Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Issaquah Draws Magic Circles

magic circlesFrom today's Seattle Times:
The Issaquah City Council unanimously approved a zoning ordinance last night barring sex offenders from living in certain areas of the city.

"This is a proactive, thoughtful, measured approach," said Councilman Fred Butler. "While we hope that sex offenders don't reoffend, there's no guarantee of that."
As you may have already guessed, I find myself unable to wrap my feeble mind around the notion that enacting 1,000 foot magic circles around schools and day-care centers is "thoughtful." Don't get me wrong, I'm all about protecting the children and stuff, but would someone care to explain to me exactly how this is supposed to prevent a sex offender from preying on children? Let's put this in perspective. The new city ordinance prohibits sex offenders from living within the magic 1,000 foot circles. 1,000 feet is less than a fifth of a mile. If some sicko wants to prey on children, don't you think they might be willing to travel a whopping 1,000 feet to do so? Apparently the Issaquah City Council thinks that sex offenders are afraid to venture more than a block away from home.

If any kind of criminal has a "high risk to reoffend" the only thing that is going to stop them is if you keep them locked up. Anything short of that amounts to nothing more hand-waving and warm fuzzies. But hey, at least the people of Issaquah have that going for them.

Source: Seattle Times
image sourceCategories: News, Local

3 Comments:

Blogger DaButtminster said...

This is interesting to me. Assuming that a sex offender has been released, I can see that maybe there is a downside to having him live within 1000 ft of a school/daycare.

If you were choosing a daycare, would you want to choose the one with the rehabilitated sex offender living next door? Wouldn't a constant parade of children next door be a temptation to someone who has been a sexual predator in the past, even if they were trying to stay clean?

If I ran things, sexual predators would be shot, or at least locked up for life, but if I must have them rehabilitated into the community, letting them live next to a daycare seems like asking for trouble.

4:45 PM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Skor Grimm said...

Okay, fair enough. But Issaquah's new law isn't "sex offenders can't live next door." It's "sex offenders can't live anywhere within 1,000 feet. What's the difference between a sex offender living 500 and 1,000 feet away? 250 and 500? You can't keep them from seeing any potential victims.

Also, why treat this kind of crime so different from other kinds of crime? If someone robs a series of convenience stores, why not bar them from living anywhere within 1,000 feet of any convenience store when they're released from prison? Why the special case for just this one kind of crime?

Lastly, did you notice that one of the city council members said pretty much the same thing that I concluded? "This [ordinance] does not take care of the problem. ... But a little bit of proactivity says we're trying."

Aww, I feel all warm and fuzzy because they're trying.

5:15 PM, August 16, 2005  
Anonymous Mered said...

Castration: that should solve most problems.

7:54 PM, August 17, 2005  

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