Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Stigma of the Sex Offender

            In the State of Florida certain sex offenders, specifically those who had victims under the age of eighteen are prohibited from living within 1000 feet of schools, day care centers, parks or playgrounds, places where children regularly congregate , and school bus stops.  These restrictions in densely populated cities can lead to serious housing issues for a convicted sex offender, especially those who may have health problems and are currently undergoing treatment. These restrictions have resulted in precluding sex offenders from living in major cities and have caused many to go homeless. Some have resorted to living under bridges or living in the wilderness. As these two articles from Rueters and Time suggest the restrictions imposed have caused a surge in sex offender homelessness which can lead to difficulty in law enforcements ability to track them.

            The question remains, do all these restrictions imposed against sex offenders really work at keeping the community safe? Probably not, according to experts since most child sex abuse victims know their abusers. This article from the Tampa Tribune details struggles of some offenders in the Tampa area.