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Proposed Law Would Ban Sex Offenders from City Property [VIDEO]

Level 2 and 3 sex offenders would be banned from city-owned property.

The Attleboro Committee on Ordinances, Elections and Legislative Matters voted in favor during a committee meeting Tuesday night to move a proposed Child Safety ordinance out of committee and to hold a public hearing.

The Child Safety Ordinance would ban Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders from entering city-owned buildings or be on city-owned property that is considered a Child Safety Zone. 

The zone includes any park, playground, recreation center, library, school, daycare center, video arcade, swimming pool or wading pool, gymnasium, sports field, or sports facility and school or camp bus stops which are owned or controlled by the City of Attleboro.

"The new language that is in the current version of the Child Safety Zone should protect the city from civil rights lawsuits because it follows closely the language of the opinion from the recent case decided by the Supreme Judicial Court," Committee Chairwoman Cherie Felos said. "Even though the facts in the case are different than what we would be dealing with, the civil rights issues are very similar."

"I believe that even if we included the Level 2 sex offenders in this ordinance, with this language, we are much less likely to face a lawsuit for violating someone's civil rights," Felos added. "This language narrowly tailors our ordinance to target child predator sex offenders that are likely to re-offend and will protect people who are classified for reasons other than being a child predator."

Members of the proposed an ordinance back in Jauary, but the proposal was for a ban on sex offenders entering the library.

There was on whether to include Level 2 offenders in the ordinance because not all labeled Level 2 offenders were labeled that level for being a child predator.

For months, the proposed ordinance stayed in committee because the committee, led by Chairwoman Cherie Felos, needed to first run the proposed ordinance by Attleboro City Solicitor Robert Mangiaratti to protect the city from any lawsuits.

In July, Attleboro resident went before the council and asked that they bring back discussion on the matter and asked the councilors to vote it out of committe and hold a public hearing.

The committee will hold the public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Rudy101 September 15, 2011 at 04:28 AM
Now the State is using this level system, a system that does NOT predict offense levels, is arbitrarily applied, has no ability to challenge, and has no mechanism for lowering a person's level, when that person is no longer a threat, to banish from every aspect of community within the city. This is being done by a vote, and outside of a sentence or a court of law. How does one say, there are no civil rights issues, when a person is being banished completely from every social aspect of the community? The courts have held that no due process is required when handing out the level system because it is only a predictor and does not, by itself, restrict, and then they use that system to restrict. The problem is, that the level system is a system to predict that doesn't have to predict anything to be valid. You people will NEVER stop with your laws. NEVER! You will use that registry in any way, to make any assertion, to use it systematically, to strip legal protection. If you only had some hearings in front of a competent court of law, when going outside of a sentence you could probably do something like this. But you don't. Therefore, it is a well established right that when the State ignores basic rights, makes unproven assertions, and restricts without hearing, those laws are invalid and can be fled from in any way possible.
Heather September 15, 2011 at 06:13 PM
What about the person who has to register because when they were a minor had consensual relations with another minor (1 year younger) and was charged with statutory rape? Not every one who is on the registry is dangerous, this law is taking away those individuals rights to bring their children to the library or a playground, or even swimming in the city pools in the summer time. While I want my children protected from possible predictors, I think it is the people who haven't been caught yet, the level 3's and the ones who don't keep up their information at the registry that need to be worried about.
Paul Heroux September 19, 2011 at 05:45 PM
HEROUX: Solving the problem or moving it? Question: What is Attleboro doing about sex offenders? Answer: A hearing will be held Oct. 4 concerning banning sex offenders from certain public places. While the city council should be commended for being proactive, I am not sure that the proposed solution will have any effect on making people safer. Crime policy should be based on "evidence" of what is effective. But numerous laws are based on what people think might be effective, and when measured for effectiveness, the laws are found to produce no effect on public safety. Concerning this issue, recent research finds that if a person is likely to reoffend, restrictions on where the person can or can't go may displace the problem behavior. My concern is that this ordinance may just displace the problem. PAUL HEROUX of Attleboro is a former director of research and planning for the Massachusetts Department of Correction and has a master's in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's from the Harvard JFK School of Government. He can be reached at PaulHeroux.MPA@gmail.com. Read the whole story at: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2011/09/19/columns/10180568.txt

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