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But the high recidivism rates I assumed to be true do not exist.
It has made me rethink the value of broad-based community notification laws, which operate on the assumption that most sex offenders are high-risk dangers to the community they are released into.
Every child has the right to live free from violence and sexual abuse.
A growing number of states and municipalities have also prohibited registered offenders from living within a designated distance (typically 500 to 2,500 feet) of places where children gather-for example, schools, playgrounds, and daycare centers.
Given these faulty underpinnings, it is not surprising that there is little evidence that the laws have in fact reduced the threat of sexual abuse to children or others.
Sex offender laws are based on preventing the horrific crimes that inspired them-but the abduction, rape, and murder of a child by a stranger who is a previously convicted sex offender is a rare event.
The evidence is overwhelming, as detailed in this report, that these laws cause great harm to the people subject to them.
On the other hand, proponents of these laws are not able to point to convincing evidence of public safety gains from them.