Sex Offender Ordinance Presentation

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I created this presentation for the Hickory City Council as they considered passing an ordinance regulating sex offenders\' access to public parks within the city.

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Sex Offender Ordinance Presentation

  1. 1. AGENDA Background of Ordinance Pros and Cons Timeline Ordinance Draft
  2. 2. Timeline Letter received from DA’s Office Recommendation made to Parks and Rec. Commission Commission votes to recommend ordinance to City Council NC Supreme Court decision <ul><li>Council holds Public Hearing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Votes to disapprove </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asks staff for more research </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Groups of Persons Required to Register: <ul><li>Residents who have a “reportable conviction;” (N.C.G.S. § 14-208.7(a)) </li></ul><ul><li>Nonresident students who have a “reportable conviction” </li></ul><ul><li>or are required to register in their state of residency; </li></ul><ul><li>(N.C.G.S. § 14-208.7(a1)) </li></ul><ul><li>Nonresident workers who have a “reportable conviction” </li></ul><ul><li>or are required to register in their state of residency. </li></ul><ul><li>(N.C.G.S. § 14-208.7(a2)) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Reportable Offenses Offenses Against a Minor : This includes any of the following offenses if the offense is committed against a minor, and the person committing the offense is not the minor's parent. Abduction of Children Kidnapping Felonious Restraint
  5. 5. Reportable Offenses Sexually Violent Offense : First Degree Rape Subjecting or Maintaining a Person for Sexual Servitude Statutory Rape or Sexual Offense of A Person who is 13,14,15 Years of Age, where the Defendant is at least six (6) years older Intercourse and Sexual Offense with certain victims Attempted Rape or Sexual Offense Second Degree Rape Second Degree Sexual Offense First Degree Sexual Offense
  6. 6. Reportable Offenses Sexually Violent Offense : Felony Indecent Exposure Solicitation of a Child by Computer to Commit an Unlawful Sex Act Employing or Permitting Minor to Assist in Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency Taking Indecent Liberties with Children Participating in Prostitution of a Minor Incest Between Near Relatives Promoting Prostitution of a Minor First, Second or Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  7. 7. Other Offenses : Reportable Offenses A final Conviction of Aiding and Abetting an “offense against a minor” or “sexually violent offense” A final conviction for attempt commit an “offense against a minor” or a “sexually violent offense” is a reportable conviction Secretly Peeping if second or more convictions was committed after December 1, 2004
  8. 8. SEX OFFENSE CONVICTIONS OUTSIDE NORTH CAROLINA OR IN FEDERAL COURT A final conviction in another state or federal court of an offense, which if committed in this state, would have been a reportable offense would also require registration if the individual falls within the reportable time frames.
  9. 9. Requirements for Sex Offenders Registration Duration Registration Termination
  10. 10. <ul><ul><li>A person who is a North Carolina resident and who has a reportable conviction will be required to maintain registration with the sheriff of the county where the person resides. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the person moves to North Carolina from outside this State, the person must register within ten days of establishing residence in this State or whenever the person has been present in this State for 15 days, whichever comes first. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the person is a current resident of North Carolina, the person must register within ten days of release from a penal institution or arrival in a county to live outside a penal institution; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- or - </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Immediately upon conviction for a reportable offense where an active term of imprisonment was not imposed. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><ul><li>LENGTHS OF REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ten-year(10) registration requirement for persons convicted of certain offenses against minors or sexually violent offenses . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More stringent set of registration requirements for a subclass of highly dangerous sex offenders who are determined by a sentencing court, with the assistance of a board of experts, to be sexually violent predators. These more stringent registration requirements are also applicable to sex offenders classified as &quot;recidivists&quot; and to those sex offenders convicted of &quot;aggravated offenses.&quot; These categories of offenders face lifetime registration as a sex offender. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><ul><li>Request for Termination of Registration Requirement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A registered offender, who is not classified as a “Recidivist,” “Sexually Violent Predator,” or “Aggravated Offender” and has not been convicted of a subsequent offense requiring registration, may petition the superior court in the district where the offender resides, to terminate the registration requirement ten (10) years from the date of initial county registration. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Sex Offenders in Hickory Metro Area 33 Registered Offenders with Addresses in Hickory City Limits 14 on Probation or Parole Recidivists – 2 Reported Sex Offenses in Hickory Parks – 2 Catawba County 192 Offenders Caldwell County 119 Offenders Burke County 105 Offenders Alexander County 62 Offenders
  14. 14. Municipalities with Similar Bans <ul><li>Woodfin </li></ul><ul><li>Asheville </li></ul><ul><li>Maggie Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Morganton </li></ul><ul><li>Canton </li></ul><ul><li>Wade </li></ul><ul><li>Fletcher </li></ul><ul><li>Buncombe County </li></ul><ul><li>Haywood County </li></ul><ul><li>Jackson County </li></ul><ul><li>Rowan County </li></ul>
  15. 15. General Overview of Other Cities Basic Commonalities Ban on Parks and Rec Facilities $500 Minimum Fine and/or 30 Days Imprisonment NO EXCEPTIONS
  16. 16. Haywood County Exception County Sheriff, or his designee, can give special limited exemption to individual Offenders. The exemption will set out, in writing, the period of time and the particular circumstances under which the exemption exists. Offenders must have the written exemption in his or her possession at all times while on the premises of recreation facility.
  17. 17. Rowan County Exception One exception: when such facility, if used as a polling place for an election, the registered sex offender may enter for the limited purpose of voting if he/she qualifies to do so at that polling place.
  18. 18. Recidivism Study Department of Justice – 1994 Followed 9,691 sexual offenders released from prison in 1994 5.3% rearrested for new sex crime within 3 years Included 4,300 child sexual offenders 3.3% rearrested for child sex crime within 3 years Est. 24% of imprisoned rapists committed crime while on probation or parole Est. 19% of imprisoned sexual assaulters committed crime while on probation or parole 70% of all imprisoned sex criminals victimized a child In almost half of the child-victim cases, the child was the prisoner's own son or daughter or other relative
  19. 19. Why Adopt the Ordinance? John Walsh Foundation “ Try to be fair, but if the legislation stops even 1 sexual crime or abduction from happening, it is worth it.”
  20. 20. “ Sexual offending, like many mental and medical conditions, cannot be cured. Treatment, however, helps offenders learn to control their behavior.” Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Why Adopt the Ordinance?
  21. 21. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Why Adopt the Ordinance? “ It is also important to recognize that official recidivism statistics are always lower than actual reoffense rates.”
  22. 22. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Why Adopt the Ordinance? “ Some sex offenders commit many sex crimes that go unreported and undetected. It is estimated that less than 10% of all sex crimes result in a criminal conviction.”
  23. 23. “ Legally, your council can enact a total ban. But for practical reasons, we suggest for your council to limit the ban to child sex offenders and allow for an individual petition process.” ACLU Why Not Adopt the Ordinance?
  24. 24. “ We still feel that such bans are unconstitutional although the North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. Not all sex offenders are repeat offenders and these bans punish their families as well.” ACLU Why Not Adopt the Ordinance?
  25. 25. “ There is a perception that the vast majority of sex offenders will repeat their crimes. Research studies by the US Dept. of Justice and the Canadian Government have found, however, that sexual offense recidivism rates are much lower than commonly believed, averaging between 14 and 20% over 5-year follow-up periods.” Why Not Adopt the Ordinance? Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
  26. 26. “ Despite myths of stranger danger, the vast majority of sexually abused children (80-90%) are molested by family members and close friends or acquaintances.” Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Why Not Adopt the Ordinance?
  27. 27. “ There is no research to support the idea that residence restrictions prevent repeat sex crimes. [In] a survey of 135 sex offenders in Florida…respondents indicated that restrictions may inadvertently increase triggers for reoffense.” Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Why Not Adopt the Ordinance?
  28. 28. Ordinance Draft WHEREAS , the City of Hickory park system and recreation facilities are public spaces wherein sexual offenders may attempt to find victims; and WHEREAS , the State of North Carolina, the Mayor, City Council Members and Staff recognize that sex offenders often pose a high risk of engaging in sex offenses even after being released from incarceration or commitment and that protection of the public from sex offenders is of paramount governmental interest; and WHEREAS , it is in the interest of promoting the general welfare and safety of the people of the City of Hickory to reduce opportunities for sexual offenders to make use of public spaces for criminal intent; and WHEREAS , it is in the interest of promoting the general welfare and safety of the people of the City of Hickory to reduce insofar as possible the opportunities for recidivism by sexual offenders; and WHEREAS , the Mayor, City Council Members and Staff finds it in the best interest of the citizens and residents of the City of Hickory to prohibit and ban Registered Sex Offenders from City of Hickory parks, recreation facilities; and WHEREAS , pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 160A-174 states that a city may by ordinance define, prohibit, regulate, or abate acts, omissions, or conditions, detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of its citizens and the peace and dignity of the city, and may define and abate nuisances. AN ORDINANCE OF THE HICKORY CITY COUNCIL AMENDING CHAPTER 21 OF THE HICKORY CITY CODE; ADDING SECTION 21-17 PROHIBITING SEX OFFENDERS FROM ENTERING PARKS AND RECREATION FACILITIES WHEREAS , the City of Hickory maintains and owns its park system and recreation areas in a manner meant for the peaceful enjoyment of children and others; and WHEREAS , currently there are at least _190__ Registered Sex Offenders in Catawba County, _34__of whom reside inside the city limits of Hickory according to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; and
  29. 29. NOW THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HICKORY that the Hickory, North Carolina Code of Ordinances is hereby amended by adding a new section to Chapter 21 to be numbered 21-17 Ban on Registered Sex Offenders from City Parks and Recreation Facilities, which shall read as follows: Sec. 21-17. Ban on Registered Sex Offenders from City Parks and Recreation Facilities. (a) Prohibition No person registered with the State of North Carolina and/or any other state or federal agency as a registered sex offender, including, but not limited to the sex offender registry established pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes, shall enter into or upon any public park or recreation facility owned, operated or maintained by the city. (b) Penalties Violation of this ordinance shall be punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) and/or incarceration for up to thirty (30) days. Each entry into a public park, regardless of the time period between such entries, shall constitute a separate offense under this article. (c) Definitions. For purposes of this amendment, the following definitions shall apply: Public Park. Any publicly owned, leased, operated or maintained property that is designated as a park by the city including any adjacent public parking area as well as the driveway, entrance way or pedestrian walkway used by the public to access the public park or recreation facility. Recreation Facility. Any publicly owned, leased, operated or maintained property that is designated as a recreation facility by the city including any adjacent public parking area as well as the driveway, entrance way or pedestrian walkway used by the public to access the recreation facility. Registered Sex Offender. An individual who is registered by any state or federal agency as a sex offender and/or whose name is published or required to be published on any state or federal sex offender registry, including, but not limited to the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry established pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statues.
  30. 30. <ul><li>(d) Signage Required. </li></ul><ul><li>The City Manager or his/her designee shall be charged with posting this regulation at the entrances to each public park and recreation facility within thirty (30) days of the passage of this article. </li></ul><ul><li>(e) Limited Exceptions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When such recreation facility is used as an official meeting place for City of Hickory governmental meetings open to the public, the registered sex offender may enter for the limited purpose of attending such meetings. Meetings are specifically defined as any official meeting of the Hickory City Council that is advertised as being open to the public, any public meeting of a Hickory City Council board or commission that is advertised as being open to the public , or any official meeting held under the auspices of any administrative department of the City of Hickory that is advertised as being open to the public. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When such recreation facility is used as a polling place for an election, the registered sex offender may enter for the facility for the limited purpose of voting if he/she qualifies to do so at that polling place. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(f) Severability. </li></ul><ul><li>If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed severable and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof. </li></ul><ul><li>This the ____ day of ___________________, 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Mayor </li></ul><ul><li>_____________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>City Clerk </li></ul>
  31. 31. QUESTIONS

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