10-25-2014 Florida, National:
On the outskirts of Florida's Miami-Dade County, dozens of individuals formerly convicted of sexual offenses live as exiles on an abandoned strip of land near a railroad track. The area has no shelter from the elements, no running water, and no bathrooms. The most fortunate inhabitants of this makeshift encampment sleep in cars or in tents. Others make do with a tarp or anything else that passes as cover. Each night brings new threats of violence, malnutrition, and disease.
The images are disturbingly reminiscent of scenes from nearly a decade ago, when a collection of over 100 former sexual offenders formed a similar camp under a bridge spanning the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Local officials scattered that Skid Row sometime in 2010, following a barrage of condemnation by the public.
Like the people under the bridge, the people by the tracks did not simply fall into these tragic circumstances. They were shoved.
Miami-Dade County has forced them and hundreds more into homelessness with an ordinance that prohibits those convicted of certain sexual offenses from living within 2,500 feet – nearly half a mile – of a school. The ordinance has kept many of the inhabitants from living with family or loved ones who could offer shelter, and it has made it extraordinarily difficult to find affordable housing in the mostly urban county. More importantly, the ordinance creates the very conditions that undermine its stated rationale of public safety.
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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Thursday, October 9, 2014
From Free-Range Kids:
Readers, this comes to us from Tiffany, who calls herself “a nomadic mom of 11 & 12 year old Free-Range boys traveling the USA via RV.” How cool is that?
Dear Free-Range Kids:The idea that predators are out and about with their “prey” all the time, sauntering around town, is one of the most bizarre and pernicious of our era. Last night I had dinner with Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn (which I HIIIIIIGHLY recommend) and he told me about the time he’d taught his daughter how to bike and then was putting the bike back in the car to drive them back home. An onlooker mistook him for…well, see above.
My late father’s occupation, and love, was teaching mobility to blind students. He was employed by the school district and taught blind, k-12 students how to move about in the community. The “classroom” consisted of busy intersections, the mall, the post office, and many other places. He had been doing the work for 35 years and had seen society change so much.
During the last 10 years of his career (1997-2007) he prepared himself for police calls, when “vigilant” neighbors would see a man outside with a child during school hours. Police would show up, question my dad and the child, and them send them on their way. He carried his credentials with him. Once, the police told him that a call had come in about a “child predator” that had been seen with different children in the neighborhood (the neighborhood near one of the schools where the majority of district blind students attended).
The last two years of his career, the district pushed my dad to move all of the “lessons” to the school campuses. This was so frustrating, because you cannot recreate busy intersections and shopping on a campus.
The parents of the blind students often offered to pay my dad to work with their child during off hours so he could truly teach the kids to navigate the world. Another note, not once did the other teacher, a woman, get stopped by police when out with a student. So, my dad was seen as a “predator” just for being male as well.
Really, at first my dad wasn’t bothered by the calls because he appreciated people “caring enough” about the kids to question it. It did wear him down though. I recall his frustration over being presumed guilty simply because he was a man with a child.
We have de-normalized the idea of men interacting with kids except to kidnap and rape them. That’s perverted. – L ..Source..
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The final chapter in the story of a man wrongly convicted of raping a College of William and Mary student 36 years ago may be written in Williamsburg Circuit Court in the next day or two.
In 2010, DNA proved Bennett S. Barbour innocent of the Feb. 7, 1978, rape that sent the then-22-year-old newlywed to prison for 4½ years, ending his marriage and staining his name.
Barbour was exonerated in 2012 and died of cancer in 2013 at age 57. In one of the case’s many twists, he was able to vote for the first and last time in his life in 2012 thanks to help from a former governor who is now himself a felon.
The same DNA testing that cleared Barbour implicated James Moses Glass Jr., 58, a convicted rapist set to be tried starting today on abduction, rape and firearm charges for the attack on the then 19-year-old woman in an off-campus apartment.