Petition to Governor Sonny Purdue and the Georgia State Assembly: sign now

Petition to Governor Sonny Purdue and the Georgia State Assembly:

The undersigned parties petition Governor Sonny Purdue and the Georgia State Assembly regarding HB1059.

To Governor Purdue we ask you not to sign HB1059 into law. To the Georgia State Assembly we ask you call a special session to rewrite the bill.

The reasons for our petition are as follows:

1. The Georgia Sheriff Association has stated it opposition to the parts of the bill dealing with school bus stops as being unenforceable. Banning registered sex offenders from living within a thousand feet of a school bus stop is unjust to the children of registered sex offenders who rely on school buses and forces an undue burden on their families to provide private transportation or forces the children to walk excessive distances to catch a school bus.

2. The Kansas State Legislature has recently repealed their proximity laws due in large part to being unjust to intra-familial offenders families and being just plain unenforceable. They have acknowledged that law enforcement, judicial officials, and sex offender treatment professionals all agree that the buffer zones wouldnt actually protect kids and could even encourage sex offenders to lie about where they live and increase the chances theyd re-offend.

3. Looking at the intent of Megans Law, which set up the SOR (sex offender registry), indicates it was designed to keep track of the most violent and predatory offenders; the current bill does not comply with the intent of Megans Law, but merely serves to provide politicians with a feel good sound bite for constituents.

4. The effects of patchwork community notification and proximity laws are a needless hardship for offenders who are in compliance. It reduces their ability to reintegrate into society and increases the risk for re-offence and for their families it creates suffering, vilification, unnecessary difficulties and for child-victims of an interfamilial offence, it victimizes them a second time. For society, the effects are equally demoralizing; an extremely false sense of security, higher costs in welfare and disability payments for families and reduced tax revenue because of lost or reduced earned income.

5. We ask the elected representatives of Georgia to consider the following in place of HB1059: Start with the treatment of low-risk offenders and high-risk offenders differently. The next program we need to implement is a two-strike policy; with GPS monitoring and civil commitment for high-risk offenders and no parole for second offences. Finally, we need to put low-risk, intra-familial, and juvenile offenders in treatment programs that help develop successful coping skills and teach appropriate behavior and boundaries. This reintegrates them back into society quicker, saves taxpayers the cost of prosecution, incarceration, and increases tax revenue.

We acknowledge that rational thought needs to replace punitive laws for easy votes and urge you to act to keep punitive measures from becoming law under the auspices of community safety.

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Jerri WareBy:
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Petition to Governor Sonny Purdue and the Georgia State Assembly

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