DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!
By Max R. Weller
See the story in the Daily Camera here, Housing restrictions not answer on ‘sexually violent predators,’ Boulder staff tells council. Copied below in its entirety:
Boulder’s City Council should not adopt any laws limiting housing options for “sexually violent predators,” and should instead form a working group and try to improve inter-governmental cooperation on the issue, city staff recommends.
This summer, amid community tension over multiple “predators” moving into Boulder’s homeless shelter, the City Council requested more information on ways it could better monitor and manage this population — including by a possible ban on renting or buying housing within a certain radius of community gathering places, such as playgrounds and schools.
Sex offenders are given the additional “predator” label if they are convicted of certain sex crimes, including sexual assault and sexual assault of a child from a position of trust, and then deemed by officials to have personality traits that make them a greater risk to reoffend.
There are currently three “predators” living at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. A fourth, Christopher Lawyer, who was convicted of kidnapping and raping a newspaper carrier, was at the shelter but recently reregistered in California.
All three have been discharged from parole and are no longer under state supervision, which means that a couple of the council’s previously brainstormed ideas for increased monitoring, including making them wear GPS ankle bracelets and sending them to a halfway house, are not feasible.
It is still possible for Boulder to exclude the “predators” from living in certain areas, but city staff has looked into this and agreed it’s a bad idea.
Studies have repeatedly shown that limiting housing options for sex offenders and those deemed “sexually violent predators” does not improve public safety and may in fact increase the likelihood of recidivism.
Such laws can effectively zone certain individuals out of contention for local housing. One Florida study found that, of nearly a million housing units studied, only 4 percent complied with state and local restrictions.
A memo from city staff to the council stated that, “The significance of the impact of housing restrictions is the lack of housing availability leads to transience, homelessness and reduced employment opportunities. Housing instability is associated with increased rates of recidivism.”
For that reason, authorities on the issue, including the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, advise communities not restrict where sex offenders can and cannot live. Even so, several communities in the state have implemented restrictions.
The Boulder City Council will hold a public hearing on the matter Tuesday evening, during what will be the last meeting of these nine council members. Following last week’s election, three new members will be sworn in Nov. 21, and Matt Appelbaum, Andrew Shoemaker and Jan Burton will vacate their seats.
During the hearing, staff will recommend the council not take any significant action for now, and instead move to “direct the city manager to have the police work with the state Department of Corrections to monitor placement and residency of sexually violent predators.”
The memo to the council continues, “In addition, staff recommends that the city manager form a working group consisting of members of the community as well as representatives from the police department, the human services department, the city attorney’s office, the county and the state Department of Corrections.
“This working group would be tasked with making further recommendations regarding potential city policies and legislation.”
Boulder city staff is deliberately misleading city council and the general public, because there are MANY MORE registered sex offenders staying at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Boulder Community Treatment Center (B.C.T.C.), Bridge House’s Path to Home, or otherwise lacking a permanent address than just the 3 Sexually Violent Predators. Furthermore, a lot of the sex offenders are from elsewhere in Colorado or even from other states! The last thing Boulder needs is another “working group” when the solution is clear: Provide bus tickets to ANY transient now stranded in Boulder, CO so they can return to wherever they came from . . . Boulder can’t solve the world’s problems, and there is NO effective “treatment” for pedophilia or sexual violence against adult women. City staff is trying to sell us on more Rainbows & Unicorns here, instead of securing the safety of our citizens — including the homeless survivors of sex crimes who are staying at local homeless shelters.
See for yourself how many perverts are in our community, and please bear in mind there are others who refuse to register with the police as required by law: City of Boulder Registered Sex Offenders.
I don’t believe we should follow the direction of city staff in this case, and throw up our hands in surrender to sex offenders who drift to Boulder, CO from all across the country. Better to fire the city manager and her legion of ninnies who came up with this crackpot idea . . .