Experts Say Sex Offender Zones Problematic

Thursday, November 9th 2006, 4:14 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- More convicted sex offenders are failing to register with the state since a new law went into effect banning offenders from living in most residential areas.

Since the law went into effect in July, corrections officials say nearly 200 offenders have dropped off the registry that keeps track of people who have committed sex crimes.

The new law prohibits any sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a playground, park or licensed day care facility. Sex offenders already were prohibited from living within 2,000 feet of any school.

Senior probation officer Mark Pursley -- who specializes in sex offenders -- says the increasing number is directly attributable to the new law. He says the law is pushing offenders into rural areas, where they don't have access to treatment.

But the bill's author Representative Randy Terrill says he has no sympathy for sex offenders. He says he'd ban sex offenders from living anywhere in the state if it were constitutional to do so.