Friday, October 12, 2007

Housing Sex Offenders

The big news this week has been about a serial rapist who has completed his jail sentence and is moving into his sister's home in Southbury. Judging by the coverage in the paper, you might think this is the first time a convicted rapist has ever moved back into a community.

A quick check with the state registry shows 5 convicted sex offenders already live in Southbury. A quick check with reality suggests that there might very well be a rapist who has never been caught living in Southbury, or could be soon. Knowing the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders seems to create a false sense of security when there aren't any convicts in the neighborhood. People seem to forget that there is a greater danger posed by the unidentified sex offenders, whom everyone trusts.

The state's attorney general pushed to have the rapist instead placed in a halfway house, but wouldn't those neighbors also have equal cause for concern?

Naturally, nobody wants a serial rapist living next door, but at least with this guy the neighbors know not to trust him. Some of them might be in danger of going too far. This is the sort of situation that could turn into a lynching. At the very least, his family will probably be harassed. I think this has been the plot of several stories--the fear of evil incites people to commit evil.

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