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Now that I’ve got your attention-
The current population of Hawaii’s 3rd largest island, Oahu, is approximately 992,605 as of a 2016 census.
The population of registered sex offenders in the United States (and I use the term “United” loosely) is approximately 900,000 and growing.
Let’s all move to Oahu!
Sun, sand and surf. The island is just big enough that it can hold all of us. What more could we ask for?
Oh yes, and there’s one more perk.
Hawaii is one of the 20 states in the US that doesn’t restrict where sex offenders can live! You can live ANYWHERE on the island! No distance restrictions, no 1,000 foot buffer zones, no off-limits areas. And guess what? It works!
There’s no higher incidence of sex offenses near schools, daycares, parks, greenways, beaches or libraries in this idyllic island of no buffer zones.
There’s no laws that prevent registrants from living in the vicinity of children. (If you ask me, that’s the entire world, but I digress).
“On an island so small, residency restrictions would make it impossible for registrants to find housing” according to Hawaii’s public defender, Jack Tonaki.
How about that, a land of No Residency Restrictions and It Works! Registrants can sort of lead lives like normal people.
And what about those registrants that don’t have housing? Those who don’t have a formal street address?
They can list whatever beach, underpass or bus stop they are living at on their registration form. All that’s required is a description of the area.
And it works! Of course we’d prefer that all registrants and their families have housing, but at least in Oahu, registrants are not being forced out of whatever kind of meager encampments they are living in, not like what happens to registrants in places like Florida.
Random on-site registration checks are done just like they’re done across the rest of the country. Sometimes the registrant is still at the address listed, sometimes they’ve moved on to greener pastures or in this case sandier beaches. It’s no different than anywhere else except for the fact that no restrictions and no boundaries exist to keep registrants from actually having a chance at locating housing for themselves and their families.
And, it works!
But, of course, just like anywhere else in the country, there are people who are prone to hysteria, those who when they learn that there are registrants living in their vicinity, get up in arms and shout “we must do something about this!” Never mind that they were fine and felt completely safe 5 minutes before they knew that registrants were living in their area. But now that they know, all of a sudden they fear for their safety and that of their children. Keep in mind they may have no idea of a registrant’s offense which could be non-contact and have nothing to do with children and yet mere words alone, “sex offender or registrant” have now turned perfectly sane town’s folk into nervous-ninnies in a matter of minutes.
One neighborhood chairman commented that” it didn’t make sense to allow sex offenders to use a park as their registered address, to have kids around so close to where they’re living and potentially providing some sort of stimulus to do something again.”
Another case of total misunderstanding of who ends up on the registry. An erroneous assumption that all registrants must be violent, predatory child-molestors and that the mere sight of a child will set any of them off on a “re-offense rampage.”
We need to educate the public pretty fast and do it in some big educational campaign because hearing these kinds of misguided assumptions, time and time again, is getting “old” real fast.
Aren’t we all “tired” of this?
Allowing registrants to live “without” residency restrictions is perfectly doable.
It’s working just fine in 20 states according to some articles, but I count 17 on the following link:
If we truly are the United States of America, then the other 30 states need to get on board and unite with this “no restriction” idea.
Or, we can all move to Oahu!