Crazy web of housing restrictions don’t keep anybody safer from sexual assault

If so many people who have at some time in their lives committed a sexual offense are living at one address, the real question is why?

SHARE Crazy web of housing restrictions don’t keep anybody safer from sexual assault

Chicago Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) has called for restrictions on how many convicted sex offenders are allowed to live in a single building.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

In a recent editorial, the Sun-Times indignantly asked why there is no law to prevent a large number of people who have been convicted, at some time in their lives, of a sex offense, from living at the same address.

That is the wrong question. The real question is why are so many people, who have at some time in their lives committed a sexual offense, living at one address ? These people have family, friends and employment scattered all over the city of Chicago. Why are they all in one building?

The answer is that they are all in one building because too many politicians have gotten undeserved mileage out of making it nearly impossible for people who committed a sexual offense to find a place to live. Many of the people in that building in Englewood would be living with their families throughout the city if that were possible. Many who could live with parents, spouses or children simply cannot do so legally. Others are employed and could support themselves in independent apartments.

There is no evidence that the crazy web of housing restrictions we have constructed keeps anybody safer from sexual assault. At the same time, current Illinois Department of Corrections rules for therapeutic housing for sex offenders are simply too expensive to implement. Let’s start a real conversation about sensible solutions.

Rebecca Janowitz and Pamela Rodriguez, Near North Side

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Where’s the outrage when four officers shot?

Four Chicago police officers have been shot in the last two weeks. I’m still looking for Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supt. David Brown to announce a massive anti-police violence rally in Grant Park. I’m still looking for Chicago civic and clergy leaders to conduct a massive protest against brutality against Chicago police officers. This would include a march down Michigan Avenue as well as stopping traffic on Lake Shore Drive and the Dan Ryan Expressway to call national attention to this extremely serious problem.

None of this has happened. Why? Community policing is a partnership between the community and its police. It’s a two-way street. I served 35 years on the Chicago Police Department and worked with some of the finest individuals God has placed on this Earth.

Experienced police officers are professional observers and pay attention to detail. They use that knowledge to stay alive and keep out of harm’s way. Well, they are watching what is going on right now. If one police officer wrongly takes one person’s life, there are massive protests and demands involving an entire police department. Not so when four officers are shot in a short period of time.

Chicago police officers are dedicated professionals and will continue to run toward danger to protect the public they swore to keep safe. But they will do this now knowing that a significant portion of the public does not care about them and does not have their backs.

Lt. Michael C. Flynn
Chicago Police, Retired
Norwood Park

Georgia still on Jim Crow Time

A Sun-Times editorial on March 28 enumerated the many ways in which Georgia’s extremely restrictive new voting laws undermine American democracy.

As Maya Angelou said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Republicans in Georgia are showing us, once again, exactly who they are.

Welcome to Georgia: Please set your clocks back 150 years.

Bob Chimis, Elmwood Park

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