Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The ACLU of Pennsylvania and the PA Institutional Law Project filed a lawsuit Monday challenging Allegheny County’s law that limits where convicted sex offenders can live. The suit asks that the county’s law be thrown out in favor of state laws. The county limits sex offends from living within 2,500 feet of places where children gather including schools, day care facilities and parks. ACLU Legal Director Vic Walczak says that only leaves forested hilltops and a few high-income areas. The county was to have printed a map of acceptable areas 6 months ago. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on behalf of six sex offenders. Five are already living in the county and one is still in prison because he cannot find a place to live. Walczak says the laws prevent sex offenders from returning to society as productive citizens by separating them from their support networks. He says it also forces some to either be homeless or to not properly register their residence.