Governor Tom Vilsack says the state has an interest in ensuring sexual offenders do not live near places where there’s easy access to groups of young children. A federal judge has issued a temporary order that prohibits officials from prosecuted released sex offenders who choose to live within two-thousand feet of a school or daycare center. Vilsack says state officials will have to rework the law in light of the judge’s decision, but he says the state has a responsibility to secure Iowa’s families and communities. Vilsack says the courts have told the state the current law is unconstitutional, so policymakers have to find another way. The Iowa Civil Liberties Union challenged the law restricting where convicted but released sex offenders may live, saying in some towns, there was no home that was farther than two-thousand feet from a school or daycare. Vilsack says several attorneys are trying to find another way to accomplish the same goal.Vilsack says he’ll be “very supportive” of lawmakers’ efforts to re-do the law because he says it is “paramount” for the state to do what it can to protect children from sexual predators. Vilsack says studies show some convicted sex offenders can never be trusted around kids. The Governor says that’s one reason the state has taken the additional step of committing the most violent sexual predators to a mental facility once their prison sentences have expired.
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