A legislative policy analyst today told Florida legislators that sex offender residency restrictions do not work. The analyst cited studies from Minnesota, Colorado and Florida, which found no connection between where sex offenders lived and where they committed new crimes. From the Miami Herald:
Marti Harkness, who specializes in criminal justice issues in the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, said better options would be to bar offenders from smaller zones near places where children gather and keeping tabs on them with electronic monitoring.
Florida prohibits certain sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, day care centers, parks and other places that attract children, but some local governments have expanded the ban to as much as 2,500 feet, most notably in South Florida.
Those limits made it so difficult for sexual predators to find affordable housing in Miami-Dade County that some offenders have been living under a bridge in view of tourists and others using the span, creating a backlash against the restrictions.
I'm guessing nothing will change in Florida.