Three major South Florida news outlets covered the pending eviction of 270 individuals from a homeless sex offender encampment, tucked away in a warehouse district in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
The stories featured Ron Book, chair of the County’s Homeless Trust, visiting the camp with “information and resources” to “help” these people find housing in light of the extremely harsh “residency restrictions” imposed on sex offenders in Miami-Dade.
What the stories omit, is the reason why they are there in the first place. Four years ago, many were living in a trailer park a couple miles away, when Ron Book’s Homeless Trust contacted the corrections department to let them know that a previously unlisted “school” was within 2500 feet of the trailer park. In one fail swoop, they were evicted and told to live by the tracks.
In case you are wondering… Yes, it’s the same Ron Book. The same guy that caused these individuals to become homeless is the guy Miami-Dade has charged with “helping” them find housing. What the stories only glaze over is the fact that, lobbyist Ron Book is the one that got the restrictive exclusion zone passed in the first place. In fact, the “Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance” is named after his daughter. Again… Yes, it’s the same Ron Book!
What the stories also glaze over is that Ron Book (you guessed it) spearheaded a practically identical effort almost 10 years ago, when sex offenders were evicted from under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. And then again from Shorecrest. What’s the saying…. “fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…”? Aren’t we now developing “Bookville IV”?
What the stories completely fail to mention is that the same Ron Book, the person in charge of “helping” these sex offenders, has publicly spoken before the legislature calling them “monsters” and testified to completely bogus statistics, such as “one hundred percent will re-offend” (when it’s commonly accepted that the recidivism rate is very low). Miami-Dade’s effort to solve this problem is like appointing David Duke to end slavery of African Americans.
Miami-Dade politicians must be idiotic to designate Ron Book as the person charged to fix this problem for now the fourth time. But then again, they are the ones who passed this stupid law in the first place. A law that designates an exclusion zone around schools between 10PM and 6AM… presumably to “protect” children who attend night classes!
One of the articles quotes Book as saying, “They can blame me all they want. I’ve never shied away from my work to make our community and our state and our country safer so that what happened to my daughter, doesn’t happen to them.”
Lauren Book, for years, was sexually abused by the family nanny. A horrible tragedy that should not have happened to her nor to anyone. But registration would not have prevented her abuse, as the nanny was not on any registry (in fact, 95% of sexual offenses are committed by someone NOT on the registry) and a residency restriction would not have prevented it either (in her case, the abuse took place inside the home by an abuser brought in by Ron Book… and yes, it’s the same Ron Book).
Over a decade of studies have proven residency restrictions do not work. In fact, that they are counter-productive. Ron Book’s ordinance, has left Miami-Dade County with a decade of messes (literally) to clean up. The county is currently embroiled in a lawsuit over the ordinance. Countless resources are being invested into an ineffective law instead of going towards prevention or investigation of actual crimes.
All because of the vengeance of one man.