Arkansas’ parole board wants to bar convicted sex offenders under parole supervision from using the Internet. The board postponed a vote while the state Attorney General studies whether the idea is constitutional, reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Kim Knoll of the Department of Community Correction said offenders frequently use the Internet to download child pornography and communicate with children.
Under the proposal, all sex offenders would initially be barred from accessing the Internet, but they could request permission to use it for a specific purpose, such as for work. The Association of Paroling Authorities International is surveying states on their policies. Criminal-defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig of Little Rock called the proposal “ill-considered, particularly since so much of life and commerce and everything else like that has gone to the Internet.” In Louisiana, a federal judge ruled unconstitutional a law prohibiting certain types of sex offenders from using social networking sites, chat rooms, and peer-to-peer networks.