Prison & Punishment
Community corrections programs oversee offenders outside of jail or prison. They are administered by agencies or courts with the legal authority to enforce sanctions. Community corrections include probation — correctional supervision within the community rather than jail or prison and parole, also a period of conditional, supervised release from prison. Evaluating sex offenders residency restrictions restrictions can how mapping can inform police: *
Many locations have implemented residency laws that prohibit sex offenders from living near
schools or other places where children gather.
Studies show that restrictions can create exclusion zones that make it difficult, if not impossible, for sex offenders to find housing. *
Sex offenders then may become homeless, go underground or report false addresses, making them difficult to track. *
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can help evaluate the impact of residency laws. Laws that restrict where registered sex offenders may live have become increasingly popular during the past decade. As of 2007, some 27 states and hundreds of municipalities had enacted laws that bar sex offenders from residing near schools, parks, playgrounds and day care centers. “The specified distance from a school or other venue is typically 1,000 feet but varies from 500 to 2,500 feet, depending on the jurisdiction”. (nij.gov)The laws, which have wide public support, are modeled after Florida’s “Jessica’s Law,” named for a nine-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped and killed by a molester. “They follow the Wetter ling Act of 1994 mandating sex offender registration and the 1996 Megan’s Law requiring public notification when an offender moves into a community”. ( nij.gov)
Residency restriction laws have led to some unanticipated and unintended consequences. In many locations -most noticeably in urban areas -the restrictions have created...
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