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IN Official Suggests Revising Sex Offender Housing Rules

Indiana State Prison

Photo: Indiana Department of Corrections

Advocates of reforming the sex offenders housing regulations say there is no scientific evidence that restricting them increases safety.

An Indiana criminal justice official says housing restrictions for convicted child sex offenders do not work and should be revised.

Indiana Sex Offender Management and Monitoring Program Executive Director Adam Deming told a legislative commission Thursday that there is no scientific data suggesting restricting housing locations for registered sex offenders does any good for the community or the offender.

“It ends up ostracizing and marginalizing people who could actually return to the community at very, very low risk,” Deming said.

In Indiana, residency restrictions apply mostly to child sex offenders. Hammond Representative Linda Lawson, a former sex crimes investigator, said she does not think shunning sex offenders does much good, in her experience, there are reasons to continue to keep child sex offenders away from children.

“They are shunned by adults and the kids are still available, so they do create relationships with kids,” she said.

The commission will consider the issue as it continues to work on revising Indiana’s criminal code.

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