Thursday, September 3, 2009

ARC RADIO - *Special Guest* Peter Cummings

Hosted by: RealityUSA

Title: *Special Guest* Peter Cummings

Time: 09/02/2009 09:30 PM EDT

Episode Notes: Please join us SEPT 2ND, as we here at American's Reality Check (ARC) welcome Special Guest Peter Cummings. Peter E. Cumming is an Associate Professor of Children's Literature and Culture in the Department of Humanities at York University, Toronto, Canada. Below is information from Peter's faculty Website (www.yorku.ca/laps/) in relation to a conference paper he presented about teen "sexting" and the response it has generated. Conference Paper About Teen "Sexting" (May 26, 2009)

On May 26, 2009, as part of a panel on Youth, Sexuality, and Technology, a joint session by the Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (ARCYP) and the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE), at the 78th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, I delivered a paper, "Children's Rights, Children's Voices, Children's Technology, Children's Sexuality." The paper has received considerable legitimate media attention, but it has also "gone viral" around the Internet and so around the world. Unfortunately, in doing so, many of my ideas have been taken out of context and misrepresented .

A conference paper, in my opinion, is a "test drive" of ideas, an opportunity to encourage public discussion, debate, and even disagreement. It is in that spirit I presented this paper. While I have met many wonderful, caring, thoughtful people from various walks of life--lawyers and workers in children's justice and rights, law enforcement officers, social networking workers, activists working on behalf of children--through the rapid spreading of my arguments through various media (newspapers, radio, and television) and the Internet, selective readings of parts of my conference paper have led to violent and abusive reactions from some quarters. This has ranged from a questioning of my motivations to ridiculing of the name my parents gave me to personal attacks. Rather than engage in civil discourse, some parties have chosen to make public and private ad hominem attacks.

For people interested in vital issues related to youth, sexuality, and technology, I am making available here the complete conference paper as presented in Ottawa--so that people can respond based on more complete knowledge than is available in press releases, interviews, and wire copy. Although I prefaced my presentation by indicating that "children's voices" were not in the presentation as I had originally planned and hoped, the written copy of the paper below is a full and accurate reflection of the presentation I made.

All I would ask of anyone downloading this paper is that they leave it complete, including my name, and that they link to the article here if wanting to refer the article to others. (I would like, for example, to post a complete bibliography with the paper as soon as possible.) Download "Children's Rights, Children's Technology, Children's Sexuality."





"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


FL - Sex Offenders Live in Village Under Miami Bridge

View the article here
Watch the full story on "Nightline" TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET.

09/03/2009

By JEFFREY KOFMAN

Strict Local Ordinance Requires Offenders to Stay 2,500 Feet Away From Schools, Leaving Few Other Affordable Options

In sunny Miami, many condos might not be worth a million dollars anymore, but the views still are. Zip across the causeways that connect the mainland to Miami Beach and it's as if you're leaving your troubles behind.

That is, unless you happen to be cruising along the Julia Tuttle Causeway and you slow down enough to look at the side of the road, where a tent community has formed along the water's edge.

No, it's not an adventurous form of urban camping or a recession-fueled shantytown. Instead, there is a distinctly permanent feeling to this scruffy encampment. And it's clear many of its residents don't want anything to do with inquisitive reporters.

That's because these residents are pariahs. They are sex offenders, a makeshift colony of outcasts who have set up camp under this overpass only as a last resort. When we visited there were 71 men living under and around the bridge.

One of the few men here willing to talk is Homer Barkley, 43, whose seemingly harmless appearance is at odds with the fact that he is a convicted sex offender: In 1992, he was sent to prison for 10 years for the attempted sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl.

Barkley is no fan of his waterfront home.

"It's not a million-dollar view to me," he said. "It's a shame on Miami."

Barkley arrived at the causeway after his release from prison in January 2008.

"When I got to the probation officer, he also told me I had to live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. He also told me that I had to go to the drivers license place to put it on my driver's license," Barkley said, offering as proof his state ID with the bridge listed as his official residence.

"As if this is a residence. This is not my home address," he said. "My home is in Liberty City [a Miami neighborhood.] But I can't live there based on the ordinance."

Under the bridge, you hear a lot of talk about "the ordinance."

That's a reference to the residency restrictions Miami Dade County implemented in 2005, barring registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools. On top of that, state law creates a 1,000-foot buffer around schools, parks and playgrounds, and for offenders on parole, school bus stops.
- Yeah, and they could resolve most of this problem by repealing the county 2,500 foot law and sticking with the state 1,000 foot law.  But Ron's HUGE ego will not allow for that.

There are also 24 cities within the county that have their own residency restrictions for sex offenders that often overlap the state and county rules.

Sex Offenders Live Without Walls, Running Water or Electricity

In a densely-populated area like Miami Dade County, that doesn't leave too many options. As a result of the ordinances, much of the county is now covered by overlapping circles of no-go zones. About all that's left are some million-dollar neighborhoods, industrial parks and the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
- And yet, below, Ron Book says they have plenty of places they can legally stay, and also, he's been trying to find the places to stay, and even he is having a hard time.  Now, he is pushing the offenders into other poor communities, who are angry at him for doing so (see here).

Needless to say, the causeway has little to recommend it as a home, other than a waterfront view.

First, there's the noise.

"It's like bumblebees. Bumblebees and flies in your head," Barkley said as he points to the bridge over his head with the incessant of cars and trucks zipping to and from Miami Beach.

Even worse is the stench, a suffocating cocktail of sewage, urine and trash. There is no sanitation or running water here, and flies buzz over piles of accumulating garbage.

Some residents are required to wear electronic ankle bracelets at all times to monitor their whereabouts, and must return to the causeway every night. Any violation could send them back to jail. To keep their monitors charged the residents have brought in generators.

"When I got to the probation officer, they put this box on my ankle," said Barkley pointing to the black bracelet affixed to his ankle and the monitoring box he must wear whenever he leaves the bridge. "This box is like a tracking device. So they tell me that I have to be here from 6 o'clock p.m. to 7 o'clock in the morning."

Like many of the offenders, Barkley said he sees little difference between his current situation and his previous incarceration.

"I went to prison for all those years, and I'm still here. All I want is my life back. I deserve a second chance at life," he said. "People don't have a heart. They don't have a conscience."

Ron Book is a man who believes he has a heart and a conscience. The multimillionaire Florida lobbyist is the architect of Miami-Dade's harsh sexual predator laws. For Book, this has been a personal crusade.

Eight years ago, he learned that the nanny he and his wife had hired to care for their children was physically and sexually abusing their daughter. The nanny went to jail, and Book went to work pushing Florida's politicians to make pariahs of all sexual offenders.
- And this proves what many have said.  Most sex crimes occur in the victims own home by family members or close friends.  The lady who did this, was NOT on a registry, yet the abuse still happened.  Ron says in one breath "The residency restrictions and registry would not have protected his daughter," yet in another breath he says it would have prevented it.  Like most politicians, he says what he thinks people want to hear. See his interview by Americans Reality Check below.

It worked.

And while he acknowledges the problems the laws have created, he stands by them.

"I personally believe that residency restrictions have value and importance," he said. "Nobody said that someone exiting the prison system after committing a sexually deviant act on a child has a right to dictate where they live."
- But why not?  All other criminals are given that "right," and the constitution does not say you can dictate further punishment on them after they've done their time either.  This is an ex post facto violation without due process of law.

'I Sleep Very Comfortably at Night Knowing That We Have Made Our Community Safer,' Says Man Behind the Law

For Book, it is a personal crusade.

"I have a different perspective than many people," he said, tearing up as he recounted his daughter's experience at the hands of her abuser. "I sleep very comfortably at night knowing that we have made our community safer."

Although there is no conclusive evidence that the community is safer because of the harsh laws.

Miami Dade County Commissioner Pepe Diaz sleeps well at night, too, knowing that he helped his county pass some of the toughest sexual offender laws in the country.
- Hell, why don't you just make a law stating they cannot live in the county period?  Might as well.

"At no time am I going to apologize for the law that I helped to create. That law has saved, to me, in my opinion, the innocence of a lot of children," he said.
- Well, that is your opinion, which is not based on facts, only feelings!

Still, Diaz will tell you he's not proud of the camp on the causeway.

"That is not a way to live for anybody. And also, in the midst of one of our bridges that goes through our main tourist areas in Miami Beach," he said.
- And that is the problem.  They don't care if you live under a bridge out in the everglades or somewhere else out of site, but when it's in plain site, then it's a problem for these hypocrites.

But he has no interest in changing the law, insisting that "there are sufficient places where these men can live legally in the county."
- Then why are you having problems finding them places to stay?  And also moving some out, using stimulus money, to move them into poor sections of towns?  You are just pushing the problem out of your hands, directly into someone else's hands.

Diaz's assertion contradicts a study of available affordable housing for sex offenders in Miami Dade County, released this week by the American Civil Liberties Union (Contact). According to the study, in the entire county, just 15 units were available to sex offenders at a rent of less than $1,000 a month. Meanwhile, not a single unit under $750 qualified.
- And when you are homeless and jobless, that means those are out as well.

In an ironic twist, Ron Book -- the same man who pushed for the laws that forced predators under the bridge -- is also chairman of the Miami Dade Homeless Trust, and is in charge of finding them proper homes.

During "Nightline's" visit, Book talked to Barkley about his quest to find a more suitable home, but the housing Book was hoping for won't suit Barkley, who is stymied by that ankle bracelet, which requires him to stay 1,000 feet away from any school bus stop.

When Book asked him about his time in prison, Barkley was particularly defiant.

"OK, I was sentenced to 10 years followed by five years of probation," he said. "And my question is, 17 years later, I'm still punished."

ACLU Mounts Legal Challenge

Book said he knows some people think his two roles -- the man who helped create the village under the bridge, and the man given the job of solving the problem -- are irreconcilable.

"I wear these two hats," Book said. "I wear this hat advocating for laws that I believe protect children. I wear this hat, solver of homeless problems in our community." With legal pressure mounting, the makeshift community may not be around much longer. The ACLU has filed a motion in circuit court asking that the local ordinances be invalidated and just the state 1,000-foot law be allowed to stand.
- But advocating for laws you "believe" protect children, and laws that actually do protect children, are not the same thing.  I don't like dealing in "feelings" and "beliefs," but facts!

But Book and Diaz, his partner on the county commission, said they believe the ordinance should stand.

"Look, I've not been bashful about my feelings about people who commit offenses against children," Book said. "I have referred to them as monsters. Everyone under the bridge knows that."

Barkley said he, like his fellow causeway residents, has done his time and is being punished excessively.

"I am not a monster. I'm a human being," Barkley said. "I got family like you got family. ... I don't deserve this. Regardless of what a person did, everyone deserves a second chance at life. If you felt like these guys did something so gross, then you should have sentenced them to life. You don't just cast them out. It's just not right."

Video Link



"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


POLAND - Poland looking to broaden wiretap laws

View the article here

09/02/2009

WARSAW (UPI) -- Poland's Ministry of Interior and Administration is moving toward broadening wiretap authority, the draft of a new bill says.

If the government accepts the bill, police will be able to tap criminals even accused of minor offenses, Poland Radio reported.

Existing wiretap laws allow surveillance only if police suspect a person of a serious offenses, such as murder, terrorism, corruption and drug dealing. The proposed bill would allow police to tap phone lines, search computers and read personal letters, e-mails and text messages of rapists, pimps, pedophiles and those who have child and animal pornography as well as environmental polluters, stock exchange cheats, people who reveal state secrets and hooligans.

Increased police powers could be in place in a few months, Poland Radio said.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


CA - Sex-Registry Flaws Stand Out

View the article here

09/03/2009

By RYAN KNUTSON and JUSTIN SCHECK

The case of Phillip Garrido, who allegedly held Jaycee Dugard in his backyard for 18 years despite monthly law-enforcement visits, is forcing California officials to acknowledge a fundamental problem with the state's sex-offender registry: The list keeps expanding, while the number of officials who monitor sex offenders has grown at a much slower rate.

There are now so many people on the registry it's difficult for law enforcement to effectively track them all, and "it's more helpful for law enforcement to know...who the highest-risk offenders are," said Janet Neeley, a deputy California attorney general and member of the state's sex offender board.

A December study of roughly 20,000 registered sex offenders on parole in California found 9% posed a "high risk" of reoffending, and 29% posed a "moderate-high" to "high" risk, said Ms. Neeley. But law-enforcement officials and academics say vast resources are spent monitoring nonviolent offenders rather than keeping closer tabs on more-dangerous ones.

California's sex-offender registry has ballooned to more than 90,000 people now from about 45,000 in 1994, according to the California attorney general's office. Not only has the number of law-enforcement officers failed to keep pace, but recent state budget cuts have forced some local agencies to cut officers assigned to sex offenders, according to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, for example, said funding cuts have forced it to field only five officers dedicated to tracking sex offenders in the county, down from eight officers five years ago.

Last year, California's Sex Offender Management Board criticized the system as it stands in a 225-page assessment, highlighting failures in the collection and analysis of data on sex offenders. It's "difficult if not impossible" to track the effectiveness of registry laws, the report said.

Mr. Garrido, who allegedly kidnapped the 11-year-old girl in 1991, was considered high-risk because of a 1977 conviction for rape and kidnapping. But he received about the same number of visits from officers at his Antioch, Calif., home as the 200 or so other sex offenders in Antioch and adjacent Pittsburg, said the Contra Costa County Sheriff, even though many weren't convicted of violent offenses. During dozens of visits to Mr. Garrido's home, authorities never found the tents and shacks hidden behind a backyard fence.

The growing sex-offender list can dilute the amount of attention on the most dangerous offenders, said Nora Demleitner, the dean of Hofstra University Law School who studies sentencing. Some sex offenders "tend to be not dangerous at all," she said. "You have them register as sex offenders, so when you're law enforcement, all these people look the same. If you had much more focused sex-offender laws, maybe they would have been bothered to go into the shack" in Mr. Garrido's back yard."

California has been trying to sharpen its focus, but federal and state laws passed in 2006 offer conflicting rules for monitoring sex offenders, Ms. Neeley said.

Under its law, California has chosen to use a program called Static 99, which categorizes sex offenders based on their likelihood to reoffend. To predict risk, it looks at things like the nature of the crime, the offender's relationship with the victim and whether the offender has been able to form long-term intimate relationships. But the system hasn't been introduced by most local jurisdictions for those convicted before 2007.

Provisions in the federal Adam Walsh Act aim to move monitoring in the opposite direction, so that it's based solely on an offender's type of conviction, not on a complex assessment of risk.

That's problematic, said Jill Levenson, an associate professor at Lynn University in Florida who studies sex-offender registries, since it "overestimates risk for most people, and underestimates risk for people who pleaded down," or struck plea deals by admitting to lower-level crimes.

Now, the state Sex Offender Management Board is recommending that California forgo some federal funds and not adopt the law, which would add to the number of crimes requiring registration.

"There is no available evidence to indicate that expanding California's list of registerable crimes would promote public safety," the board wrote in a recommendation, noting the federal law would create at least $32 million in costs to the attorney general's office and law-enforcement agencies without improving the system.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


Kabul U.S. Embassy Guard: Sexual Deviancy Required for Promotion

View the article here

So put them all on the sex offender registry for life!

09/02/2009

By BRIAN ROSS, RHONDA SCHWARTZ and KIRIT RADIA

Whistleblower Says Bosses Required Sex Acts for Guards Seeking Best shift, Promotion

Private security guards at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul were pressured to participate in naked pool parties and perform sex acts to gain promotions or assignment to preferable shifts, according to one of 12 guards who have gone public with their complaints.

Click here to see the slideshow.

In an interview with ABC News for broadcast tonight on the "World News with Charles Gibson," the guard, a U.S. military veteran, said top supervisors of the ArmorGroup were not only aware of the "deviant sexual acts" but helped to organize them.

"It was mostly the young guys fresh from the military who were told they had to participate," said the guard, who talked on a phone hook-up arranged by the Project on Government Oversight, which first revealed photographs of the parties.

"They were not gay but they knew what it took to get promoted," said the guard, spoke on condition that ABC News not publish his name.

The State Department said it was investigating the allegations and the circumstances surrounding the photographs which show naked and barely clothed men fondling one another. The guard who spoke with ABC News said the drunken parties had been held regularly for at least a year and a half.

The State Department renewed its contract with ArmorGroup to provide security at the Kabul embassy last month even though there have been a series of complaints about its performance.

In June 2007, the State Department warned "the security of the US embassy in Kabul is in jeopardy" because of "deficiencies" on the part of ArmorGroup.

Similar complaints were raised at a Senate hearing in June 2009 by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Sam Brinkley, vice-president of the ArmorGroup's corporate parent Wackenhut Services, defended the company's performance in Kabul.

"We are a guard company that prides itself in doing missions well," Brinkley testified.

Wackenhut did not immediately return requests for comment.

Naked Photos at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

The photographs of the naked parties all involve one of four shifts assigned to the embassy, Charlie Shift, according to the guard who spoke with ABC News.

He said other shifts tried to complain about the activities but were ignored by officials from corporate headquarters who visited Kabul.

"It was demeaning, it was humiliating and that was the whole point of it all," the guard said.




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


NC - DNA exonerates a second Forsyth inmate

View the article here

Oh, and Jane Velez-Mitchell says she's never heard of a false rape accusation. Well, here is one of the MANY to prove she is full of it, or very ignorant. More can be found here.

09/03/2009

By MANDY LOCKE

Six years after the Darryl Hunt case, _____ is cleared of raping two girls in 1991.

WINSTON-SALEM -- While _____ grew older in prison, forensic science grew more sophisticated, enough to prove the truth he'd been telling since 1991.

_____ walked out of jail Wednesday, 14 years after a jury found that he raped two teenage sisters in the early morning darkness as they dressed for school. He swore his innocence from the day police found him, which, at the time, sounded like hot air from a man who had seen plenty of trouble on the streets of Winston-Salem.

On Wednesday, new DNA tests on long-kept evidence proved that an unidentified man had violated the girls.

"We're here today not because of any wrongdoing by any one person," David Hall, a Forsyth County assistant district attorney, told the judge. "We're here because of the inexact science long ago. Science has marched on over the years."

_____ is the seventh man in North Carolina exonerated by DNA evidence years after being sentenced. Nationally, he joins 241 men exonerated by more sophisticated testing of DNA; three quarters of them, like _____, had been wrongly identified by witnesses. An untold number of others never had the chance to prove their innocence because evidence from the crime was destroyed long before the state passed laws requiring that the pieces be kept forever.

As these things go, _____, 49, was lucky. He was convicted in Forsyth County, where the exoneration of another man had weighed on the conscience of the district attorney.

Darryl Hunt was freed in 2003 after serving 18 years for the rape and murder of a Winston-Salem woman. His innocence was a sucker punch for Forsyth County District Attorney Tom Keith.

"We did not want another Darryl Hunt case," Keith said. "I couldn't take it."

Keith wanted to sleep through the night not wondering whether his office had banished other innocent men to prison. In 2005, his office compiled a list of every suspect from Forsyth County in prison -- 2,247 total. Keith mailed each a letter, advising the inmates that if they thought a new DNA test would help prove a claim of innocence, he'd make the test happen.

Only 150 inmates took him up on the offer. Of those, 80 were reviewed by the local bar association and students at Wake Forest University Law School, who looked for cases that had evidence that could be tested. Only _____'s case resulted in exoneration.

_____ appealed directly to the N.C. Center for Actual Innocence, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping prisoners who believe they were wrongly convicted. In 2008, Christine Mumma, the center's director, solicited the help of Keith and the Winston-Salem police department to look for any shred of evidence remaining in _____'s case.

In one of the department's six warehouses, Winston-Salem Capt. David Clayton hit pay dirt: the girls' two rape kit exams, undisturbed since the day the state lab sent them back with a report saying it couldn't get a positive read. Clayton immediately drove them to a state lab for more testing. The kits were eventually sent to a private lab for more sophisticated work.

A logical suspect

In 1995, _____'s conviction made sense. He'd been in trouble with the law before; he had even been charged in another sex crime years before. The girls, 15 and 13 at the time of the crime, knew him, and said, with certainty, that he was the man who snuck into their house and raped them at knife-point. They saw paint on his shoes and pant-legs; _____ had been working as a painter.

_____ always swore his innocence. His family believed him and never thought a jury would convict him.

"We all knew he didn't do it," his brother _____ said Wednesday. "It hurt to watch that fall upon him."

A hulking man in a beige dress shirt and glasses, _____ wept as a judge granted his freedom. _____ hung his head and shook with sobs; Mumma rubbed his arm.

The judge offered an apology. _____ nodded.

When _____ finally spoke, he did not rant against the system that wronged him. Instead, he focused on the girls violated by someone years before.

"I pray for those two young victims every day," _____ told a judge. "I hope they catch the one who did this because these two young girls are still the victims of this awful crime."

_____ plans to do that. On Wednesday, a judge signed an order allowing $5,000 to pay for more DNA tests at a private lab, where they hope to decipher the signature of the real rapist.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


FL - Trailer park is a dumping ground of convenience

View the article here
See this article as well

You see, Ron Book is solving nothing. He is just shuffling offenders around, and moving offenders into poor towns, and using stimulus money. I bet the tax payers of Florida would be very ticked off about this. Ron Book, like I said, protecting the image of Miami by pushing the problem off to someone else. He paid for one months rent, so in one month, it will probably be the same problem.

09/03/2009

By FRED GRIMM

Mobile homes, I guess.

Though the term seems woefully inadequate for the decades-old cramped metal structures along the narrow lanes of the River Park trailer community, so decrepit and so beset with jerry-rigged repairs, sagging awnings and plywood additions, that they hardly resemble their original incarnations. A row of tiny, sad, stucco cottages that lined the southern perimeter seems no more substantial.

I'm not sure what to call the little community at 2260 NW 27th Avenue -- other than wretched.

"We're poor," said Johnny Tapia. "Why else would they put them here?"

"Them" refers to sex offenders whose housing options have been so severely limited by local residency restrictions that they were forced to find refuge under the Julia Tuttle. The big news Wednesday was that the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, using federal stimulus dollars, was finally finding some legal housing for homeless offenders.

River Park residents were a little stunned to learn that their little trailer community just outside the Miami city limits was among the solutions to the causeway conundrum. A fluke of geography left River Park as one of the few legal addresses available for sex offenders.

SO CLOSE

If the trailer park had been across the street, on the east side of NW 27th Avenue, the city of Miami's prohibitions against residency within 2,500 feet of a park would have kicked in. River Park's located about 1,500 feet from Miami River Rapids Park.

Instead, the vagaries of Miami-Dade's insane hodgepodge of residency restrictions created this little residential pocket, jammed among warehouses, way off the Tuttle. And the clustering effect has begun. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement tracking website indicated nine sex offenders were residing at 2260 NW 27th Avenue. One relocated offender told me that the Homeless Trust paid his first month's $400 rent and put up the deposit. He said the trust was helping other Tuttle dwellers find their way to River Park.

KIDS ALL OVER

"But I've got nieces and nephews living here," said Johnny Tapia, 24. "Kids run all over this trailer park."

The woman manning the park office insisted that the FDLE website was wrong.

"No. They can't put sex offenders here," she insisted. "This place is full of children."

Indeed, until a burst of rain sent them scattering, pre-school children, most of them from immigrant families, played amid the tiny trailers. In 2001, the Herald covered a county commissioner's Christmas charity visit to River Park and described more than 100 children clamoring for gifts.

"Why won't they let them live with the rich kids," asked Juan Oliva, 22.

"Let them live in the efficiencies behind their mansions."

`WE'LL KILL THEM'

These poor trailer folk just can't grasp the complex logic at play here. After driving sex offenders out of Miami and Miami Beach and Coral Gables and other cities, and creating the Tuttle homeless camp, something had to be done. But instead of rescinding the ill-considered city and county ordinances, purportedly passed to protect children, local leaders would rather spend public money and herd sex offenders into a trailer park packed with children. Just not very important children.

"We'll kill them," said Oliva. "You got to know that was the plan from the beginning."


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved