Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Kenosha News - Village to fall in line with state regarding place of sex offenders

Kenosha News

Village to fall in line with state regarding place of sex offenders

Published 12 hours ago 
PLEASANT PRAIRIE — A change in state law will require the village to change its restrictions regarding placement of sex offenders.
The matter came before the board Monday night due to concerns of residents, who said the village has a greater number of properties where the offenders can be placed compared to the rest of county.
All state-contracted locations in the county, of which there are four, are located in the village.
The village’s ordinance requires registered sexual offenders to live at least 2,000 feet from schools and public facilities where children are present.
However, the change in the law would allow those individuals who were convicted of violent sexual offenses — considered Level 3 offenders — to live at least 1,500 feet away.
The amendment to the state law was approved earlier this year in an effort to standardize residency restrictions, which had varied by municipalities.
“What caught our eye was a provision that a local municipality can’t pass a restriction that is more restrictive (than the new law),” village attorney Timothy Geraghty said.
While the change in the law for violent sexual offenders is less restrictive than the village’s ordinance, the village is not precluded from adopting stricter policies for those not considered violent sexual offenders.
The village’s ordinance will still apply to lower-level sexual offenders who have not been classified as sexually violent, according to Geraghty.
Registered offenders are monitored and supervised by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections when released into communities, and the communities and their law enforcement agencies let public know who is has been released and their offender status.
Wisconsin Department of Correction officials as of Monday notified the village there are no Level 3 offenders residing in the county.
The board voted 5-0 to authorize staff and the attorney to investigate other municipalities’ approaches to the placing of non-violent sexual offenders.
Geraghty said some municipalities have passed ordinances to allow for sex offenders to live in their communities only if they had previously resided there.

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