Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/1/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some measures are counterproductive and are providing offenders with legal ammunition.

The City of Los Angeles is building at least three "pocket parks" to force convicted sex offenders out of their homes. City officials say sex offenders have aggregated in small pockets within the community and concerned citizens want the groups dispersed. Their efforts may bring to the fore discussion on how offenders are treated, and could ultimately prove counter-productive.

Joe Buscaino believes the parks will make his constituents neighborhood safer, but at what cost?

Joe Buscaino believes the parks will make his constituents neighborhood safer, but at what cost?

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/1/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Sex Offenders, Los Angeles, pocket parks, residency restrictions, public safety, recidivism


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It will be the smallest park in Los Angeles at just one-fifth an acre in size. Yet, it will be enough to compel as many as 86 sex offenders living in a pocket of the city in Torrance near the Harbor Gateway, to find another place to live.

The pocket park is part of a program that is designed to add green, open spaces and public amenities to several Los Angeles communities, but some are also being built for another value-added purpose.

Under state law, sex offenders are not allowed to live within 2,000 feet of a school or a park. This places all but a few slivers of residences off limits for offenders, forcing many to leave cities and relocate to rural or industrial areas.

Still, there remain a few residential pockets where offenders can legally live and by constructing a park, those pockets will now be closed by the "pocket parks."

City Councilman Joe Buscaino said, "I want to do everything in my power to keep child sex offenders away from children. We have to look at some solutions and in comes the pocket park idea."

While such measures may be popular with the community, they may actually have an adverse effect on both public safety and laws which are intended to protect children.

Despite popular opinion, sex offenders reoffend in the smallest numbers according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).  The CDCR reports that only 2 percent of sex offenders recidivate according to data from 2008. That's much lower than any type of other criminal offender in the state. This does not suggest that prison cures the problem, but more likely once a family and the community knows that an individual is dangerous, they tend to take protective measures. Also, most child sex offenses do not involve strangers, but rather family members, so knowing who they are is much more key to public safety than where they are.

Janice Bellucci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws told the L.A. Times, "People are running around with hysteria when they don't know the facts. I understand that sex offenders are not a popular part of society, but they have constitutional rights."

This is where the efforts to build the parks may land public officials in a tight spot. There is a growing consensus in both academic and law enforcement circles that current laws, which have a banishing effect on sex offenders, tend to make recidivism more likely and communities less safe. This is because offenders are separated from stable housing and other social support structures that are vital to rehabilitation.

These measures also provide fodder for activist lawyers to attack current laws as unjust and unconstitutional. Ultimately, if a judge can be found that sympathizes with the plight of the sex offenders then the laws which are intended to protect the community could be struck down for overreaching.

Similar challenges have been won by sex offenders in other states with regards to residency restrictions, the right to visit parks and other public places, and even the right to participate in online social networks such as Facebook. A recent California ballot initiative requiring sex offenders to register their online identities has already been suspended by a judge and will likely be overturned.

This then, makes efforts such as the pocket park in Los Angeles counter-productive. While the sex offenders may eventually leave the neighborhoods where the parks are built, they will locate elsewhere.

For now, the parks are being constructed and will provide children with a place to play and adults a spot to relax. They will also beautify the community. However, they may also provide ammunition to sex offenders and their advocates who wish to weaken existing laws, which currently place a myriad of highly debatable restrictions on them.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

Corpus Christi, The Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Watch

Image of There is also an ancient and beautiful custom in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church called the Corpus Christi procession. The consecrated Host, the Body of the Lord, is reposed in what is called a monstrance. The term is derived from a Latin phrase which means to show or reveal.  The faithful process the Body of the Lord through the streets surrounding their church buildings. This Eucharistic procession can be a powerful witness to an age which has lost its sense of the sacred.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We have received the Bread of Heaven. Let us choose to become what we consume. These Feasts are not just rituals on a Church calendar. They are invitations to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, and then offer Him to a world waiting to be born anew. On this Feast of ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Have Given Their Lives in Military Service Watch

Image of Memorial Day

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I live in Chesapeake, a wonderful city in Southeastern Virginia where there are many members of the military. The parish I serve is an example of this. Every day, I witness the many sacrifices which military families make for our Nation. On this Memorial Day, I ... continue reading


$3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America Watch

Image of America's infrastructure is in need of improvement. Why isn't this a national priority?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We have money for perpetual war and can afford generous foreign aid, tax subsidies and cuts for the wealthy, but we cannot find the money to fix a pothole or repair a collapsing bridge. This is the sorry state of affairs U.S. infrastructure is in as we let the nation ... continue reading


Violent riot erupts at Trump rally in New Mexico Watch

Image of Unsurprisingly, a Trump rally erupted into a riot in New Mexico (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Protesters at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's New Mexico rally erupted in violent acts including the attempted stoning of police, glass bottles thrown at mounted units and their horses, burning shirts and more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Record-breaking 38,000 illegal aliens apprehended in the month of April Watch

Image of April 2016 reaches new record for illegal alien apprehensions.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Illegal aliens continue to surge into the United States from the Southwest U.S. border, leading the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) units to announce record-breaking apprehensions in April, 2016. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the U.S. ... continue reading


Edward Nero, arresting officer of Freddie Gray, NOT GUILTY. Will Baltimore erupt once more? Watch

Image of Officer Edward Nero arrives at court. Nero has been acquitted of crimes in the death of Freddie Gray.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The arresting officer in the Freddie Gray case, Edward Nero, has been declared "not guilty" by the judge in his criminal trial. Now, the community waits to see if violence will erupt or if the streets will remain quiet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Officer ... continue reading


Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Father Daniel Berrigan's Pro-Life Activism Watch

Image of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

By Fr Frank Pavone

Father Berrigan was a radical figure who sent a total of almost seven years in prison.  What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ... continue reading


Law allows persons to sue if you don't use the correct pronoun out of 58 to describe a person's sexual identity Watch

Image of We're going to need a lot more restrooms.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Under a new law, businesses in New York will be fined if they don't use a person's preferred pronoun when referring to them. This especially becomes a problem when it is understood there are at least 58 possible pronouns with at least five grammatical variations ... continue reading


Science fiction? Feds discover the 'Grocery List,' post tweets to promote new technology Watch

Image of After millions of dollars in federal spending, government scientists have discovered the grocery list technology. Where would we be without such courageous efforts?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Federal Government has discovered the grocery list technology. This unlock apparently occurred recently as the Department of Agriculture sent encouraging, rapid-fire tweets to the public about how to use this remarkable new advancement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • Bl. Margaret Pole: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 4:7-13
7 The end of all things is near, so keep your minds calm and sober for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:10, 11-12, 13
10 Say among the nations, 'Yahweh is king.' The world is set firm, it ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:11-26
11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and when he had ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2016 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have ... Read More