Salem takes stand against statewide sex offender residency law

The Salem Town Board will be sending a letter to the state legislature stating the town’s opposition to a bill that seeks to establish statewide standards for where released sex offenders can live and frequent.

Senate Bill 548, if passed and signed into law, would supersede the ordinances passed by local municipalities like Salem, Paddock Lake, Silver Lake, Bristol and most recently Wheatland. Twin Lakes is developing a similar law.

Those local ordinances typically establish certain areas where children congregate — such as schools or parks — and then prohibit convicted sex offenders from living within a certain distance of those places. Perimeters of 1,500 to 2,000 feet are typical.

“This bill would eliminate our ability to do that,” explained town administrator Patrick Casey. The state bill relies on GPS monitoring rather than perimeters where offenders cannot live. Where it uses perimeters, they are considerably smaller, 100 to 200 feet.

Casey explained passage of the state bill would likely benefit the state Department of Corrections.

“So many towns and villages have passed these ordinances they’re having a hard time placing these offenders,” Casey said.

Town attorney Richard Scholze was instructed to draft a letter citing the town’s objections to the state bill.

Related posts:

Twin Lakes continues to work on sex offender ordinance despite state bill

Wheatland passes sex offender residency ordinance


One Comment

  1. Chris Gustafson says:

    Chemical castration is the only clinically proven method to reduce Recidivism according to available studies. Ordinances and state laws are only feel-good politics because it relies so heavily on diligent monitoring and enforcement efforsts of local law enforcement agencies, Department of Corrections, and the Department of Justice.

    It is said once a convicted criminal has served their time in prison their debt to society has been paid, that residency restriction ordinance violate numerous U.S. Constitutional Rights and drive sexual predators underground to repeat offend outside the watchful eye of the community. But that type of watchful help thy neighbor society is more a rarity than commonality these days.

    What about the victims who are unable to psychologically distance and compartmentalize it like ER and triage doctors and nurses are trained, so victims can look at it from a perspective that enables them to be SURVIVORS?

    I know Constitutionalists will not like this, but I think violent two-time repeat convicted sex offenders should have an RFID chip inserted in each of their their brains to monitor their whereabouts and a remote-computer-activated shock controller too that will automatically zap them whenever they violate the terms of their release just like the invisible fence does for man’s best friend.

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