Sex offender residency restrictions reprimanded by SJC

22News explains why over 40 communities are reassessing their ordinances.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that the city of Lynn could not severely restrict where sex offenders could live in the city.

There are more than 2,600 Level 3, and more than 6,100 Level 2 sex offenders in the state.

The Lynn ordinance prohibited level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of parks or public, private or church schools, effecitvely banning them from 95% of their geographic area.

More than 40 communities restrict where level 2 and 3 sex offenders can live. Those with at higher risk of re-offending.

Several years ago Springfield City Council passed a similar ordinance prohibiting Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living within 500 feet of a school.  The city is now reviewing their rules and regulations.

The SJC said that local governments have no authority to adopt their own ordinances because they go beyond the 1999 state law which monitors sex offenders and notifies the public.

David Kuzmeski, Chair of American International College‘s Criminal Justice Department said, “The legislatures essentially trump city ordinance and that’s why the SJC ruled in the way they did.”

Some community leaders plan to lobby for statewide sex offender residency rules.

Springfield will be holding a Committee meeting at noon on Wednesday, September 9th, at City Hall.

Click here to check and see if there are sex offenders in your area.

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