Committing sex offenders is costly, not very effective

By The Daily News

Douglas Allen Alsteen, a repeat sex offender, has done his time. Now he's back in a Cowlitz County courtroom, facing the possibility of indefinite confinement at Washington's Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

The violent sexual predator law state prosecutors are hoping will keep Alsteen locked away continues to stir controversy 17 years after its enactment. Critics say the law smacks of double jeopardy and fails to accomplish its expressed purpose, which is to treat violent sex offenders until they no longer pose a threat to society.

According to a recent New York Times report on costs at McNeil Island and civil-commitment facilities at the 18 other states that enacted laws modeled on Washington's, this state pays an average of $127,632 anually for each person committed under the law. That compares to $29,055 annually for each prison inmate. Washington's civil commitment program now has 266 residents. It's budget for fiscal 2007 totals $45 million. Full Story

Burned, Headless Man is ID'd as Child Sex Offender

November 9, 2007
BY BEN SCHMITT, Detroit Free Press

Northville police have identified the burned, headless body found on a cul-de-sac as a River Rouge man who was a registered sex offender.

Northville police, with the assistance of the Michigan State Crime Lab, used a fingerprint Thursday to identify the man as Daniel Sorensen, 26.

Sorensen was registered as a sex offender in Michigan and in Tazewell County, Ill., where records indicate he was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim between 13 and 16 years old. Full Story

Chesapeake ( VA) Wants To Add Community Centers, Parks and Libraries to List of Places Sex Offenders Can't Approach

November 8, 2007
Associated Press & 13News

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) -- Chesapeake leaders want to add community centers, parks and maybe even libraries to the list of places that sex offenders can't approach.

The city plans to ask state legislators to amend the Virginia code to prevent convicted sex offenders from going within 100 feet of any public recreational area, community center or park.

Delegate John Cosgrove is supportive of the effort. He says it's a way to protect children and is "something we should have done a while ago."

"It just didn't make any sense to see that a sexual predator could have that type of access to a place with kids and vunerable folks," Cosgrove told 13News. "So, we need to make sure that that loophole is closed."

Board member Steve Johnson says he has heard of web sites that point predators to parks and recreation centers to find children. Full Story

Ohio Bill Would Make Sex Offenders Display Green License Plates

Thursday, November 08, 2007
A controversial bill to require sex offenders to display neon green license plates is making waves between Ohio lawmakers and law enforcement officials, reports.
Prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs oppose Kristen’s Law, named for 14-year-old Kristen Jackson, who in 2002 was lured from a fair by a paroled sex offender, murdered and her body dismembered.
They say the perpetrators are smart enough to find other ways to corner their victims and fear the plates will cause vandalism and harassment against the offenders, as well as road rage and traffic hazards. Full Story

15-Year-Old Boy Charged with Failing to Re-Register as S.O.

by Raymond Rivera
11/08/2007 11:12 AM ET

DOVER, Del.- Delaware State Police arrested a 15-year-old Magnolia boy on charges of failure to re-register as a sex offender.

Police say the boy was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Meadowbrook Acres after police received information that he might be in the area. The boy is a tier-two, moderate-risk sex offender stemming from a 2005 fourth-degree rape conviction.

According to authorities, detectives also arrested the boy on an outstanding warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Police say that charge was the result of an Oct. 23 investigation.

The boy was arraigned at Kent County Family Court, and ordered held at the Stevenson House Detention Facility.

Little Elm restricts where sex offenders live and go

LITTLE ELM, Texas — This North Texas town has adopted new rules restricting not only where registered sex offenders can live, but also where they can go.

The Little Elm Town Council on Tuesday approved ordinances covering about 68 percent of the town's land.

Under one ordinance, registered sex offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of places where children commonly gather, such as schools, parks, libraries and day care centers.

A second ordinance prohibits registered sex offenders from going within 1,000 feet of places where children commonly gather. Full Story

Parks Emerging As The New "NO-GO" Destination

"Convicted sex offenders don’t have many advocates, but a recent rush of laws banning them from public parks has called into question just how many civil liberties these people should have to give up." ..."After the town of Woodfin in 2005 became the first municipality in the state [North Carolina] to adopt an ordinance banning sex offenders from public parks, the American Civil Liberties Union sued on the grounds that the prohibition was too broad and allowed for no exceptions." "The ACLU lost the case against Woodfin and a subsequent attempt to appeal was turned down by a North Carolina Court of Appeals in an Oct. 2 decision this year. Since the ordinance was upheld, other towns have moved to adopt their own versions." Full Story

Editor: Keep in mind, they are not talking about residency restrictions here. Now the push is on to "red-line" areas of the community where a registered sex offender can go. How long until we have complete banishment?