Level 3 sex offenders living near daycare centers in western Massachusetts

The 22News I-Team compared sex offender addresses with licensed daycare centers in western Massachusetts.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Most parents would assume their children are safe when they go to a daycare center, school, or an after-school program, but what if a convicted sex offender lives nearby?

There are three levels of sex offenders in Massachusetts, the Sex Offender Registry Board gives a Level 3 designation to sex offenders who are the most likely to reoffend.

For that reason, dozens of communities in Massachusetts used to prohibit Level 3 sex offenders from living within 500 feet of daycare centers, schools, and playgrounds. But 22News I-Team reporter Tamara Sacharczyk discovered that’s no longer the case, and there’s absolutely nothing parents, or the police can do about it. In 2015, the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled it unconstitutional to impose residency restrictions on sex offenders. That decision voided local ordinances in nearly 50 communities across the state, including Springfield.

The 22News I-Team looked at state records to find the addresses of registered sex offenders. We then compared those addresses with licensed daycare centers in western Massachusetts, and found dozens are located in the same neighborhood, on the same street, and even right next door to each other.

Find out which daycare centers are located next to convicted sex offenders, and what lawmakers are doing to try and protect children. Watch the 22News I-Team report on SEX OFFENDERS LIVING NEAR DAYCARE CENTERS, Tuesday, February 21 on the CW Springfield at 10PM.

You can look up the status and locations of level 2 and 3 sex offenders in your community on the state's SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD and on WWLP.com.

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