Sunday May 22, 2005
Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer is pushing for a law that would make it illegal for convicted sexual offenders to live within 2,500 feet of a school. It sounds like a good idea, but it’s not.
Consider: Only 5 to 10 percent of sexual crimes against children are ever reported. 97% are committed by family members and friends of the family. So living near a school is irrelevant, because it’s not how most child sexual predators find their victims. This suggests that the law would create little more then a false sense of security. Also, by grouping all sexual offenders into a single category (an 18 year old who has consensual sex with a 17 year old is considered a sexual offender) we spend massive resources on groups of people, some of whom are know to be very unlikely to re-offend.
The point that is stressed by researchers over and over is that money spent on prevention is much more effective at preventing these crimes then money spent controlling convicts the way we are currently doing it.
Now, Miami Beach is a small place. Very little of it is not within 2,500 feet of a school. Some suspect that Dermer is merely trying to push convicted sexual offenders off the island altogether. Understandable, but the City of Miami is not happy about it, and is considering suing.comments powered by Disqus