Illinois Public Radio has an astounding story on sex offenders who have completed their sentences but are still behind bars because they can’t find a place to live. How hard can it be to find a place to live? Sex offenders in Illinois cannot live close to:
- Elementary and High Schools
- Day Care Centers
- Public Parks
In addition, they can’t live in a house with a minor. One convicted offender could not return to his mother’s house because his sister was 17 (his conviction did not involve the sister). Sex offenders also cannot live in houses with devices that can access the internet including computers, smartphones and televisions.
Contrary to popular belief, sex offenders have low rates of recidivism relative to many other crimes. It’s almost impossible, however, to argue against a law that is supposed to protect the public from sex offenders. What kind of monster could argue against a law preventing a convicted sex offender from living near a day care center? And who would want a pervert at the mall? Add up every semi-reasonable law, however, and the result is unreasonable and unconscionable. Many people remain in prison for years after their sentences are complete because they cannot find a place to live that satisfies all of the restrictions. Madness.