Is there something wrong with Florida?

Some very disturbing stories come out of Florida. I’m wondering why they don’t build some half-way houses or something. It sounds like they’re working, but simply can’t find suitable housing that fits the legal parameters:

This doesn’t stop them from being near children at all; it just forces them to live under the viaduct. As far as I can tell, they’re not on any sort of monitoring system. I don’t get it.


While the article says that Miami-Dade has some of the most restrictive regulations in the country regarding where convicted sex offenders can live, i’m sure you could find people in similar situations elsewhere.

It’s a perfect solution for cities that are too lazy or too selfish to actually deal with the fraught issue of where released sex offenders should live. Pass a law that effectively prevents convicted sex offenders from living anywhere in your city, and the predictable result is that they will move elsewhere. Problem solved, and you can wipe your hands of the matter.

NIMBYism perfected.

Of course, you get some who end up living under a bridge, but putting up with a few of them is a small price to pay for shoving the rest off onto some other community.

Generally speaking, things can get a bit confusing here because, IMHO, we’re so multicultural we don’t really know what kind of state we are. We’ve got Cracker families that have been here since before the Civil War, and Yankees who have been flooding into the state ever since electricity and air conditioning became widely available in the '60s, and Miami-Dade is 55% Latino, but all kinds of Latino, plus the Haitians, etc., and then the importance of tourism and partying and Spring Break colors everything. It’s no coincidence this is a “purple” state electorally.

Well there’s this:

Thats monitoring…no?

IMHO - they don’t want to live under the bridge? Move. Bye, Bye…go somewhere where you are a little more tolerated. I don’t want my kids anywhere near a convicted sex offender. NO way.

But the rest of the time, they’re free to be around children. Most kids are home and in bed during the hours the offenders are under the viaduct. It’s when the kids are potentially unsupervised that the offenders are, too. How is that helping the situation?

And tell me…where are sex offenders going to go where they’d be “welcome?” Or more tolerated?

That is pretty fucked up… the state is actually forcing them to live under a bridge? At first I thought that the guys chose to live there, or that maybe the state had set up some temporary housing or trailers or something, but as far as I can tell, these guys are just sleeping on the ground under a bridge. No electricity, no water, and they are required to stay in this location from 10pm to 6am. :confused: How can it be that the state is allowing this?

It’s not. That’s why the county is making them stay under the viaduct. Eventually they will grow intolerant of living with rats, [or maybe they’ll grab a jar a vasoline] and move out.

I’m not sure how this correlates to child molesters. Can you elaborate?

I don’t understand the vasoline comment.

The point I’m making is that this set-up isn’t doing anything to protect the kids. The offenders are allowed to be away from the viaduct during the hours that kids don’t have anyone to protect them. Do you see where the logic falls apart?

Did you read the article? Since the area is so dense, there is hardly anywhere they can live that is not within 2,500 feet of kids. One guy had an apartment but was forced to move because of a nearby pool.

I wouldn’t want my kids near sex offenders either, but we can’t make rules that are so restrictive that these offenders can’t find a place to live, and then expect them to live under a bridge, on the dirt.

I agree. This set-up doesn’t do anything to protect the kids, or to help rehabilitate the offenders. They need to be getting their lives together, and working and becoming productive law-abiding citizens, and having to live under a bridge doesn’t do anything to help them along this path.

Sort of, but it is like cognitive dissonance, I think the county is trying to get these people to move out of the heavily populated areas…they could care less where, but just out. The problem is that it could backfire…

Unfortunately you are wrong, and that is exactly what the county is doing…they are making rules that are so restrictive that these guys are forced to live under a bridge in the dirt. Right or wrong that is what is happening.

Again, my guess is that the county is hoping they will move.

Uh huh. I live in the dumping grounds for Los Angeles and San Bernardino county RSOs (FTR, I live in the same area as an ex-Doper RSO who was the center of board controversy not so long ago). There are a dozen within ten miles of me and I am rural. There are 62 RSOs in my zip code; if you expand it to include my whole general area, there are over 200 RSOs. Great solution: let’s take child molesters and dump them somewhere out of sight and mind, where they can network with each other. That’ll be great. :rolleyes:

But hey. At least they aren’t in nice communities elsewhere.

I live in the outlying burbs of Chicago and we have a dozen in my sleepy little town and hundreds in the area. Our registry also lets you know if the crimes were against young children, teens, or adults, as well as whether or not the guy (or woman) is compliant.

Exactly whose’s kids do you want them near?

I do not necessarily agree with what the county is doing, I was commenting on what they are doing. Right or Wrong they are making the RSO’s stay under that bridge. And FTR, I am unquestionably against them living next door to me, and would put up a HUGE stink if it were to happen. My family has been on the receiving end of what bad things can happen with a supposedly rehabilitated sex offender.

Non obvisouly. But this isn’t a perfect world is it? I’d wish for better rehabilitation programs, stiffer parole boards, and better monitoring. For starters.

Of course, another problem with residency regulations for RSOs is that, in some jurisdictions, they make no distinction between the violent, dangerous predators and people who got arrested for dicky waving or 18-year-old-on-17-year-old statutory rape.

Georgia is working on similar laws to be in effect state-wide. I believe the law was passed last year but is currently under a judicial hold. One of the provisions is that offenders (any sex offender. No distinction if you were charged with peeing in the bushes.) cannot live within 2500 feet of any place children gather. So of course schools and churches are out, as well as day care centers and…school bus stops. I don’t know very many neighborhoods that don’t have bus stops. One guy here in Columbus was going to be forced to move from the nursing home he lived in because there was a bus stop near it.

One of the things they are fighting over about the law now is how something is designated a “bus stop” - do the local school boards make the decision? Does the state decide? Another issue that is being considered is to exempt the very elderly or disabled from enforcement.

A local law enforcement officer here was quoted as saying (paraphrased) “I think it’s stupid. These people have to live somewhere, and a lot of them are living with their parents who keep a close eye on them. If they all have to move who-knows-where it is going to be a lot harder for us to keep track of them.” He was also concerned about enforcement - who’s going to do all the measuring?

I don’t have kids, and maybe I would feel different if I did. I honestly feel this type of law is cruel and unusual punishment. If you want sex offenders to pay for the rest of their lives, spell that out in the law they are convicted under. But to release someone after they have “paid their debt” and then tell them - “oh, but you can’t live in a city or anywhere you possibly might be able to get a job”. Some of these guys have families - what are they supposed to do?

Part of my frustration with the system is that there is no differentation made between someone who got drunk at a outdoor concert and got caught pissing in the bushes and the guy who committed unspeakable crimes against a child.

I can totally understand why parents would be in favor of this law. If I had kids I probably would be, too. It just seems inhumane to me. Setting them up to fail again.