In a fascinating twist to Sex Offender Residency Restrictions, a bill pending in the New Jersey Legislature (S2066) also seeks to restrict the placement of a school bus stop or child care facility within a certain distance from persons required to register.

The bill reads, “The Legislature finds and declares that public safety will be enhanced by providing municipalities with the authority to enact ordinances to prevent convicted sex offenders who have committed crimes against minors from residing within 500 feet of a school, playground, or child care center, subject to certain statutorily-enumerated exceptions.  The Legislature also finds and declares that the public safety will be enhanced by prohibiting the construction of new child care centers within 500 feet of the residence of a sex offender at high risk to reoffend, and by prohibiting school boards from locating school bus stops within 250 feet of the residence of a high-risk sex offender.”

Although we stand strongly opposed to exclusion zones of any kind and empirical research shows they do not work, this is a curious twist on tradition here. Restricting the landmark in addition to the registrant. That and the fact that it is a much shorter distance than most SORRs in Florida (which are 2500 in many municipalities) and the fact that it applies to only “high-risk sex offender”s, makes it less onerous, even if unconstitutional nonetheless.

 

You can follow the progress of the bill here: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2020/Bills/S2500/2066_I1.HTM

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