Lawsuit Targets Alabama Law on Sex Offender Housing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A federal lawsuit filed in Birmingham claims a state law is violating the rights of convicted sex offenders who are poor.

The suit filed earlier this month contends Alabama's Community Notification Act has resulted in poor people convicted of sex crimes remaining in prison too long. The suit says it's happening because needy prisoners can't provide a valid address where they plan to live after their release.

The suit was filed on behalf of three men who claim they can't find a place to live because of their finances.

An assistant state attorney general says courts have upheld the law. He says judges have ruled that the state has a compelling interest to protect the public from convicted sex offenders, and part of that is knowing where they live.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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