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http://www.InsideSaline.comI heard about this from an elected official last night. Benton Alderman Brad Moore is proposing an ordinance to have sex offenders place a sign in their yard identifying that residence as the home of a sex offender. The idea is that it will discourage sex offenders from living in Benton.

I have some thoughts on both sides of this issue, but I wanted to hear what MySaline members think. Look at the article on InsideSaline.com titled "Benton alderman eyes tougher city sex offender requirements."

Please take this anonymous poll, but also give your opinion below. I realize this may be a controversial issue and one that is near to some who comment. Please be honest, but respectful!

Addendum: I'm adding helpful links here as they occur in this discussion.



Arkansas policies that determine how a sexual offender receives his "level" and how the public can be notified about the offender.

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In reference to the discussion of an ordinance to have sex offenders place a sign in their yard identifying that residence as the home of a sex offender. The idea is that it will discourage sex offenders from living in a city.
I for one would vote to pass that ordinance, if it was constitutionally legal to have. I do not or wish to have a convicted sex offender living next to me or in my neighborhood or city. I would not want to look out the window and see my child playing pass with a convicted sex offender. All neighborhoods are notified when a convicted sex offender moves in so the sign just helps out more.

My thoughts,

Ed C.
I like the idea. There are some in Benton right now that would truly disgust the large majority of any community.

The issue will probably be stuck on the level of the offender. Does an 18 yr old or 19 yr old who pissed off the parents of his underage girlfriend deserve to have a sign stuck in the yard of his parents house where he resides, just like the old man who kidnapped and raped multiple girls throughout an extended period?
I find it confusing and maddening that people are so much more tolerant of murder than they are of sex crimes. Murder is major entertainment these days -- murder dinner theaters, murder dinner cruises, murder dinner parties, etc. ad nauseum. While you might find a little game of "Murder on Main Street" fun and exciting, would you ever consider attending an event titled "Gang-Banging At The Junior High"? I don't think so. I'm not minimizing sex crimes by any means, and I am certainly aware that they inflict a lifetime of trauma for the victim. But I would rather have my child sexually assaulted than murdered. Surely folks know that there are plenty of killers living and walking amongst us. Not only would Benton/Saline County folks never have this conversation of putting signs in the yards of convicted killers, they exalt and shower those who have been named a murder suspect with city jobs, polar bear plaques and accolades. I say all of this with the utmost respect I can muster.
Ummm. A person is gonna live wherever they want. Making them put a sign in their yard is not going to stop them from living there. All that is going to do in the long run is de-value property in the city. You might as well start sticking old cars and old appliances in your yard if you do that. The neighborhood is notified and like someone else said the acic is available for anyone to use. I know I don't have children but I look on the ACIC offender site at least once a month since I have a large amount of children working for me. And they are like my kids to me but I don't need a sign in the yard to remind me someone is a criminal. You have something like that sitting in your neighborhood and you will never sell another house in it.
For some reason this makes me think of when the healthcare community began using "Universal Precautions" regarding blood and body fluids to address the transmission of the AIDS virus. (I know this is an odd analogy, but I have 'flight of ideas' and this is the way my mind works, ok?? Just bear with me.)

There was a big thrust in the 80's for healthcare providers to have the "right to know" if people were HIV positive (and eventually several lawsuits ensued regarding persons living with AIDS). Some in healthcare lobbied that it should be mandatory that people who were HIV positive be "flagged" to protect all who may come in contact with them. Opponents to that school of thought said that absence of "flagging" would give a false sense of security to healthcare workers since sometimes a person may actually have the virus before they "seroconvert" and actually TEST positive.

Anyway... the end result was that healthcare workers adopt "universal precautions" regarding anyone's blood/body fluids. In other words... you treated all blood and body fluid as if it were infected with AIDS....


My point is this... I regard almost anyone as a potential sexual predator when it comes to my granddaughter. There are sexual predators among us everywhere that are never caught and will never be on a registry or have a sign in their yard. Look at the history with our own First Baptist Church. None of those parents would have dreamed their sons were being abused by their respected and beloved music leader! I'm sure they would have never allowed him such free access to their children!


Finally...... another consideration...... A 19 yr old having "consentual" relations with a 17 yr old is a quite different in my eyes than a grown man or woman and a prepubescent child (even though I know a 17 yr old cannot legally give consent). Yet both are classified as sex offenders.

This is a very difficult subject and one I hate we even have to entertain, but I speak to my granddaughter about these things and the dangers out there for her because it is necessary for me to do so to protect her. It is the ones without signs I worry about! Until she is grown, I will see signs everywhere whether they are "there" or not and will continue to use "Universal Precautions"!!!!!
Well thought out, Pam. I'm with you on this one.

Pam Harcrow said:
For some reason this makes me think of when the healthcare community began using "Universal Precautions" regarding blood and body fluids to address the transmission of the AIDS virus. (I know this is an odd analogy, but I have 'flight of ideas' and this is the way my mind works, ok?? Just bear with me.)

There was a big thrust in the 80's for healthcare providers to have the "right to know" if people were HIV positive (and eventually several lawsuits ensued regarding persons living with AIDS). Some in healthcare lobbied that it should be mandatory that people who were HIV positive be "flagged" to protect all who may come in contact with them. Opponents to that school of thought said that absence of "flagging" would give a false sense of security to healthcare workers since sometimes a person may actually have the virus before they "seroconvert" and actually TEST positive.

Anyway... the end result was that healthcare workers adopt "universal precautions" regarding anyone's blood/body fluids. In other words... you treated all blood and body fluid as if it were infected with AIDS....


My point is this... I regard almost anyone as a potential sexual predator when it comes to my granddaughter. There are sexual predators among us everywhere that are never caught and will never be on a registry or have a sign in their yard. Look at the history with our own First Baptist Church. None of those parents would have dreamed their sons were being abused by their respected and beloved music leader! I'm sure they would have never allowed him such free access to their children!


Finally...... another consideration...... A 19 yr old having "consentual" relations with a 17 yr old is a quite different in my eyes than a grown man or woman and a prepubescent child (even though I know a 17 yr old cannot legally give consent). Yet both are classified as sex offenders.

This is a very difficult subject and one I hate we even have to entertain, but I speak to my granddaughter about these things and the dangers out there for her because it is necessary for me to do so to protect her. It is the ones without signs I worry about! Until she is grown, I will see signs everywhere whether they are "there" or not and will continue to use "Universal Precautions"!!!!!
your list of "bad" folks wouldn't include killers?

Sam said:
I'm against it. If that's the case, one could make the argument that signs be placed in the yards of all former criminals: breaking & entering, drug dealer, date raper, public intoxication, wife beater, manslaughter, bank robber, embezzler, etc. And if that happened, it would signal the end of subdivisions as we know it.

And I don't think there is any law, to my limited knowledge, that can require you to put public info on private property...especially when that person is no longer incarcerated.

My guess is that this argument isn't new. It might be new to us. That's why sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement. And that's why they have websites like www.acic.com.

Maybe we should lobby the legislature to handle this type of criminal while they are in custody (longer sentences, life in prison, etc)...as opposed to when they are released into society.
Wow. Pam wins this debate.
This is a quote by Ark. Rep. Dawn Creekmore (D27) in the InsideSaline article:

“As for a city ordinance, cities may pass ordinances to hinder a sex offender's life,” the Senate District 22 candidate told Moore. “In Baxter County, they scroll all of their sex offenders on their local TV access channel every night, and they post their newest sex offenders on a lighted arrow sign. You may want to ask the city attorney (Brent Houston) if residential restrictions for residents would be possible or legal.”


Sam said:
I'm against it. If that's the case, one could make the argument that signs be placed in the yards of all former criminals: breaking & entering, drug dealer, date raper, public intoxication, wife beater, manslaughter, bank robber, embezzler, etc. And if that happened, it would signal the end of subdivisions as we know it.
And I don't think there is any law, to my limited knowledge, that can require you to put public info on private property...especially when that person is no longer incarcerated.
My guess is that this argument isn't new. It might be new to us. That's why sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement. And that's why they have websites like www.acic.com.

Maybe we should lobby the legislature to handle this type of criminal while they are in custody (longer sentences, life in prison, etc)...as opposed to when they are released into society.
My biggest problem with this is selfish... I Would never be able to sell my house again. Would you knowingly buy a house near an offender, or would you keep looking?
IN THEIR YARD??????? How about a big TATOO, ON THEIR FACE How about some ideas for the tatoo. Something cruel and unusual would be special.
LOL! Mike Tyson got one!

Ed Bird said:
IN THEIR YARD??????? How about a big TATOO, ON THEIR FACE How about some ideas for the tatoo. Something cruel and unusual would be special.

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