Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Under the Bridge

Posted by Maggie on February 6, 2008

If you keep up with sex-offender news, you have probably heard about the group of sex offenders living under a bridge in Florida because they have nowhere else to go. They’re a classic situation showing what the problem is with residency restrictions. If the offenders are a danger, then having them under a bridge isn’t making anyone safer. And if they’re not, it’s beyond cruel.

Now Florida is trying to get them to move. A spokesperson claims that if they want to “push them” to find a better home. This comment confuses me. Do they think these people want to live under a bridge? Do they think anything but necessity drove them there?

The thing that really gets me is that the State seems to be making no efforts to assist these men in finding housing. I would imagine that if they want them housed they would make efforts to do so, but they seem to expect them to do it on their on. Which I’m sure is terribly easy when no one will hire you for a job with a sex offense on your record.

A few offenders have already left, but already there’s one whose whereabouts are unknown. Worse, when similar efforts were made to get offenders out from a bridge in Fort Lauderdale, it’s reported some of the men ended up camping in the Everglades instead. Doesn’t look like they’re really getting the job done.

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