From PROTECT, the National Association to Protect Children:
Miami’s Julia Tuttle Causeway fiasco–where about 70 “registered” sex offenders have been herded under a bridge to live–is being challenged in court by the ACLU.
PROTECT wrote about the situation earlier this year (See “Gimmicks Gone Wild,” March, 2009 Newswire), calling it a “cynical game of sex offender dumping.” The New York Times reports today that Miami probation officers are telling released sex offenders to go join the encampment, because there are virtually no area rental apartments to be had that don’t violate local residency restriction ordinances for “registered” sex offenders.
Miami area officials, like those in many jurisdictions around the country, are passing the ordinances in a desperate gesture to keep released sex offenders away from children.
The New York Times reports that Florida Governor Charlie Crist “placed the responsibility [for monitoring released offenders] squarely on local governments.”
As long as state politicians continue to peddle sex offender “registration” schemes as a low-cost alternative to incarceration and intensive probation and parole, local authorities will continue to fall back on ineffective zoning ordinances and highway bridges as their main public safety strategy.