The backstory behind how the men have now ended up living on Hialeah train tracks only illustrates the absurdity of the restrictions.

By April 2010, the county had closed the Julia Tuttle encampment, while Book's organization, the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, used $1 million in public money to find six months of housing for the offenders. Those funds were intended to bridge the men into normalized society: employment, sustainable housing, a new life. Soon, however, the money ran out, and many offenders, still unable to find housing or jobs, were back on the streets.

Others discovered a mobile home community near the Miami River called River Park that seemed to be legal housing. Dozens settled in. But then, last summer, Book's Homeless Trust dispatched a note to Miami-Dade Police, telling them there was a school nearby. "The trailer park houses sex offenders," Elizabeth Regalado, an assistant director at the trust, wrote in an email. "It is infested with crime and criminal activity due to prostitution and drugs."

Andre Moss and dozens of other sex offenders have lived beside the train tracks since June 17, 2011.
Terrence McCoy
Andre Moss and dozens of other sex offenders have lived beside the train tracks since June 17, 2011.
The offenders set up tents on the pavement or sleep on lawn chairs under a warehouse awning.
Terrence McCoy
The offenders set up tents on the pavement or sleep on lawn chairs under a warehouse awning.

At first, according to emails, both police and probation officers thought the offenders at the park were grandfathered in. Plus, many believed evicting the sex offenders wouldn't make kids any safer. "The prostitution and drugs will continue at the park even if the sex offenders leave," one cop wrote. "And there has not been one incident with a sex offender targeting" the kids nearby.

More troubling, there didn't appear to be any place where the offenders could go. "Having to tell irate individuals that they must move once again because a particular site was now labeled a school will make the situation difficult," Lt. Dillian Robin lamented in another internal email.

But such concerns weren't enough to stop the eviction. On September 17, police notified dozens of sex offenders living there that they had to move. The men who were still under parole say they were taken to the train tracks at the intersection of NW 71st Street and NW 36th Court — one of few locations left that satisfies the draconian restrictions. Others simply disappeared. "Sexual predators understand how to work around the law," a police memo noted.

Andre Moss witnessed the influx of predators to the train tracks. In 2007, he was picked up for cocaine possession and given a DNA swab. According to court documents, his DNA years later matched the saliva found on boxers owned by a 17-year-old who'd told police a man had performed fellatio on him at a Liberty City laundromat in 2006. Four years later, Moss was convicted of sexual activity with a minor and spent 16 months in jail.

When he got out, he says, his probation officer gave him "a few weeks" to find housing that was beyond 2,500 feet from a school, but he couldn't.

"That's when they told me about these train tracks and I had to live on the street," he says. That realization crushed his family. "I don't understand what happened," his mother, Gail Moss, wrote the court in October 2011. "Is this what the system is all about? Not helping anyone, by banning him from his family?"

Once at the train tracks, Moss met Kenneth Rozier. The tall 27-year-old with gold-plated teeth had also just arrived after serving time for lascivious battery on a child. In 2005, Rozier, who was then 21, "implied he had a gun and would shoot" a 15-year-old girl if she didn't have sex with him, according to Miami-Dade Police. (Rozier claims the teen was his girlfriend and the sex was consensual.)

Rozier soon found himself wishing he was still incarcerated. "When I was in prison, I had somewhere to sleep, a roof, food. Out here, I don't have any of that. I have to pee in a cup at night. I don't have anywhere to sleep. People crap in the bushes. Most nights I wish I was still locked up."

In those early days, Moss and Rozier say, there were only a dozen offenders living at the train tracks. But last September, droves suddenly arrived with nowhere else to go. They'd all come from River Park after the eviction.

Today the offenders have melted into a new, unhappy life. "They threw us out," explains one fast-talking man who declined to give his name. "Where in the hell was I going to find someplace to stay in one week knowing our status? We ended up running to any place we could find, and it was here."

"Don't we have the right to make ourselves better?" another asks. "How can we do that if every time we try, they close the door on us?"

Around midnight on a recent ­Tuesday, the men settle on the concrete of the parking lot to sleep and don't rustle again until 5:45 the next morning. In the darkness before dawn, a dozen offenders wearily yet hurriedly take down their tents. They say the manager of the nearby warehouse threatened to kick them off his property if they made a mess, and no one wants to endure another move.

A frazzle-haired man gargles some water, takes a swig of cafecito, and schleps his tent back into the bushes before climbing into the bed of a white pickup.

At the strike of 6, offenders take off on bike and foot while watching the white Ford pull away, taillights dissolving into the pale morning light.

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91 comments
pachrismith1
pachrismith1

Everyone who comments should search on line for the Broward County Board of Commissioners S_x Offender and S_x Predator Residence Task Force: "Final Report; S_xual Offender & S_xual Predator Residence Task Force" August 25, 2009.  Lauren Book, Ron Book's daughter that was abused by her Nanny, sat on that board and has no excuse to not know the evidence behind it's findings, and neither does Ron Book.  His malevolent willful ignorance and refusal to accept fact endangers Florida.

This isn't about sympathy for s_x offenders, it's about protecting children.  Just read the report from the task force, and read the roster of members - these aren't sympathizers. The California S_x Offender Management Board - a state agency - has it's report on homelessness available for online reading or download.  The Colorado S_x Offender Management Board also makes it's "Colorado Living Arrangements . . ." available on line. The 2007 Kansas S_x Offender Policy Board report recommended, and the legislature implemented a permanent moratorium on local establishment of residency restrictions.  Patty Wetterling, mother of Jacob Wetterling and certainly can't be accused of being a sympathizer, posted a clear statement against residency restrictions because evidence has shown they increase the likelihood of recidivism.  Her statement is available on the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center website.


shellystow
shellystow

No, Dean, they have the very lowest rate of re-offense with the exception of murderers. Very few who have had a sexual offense and are living in the community will commit another offense. Those who are returned to prison are almost always because of parole or registry violations. People are on the registry who had one offense 30 years ago. Rather than dreaming of another offense, they are planning how to keep a job and a stable home and support their children and families. I know many such individuals.


Many victims, just like victims of any traumatic and tragic event, recover and go on to live normal lives. I have personal evidence of that. Many victims, yes, need support and counseling to reach that point. But most reach it. Ethical counseling and help groups stress healing and empowerment, not remaining victims indefinitely. I know many women who laugh at the idea that they are scarred for life or serving a life sentence as a screwed up person. Some of them are some of the strongest women I know, and many of them are involved in support of others who need it, both victims and repentant offenders. Since they are often in the same family, this works toward family reunification where it is desired by all involved, and it works toward restorative justice.


Peace to you.

Dean Stelmach
Dean Stelmach

Sex offenders have the very highest rate of recidivism. They're almost a sure thing for a repeat offense and their victims usually serve a life sentence as a screwed up person. The vast majority of the offenders are dreaming of the day they can do it again and I don't care if their life is hard while they plan their next offense.

Bridget Doyle
Bridget Doyle

There are other ways the county can spend their money, maybe on people who didn't serve time for fucking kids, or the like. I don't feel that bad for them, should there be a different system? Sure. Figure that out. And as for the writer, you sound personally butthurt over this, and it was nauseating.

Renzo A. Gonzales
Renzo A. Gonzales

Thats one shit state of affairs and tbe county knows and is not doing a thing about it. Granted, not the most popular of groups to lend a helping hand to, but if they r not in jail and cant b with their families, then sleeping under a bridge or on train tracks is just gonna make them even worse human beings.

Manuel Moreno
Manuel Moreno

The miscreant that wrote this should probably join them. I don't give a crap about sex offenders. Man up and deal with it!

Mike Casey
Mike Casey

Boohoo the fucking sex offenders can't find any place to live, cry me a fucking river

Vanessa Ortiz
Vanessa Ortiz

this is awful. these people do have a right to improve their lives and make better choices, for not just their betterment but for that of overall society, and them living in a homeless camp of people straight out of prison definitely doesnt put them in the mindset or emotional state to do that. for sure, what they did could be awful, but does that mean we want a train-track stretch of sex predators who then may disappear from record entirely just to go wherever? derrrrp.

itsonlyonedubai
itsonlyonedubai

Hey my last idea,just ship em to Guantanamo bay,Cuba nobodys gonna hire em anyway,the u.s can do a food drop by air once a month,lol

itsonlyonedubai
itsonlyonedubai

They are what they are sex offenders,and if the cop is just riding around in his cruiser on his cell phone like a lot of them do why not have a couple of Dade cops house them far off on a old city owned building I said make these guys pay they panhandel then have them pay for the lights at the nite shelter,not us we work and pay enough taxes I'm with you guys on this but want these guys out of good residential areas with kids,just looking for a solution,we need those tourist to keep comming to help Miami,s economy not. These crazed sex offenders scaring away the tourist.do you guys want property taxes and food to keep going up.

itsonlyonedubai
itsonlyonedubai

Hey just an idea,get em out of the city I don't sympathise with them no way,just looking for a way to remove them from the inner city so our kids are safe waiting for their school buses.

Annette La Ley-Ley
Annette La Ley-Ley

The writer seems to really sympathize with them. I don't need public money to help them. Use public money to help homeless children. 1 million dollars to give them temporary housing for 6 months??? Ridiculous.

Annmarie Fino
Annmarie Fino

Sex offenders ARE murderers. Soul Murder is a crime, and we font punish it harsh enough. If you dont like "who" or "how" someone gets labeled as a sex offender THEN FIGHT TO CHANGE THAT. To ask the law to lighten up simply because some of them aren't "real" sexual offenders is stupid.

Rafael Alberto III
Rafael Alberto III

Marie, if a 15 year old boy sends a picture of his genitals to his 16 year old girlfriend he will be marked as a sex offender if that is brought to police.

itsonlyonedubai
itsonlyonedubai

The city has got to have an old building out by the eveglades to house these guys,make it a night shelter,but with a cost to a/c and heat if need be,200 person limit have Miami Dade assign a cop there each night 10 pm to 8 am have a lock box bolted to the wall have each guy drop a buck in ,have all-star bring a port a potty for their bathroom that has a pad lock to lock during. Day hours have some rules,like no talking its a nite shelter,must report to get in by 1030pm,u leave u can't return,everybody must exit the building at 6am and lock the place up until 10pm.bags are subjected to search,tell them its for saftey reasons.it can be done.

Marie Annoual
Marie Annoual

Well...dont sexually assault children and you wont have to go through this...

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

And yet, murderers can live among us with no problems

Cari Garcia
Cari Garcia

Train tracks > under the Julia Tuttle Causeway

joeb104
joeb104

Try being a productive citizen instead of what you are. No fn sympathy.

miss4588
miss4588

Here's a novel idea. Don't rape anybody. Don't sexually assault anybody. See how simple this is. American retards.

rockdelmar
rockdelmar

there are about 50 sex offenders that live within the 2500 feet of a park (it's called "Pocket Park" on NE 10th ave) . . . Who should be monitoring this??? 

Rudy101
Rudy101

The most ridiculous and dangerous aspect of a democracy is everyone has an opinion about THOSE people.  


The most important aspect of ANY and ALL free societies, is the idea that everyone is an individual before the law.  This basic and fundemental system of checks and balances (legislative determinations being checked by impartial judical rulings) is so fundemental to a free society that the use of the legislature to control, regulate, banish, isolate a person from the community has been deemed illegal.  


WHY?  Why can't legislatures set up comprehensive police States around people the legislature defines?  


Because then there becomes an argument (that is not rational) andt is political, that does the outcome of homelessness of a particular law outweighs a public safety benefit?


WHO are the ONLY people equipped to answer that?  


It is a court of law.  


The courts refuse to put the question into this form of does harm outweigh benefit.  


In other words, there is a sacrifice of being "an individual before the law" by applying a law with a known outcome of homelessness, that is left to politics for the reasoning behind it.    


Fundemantally, society can't have laws that cause harm.  It's not a political argument.  It is for a rational fact finder to determine.  You all won't allow that.  It is the legal cover needed not to register.


val03
val03

Oh and perhaps Mr. Andre Moss should be taken to the tarmac and put on a plane Back to Haiti?? justa thought.

RodTemple
RodTemple

Florida has proven that they are nothing but a criminal regime that deserves all the disrespect that they get. If they cared about preventing sex crimes, they would eliminate their "sex offender" harassment laws completely. But they don't. What they care about is making stupid, lazy, hateful people feel better. Oh well, too bad for Florida, I'm sure they are paying for it.


And yet after all of the stupidity of the immoral un-Americans who support the Sex Offender Registries, they are still too weak to get the rest of their Registries created. Good Americans are in a civil war with Registry supporters.

Chgo Dave
Chgo Dave

shoot em in the effin head be done with them !

pachrismith1
pachrismith1

Florida Review of The S_xually Violent Predator Program, 23 September 2013: 4.6%.

USDOJ "Recidivism of S_x Offenders Released From Prisons in 1994: 5.3% of 9,691, including 3.3% of child molesters.  Most frequent quote: "S_x offenders were four times more likely to be arrested for a new s_x crime." Least observed statistic:  87% of the study group (including 262,420 non-s_x offenders) who were arrested for a s_x crime were non-s_x offenders.

California S_x Offender Management Board recidivism report available on web site: 3.55% for new s_x crime, 4.57% for non-s_x felony, 35.48% for technical violations of parole (most would not be a crime if not on parole like miss a meeting with parole officer).

Look and you'll find more states reporting similar numbers. Or you can remain willfully ignorant.

One report claimed 89%, but analysis revealed that every one of the subjects had been referred as a dangerous predator to his psychiatric treatment facility. Some 50% were already recidivists when they entered the study, and anyone who had not been arrested for any crime after 15 years and therefore did not have an active police file was dropped from the study.  One reviewer observed that it was remarkable, given the study methodology, that they did not have a 100% rate.

The USDOJ Center for S_x Offender Management report on recidivism claims 52%, but a careful reading of the referenced report reveals the authors caution that their study did not apply to all offenders because, like the 89% report, these were a very small minority that were referred for psychiatric evaluation.

Under-reporting:  The very report that everyone references said that the reason 59% of those who did not report gave was that it wasn't important enough, and that an accidental brush on the buttocks in a crowded place was counted as an unwanted sexual contact.  

The Iowa County Attorneys Association (prosecutors) suggested that reporting had decreased after residency restrictions because families did not want to be subject to those restrictions when the family remained intact - which happens far more frequently than you might think.

And making their life difficult and causing disruption in housing and employment is conclusively identified as a leading cause for recidivism.  There is no empirical support for your claims.

RodTemple
RodTemple

Dean Stelmach is a liar. What he said is so well known to be false that he is not just "wrong" or "mistaken", he is a liar.

sieandme
sieandme

"Sex offenders have the very highest rate of recidivism."


Sex offenders as a class have the lowest recidivism rates.


"victims usually serve a life sentence as a screwed up person."


Interesting statement. The data also reveals that the "Vast majority of offenders" where victims of sexual abuse.

RodTemple
RodTemple

Big government does not have to spend money on those people but it can at least stop harassing them and stop enabling and promoting everyone else harassing them. That's it. When they are on probation or parole, have people supervise them one-on-one. After that, mind your own business and stop harassing other people.

RodTemple
RodTemple

How about instead that big government stop harassing them? And stop enabling and promoting for other people to harass them as well. When people wage war against people like this they deserve it when the people strike back.

sieandme
sieandme

The Does also urge that we recognize a fundamental right “to live where you want.”


This ambitious articulation of a proposed unenumerated right calls to mind the Supreme Court’s caution that we should proceed with restraint in the area of substantive due process, because “by extending constitutional protection to an asserted right or liberty interest, we, to a great extent, place the matter outside the arena of public debate and legislative action.”


and the Does have not developed any argument that the right to “live where you want” is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, or “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” such that “neither liberty nor justice would exist if it were sacrificed.”


The argument here is not whether or not a residency restriction is an acceptable "PUNISHMENT" or whether the sex offender lost the "RIGHT" (like losing the RIGHT to vote, own a fire arm, or to sit on a jury) to live where he wants. The question is whether such a "RIGHT", exists in the first place.  So manuel, let me ask you, Do you have the "RIGHT" to live where you want?


IMHO, both liberty and Justice where sacrificed here as the Courts allow the States to "Experiment" with our Civil liberties.





pachrismith1
pachrismith1

California S_x Offender Management Board said "common sense says we can't be safer when we don't know where these people are." As in when they are homeless.  I would tell you to go on line, find their site, read the member list and see they are not likely sympathizers, and read their report on homelessness.  But that would take common sense which, by their estimation, you are not encumbered by.

RodTemple
RodTemple

I hope you enjoy paying for big government but I doubt that you pay much in taxes. Don't complain about your big governments. Shut up and pay.

RodTemple
RodTemple

@itsonlyonedubai  They don't need to be hired. They will do what many oppressed groups do - rise above it and attack their attackers. They will be the people who are hiring and exploiting you folks. It's a war.

RodTemple
RodTemple

Yeah, your big government is kind of stupid. All they really need to do is stop harassing them.

RodTemple
RodTemple

I think Americans simply think that government is too big and should probably stop harassing people just for fun.


But if your Sex Offender Registries are so wonderful, where are the rest of them? We all know why they don't exist.

RodTemple
RodTemple

@rockdelmar Absolutely no one should be monitoring it.  It is idiotic.


Florida should get rid of their idiotic, worse-than-worthless banishment laws and public safety would instantly increase exponentially. It would also result in all of these make-believe problems going away.


If Florida does not do that, I really do hope that these people being harassed into homelessness start murdering people. That would be sweet.


val03
val03

You do crack me up Rudy..Its Un-American to NOT Injest criminal alien sex offenders ? Jesus Rudy one day when you grow up and wear your big boy pants you will realize that embracing and accomadating illegals who use our citizens as a sexual buffet table and are allowed to remain, is squeezing YOUR NUTS also. You sex offenders never can seem to take that one to a completed thought.

val03
val03

Whats funny "Rod" is your opinion that Florida gives a damn what a level three thinks about its laws..thats ok you keep hating Florida, its one less offender we can live without. You pervs crack me up..

RodTemple
RodTemple

That is what should be done to you, I agree.

RodTemple
RodTemple

Ha ha ha, speaking of "stupid, lazy, hateful", @valu03 is the poster child for all the stupidity.


I agree with idiot @val03 that it doesn't matter at all what I think of Florida or they or anyone else of me, Florida is suffering because of themselves regardless. They are the ones who are paying. They will continue to pay because they are certainly not getting any smarter. Too bad, so sad for them.

 
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