Looks like Jerry Keen is getting his way, forcing offenders out of the counties and possibly the state, and it looks like Georgia is also following in the foot steps of Florida and their leper colony.
By Jaye Watson
COBB COUNTY - Members of the Georgia Department of Transportation accompanied by the Cobb County Sheriff's Department walked into the woods at a nearby business park and told the dozen sex offenders camped out there that they had to leave.
This happened just hours after it was reported in print publications that homeless sex offenders were living in the woods in Cobb County because they couldn't find any other place for them to go.
"That flood was ridiculous." 11Alive's Jaye Watson talked to a sex offender who wanted his name withheld. He said he lived here for a little over a month. That he had had a home and a job, but lost both because they were within a thousand feet of a church.
The state's law that prohibits sex offenders from living with a thousand feet of a church, a school, bus stop, or any place children congregate has made it virtually impossible for some sex offenders to find homes or work.
- Bus stops are not included.
For homeless sex offenders, the problem is compounded. They cannot seek shelter at a church, or sleep in a park, because those are placed from which they are barred.
The sex offender Watson interviewed said his probation officer directed him to this spot of woods.
Watson asked, "Did she say there's a place in the woods you can go?"
"Yeah, she said there's a place by this address that is compliant," he replied.
The other sex offenders tell the same story, that their probation officers told them this was only place left. The men in the woods visit their probation officers once a week and weekly visits were made to the men in the woods.
"We're putting them in a place where they have no restroom and winter is going to be coming. This is not a solution," said attorney Gerry Weber.
Weber is with the Southern Center for Human Rights -- and he says it's also hard for police to keep tabs on the offenders.
Some police showed up while 11Alive was filming, saying they had read about it and that citizens were already calling, concerned.
A few hours later, the men were told they had 24 hours to get off the property or be arrested. Within another 72 hours they must be registered with a new address.
None of the men know where they can go next.
"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)
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