August 23, 2013
Contact: Gail Colletta
Lake Monroe, FL— August 23, 2013.
Miami Sex Offender Encampment Grows to 80 Transient
There are over 80 registered sex offenders currently registered as transient, living within feet of the railroad tracks at NW 71st Street and 36th Court in Miami.
The Florida Action Committee sent a letter to the head of the Circuit Administrator for the State’s Department of Corrections, Maria DiBernado, asking what will be done about the growing encampment.
A copy of the letter is below:
Dear Ms. DiBernado:
As you are aware, an encampment of sex offenders has developed in the above-referenced area. At present, the FDLE registry shows approximately 75 individuals registered as transient there.
These people sleep alongside the railroad tracks within feet of passing trains. They are forced to urinate and defecate in bushes across the tracks, as there is no alternative.
A majority came to that location because they were displaced from homes at the River Park Trailer Park or surrounding area within the past few weeks as a consequence of the County’s harsh sex offender ordinance.
Some have spouses and children. Most have families or other stable living situations they could arrange if not for the residency restrictions.
Setting aside the question of whether forcing people into homelessness facilitates the goals of supervision and the fact that studies have shown that housing instability is consistently and strongly associated with criminal recidivism and absconding, our community is in a situation where dozens of human beings were thrown to the streets for no new crime other than being on a list of second-class citizens.
The Florida Action Committee (FAC) is not a law firm. We will leave the legality of this situation to those qualified. We are, however, an advocacy group comprised of concerned citizens and professionals who seek to promote the prevention of sexual abuse while preserving the safety and dignity of all citizens.
Over the past several weeks we have been contacted by individuals displaced and their family members. They have described to us the inhumane conditions at the encampment. That they were ordered to move from their homes with less than a week’s notice. That many were originally directed to River Park and then forced out, as was the case in Shorecrest and the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
We implore you to speak with experts in the field of sex offender management, read the well- documented studies on recidivism rates amongst this population and the effects of housing instability and transience. We then hope that you will work with legislators and municipal administrators to come up with a solution to this serious and growing problem.
As to the immediate problem; the County or State should, at minimum, provide a safer field, warehouse or portable toilets to accommodate these individuals in the interim.
Kindly let us know what is being done with respect to this situation in both the short-term and long-term.
Florida Action Committee (FAC), founded in 2006, is a state-wide consortium of concerned citizens and professionals whose purpose is to promote the prevention of sexual abuse while preserving the safety and dignity of all citizens through carefully structured laws targeting the truly violent, forced, and/or dangerous predatory acts of sex. FAC believes that many aspects of the current approach to sex offenders seriously undermine justice and actually increase the threat of sexual assault against others, particularly children. FAC opposes a publicized registry of sex offenders and seeks to bring an end to the humiliation of people who have already paid for their crimes. FAC asserts that only by supporting justice for all people—offenders and victims alike can a truly safe society be built and secured for all Americans.