ACLU-DE Opposes Proposed Dover Sex Offender Ordinance

Wilmington, DE (March 22, 2012) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware (ACLU-DE) has written to the Dover City Council urging them to vote against proposed ordinance #2012-08 as amended, which would prohibit registered sex-offenders from living or working within 500 feet of a licensed daycare center and from other activities related to children. The proposed ordinance may be voted on as early as Monday, March 26th at the regularly scheduled Dover City Council meeting.

“The proposed sex-offender ordinance being considered by the Dover City Council, if enacted, will actually put children at greater risk,” said Kathleen MacRae, ACLU-DE executive director. “All studies of residency restrictions have shown that they reduce public safety because they destabilize the lives of offenders, pushing them away from the support system of family, friends and the mental health services that they need. Such laws also drive offenders into the shadows and away from supervision by law enforcement, one of the most effective tools against recidivism.”

Federal justice statistics show that only 7% of sex-offenders victimize someone they do not know. Laws such as this proposed ordinance lull communities into a false sense of security by overstating the threat posed by strangers and ignoring the fact that most sexual abuse is committed by a family member or acquaintance in the victims home.

Read the full text of the letter.

Read the News Journal article.

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