Montville Passes Senior Safety Zones Designed to Keep Sex Offenders Away

One councilor called the zone "ridiculous."


Former Mayor Joe Jaskiewicz stepped right up to the podium to offer his support for the Senior Safety Zone ordinance during the Town Council’s public hearing Wednesday night.  He called the ordinance a “good bill,” and one he and Town Councilor Billy Caron “worked on together.”

“It’s a good ordinance and we honestly thought we had the state’s support on it; I don’t know what happened.”

Jaskiewicz was joined by Social and Senior Service director Kathleen Doherty-Peck who called the proposal important “so our seniors have a safe place to congregate.”

“It’s a first step in keeping our seniors safe,” she said.

But Town Councilor Dana McFee could not have been more opposed. He called the ordinance “ridiculous.” 

In a previous interview with Patch he said needy seniors in the community would be better served with a portion of the “$3,000 it will cost for this thing.”

“You know out of all the populations, seniors are the least likely to be victims of sex offenders. This thing is just plain silly.” 

Former Town Councilor Ellen Hillman said that while she was not opposed to the zones, she cautioned that there are sex offenders that currently use senior services and any ordinance would have to include a grandfathered clause addressing those individuals.

And Councilor Rosetta Jones, who worked with sex offenders during her years with the state department of corrections, said the ordinance contained language that should be amended so it would be clear and precise. But in order to make changes, the ordinance would have to go back to the drawing board, see the changes made and go back before the public. The four councilors that voted for passage prevented that from happening. And so, while state law succeeds the ordinance in many respects, the local law will go on the books.

The zone is virtually identical to the child safety zones approved by the council last month. A registered sex offender can enter a zone is when he or she is voting or picking up a parent, according to the senior safety zone ordinance and once he or she has done that, they must leave immediately after.

Part of the language of the ordinance requires the mayor or resident state trooper to reach out to each and every sex offender of the new ordinance.

There are 37 registered sex offenders in the Town of Montville, according to the sex offender registry, and more than half of those reside at the January Center, an offender treatment facility located at Corrigan-Radgowski prison in Uncasville.

Lynda-j October 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM
As I read this I'm shaking my head. The democrats have finally passed a piece of legislation unfortunately it has not purpose other than to waiste money and cause the possibility of more litigation against the town. You must be kidding me. Stop the madness!!
Dana McFee October 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Just to clarify my opinion; My statement that research shows demographically that seniors are the least likely group targeted by sex offenders and that most sexual assaults on seniors happen in the nursing home, is just good information to know, but not my reason for opposing the ordinance. The ordinance is unenforceable even the State is not behind it. It's an ACLU law suit waiting to happen, you can't even force them to pay the $99 it’s nothing more than a "feel good" ordinance pushed by Billy Caron to pander votes by playing off the fears of some seniors because of the sex offender facility in town. We would better serve our seniors by taking the money being wasted on this ordinance and put it into a program that truly benefits all seniors, because this ordinance certainly doesn't.
Rudy101 October 11, 2012 at 01:18 PM
You have a sex offender registry and you made it public. The courts allow a legislature to put anyone they want on it at any time, for reason. The registry is used to isolate, banish, harass, and put fear into offenders. There is no evidence ANY registry laws protects anyone. Let me put it this way: You can't put fences around the town and start telling who can and cannot cross those lines. You live in a free country where ONLY courts can take freedom. Your law violates that basic and fundamental precept. That being true, your registry, as a matter of law, doesn't have to be followed, nor will be followed. Too bad for your registry, eh?
theinformant October 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Rudy 101 If it is true what you say, then here we go again. The Mayor has put the town into Lawsuit mode, Two lawsuits filed by one person, another two that could become reality within the Police Department and now the Democratic Council has opened up the door for any Sex offender looking to make a buck and some Lawyer who knows a sure win when he sees one, reaching out to the willing Sex Offender to hire this Lawyer to represent him in a multimillion dollar suit. These Democrats just don’t care about Montville. All they care is that no Republican or Independent is going to tell them what to do. Party Politics at its best.
Jackie October 11, 2012 at 02:11 PM
This could have been fixed by not building a sex offender rehab facility inbetween a senior center and an elementary school....oh, don't forget, directly across the street from a daycare :)
Rudy101 October 11, 2012 at 02:32 PM
You think this is about Democrats and Republicans? This is about the ability of the State to use a list POLITICALLY. Banishing a group of people from the community transcends political affiliation. ALL registry laws have been passed with almost no opposition from ANYONE. The easiest thing in the world is to vote rights away. It took literally 1000's of years of injustice to create a system of checks and balances of 3 branches of government. The registry by-passes the judicial branch completely in order to regulate without judicial supervision. In other words, the only thing keeping the registry alive is the violent uses of THEY, THEM, and THOSE. No person is a person before the law when on a sex offender registry. No. That registry doesn't have to be followed. It wasn't what the republicans and democrats are doing that made it that way BUT the fact the COURTS have decided they don't want to be a part of determining the freedom of individuals (it's Constitutional authority brought about by the 5th amendment requirement of DUE PROCESS). The idea that a politician will take freedom is as old as politics. An independent judiciary is supposed to CHECK the power of legislatures AND BALANCE their concerns with the freedom of individuals. The registry doesn't have to be followed because of what politicians did (because that is predictable and inherent in politics) but because of the total ignoring of the RIGHTS of individuals by the courts.
Donna Jacobson October 11, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Yes, there are 37 sexual offenders residing in Montville and 22 live at the Sex Offender Facility aka January House. Of those residing at the Sex Offender Facility, 98% of them were convicted of crimes against minors. The Connection, Inc. and the State DOC/Probation Department has specifically selected a population who harmed children to experiment on. Of interest, of the 22 offenders as the SOF, 7 of them has been living there for six months or more. Why? This facility obviously has morphed into a half-way house. Where is the oversight that was promised by town officials? There is a vast difference between the Child and Senior Safety Zones. With the Child Safety Zone, there is some measure of enforceability due to probationary restrictions. There are none for the Senior Safety Zones.
Rudy101 October 11, 2012 at 02:53 PM
See, I have read a lot of court cases on sex offenders. Anyone challenging a sex offender restriction must defend ALL the people on the registry (an impossible job). The State sets up the argument as one of public safety verses individual rights, makes the unchallengable argument that government's job is to protect society, then draws the line between the restriction and public safety without having to show ANY evidence that the restriction will accomplish the "public safety" it asserts. Everyone understands SOME people on a registry need to be restricted. The State argues if the regulation COULD protect some, EVERYONEon a registry is liable for the restriction. The courts are put into the position of all or nothing. Even when it is clear there will be irrational outcomes, the court has no ability to seperate individuals without a legislative mandate. Until the courts take some control, and tell legislatures how to Constitutionally regulate, while still leaving wide latitude to create legislation but LIMITING the ability of a legislature to apply these kinds of legislation, the registry is illegal. I know the court is filled with human beings, and I know the enflamed passions that exists around the issues of sex offenses and sex offenders. This is exactly the reason why the court must step up and assert their independence.
Ellen Hillman October 11, 2012 at 03:27 PM
If the towns people think this ordinance will make them safe they are living in a glass bubble. This ordinance is so unenforsable it is not funny. The child safety zone ordenance was modeled to protect minors who have sex offenders who are on the registry or known to the court system. The senior safety zones should of been different. It should of protected them from their neighbors, family and associates who have been convicted or may not be on the registry any longer. This was a waste of time money and paper. Bill Carron knew this as I pointed this out to him and Edith Prague when I started to write the senior safety zone ordinance when I was on the council. This is why I did not go speak on it on the state level cause it is a (as Mr. McFee put it) "a feel good ordinance."
Rudy101 October 11, 2012 at 03:46 PM
You come up with specific statistics to try and bolster your argument and then spiral into conclusions of which you have no evidence of. The State is experimenting on probationers? Don't you think THAT comment needs clarification? If a person is legally required to be free in the community and not in prison (that darn Constitution), would it not be better to have a controlled environment of support where people can deal with their stresses in their environment in healthy ways while trying to re-build their lives, ESPECIALLY no matter where they go they will be singled out with outright ridicule and discrimination? That is NOT an experiement, but a sound psychological underpinnings to a policy of re-integration. And that is where we are sitting at. Ultimately ANY of THOSE people (of whom you know nothing about NONE of them) are not to be re-integrated. The ONLY solution you have is NIMBY. Public safety be damned, and even human rights, you could care less. They give you the registry information and you are creating legislation to get rid of the registry information (if they don't live near you, you can't be notified). Donna? I have no idea what you do for a living, but think of it like this; What if someone came to your job and told you how to do it and had no training or experience in it? How would you feel? You think human behavior, psychology and treatment are BEST in the hands of novices? Do you really think that creates a safe community?
Donna Jacobson October 11, 2012 at 03:56 PM
No Rudy101, I do not bolster my argument with unsubstantiated evidence. I am exceedingly aware of the situation and suggest that you re-read my comment. Do you have access to the State documents and RFP from the facilitator relating to the SOF? I do, thus can justifiably state that this facility is using a unique therapeutic model on the residents.
Rudy101 October 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Are the unique therapeudic models a secret? Or are we supposed to take your word for what they are doing at the place where 22 offenders live? And all we are left with a vivid imagination of what you described as, "unique.". I would think those people would NEED a unique therapuetic model considering they are entering a world of which some people want to kill them (and many are not shy in public forums stating so). Well, I am sure it is just a part and not the main part of their therapy.
Rudy101 October 11, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Are there ANY limitations on the power to make safety zones? Is is just when the State hands you a list? Do you need more lists? You know the great thing about lists? These kinds of lists are so efficient at getting people re-elected! Well, you'll get your list too! Soon! Be patient. There are lots of people to protect from, (more than you can possibly imagine). There will be lists for everyone! Think of the utopia!
Donna Jacobson October 11, 2012 at 05:20 PM
The Connection, Inc. holds the rights to this specific therapeutic model. Only through the FOI process was the Town afforded the opportunity to view the documents. And yes, I did compare the proposed model to other models, including "cognitive-behavioral." One of the major distinctions was the time element for the treatment to have any success.
Meghan Buttler October 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Just when you think things can't get any worst in montville I open the day paper to read the front page that they just passed an ordinance that now violates people's civil rights. Here come the lawsuits. How many thousands of dollars did these democrats waist this time getting bad advise from the town lawyer? When will common sense prevail? My guess next November
Johnathan Gressley October 12, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Meghan, we may not make it til next November. Montville needs federal or state oversight and soon. I call for a complete cleansing of the Town- all department heads, Council and Mayor.
Howard M. Burgers February 20, 2013 at 06:55 PM


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