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Saturday, December 15, 2007

For Florida Sex Offenders, It's Under the Bridge or Back to Jail

Posted By on Sat, Dec 15, 2007 at 9:12 PM

And you thought Ohio was strange: By passing legislation that prohibits convicted sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, Miami and Dade County have basically made the entire county off-limits for the ex-cons. So the state's set up a special place for them -- under a bridge. From the Miami New Times story:
In March, New Times revealed the Florida Department of Corrections was housing sex offenders under an overpass near the county courthouse; the state responded by moving the men here. The reason: A 2005 county ordinance prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of any school, so nearly the entire county has become off-limits to them. The story was picked up by national media outlets, and for a few weeks the bridge was a source of widespread disbelief. Statements were made, resolutions were passed, letters were sent — but nothing changed. Since then, much to the relief of local politicians, no doubt, the situation seems to have quietly faded from public memory. But the numbers kept growing. More than 30 men have been sent to live here in the intervening months. A few have since left — the majority of them arrested for minor violations of probation, two or three were able to move out, and two have disappeared. But most — as of press time, at least 20 — remain under the bridge, even though many have families willing to house them. Everyone agrees the situation under the Julia Tuttle has become untenable, but so far neither local politicians, nor the courts, nor the state legislature have been willing to do anything about it.
Is it just me, or does this sound like sound like something Ohio would do? -- Joe P. Tone

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