As I was reading some of the new laws that were passed last session by the Tennessee State Legislature , I became concerned that Corrections Corporation of America may be housing sex offenders against Tennessee law. A new addition was added to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry . Under Tennessee Code Annotated 40-39-211(h) , no person , corporation , or other entity shall knowingly permit three (3) or more sexual offenders …….. violent sexual offenders…….. or a combination thereof …….. to establish a primary or secondary residence in any house , apartment , or other habitation .
I guess the test is whether jail is a residence . All kidding aside , this law could prohibit sex offenders from going to a halfway house , living in a treatment facility , or any type of place where they can live. There is no question that those convicted of sex crimes need some type of supervision. However , the sex offender laws are becoming more severe in their scope. Tennessee runs the risk of driving those on the sex offender registry underground where they will try to avoid some of these restrictions.
I can see a landlord at an apartment house asking on the rental application if you are on the sex offender registry. This law places too much of a burden on businesses . It allows few places where one can live after being released from prison . I guess the bottom line is that the criminal laws of Tennessee should not be used as a political football. More thought and common sense needs to be applied by the state legislators rather than just slapping a new restriction in place for the sole purpose than getting reelected. I would rather Tennessee take a tougher stand on those who fail to report child sexual abuse.