I feel that there is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in Rome.

Recently a friend of mine was arrested for registering the wrong address as a sex offender. He was young, caught a statutory charge, and he did his time. He served a lot of years in prison for this charge only to get released and have to worry about going back because of restrictions that are impossible to comply with.

He can’t be within so many feet or miles of a church, school, daycare or anywhere children gather. Now, true enough, some offenders may need these restrictions — but not all.

We looked everywhere for a place for him to live and it is almost impossible to find a place in Rome that meets the guidelines. There is a church, school, daycare or place children gather everywhere in Rome.

Drug dealers can live where they want to when they are released, even murderers. This is the only crime that locks you up if you can’t find a place to live with the guidelines.

It’s unfair. It’s unconstitutional. No one should be punished because there is no housing available with the guidelines they’ve given. Do the research; you will see there is nowhere for these people to live.

Some are just people who made mistakes when they were young; they already did the time. My friend wasn’t on probation or parole, he just didn’t have a place to stay and he went to jail for it.

He’s not a threat to anyone. Everyone in the neighborhood is signing a petition and sending letters to the judge and district attorney. It’s unfair. It’s unjust. These people don’t have a chance. They do their time and that should be it, especially if they’re not on probation. As long as the sheriff knows where they live, it should be OK. If the people are OK with it, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Tonya Barnes


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