The article below appeared in the Dallas News. Apparently, Dallas will begin studying residency restrictions in preparation of deciding whether or not to pass residency restrictions for registered sex offenders.
The popular but always backfiring sex offender management technique has consistently been proven ineffective or even counterproductive.
Despite the facts, our concern is that Dallas politicians will fold under the political traction they can get by further punishing those labeled “sex offenders” (whether deserving or not) and pass an ordinance regardless.
We strongly encourage you to reach out to Texas Voices (http://texasvoices.org/ or 877-215-6688) to find out what you can do to share insight and information with the decision makers.
The Dallas City Council will consider a plan to prohibit sex offenders from living near schools, parks and other places where children gather.
City Council members, meeting Wednesday, said they were interested in looking at ways to further protect children from predators. But nearly all said they need more information on the effectiveness of buffer zones to prevent sex offenders from living in certain areas.
The idea, which has been implemented in other cities, will head to a council committee for further consideration.
“I do support sex offenders being responsible for their actions,” council member Jerry Allen said.
“But the real questions I end up coming back to are: Will this ordinance increase public protection?”
Mayor Mike Rawlings has been pushing the idea, which would bar those individuals from living within a certain distance of kid-friendly areas. The proposal is also backed by Dallas police.
More than 3,300 registered sex offenders live in Dallas, though officials said those currently living near the areas in question could potentially be grandfathered in.
A couple of Dallas residents spoke out against the proposal.
Josh Gravens, who’s married and has five children, said he’s been on the sex offender registry for 15 years. Though he didn’t get into specifics, the northeast Dallas resident said he was a 13-year-old kid “who made a mistake.”
Gravens said there are many other registered sex offenders who fit his description, and he said the re-conviction rates for sex offenders are quite low. He said an ordinance like the one Dallas is considering would be devastating to him and his family.
“We’re enjoying the great things that Dallas is giving us,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be forced out of this city.”
Ordinance specifics — such as how big the buffer zone would be — haven’t been worked out. In coming weeks, council members will evaluate how other cities have fared with such rules and whether they would make sense in Dallas.
“What I’m hearing from this group is that there’s enough interest that we need to do some more work on it,” Rawlings said.
Florida Action Committee (FAC), founded in 2006, is a state-wide consortium of concerned citizens and professionals whose purpose is to promote the prevention of sexual abuse while preserving the safety and dignity of all citizens through carefully structured laws targeting the truly violent, forced, and/or dangerous predatory acts of sex. FAC believes that many aspects of the current approach to sex offenders seriously undermine justice and actually increase the threat of sexual assault against others, particularly children. FAC opposes a publicized registry of sex offenders and seeks to bring an end to the humiliation of people who have already paid for their crimes. FAC asserts that only by supporting justice for all people—offenders and victims alike can a truly safe society be built and secured for all Americans.