Offenders On the Move
Over in Granite City, IL, the city council recently amended an ordinance to prevent registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, day care centers, parks and playgrounds.
Would such an ordinance be feasible in the City of St. Louis? Would it comply with Missouri law? I'm not entirely sure it would be constitutional, but if the registries themselves hold up in court, these ordinances probably would as well.
The City of St. Louis Sex Offender and Child Abuse Registry has about 1,200 names on it. Many of those folks probably live within 1,000 feet of a school, church, day care center, park or playground. In fact, probably most do.
Not surprisingly, high-crime, low-income neighborhoods have a high concentration of individuals on the sex offender and child abuse registry. In 63118, we have 105 - the highest number of any city ZIP code except for 63102, where the St. Louis Community Release Center is located off North Broadway. There's one residing within 500 feet of my house, which is certainly within 1,000 feet of at least one church.
While I still am uncertain about the effectiveness of these registry laws, what would be the impact of such an ordinance in the City of St. Louis?