The latest trend in “sex offender management” seems to be bills that punish individuals or businesses who try to help offenders get on with their lives.
This past legislative session, the Florida Senate tried to pass SB 562, a ridiculous bill which criminalized allowing a registrant to use ones car. The text of the bill stated:
A person may not knowingly authorize or allow a motor vehicle owned by him or her or under his or her dominion or control to be operated on a highway or public street by an individual who is required to register as a sexual predator under s. 775.21 or as a sexual offender under s. 943.0435, s. 944.606, or s. 944.607, except for the sole purpose of the sexual predator’s or sexual offender’s driving to and from work, public service, or treatment. A person who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.So, in other words, if a mother allows her registrant son to use her car to drive his children to school, pick up groceries, or go to church, she can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor (60 days in Jail)!
This past Wednesday, the governor of Rhode Island actually signed one of these ridiculous bills into law! The new law punishes companies that service “child safe zones” who hire registrants. The zones are not limited to schools or day cares, but include places that don’t cater specifically to minors, such as movie theaters and beaches. The law further punishes companies who hire or use third-party contractors who employ registrants, even if they work off-site.
In other words; a movie theater who retains a third party plumber who employs a registrant to work in their warehouse and who will never be present at the theater, is subjected to punishment.
The fine is $1000 per day that the registrant is employed.
Legislators, realizing that they have beaten registrants so low that their financial means are non-existent, have decided to now go after their family, friends and employers by threatening them with criminal or financial sanctions if they try to help a registrant.