Thursday, April 2, 2009

MD - Inmate fatally stabbed at city detention center

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04/02/2009

A 26-year-old man awaiting trial on a rape charge was fatally stabbed Thursday morning inside the Baltimore City Detention Center, according to a statement from state prison officials.

The victim was identified as _____, who had been held without bail since August pending trial. The statement from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services says authorities have identified a suspect but charges have not yet been filed.

Officials said the stabbing occurred about 10:45 a.m. in the recreation yard at the East Eager Street complex. The institution is not on lockdown and officials are not yet commenting on what kind of weapon was used or the motive. Details of the charges against _____ were not immediately available.

Corrections officials said that violence has dropped at the jail,that "no serious weapon assaults by detainees on staff" have been reported over the past three years and that other assaults on staff have dropped 71 percent over the past two years. Physical assaults by detainees on other detainees have dropped 18 percent over the same period,and assault with weapons has dropped 52 percent.
- I don't buy it!  Violence in prisons is an everyday occurrance, just ask anybody who has been there!


For teens, a friend online is usually a friend offline, too

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04/02/2009

New research about online and offline friends shows that most teens use the Internet to interact with people they already know rather than strangers who might turn out to be predators.

The 2008 study by University of California researchers asked 251 teens about their face-to-face friends and those they communicate with via social networking and instant messaging. The study will be presented at a meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development, which begins today in Denver. Results of a similar study of college students were published last year in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

Both in-person questionnaires and online surveys were conducted among students in grades 9-12. They included asking them to list the top 10 people they interact with face-to-face, through social networking sites and through instant messages.

For 44%, using social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook had no effect on their relationship with their friends; 43% said it made them closer.

A subset of the adolescents — 126 — also answered online surveys. Of these, only 5% said they had friends known only from the Internet.

Most teens in the study weren't looking to meet people but rather used the Internet to stay in touch with existing friends and make plans, says Stephanie Reich, assistant professor of education at the University of California-Irvine.

"It's possible to have face-to-face friends and go online and talk to people you don't hang out with in school," she says. "It's a chance to have relationships in a different way."

Ongoing studies show that being on a social networking site doesn't create risk for sexual victimization, says David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire-Durham. On Tuesday, the center released a study that found no evidence online predators were stalking or abducting victims based on information posted on social networking sites.

"One of the predominant scenarios typically portrayed by people concerned about social networking sites is that when kids are on the sites, it makes it possible for offenders to harvest their personal information and begin to stalk them," he says.

Finkelhor agrees that most young people don't seek out interaction with strangers.

"If you talk to any young people about why they have social networking sites, it's so they can keep up with friends and have friends keep up with them," he says.

Reich says she and her research colleagues in Los Angeles didn't test whether face-to-face friendships suffer because of the Internet.

It is a question, however, that has gotten lots of attention, says Nancy Baym, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas-Lawrence who began studying online relationships in 1991.

"There's been a fascination about new relationships and trying to pit what happens online against what happens face-to-face. It's never been the case that they are in opposition to one another. It always overlaps," she says. "If you track relationships over time, you can't tell the difference between a relationship that started online and one that began to face-to- face."


For teens, a friend online is usually a friend offline, too

View the article here

04/02/2009

New research about online and offline friends shows that most teens use the Internet to interact with people they already know rather than strangers who might turn out to be predators.

The 2008 study by University of California researchers asked 251 teens about their face-to-face friends and those they communicate with via social networking and instant messaging. The study will be presented at a meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development, which begins today in Denver. Results of a similar study of college students were published last year in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

Both in-person questionnaires and online surveys were conducted among students in grades 9-12. They included asking them to list the top 10 people they interact with face-to-face, through social networking sites and through instant messages.

For 44%, using social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook had no effect on their relationship with their friends; 43% said it made them closer.

A subset of the adolescents — 126 — also answered online surveys. Of these, only 5% said they had friends known only from the Internet.

Most teens in the study weren't looking to meet people but rather used the Internet to stay in touch with existing friends and make plans, says Stephanie Reich, assistant professor of education at the University of California-Irvine.

"It's possible to have face-to-face friends and go online and talk to people you don't hang out with in school," she says. "It's a chance to have relationships in a different way."

Ongoing studies show that being on a social networking site doesn't create risk for sexual victimization, says David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire-Durham. On Tuesday, the center released a study that found no evidence online predators were stalking or abducting victims based on information posted on social networking sites.

"One of the predominant scenarios typically portrayed by people concerned about social networking sites is that when kids are on the sites, it makes it possible for offenders to harvest their personal information and begin to stalk them," he says.

Finkelhor agrees that most young people don't seek out interaction with strangers.

"If you talk to any young people about why they have social networking sites, it's so they can keep up with friends and have friends keep up with them," he says.

Reich says she and her research colleagues in Los Angeles didn't test whether face-to-face friendships suffer because of the Internet.

It is a question, however, that has gotten lots of attention, says Nancy Baym, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas-Lawrence who began studying online relationships in 1991.

"There's been a fascination about new relationships and trying to pit what happens online against what happens face-to-face. It's never been the case that they are in opposition to one another. It always overlaps," she says. "If you track relationships over time, you can't tell the difference between a relationship that started online and one that began to face-to- face."


WI - Apparently it's election time in Wisconsin, and out come the sex offender issues and attack ads (Politics as usual!)

View the article here

04/02/2009

MADISON (AP) - Supreme Court Challenger Randy Koschnick is running a television ad attacking his opponent days before Tuesday's election.

Koschnick's campaign said the ad started running on television Thursday but wouldn't say where. It was seen on television in Milwaukee.

The ad repeats Koschnick's claims that Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has too often ruled in favor of criminal defendants and notes she tried strike down the state's sexual predator law.

Abrahamson's campaign and the liberal group One Wisconsin Now say Koschnick is going back on his promise to run a clean campaign.

Abrahamson has been running television ads that don't mention Koschnick for weeks.


HI - Internet sex law ‘bad’

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04/02/2009

By LILA FUJIMOTO

House member seeks leniency in ‘imaginary crime’

WAILUKU - State Rep. Joe Bertram III (Email) urged leniency Wednesday for a Makawao man who was sentenced for using the Internet to arrange sexual contact with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, saying the defendant shouldn't be sent to prison for an "imaginary crime."

Bertram, a Democrat who represents South Maui, said he was the only representative who voted against changing the law last year to make a 10-year prison term mandatory for someone convicted of first-degree electronic enticement of a child.

"This is a bad law," Bertram said. "It's an imaginary crime. I feel very strongly that people should not be put into prison for an imaginary crime, especially when you have somebody who's so committed to correcting this mistake."

Bertram spoke "in support of my friend," 52-year-old _____.

He was originally charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child after being arrested Nov. 24, 2007, when he went to Maui Mall in Kahului to meet a girl, who actually was an undercover police detective.

_____ arranged the meeting after numerous contacts, including e-mails, a telephone call and a sexual demonstration through a Webcam, police said.

"In his conversations, he talked rather explicitly about the sexual acts he wants to commit with her," said Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Martin. "He acknowledges that what he's doing and what he wants to do is wrong because of her age. But he also acknowledges that that seems to be part of the excitement for him."

Martin said the crime was far from "imaginary."

"He showed up at the Maui Mall that day," Martin said. "To him, this was not imaginary. This was real."

In an October 2007 online chat, _____ talked about how "he had done this before" with a 15-year-old Oahu girl, Martin said.

He recommended a five-year prison term for _____, who had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree electronic enticement of a child.

Noting that _____ had cooperated with police and was undergoing sex offender counseling, defense attorney Cary Virtue asked that a jail term be suspended for _____ and he be ordered to perform community service and pay a fine.

"He's completely ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated," Virtue said. "He's very sorry for the pain he's inflicted on his family."

Bertram was in the courtroom gallery Wednesday along with _____'s wife, mother and therapist. Bertram said he has known _____ for more than 30 years, starting when they worked together at a rental car company.

"He has been an upstanding member of the community," Bertram said. "He has been a good father. He has been an entrepreneur in the community."

Contacted afterward, Bertram said he didn't know if his opinion about the law was shared by _____.

"We can't keep putting people into prison, especially for nonviolent crimes," Bertram said in court. "Maybe it's just best to address this wrong behavior in a therapeutic setting. There may be programs in prison, but they're rare and many folks are trying to get it. We just don't have room in our prison anymore."

Second Circuit Judge Joel August questioned Bertram about his views, asking if he believed children who are contacted by adults in chat rooms aren't being used for sexual purposes.

"What I'm saying is they are surmising that this is what's going to happen, yet they don't know what's going to happen," Bertram said. "These people, once they meet, it could be that they say this isn't going to work. I know they say this online, but it's a whole different thing when people actually meet. There's a big difference between speech and action."

Bertram said there was a perception that Internet enticement of children was a major problem.

"Yet when I asked for statistics, they couldn't provide that to me," Bertram said. "Unfortunately, many of the laws we pass don't always reflect the best policy or scientific evidence. It's more to say we're doing something."

When the judge asked if Bertram thought police should wait to act until a suspect had an actual 14-year-old girl in a car with him and was engaged in sexual contact, Bertram said he didn't like sting operations.

"Sting operations in general, they put out a possibility that something may happen," he said. "You can't predict what somebody's behavior will be."

August ordered _____ to turn himself in today to serve a nine-month jail term as part of five years' probation. He was ordered to have no contact with a minor other than family members and to report his computer activity monthly to his probation officer.

August suspended another three months of jail for _____.


LA - Senate panel OKs Jindal sex offender bills

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04/02/2009

BATON ROUGE — A Louisiana Senate committee approved a package of bills Tuesday that would toughen sentences and regulations for convicted sex offenders.

One measure would raise the minimum jail sentence of one year for molestation of a juvenile to five years. Another would require such convicts to register with the state as sex offenders for life, instead of the current rule requiring registration for 15 years.

The bills are supported by Gov. Bobby Jindal (Contact). A Senate judiciary committee approved them without objection, sending them to the Senate.

Another measure would double the distance a registered sex offender's home must be from a school, playground or day care center. The bill would increase the 1,000-foot distance to 2,000 feet.

Sen. A.G. Crowe (Email), R-Slidell, said that bill might need an amendment so a sex offender who owns a home that sits between 1,000 and 2,000 feet from such a location would have time to sell the property and move to an allowable spot. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jody Amedee, D-Gonzales, said he would consider such a change.
- So, yet another ex post facto law, punishing people after the fact.  Those who owned their homes before this law passes, should be allowed to stay where they are, but, when the government is corrupt, and the Constitution means absolutely nothing, what do you expect!


MO - Ex-jailer indicted in child porn case

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04/02/2009

A former employee of the Laclede County Sheriff's Department has been indicted by a federal grand jury for receiving and possessing child pornography, according to an announcement from Matt J. Whitworth, acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Martin Denson, 44, of Lebanon was charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield yesterday. Denson was employed as a jailer for the Laclede County Sheriff's Department at the time of the alleged offense.

The federal indictment alleges that Denson received child pornography over the Internet on June 24, 2008.

He is also charged with possessing child pornography on that date.

This case was a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, the announcement said.


Wait A Second, You Forgot The Moral Panic

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04/02/2009

from the no-fear-mongering-here dept
A new study is out saying that the number of people arrested for soliciting sex with juveniles (or at least law enforcement posing as juveniles) online leapt fivefold from 2000 to 2006 -- but instead of using the stat to start a moral panic, people behind the study say the sharp increase doesn't signal a growing danger to kids, but rather better enforcement by police. During the same time span, arrests for solicitations of actual children increased 21 percent, from about 500 to about 600. The report's authors say that had the increase in arrests for online solicitation been due to an increase in the number of offenders, the two growth rates would have been more similar. This report goes along with an earlier one from the Berkman Center at Harvard, which found that as internet use has grown, the number of sex offenses against kids has dropped, once again highlighting that much of the moral panic over kids' safety online is overhyped and misplaced.

Carlo Longino is an expert at the Insight Community. To get insight and analysis from Carlo Longino and other experts on challenges your company faces, click here.


NC - GPS Tracking Of Sex Offenders Doesn't Watch Every Move

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03/31/2009

Winston-Salem - Judges are more and more ordering sex offenders to have to wear a GPS monitoring system upon release.

In February, police charged Elbert Jeffries, Jr., after they say he visited a local middle school not once, not twice, but four times. Jeffries is a registered sex offender. He was wearing a GPS device that notifies police of his whereabouts.

A 2 Wants to Know investigation looks into how police actually uses the system.

"This is naturally like a GPS system like you have for your car," Chris Oxendine, Division of Community Corrections.
- Not exactly.  A GPS in a car shows where you are at, in real time, GPS on offenders does not.

But unlike the one in your car, this one has a more critical purpose. Using an ankle bracelet and a transmitter worn like a pager, probation officers can watch a sex offender's every move.
- See highlight below.  There is delays, and probation officers do not sit there 24/7 monitoring people either.  Usually, when they think about it, they have to get on the computer and initiate the upload, so they can see where the offender has been.

The system can alert officers if the subject tries to remove the device or venture too close to prohibited area like a playground or school, though it's just about impossible to do.

"Do we have cases where people despite having a GPS monitor on will re-offend or commit crimes? Does that happen? Oh yes. Probationers can commit crimes while they're on probation. It's the same situation," says Oxendine.

Oxendine admits the GPS tracking does not prevent crime.

Consider the case of Elbert Jeffries, Jr., a 26-year-old convicted of trying to have sex with a 13-year-old girl. A judge sentenced him to 45 days in jail, three years probation and GPS monitoring. In February, police say Jeffries sat outside the downtown middle school in Winston-Salem four different times before they knew he was there, even with the GPS secured to his ankle.

"He might have gotten brave and actually gone inside the school. And there are kids outside the school all the time waiting for family to pick them up. So there was a chance that a child was put at risk. Even your child. My child especially," says Elisa Lark.

Lark has a daughter that attends the school Jeffries visited. She's the exact age of his victim in 2006. Lark was surprised to hear that the GPS was not set up to know where sex offenders were at all times. "I think that might need to be changed."
- Even if someone sits and watches the offender 24/7, it still will not prevent a crime.  If someone is really intent on committing a crime, they will just cut off the GPS, commit the crime, then vanish.  Plus, if you want someone to monitor sex offenders 24/7, then that would take one person per offender, and are you going to pay for all their salaries, and all expenses?

Probation and police do not have the manpower to have someone sit in front of a computer screen all day and watch each particular person. Instead, probation officers just check-up on an offender to see where he has been, and then ask about any suspicious behavior. The hope is the offender will be scared into walking the straight and narrow.

"To me that sounds like it's after the fact. It's too late once you find out he's been somewhere he shouldn't have been and something happened," says Lark.
- So are you going to donate all your hard earned money to pay for people to monitor all these offenders, just so you can "feel safe?"  Like I've said, it won't prevent a crime, they will just cut off the GPS, commit the crime, and vanish!

Too late with regard to convicted rapist Brandon Legrande. Despite wearing a GPS device, Legrande still broke into a house just a year after his release from prison.

And that's not all. Add to that the fact GPS signals can have up to a four-minute delay.

That is plenty of time for a suspect to commit a crime and make their getaway.

A fear Elisa Lark has that GPS can't protect the community from the likes of Elbert Jeffries.
- Well, you are right, it can't protect the community, it's nothing more than a placebo to make you feel like it's working!

"I think that he may be likely to do it again. He has not shown that he can follow the rules."

There is good news, a study by Florida State University found offenders on GPS are 90% less likely to re-offend. The question is what will happen in the remaining 10-percent? Forsyth County currently tracks only three sex offenders via GPS. But that number is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years.
- Even with out GPS, that same amount doesn't re-offend.  Studies prove that, if you'd read them! GPS is just an expensive placebo!

The price tag for the GPS monitoring has been cited in other states as high as 8 dollars a day for each offender.
- And you, the tax payer, are paying for this expensive placebo!


Study: online sexual predators not like popular perception

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04/01/2009

By Julian Sanchez

A new study looks at the changing profile of the online child predator, and tries to separate the legitimate dangers from the bogeymen.

Even as sex crimes against minors decline, a new report (PDF) from the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center released this week found an massive increase in the number of online child predators arrested in undercover sting operations. Despite this, the survey rejects the idea that the Internet is an especially perilous place for minors, and finds that while the nature of online sex crimes against minors changed little between 2000 and 2006, the profile of the offenders has been shifting—and both differ markedly from the popular conception.

Extrapolating from a nationwide survey of law enforcement agencies, the authors estimate that 2006 saw 615 arrests of online child predators in cases involving actual minors as victims (up 21 percent from 2000), and 3,100 arrests in cases where the "child" was actually an undercover law enforcement officer (a whopping 381 percent increase over 2000). During the same time period, the proportion of minors aged 12-17 on the Internet rose from 73 to 93 percent. Those numbers, the authors believe, don't represent an actual increase in the national pervert population, but rather reflect the broader trend over the same period of interactions moving online, combined with more vigorous police sting efforts.

In the vast majority of cases, it's worth noting, the child victims were teens who knowingly went to meet their older interlocutors intending to have sex, which may explain why stings so vastly outnumber actual-victim arrests. Though the victims are too young to legally consent to sex with an adult, relatively few cases involve physical coercion, which makes it likely that many—indeed, quite possibly a majority—don't come to the attention of law enforcement.

Social networking sites, the subject of much angst over online predators, were more or less unknown in 2000, but by 2006 accounted for 33 percent of the initial contacts between (actual) minors and adults in search of illicit sex. While online chat was still the most common medium for indecent proposals, it saw a corresponding drop in popularity—from 80 percent to 40 percent of initial contacts.

But while efforts at protecting kids from predation on those sites often focus on efforts to block registered sex offenders, these represented only a tiny fraction (2-4 percent) of the predators in the survey cases—though about a fifth had a record of some arrest unrelated to sex offenses. Similarly, while parents often worry that pedophiles will use photographs or other personal information on such sites to target kids for stalking or abduction, the authors found no evidence of that occurring. Indeed, all stalking cases the authors discovered involved adults persisting in contacting a minor after the end of (illicit but consensual) face-to-face relationships.

The most pronounced change the study found was in the profile of the adult offenders. The proportion of younger adult offenders, aged 18-25, rose from 23 percent to 40 percent of arrests in cases with actual underage victims, and from 7 percent to 34 percent in undercover police stings. In the former type of case, the authors note, the increase in the absolute number of arrests of young-adult offenders appears to account for the entire increase in that category—no other age group saw similar growth. At the same time, while 40 percent of offenders in 2000 possessed child pornography, only 21 percent did in 2006.

The authors suggest that this may be a consequence of younger adults, who came of age online, being more likely to seek out victims on the Internet than in other venues. Alternatively, it seems possible that the Internet, and in particular the advent of social networking, has simply increased the prevalence of social contacts between teens and college-age adults, who may in turn be more likely to think of each other as peers, even when the law does not. Cutting against that hypothesis is the finding that predators were significantly more likely in 2006 than in 2000 to misrepresent themselves as being teens as well.

Still, the overarching finding is that neither the Internet nor social networking sites pose unusual dangers for minors. As has always been the case, the underaged are most likely to be the victims of sex crimes perpetrated by acquaintances and family members, even if such cases are seldom featured on To Catch a Predator.


PA - Buffalo Twp. Passes Sex Offender Ordinance

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Video is available at the site.

04/01/2009

BUFFALO TWP. (KDKA) - Buffalo Township is the latest area to impose stricter rules on registered sex offenders living in their community.

The ordinance would prohibit convicted sex offenders on Megan's List from living within 1,500 feet of schools, daycare centers, community centers, recreation centers and public parks.
- And how many sex crimes can you tell me, have occurred at or near any of these places?  Where someone lives has nothing to do with if or when they will reoffend.

There are no registered sex offenders living among the 2,100 residents of Buffalo Township. But supervisors as well as residents say they wanted to be proactive.

Allegheny County tried to pass a similar sex offender ordinance but it was overturned by a federal judge because it would force sex offenders to live too far from therapy programs.

If someone violates this new ordinance, they must move within 45 days or face up to a $1,000 fine or jail time.

However, they do have the right to appeal and have a hearing in front of Buffalo Township supervisors.


WI - Is sex offender ordinance working?

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04/01/2009

By Robert Hornacek

GREEN BAY - The signs may say welcome to Green Bay, but for more than two years, that has not applied to sex offenders. A city ordinance bans many sex offenders from living in most of the city

"It's what we call a feel good ordinance. It looks good on paper, we have no sex offenders in our community. That is so false," said Tom Smith, a sex offender specialist with the state Department of Corrections. During a presentation to the city's sex offender residency board, Smith said the ordinance is not working.

In 2007, he says the Department of Corrections referred 14 sex offenders in Brown County to the district attorney for not complying with the sex offender registry. In 2008, the number more than doubled, to 31. So far, in the first three months of 2009, the D-O-C has referred 12 cases.

"How important is it for you to know where these sex offenders are? That's the bottom line. If you want to know where they are, these residency restrictions are not the answer," Smith said.

Alderman Jerry Wiezbiskie says the ordinance should be repealed. "It's really not working. It's sending sex offenders underground," Wiezbiskie said.

Supporters of the ordinance say they're opening to reviewing it to make it better, but they don't want it repealed.
- How do you make it "better" without repealing it?  A bad law, is a bad law, period!

"In my opinion it should stay," said Dean Gerondale, who is a member of the city's sex offender residency board. Since the board was created, 110 sex offenders have applied to live in the city; 69 were approved; 29 were denied; 12 withdrew their request.

"My personal feeling is if we continue to be fair and honest in evaluating the individuals, the ordinance does work," Gerondale said.
- What proof do you have that it works?  I can show you tons of proof, on this blog, that it doesn't work, and so can many other experts, but where is your proof?

Mayor Jim Schmitt said the goal of the ordinance is to keep Green Bay from having a high concentration of sex offenders. "Everything can be improved but do I think the intent is being fulfilled? I do," Schmitt said.
- Yeah, unconstitutionally too!  It's just FORCED EXILE!

But Smith says the sex offenders are here, the state just doesn't know where some of them are.

Several communities in northeastern Wisconsin have adopted sex offenders ordinances. Many communities are creating "safe zones" where sex offenders are not allowed to be, rather than putting specific, wide-ranging restrictions on where they can live.
- And this is a MAJOR problem, IMO.  The towns need to stop making their own laws, and let the STATE make the law.  If you have every single town with their own rules, it becomes a nightmare, especially for sex offenders who are constantly having to move, because of the draconian laws.


FL - Grimm: Sex offenders' exile evokes sympathy

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Tons of good comments at this article.. Check them out! This human rights debacle, needs National attention, so let's start sending emails to all senators, mayors, governors, media and anybody else you can think of. When we do that, it will bring attention to the whole issue of draconian sex offender laws. So don't just sit there and hope it goes a way, start calling, faxing, sending them letters in the mail, emails, etc.

04/01/2009

By FRED GRIMM

Angel Blanco should have been beyond sympathy.

Yet there he was in a scene of utter pathos -- a paralytic in a wheelchair, condemned to the squalor beneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway. "I don't know what's going to happen to me," he said, his face contorted with fear.

He sat under the bridge, his universe confined to the single stretch of dirty concrete over which he could roll his wheelchair. Tents up under the bridge abutment glowed like muted lanterns. His own tent down below had collapsed into a useless heap the night before.

Blanco had been sent to the causeway as the only realistic address in Miami-Dade County for a convicted sex offender fresh out of prison. He had to be carried down there by other residents of that burgeoning, wretched homeless colony.

Angel Blanco's slumping silhouette against the bay waters, gold in the fading sunset, perfectly illustrated the perverse paradox the community has created for itself.

A series of mindless residency restrictions for convicted sex offenders has essentially eliminated any neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County with affordable housing. So here was a repulsive, convicted child molester forced by public policy to live in such appalling conditions that his situation, instead, shames the rest of us.

Blanco, clearly off his meds, let loose with a manic spiel, dripping with paranoia.

"They're trying to kill me," he kept saying.

Not that his paranoia was completely unfounded. He no longer had access to the daily regime of medications he said were necessary to control complications of paralysis (from the waist down), his blood pressure, a heart ailment, anxiety disorder and epilepsy. (I can't vouch for his physical ailments, but the anxiety disorder was on full display.)

Blanco lifted a plastic water jug, half filled with urine, used to empty his catheter. He said his jailers had not provided him with his adult diapers. "They didn't even give me my Pampers."

And now he has been consigned to a public health atrocity, under the Tuttle bridge with no toilet or access to fresh water, with 54 other sex offenders (and more on the way), in a kind of medieval banishment.

A urinary tract infection for someone with the kind of paralysis Blanco described becomes a deadly risk. And that kind of risk makes sending Blanco to live in such conditions under the Tuttle, even with his 1999 conviction, unimaginable for a civilized society.

The Florida Department of Corrections said Wednesday that it had attempted to find a motel room for Blanco in Broward County, but apparently there was no vacancy at the one hotel that fit both his needs and residency requirements.

DOC Secretary Walt McNeil issued a statement insisting, "under no circumstances do probation officers with the Florida Department of Corrections send offenders under our supervision to reside under the Julia Tuttle Bridge."
- And that is a flat out lie!  There have been MANY news articles with probation/parole officers stating they do send offenders to the bridge, he's just covering his a--!

Except the sex offenders insist that parole officers warned them they have no other option in Miami-Dade County but the Tuttle. The proof lies in a dank, crowded, unsanitary, stinking, subterranean camp. No one would reside there voluntarily.

Angel Blanco kept insisting, "They're trying to kill me."

An appalling man had been condemned to rot in appalling conditions. I wasn't so sure he was wrong.