N.J. Legislature considers limitations on where sex offenders can live

    By: Phil Gregory

    Just weeks after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled towns can not ban sex offenders from living near where children gather, state lawmakers are considering legislation that would bypass that decision.

    By: Phil Gregory
    pgregory@wbgo.org

    Just weeks after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled towns can not ban sex offenders from living near where children gather, state lawmakers are considering legislation that would bypass that decision.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090608pgoffenders.mp3]

    The revised bill would allow localities to prevent convicted sex offenders over the age of 21 from living within 500 feet of schools or playgrounds.
    Supporters of the measure say it would reduce temptation for pedophiles and help protect children.

    Deputy public defender Michael Buncher disagrees, saying residency restrictions makes it difficult for sex offenders to find affordable housing.

    Buncher: When people don’t have a place to live they are much more prone to getting into trouble and having consequences come up in their life which makes them pose more of a risk than if they had a stable place to live.

    The measure was cleared by the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. It has not yet been considered in the Senate.

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