published Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Alabama lawmakers seek live-in monitors for sex offenders

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Two Alabama lawmakers have pre-filed a bill that would, among other things, require facilities housing groups of sex offenders to have a live-in monitor.

State Rep. Kurt Wallace, R-Maplesville, and Rep. Paul Beckman, R-Prattville, say they're sponsoring the proposed legislation because groups of sex offenders who have finished their prison sentences are living in clusters near Clanton and in Autauga County.

Beckman told he considers the idea a protective measure.

"You've got families with kids even though it's out in the country, and you've got no way of safeguarding and protecting them," Beckman said.

Aside from requiring the clusters to have a live-in monitor, the legislation would also require the facilities to be licensed by the county they're in and for each residential community to register as a "residential sex offender cluster."

State law already prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, child care center or their victim.

"It's one of those things that nobody wants them, but they have to go somewhere," Wallace said.

Between 9 and 10 sex offenders live in temporary housing near the church at a time, said Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis.

"It has not been a problem," he said. "Certainly I understand the concerns of having them all in one spot. But also, on the flip side, if they're all there it's very easy to go and check and make sure they're all where they're supposed to be."

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