POSTED: Friday, January 30, 2009 - 6:19pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:57pm
It’s a story we’ve been tracking for you: sex offenders living shockingly close to schools and daycares and now the Governor is stepping in.
Several weeks ago, we first uncovered the loophole that lets some sex offenders live near schools, daycares, and parks, but Governor Bobby Jindal says he hopes it won’t be that way for long.
It’s a story that stunned neighbors when we first uncovered it several weeks ago. Sex offenders living less than 500 feet from daycares and schools. Bernadine Green, a concerned neighbor, says, “A lot of children are bussed and they walk to school and in the evening they walk back.” Wilford Floyd wants to know, “How did he arrive here with a sex offense conviction in 1999?”
It was because of a loophole in the law that excludes sex offenders convicted before 2006. Sgt. Markus Smith explains, “If an offender was convicted before that date, then they aren’t required to comply with the 1,000 foot law.”
Now, Governor Bobby Jindal is pushing aggressive new legislation. He wants to create penalties for those who don’t comply with monitoring. Sgt. Smith adds, “Even if they were convicted before 2006, let’s say someone doesn’t comply with the electronic monitoring, we can go arrest them on this new crime and hold them in jail for violating that actual condition of their supervised release.”
Its part of a 7-point plan, specifically designed to crack down on loopholes and it’s going before the Legislature this spring. “We’re going to do everything we can to protect our children. Bottom line is this, if you plan to harm a child, you better stay out of the state of Louisiana.”
A few new laws to protect some of Louisiana’s most innocent citizens. Other initiatives in the law include barring sex offenders from running daycares. Plus, Jindal wants to require offenders to be evaluated by a mental health expert to make sure they’re not a threat before they’re released.