Thursday, May 21, 2009

Under the Bridge

I know nobody wants to have sex offenders living in their neighborhoods. That's been the impetus restrictions on sex offenders living within x feet of schools, churches, parks, and the like. This leads to problems (maybe unintended) in that (a) these folks aren't going to be in prison forever and need to live somewhere and (b) regulations make it increasingly difficult for them to actually live anywhere. It's a recipe for marginalization, recidivism, and other problems that nobody really wants to deal with.

At the extreme, those restrictions lead to situations like this one, in Miami (via SL&P):

In Miami, a causeway in the middle of Biscayne Bay has become home to one of the county's least desirable populations: sex offenders.

What began a few years ago as a stopgap solution has become de facto public policy. For sex offenders with few resources who want to stay in Miami, there's just one option: an encampment of tents and shacks on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
This isn't something happening under the radar, either. Probation officers drop recently released defenders off at the camp on a regular basis. There's got to be a better way.

At least they're not living in a van down by the river.

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