We believe this legislation improves Iowa’s sex offender laws in several ways:
* First, the proposal moves Iowa closer to compliance with the registration requirements of the federal Adam Walsh Act and, in doing so, provides law enforcement with more tools to keep tabs on individuals who have proved by their past offenses to be a danger to others.
* Second, the proposal imposes more effective limits on the movement and location of sex offenders – maintaining the restrictions regarding where the most serious offenders can live, and adding exclusionary zones to regulate where all sex offenders who have committed crimes against children can move about during the day. We believe it makes more sense to focus resources on what sex offenders are doing while they are awake than on where they can sleep.
* Third, being more selective about which offenders are subject to the 2000-foot rule is likely to foster increased compliance with the registration requirements. Under the current law, many sex offenders have stopped reporting their location because it is so difficult to find housing that does not violate the residency requirements.
The Attorney General believes this legislation is a good step toward a more common-sense, workable solution to the great challenge of keeping all Iowans and especially our children safe from sexual predators.
We commend the bipartisan efforts of lawmakers who crafted this proposal.
There always is more work to do to prevent sex offenses. We will monitor the effectiveness of this statute if it is enacted. We will continue to review all our laws regarding sex offenders, and to advocate other proposals in this realm, including measures relating to child pornography, indecent exposure, and enticement of children for sexual exploitation.
There always will be new challenges in this realm, especially with changing Internet technology, social networking, and other new situations. We look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature on ways to prevent sex offenses in Iowa.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Attorney General on Sex Offender Law
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller weighed in before the public hearing tonight at the Iowa Statehouse on changing the sex offender laws. Here's the release: