A policy implemented by the sheriff is NOT A LAW and the ex-offenders do not need to comply with it, in our opinion!
By Caryn Golden
A News Center 7 investigation last year uncovered there were more convicted sex offenders registered as homeless living in Montgomery County, than any other county in Ohio.
Sex offenders registered as homeless in May 2012:
- 57 in Montgomery County
- 28 in Cuyahoga County
- 22 in Hamilton County
- 39 in Franklin County
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer blamed the high numbers on what he described as a loophole in the state's sex offender registration law that allows offenders to claim they are homeless, keeping them from providing an actual address.
- The "loophole" as the media likes to call it, is the residency restrictions. Delete the residency restrictions (where someone can live) and they can then find a job and home, more than likely.
When a sex offender has no address, notification cards are not sent to residents and the offenders are essentially allowed to roam free. The homeless designation also makes it difficult for deputies to track down an offender when they do registration compliance checks.
Last year, Sheriff Plummer said he was not satisfied with roaming sex offenders and wanted a change in the law.
"I want an address, a roof over their head when I can go knock on the door at 3 a.m. and he's in that house," said Sheriff Plummer.
- Then like we said, you need to eliminate the residency restrictions!
The law has not changed since our report last year, but the Sheriff did implement a new policy. He is now requiring convicted sex offenders who claim they are homeless to check in at the sheriff's office once a day to provide a location where they will be spending that night.
- Since when is the sheriff able to implement his own draconian punishment? I'd tell the sheriff that if it is not a law then he can stick it, I'll register when the law says I should register!
At last check, there is a significant drop in the number of sex offenders registering as homeless compared to last year.
Sex offenders registered as homeless November 2013:
- 36 in Montgomery County
- 28 in Cuyahoga County
- 35 in Hamilton County
- 54 in Franklin County
Sgt. Julie Stephens is in charge of all sex offender registration for the county. She believes the drop is directly connected to the now-required daily check-ins.
- Which are not laws! Ex-offenders need to say "Sorry, unless it's a law, then I will not comply with your requests!"
"They are more actively seeking housing. They are looking for more resources to help them find housing, and we're helping them connect with those resources. It's created a significant decrease from November of last year to May of this year," said Sgt. Stephens.
Registered sex offender _____ said he's been checking in every day for five months after serving a 9-year prison sentence for rape and kidnapping.
"I can't find employment. I've put in applications all over. As soon as you put in that your a felon, it blocks you," said Spurlock. "I'm trying to find work, find someone willing to give a man an opportunity."
Spurlock's daily routine includes walking nearly five miles to check in at the sheriff's office in the morning, walking to eat lunch at the House of Bread, and walking another five miles back to his tent in Jefferson Township.
If he finds work, he is allowed to call in to the sheriff's office.
Recently, Dayton Police discovered a homeless sex offender sleeping in a vacant house in South Park, approximately 500 feet from a daycare.
A mother of two young boys in the area was alarmed to hear of the discovery.
"They just don't know where they are. They can barely keep track of them, let alone homeless people living in vacant houses. That makes it even worse," said Kimberly Wood. "They could do anything to anybody inside a vacant house."
- Sure they could, but statistics show they don't! And they could do this also even if they had their own home or were not in a vacant lot!