt and Eden as well as the Village of Blasdell add a prohibition on residency within 1, feet of a church which op- erates any child or youth centered program, and the Town of Hamburg restricts residency within 1, feet of swimming pools. While none of the cases are from New York, the lessons from other jurisdic- tions are instructive. The City of Dunkirk in Chautau- qua County prohibits registered level 2 and 3 sex of- fenders21 from residing within 1, feet of a public or private school, a nursery school, pre-school, child care facility, playground or park. Twenty-two states have distance restrictions varying from feet to 2, feet, according to researchers. The Town of Am- herst in Erie County has a similar law. A judge ruled last year that the law's school bus stop provision could not be enforced unless school boards officially designated the stops. Restric- tions in the Town of Cheektowaga and the Village of Sloan include dance halls and skating rinks, and the Town of Elma chose to use 2, feet for its dis- tance requirement. The Village of Depew and the Town of Aurora in Erie County drew the line at 1, feet rather than 1, feet for minimum distancing. As of last count, at least 86 municipalities in New York have adopted some form of residency restrictions. It also led to challenges from groups like the Southern Center for Human Rights, which argued that it would force some offenders to live in their cars or set up tents or trailers in the woods, and undermine other efforts to keep track of offenders. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Doe v. Municipalities throughout New York State have been adopting residency restrictions in response to community demand. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Although Willard argued that the statute impaired his abil- 5. The Town of Chenango, located in the County, also adopted this language. The Georgia Supreme Court ruling said even sex offenders who comply with the law "face the possibility of being repeatedly uprooted and forced to abandon homes.

Georgia supreme court sex offenders residency restrictions november 2007

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