Website can give you information on who lives around you Lisa Trigg Apr 26, Do you know everyone who lives in your neighborhood? Not just the folks next door, but everyone who lives within a mile of your home? Department of Justice estimates that about 80 percent of all addresses have at least one sex offender living within a 1-mile radius.
Timothy Blazier, 50, has been charged with child molesting and attempted rape for the April 1 incident that occurred at the EconoLodge motel on Margaret Avenue.
Many Terre Haute residents had no idea about the living arrangement, and voiced outrage. Some even protested with signs at the entrance to the business, alerting the public that the motel allows sex offenders to live there. After the alleged attack, some people wondered: But there is no requirement that a motel must notify the public — or even know — if a registered guest is also a registered sex offender.
Because state law requires sex offenders to register with a local law enforcement agency, the public is able to find out where sex offenders are residing at any given time. If that residence is at an extended-stay motel, such as the EconoLodge, that address shows up on the local Offender Watch website, accessible by the public.
The ISA spearheaded development of the Offender Watch program in cooperation with the Department of Correction, and all 92 Indiana counties are now using the same software to track offenders and to notify the public. Sex offenders can live and work in wealthy areas, middle-class subdivisions and poor neighborhoods. There is no socio-economic stereotype that points out people convicted of a sex crime. Once convicted, however, those who reside in Indiana must follow the statute IC , which details the responsibilities of convicted offenders, as well as the duties and responsibilities of law enforcement agencies across the state.
By Indiana court order, an offender can be prohibited from residing within 1, feet of a school, daycare center, youth program center or public park. An offender who owned a home prior to being convicted can simply return to that home, even if it is located near a school or other prohibited area. However, those who do not own a home must comply with the 1,foot rule when finding a place to live. In a city such as Terre Haute, which is dotted with schools and daycare centers, it can be difficult for offenders to find affordable housing that meets the 1,foot restriction.
Burns told the Tribune-Star that he works with the DOC and the offenders as they are released into Vigo County to make sure that the housing they select meets the mandatory distance from a prohibited location. The residency restrictions, Burns said, particularly impact offenders with limited economic resources and no family to offer help.
The EconoLodge is one of the few locations in Terre Haute that is outside a 1,foot zone, and its low price makes it more accessible than a higher-priced hotel. Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at or lisa. Follow her on Twitter TribStarLisa.