The Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit to stop new residency restrictions for sex offenders in the state. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, the new law requires level three sex offenders to live at least 1,000 feet from a school.
Previously some sex offenders were prohibited from living 300 feet from schools. The new law is an increase of 700 feet.
The ACLU says the law is unconstitutional because it retroactively punishes offenders who have already completed their prison sentences.
Advocates say requiring offenders to move and limiting where they can live, encourages homelessness, which could increase the potential risk to public safety.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit in U.S. district court against State Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and A.T. Wahl, the director of the state corrections department. The law was approved by the General Assembly earlier this year.
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