Life may be about to get a lot more difficult for sex offenders in Kansas. State Rep. Rob Olson of Olathe has introduced legislation that would ban registered pervs whose victims were younger than 16 from moving within 2,000 feet of schools.
That's a pretty typical strategy for keeping predators from a bevy of potential victims. But Olson is going one step further in keeping kids and creeps separated. He wants sex offenders to have their driver's licenses stamped with the word "offender," making entry to a school much harder. And, presumably, offenders will get a lot of spit-filled drinks when they get carded at bars.
The Kansas City Star has a piece
looking into debate about the bill. Basically everybody hates perverts who prey on children, but it turns out that some people think residency
restrictions aren't all that effective. And there are studies to back it
up. From The Star:
Former Sen. Karin Brownlee of Olathe cited a 2006 report for
the Ohio Sentencing Commission that found 93 percent of molestation
victims were well known to their perpetrators. An earlier Ohio study
found that 89 percent of sex offenders had never been convicted before
and that only 2.2 percent of child molesters were strangers to their
victims. "If they are first-time offenders, then a residency requirement
wouldn't have stopped them," Brownlee said.
Proponents of the bill say those studies don't apply here, The Star
reports, because they consider all sexual offenders, not just pedophiles. Supporters say the bill will provide a needed neutral zone between students and sex offenders.
[Neighborhood anti-perv advocate Michell] Prothe said: "WeA similar bill was killed in 2007 when
do not believe these types of child sex offender laws provide a false
sense of security as some have suggested. "She acknowledges that passing
the legislation won't guarantee that children won't be sexually
assaulted. "But the chances will be decreased if we implement a healthy
buffer zone between children, their parents and the people who have
proven they harm innocent children," she said.
rural legislators realized that offenders in some small towns wouldn't
have anywhere to live. Missouri has a 1,000-foot no-pedophile radius around
schools. So maybe there's room for a compromise in deciding how far bad people must stay from youngsters.