NEW: Agreement Reached to Keep 3 Sex Offenders Near Schools—For Now

Friday, July 20, 2012


Authorities have agreed not to arrest and/or prosecute the plaintiffs in an ACLU lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that makes it a felony for any person required to register as a sex offender to reside within 300 feet of any school.

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Across the country, experts involved in the treatment of sex offenders, as well as victims’ rights groups, have opposed sex offender residency laws as being ineffective, counter-productive, and potentially more, rather than less, harmful to public safety.

The three plaintiffs face potential homelessness if the law is enforced against them. Two of them have development disabilities and are living in Warren Manor, an assisted living facility in Providence operated by NRI Community Services, a provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment. They are not even subject to community notification requirements.

RI ACLU volunteer attorney Kate Godin said today: “I am very pleased that, at least for the foreseeable future, our clients will not face any action that could lead to homelessness or their reinstitutionalization. We remain prepared to take further action if any other offenders are similarly threatened with arrest under the statute while this lawsuit is pending.”


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