|Bookville, coming to a town near you!|
By Lidia Dinkova
Some residents of North Bay Village are worried about sex offenders wandering into town from across a bridge to the west.
North Bay Village is one bridge away from the Shorecrest street camp to which sex offenders report at night — and that proximity concerns a handful of residents of the three-island city.
“It bothers me,” said Eva Exposito, 67. “They are sex offenders. They can bother kids. If I had my grandkids here or they were nearby, I would be up in arms.”
Since the media reported about a month ago that sex offenders had set up camp on a sidewalk along Northeast 79th Street and 10th Avenue, North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps has received about a half-dozen calls from concerned residents who fear that the sex offenders will wander into the city.
|Zombie Sex Offenders Roaming Our Streets!|
The issue of where sex offenders need to be at night, and their living on the street, stems from a Miami-Dade County ordinance that dictates it is illegal for them to live within 2,500 feet of schools. An ordinance prohibits sex offenders from coming into a park where a child or teen younger than 16 years old is present. The only exception is for a sex offender who is the parent or legal guardian of a child in the park. The same rule applies for child-care facilities.
- This is where the are forced, by state laws, to sleep AT NIGHT when most kids should be in bed!
The Miami Herald has reported that there are about 13 sex offenders living at the 79th Street camp, according to the state Department of Corrections. The department has denied that it directs offenders to the site when they are released from prison.
The Shorecrest area is where they have to report at night. But during the day, they can “drive into any community they want to,” said North Bay Village Police Chief Robert Daniels.
To Jean Ferris, 69, the Shorecrest sex offenders’ camp is “unfair” to North Bay Village and Shorecrest residents, as well as to the offenders themselves.
“It’s totally inappropriate for people to be put in that situation, no matter what crime they are convicted of,” said Ferris, of North Bay Village. “It is compromising the families who live nearby with children.”
Ferris has been thinking about selling her North Bay Village home. But she thinks its value would decrease because of its proximity to the 79th Street camp.
“Who is going to want to buy a house that is over the bridge from that?” she said.
Ann Bakst, 74, of North Bay Village, said the camp does not bother her.
The sex offenders “have paid their debt,” she said. “And they are not even giving them a chance.”
The 79th Street camp resembles a similar one set up about five years ago under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. About 100 men lived there due to county law restrictions. Drawing nationwide criticism, the camp was later disbanded.
According to Miami Herald archives, the city of Miami will sue the state Department of Corrections in an effort to stop the influx of newly-released-from-prison sex offenders to city streets.
- How ironic! The state passed a law which is 1,000 feet, but THE CITY OF MIAMI are the ones who made that 2,500 feet, and thus caused this problem. So they want to sue the DOC for a law they created? And I noticed on their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, they do not mention anything about the sex offender concentration camps! Wonder why?
In the meantime, there is no clear solution to the problem. The county Homeless Trust has said it would try to find homes for the sex offenders, but it is not prioritizing them over other people in need, The Miami Herald has reported.
“Living on the street in that corner is nonsense,” Ferris said. “They cannot allow this to turn into another Julia Tuttle Causeway. And this is what is setting up to happen."