In recent posts, we’ve discussed some of the restrictions imposed upon convicted sex offenders in Florida. These issues impact an offender’s ability to rehabilitate back into society in areas of employment, community and privacy.
For example, although prospective employers may have limits as to the inquiries they can make about an applicant’s criminal background, an exception often exists in the case of sex crimes. In addition to registering with the national database of sex offenders, there may be residency restrictions imposed by municipal governments.
Today’s story is about a possibly unanticipated result of community residency restrictions against sex offenders: a Florida community of 100 male sex offenders, called Miracle Village. The village is located in South Florida, near Pahokee and Lake Okeechobee, on just 24 acres. In that small space, released sex offenders occupy about 65 dwellings left from an abandoned sugar-company town. An evangelical pastor established the village in 2009.
According to one resident, the village was the last step before homelessness, as he was barred from residing in many nearby towns. Yet a director of a Christian ministry that oversees about a dozen of the homes in the village reports that the town is fairly quiet, with nothing controversial about it — except for the criminal records of its residents.
Due to the serious consequences that will likely result from a sex crime conviction, anyone facing such charges should prepare an aggressive defense with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Every area of evidence should be examined, from investigative techniques, witness statements, DNA evidence, to warrant requirements.
Source: sun-sentinel.com, “Sex offender village grows out of residency restrictions,” Ben Wolford, March 22, 2013