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UMSL Criminologists Says Mo. Sex Offender Laws Need To Be Reevaluated

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A new study on sex offenders from the University of Missouri St. Louis finds residency laws are having little effect on recidivism.

Under Missouri law sex offenders cannot live within a thousand feet of a school or day care center, and can’t loiter within 500 feet.

UMSL Associate Professor of Criminology Beth Heubner says her study shows recidivism rates are about the same as they were before the law. Read Heubner’s report HERE.

“I think the rules in part could be good. There are a group of very serious pedophiles that these laws could work for,” she said. “But for the most part, these laws don’t seem effective and they actually hamper people finding work, and finding a suitable home.”

Heubner said lawmakers need to reevaluate the law and maybe implement it for a much smaller group of people. “I should say that in Missouri these laws are implemented for anybody with any sort of sex offense probational or federally.”

That is not the case in other states.

There are more than 13,000 registered sex offenders in Missouri with 2,300 in St. Louis County and 1,100 in the city.

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