On Friday, August 28, the MA Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling that struck down residency restrictions for sex offenders. This Boston Globe article reported:
Cities and towns cannot ban sex offenders from living near parks and schools, the state’s high court said Friday, in a sharply worded ruling that could invalidate local laws in 49 municipalities from Springfield to Fall River.
The Supreme Judicial Court’s unanimous decision likened the restrictions to two dark chapters in American history: the forcible removal of Indian tribes in the 19th century and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
“Except for the incarceration of persons under the criminal law and the civil commitment of mentally ill or dangerous persons, the days are long since past when whole communities of persons, such as Native Americans and Japanese-Americans, may be lawfully banished from our midst,” Justice Geraldine S. Hines wrote.
Read more here.
The Network’s Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories applauds this decision as an important step in the direction of evidence-based policy that will promote the greatest public safety for all.