August 7, 2013

Evicted Miami-Dade Sex Offenders are Homeless by Railroad Tracks

8-7-2013 Florida:

LAKE MONROE -- Following international media attention that brought embarrassment to the State of Florida, the County of Miami-Dade shut down the Julia Tuttle Sex Offender Camp in 2010. For years prior, sex offenders were sent to live under the bridge because it was one of the few remaining pockets of land within Miami-Dade County where this population could live in light of residency restriction ordinances.

Their expulsion from under the Julia Tuttle overpass caused over 120 inhabitants to scramble for another place they could lawfully live.

Some moved to the Shorecrest area of Miami. In 2012, however, when the population swelled to over 100 registrants within a few blocks and more than 2 dozen homeless registrants sleeping in a field became an unsightly nuisance, they needed a way to move them into someone else’s community.

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff came up with the idea to stick a spring toy in an unkempt lot and call it a “pocket park”, closing off Shorecrest to sex offenders.

Others moved from the Julia Tuttle Bridge to the area along NW 27th Avenue, which is mostly occupied by trailer parks. Last week, however, the County announced that a school (actually, an emergency shelter which went undetected for years as a school) was within 2500 feet and another 100 registrants were given one week to leave the area.

It seems that whenever Miami-Dade pushes its sex offenders into a new cluster, the community finds a creative and convenient way to expel them. Many have families and friends with whom they could live if not for the ordinances preventing them from living anywhere. Even for the ones who committed offenses decades ago or who are non-contact, first time offenders; it simply doesn’t matter. They will be registered and subjected to housing instability for life.

The Florida Action Committee reported last week that more homeless sex offenders were coming to Miami- Dade and we now know where they wound up. As of this morning there are about 60 transient sex offenders registered to the corner of 71st Street and NW 36th Court, alongside railroad tracks in a warehouse district. Many who are being thrown out of the trailers and tiny apartments, in which they lived until this week, now have no realistic alternative other than to camp out as transients under inhumane conditions for no new crime.

That is until, of course, the County decides that the area alongside the railroad tracks needs a pocket park. by Press Release from FAC

Contact: Gail Colletta

No comments: