Current neighbors of sex offenders agree with Georgia HB 1059

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

Hundreds of Georgia's sex offenders are faced with financial burdens, forced to move out of their homes thanks to a new law.

House Bill 1059 is creating a buzz throughout the Peach State. Legislators have instated some strict new laws that have registered sex offenders relocating.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is just days away from notifying registered sex offenders of stricter laws limiting where they can and cannot live.

"Hopefully everybody will just do what the law says," says Maj. Ken Autry. "But that's the reason we're here in the beginning, because they usually don't."

Beginning July 1, they'll have to.

That's when House Bill 1059 takes effect--a 55-page document Richmond County district attorney Danny Craig assisted with.

"Their stated purpose was to try and make Georgia the place where convicted sex offenders would least likely want to live," Craig says.

The new law states that those living within 1000 feet of where children congregate will have to move. Among the sites listed are school bus stops and playgrounds. Registered offenders who live near these areas have just two weeks to relocate.

Some neighbors we spoke with say that's just too bad for the sex offenders.

Carolyn Burns agrees with the law. "Everything we do has consequences," she says.

She lives across the street from registered sex offender William Coxwell.

"I don't believe in punishing someone unduly, but you have to protect the children," Burns says.

Parent Tim Maddox lives next door to Coxwell.

"I wish they'd have a sign on the door or something else, because most people don't check the sex offender list," he says.

While legislators realize this burden will cost offenders in moving expenses, they insist it's a necessary message: that living in Georgia while on the registry is no field day.

House Bill 1059 is the reason why 75 percent of people on Richmond County's registry will have to move. That's about 150 people.

The state will rely on local sheriff and police departments to monitor their offenders.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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