I hate to write about this subject because inevitably people always draw the conclusion that I'm soft on sex offenders. But these so called 1000 feet rules on sex offenders are absolutely ridiculous.
First, we need to understand the nature of the crime committed. It's is very rare that a sex crime involving a child is committed by a stranger. I received a call from a radio station sales rep telling me that 200,000 children in this country are abducted every year. I called her out on the math. If that were true an Amber alert would be out 24/7. In fact, child abductions by a stranger are so rare, it's a national story when a child appears to be abducted by a stranger.
In the Cincinnati area, look at the public attention to the Marcus Feisel case when it was feared he might be abducted. 200,000 a year? I think not.
Second, many of the people who end up on the sex offenders list commit what are called "opportunistic" offenses, not predator offenses. An opportunistic offender would be a 22 year old having a consensual sexual relationship with a 15 year old. While, yes it should be a crime, to think this is someone who is a general threat to society after they do their time is kind of hysteric.
But politicians peddling to the kind of hysteria surrounding Polly Klaus have put in place a public policy that make absolutely no sense in controlling this type of crime. In addition, the politicians expanded the definition of who a sexual offender is that no one can really distinguish between someone who is a threat to their children and who is not.
For instance, under current law, a sex offender cannot live within a thousand feet of a school yet it's perfectly legal for that same offender to drive up next to a school and watch kids on a play ground or a park.
I know a guy who is a sex offender, as part of his probation, he must be inside of his home by 10:00 pm. Just how many kids are out on the street at that time?
Politicians throw these kind of laws out so it looks like they are doing something and the public gets a false sense of security that all the bad guys have been put away; all the while it's Uncle Buddy you really need to worry about.
If the public really believes that these guys are such a threat, the smartest solution would be to strap a GPS monitor on every convicted sex offender's ankle and monitor each and every move they make. If the offender goes to an area the court believes should be off limits or the offender takes off the monitor for any reason, it's an automatic 5 years in prison.
Instead, we are going to force these guys to live in modern day leper colonies. At least they'll be able to live with the smokers.