September 16, 2014

Sex offender house surprises Norwich

9-16-2014 Connecticut:

Four men living in Broad Street home in program backed by state

Norwich - The recent discovery of a two-family home on Broad Street housing serious sex offenders released from prison has rekindled a controversy that first emerged last summer, with residents and city officials complaining that the city is being unfairly targeted by state programs.

The house at 152 Broad St., purchased by West Hartford business Homemax LLC in April, houses four sex offenders with convictions ranging from first-degree to third-degree sexual assault. The house is run by REACH - Reentry Assisted Community Housing - a state subsidized housing program managed by Middetown-based Connection Inc., which also runs the controversial sex offender treatment center at the Corrigan Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville.

Two of the convicts are on parole, while two are on probation, state Sen. Cathy Osten told the City Council Monday as part of a report updating aldermen on state statistics involving housing of sex offenders in Norwich. She said none of them were released from the January Center, the sex offender treatment program, which was the source of a controversy last summer regarding a similar contracted apartment house in Greeneville.

Under the REACH program, the current tenants might live there up to six months, but other tenants in the REACH program could replace them.

"There are four violent sex offenders living within eight feet of my house," Brian Curtin, the Norwich treasurer and former alderman, told the City Council on Monday, "living in a family neighborhood."

Curtin said there is a school bus stop with 15 children in front of his house. He pleaded with the council not to let the state "sugarcoat" the arrangement.

"This is a public disgrace that this is allowed," Curtin said, "for as far as I'm concerned the predator is the state." ..Continued.. by Claire Bessette

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