On the banks of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida sits an isolated community of small, squat houses. About 150 residents, nearly all of them single men, make up this enclave, known as Miracle Village, and they all share one thing in common: They are all convicted sex offenders.
Founded in 2009 by minister Dick Witherow, the village is an attempt to ease the difficult and stringent regulations placed on those who were convicted of sex crimes, such as curfews and restrictions on internet use and where they can live. It was also an effort to introduce religious tenets into their daily life.
Some see it as a triumph in understanding, while others think it is dangerous and delusional.
Sofia Valiente, a young photographer from the area, spent three months living in the village, documenting its residents and their community. What she discovered changed her mind about sex offenders forever, and she hopes her work will pass on the same message. Her book of the work, titled "Miracle Village," can be purchased here. ... ... ..A complete series of pics of the village....