sex offender cities by colin

Sex Offender “Cities”

    In early 2010, an interesting issue was brought up by The Atlantic, it entails the strange phenomenon happening in, but probably not limited to an area within unincorporated Broward County, Florida known as “sex offender city.” The term was coined because of the ever-increasing radii of the buffer zones within the area, zones in which registered sex offenders are permanently barred from residing. Due to the expansion of these zones over the years, there are fewer and fewer housing options for one of society’s most hated groups.

To be clear, the term “sex offender” can cover multiple offenses, from statutory rape, in which someone who is under what a state would consider to be the “appropriate age,” engages in sexual activity (it usually varies from 16 to 18), all the way up to much more severe crimes such as child molestation. The “sex offender city” located in Broadview Park is home to approximately a hundred or so registered offenders, many of whom are guilty of heinous crimes against children. This phenomenon has the potential to become a bigger problem because Broadview Park, in the eyes of local officials and the surrounding community, is a public health risk, and has been treated as such.

The laws are, that govern where sex offenders can and cannot reside leaves almost nowhere in major cities for them to live, thus forcing them to congregate in specific areas, which in turn draws more attention to them and ignites more public outrage, making this a uniquely complicated issue that is extremely difficult for lawmakers to deal with in “the right way.”

I would like to make it clear that I am advocating for safer communities and the rights of their citizens to know about any possible threats. There seem to be only two options. The first being to continue with the ban on sex offenders living in certain communities, along with the release of their inf0rmation to the communities in which they are allowed to live (which leads to sex offender cities in the first place and thus creates more problems). The second option would be to release their information to local communities, and still ban them from living within a set distance of a school, playground etc. but allow them to live somewhere else within a community on the condition that they attend intensive rehabilitation programs, depending on the severity of their crimes.

The people affected by their decisions have without a doubt committed very serious offenses, and the public most certainly has a right to know where people such as them live. The only problem with this is that there is an obvious trade-off. Either a community bars predators from residing within all but a small area of it, creating communities like Broadview Park, or they do not. Either way, the debate will most likely continue for a long, long time about how to deal with society’s worst criminals.