The State of Georgia has come up with the perfect solution to the problem of supervising its estimated 10,000 convicted sex offenders: export them to other states. A new Georgia state law that was to take effect in July 2006, all convicted sex offenders would be prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of anywhere children live or gather. This includes school, churches, parks, and school bus stops.
The only problem with the law is that this the school bus stop provision would make it almost impossible for any sex offender to live anywhere in many areas of Georgia. This change to the law was written by the State Legislator Jerry Keen, who was quoted as stating "We don't want these types of people staying in our state". What a brilliant idea, if a given state doesn't want to bear the cost and trouble of a certain class of offender, simply change the law so that they have to leave the state.
The media has reported the difficulties with this law, and the courts have intervened, delaying the implementation for the time being, but most of the reports have missed or ignored the statement by Jerry Keen that clearly shows his goal and intent is proposing this change in the law. The major problem with implementing the law at this time is the requirement that each school district formally designate their school bus stops and notify local police of the locations o they can enforce that provision of the law. A problem for the schools districts is that school bus stops change on a regular basis based on where children live.
This law, designed in my opinion, to encourage sex offenders to leave Georgia for other states, has created a difficult and possible impossible workload for the schools, police and parole officers in Georgia. As a resident of South Carolina, I have written a letter on complaint to Mr. Keen, and I suggest any reader who has the same concerns as I do the same. His mailing address is as follows:
Representative Jerry Keen
Room 338, State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
We need to let lawmakers in every state that they cannot solve their problems by creating laws that are designed to export criminals to other states. Persons who are convicted sex offenders in Georgia are the responsibility of the state while they are on probation or parole and Georgia needs to accept the responsibility for their supervision.