The Dallas Morning News does some spot-on reporting about residency restrictions for registered citizens, which do not protect the public and do not deter crime.
First, it’s important to note that — contrary to popular belief — registered sex offenders have one of the very lowest recidivism rates. Minnesota looked at 224 cases of people convicted of a second sex crime.
The conclusion: “Not one of the 224 sex offenses would likely have been deterred by a residency restrictions law.”
An academic study in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior also found no safety benefit. But it noted real potential to make things worse: “The time that police and probation officers spend addressing sex offender housing issues is likely to divert law enforcement resources away from behaviors that truly threaten our communities.”
Evidence is mounting that our broad-brush approach to sex offenders is doing more harm than good. We mistakenly came to equate “sex offender” with “pedophile predator.”