Wednesday, February 12, 2014

IN - Frigid temperatures leave ex-offenders out in the cold

Homeless out in the cold weather
Original Article


By David MacAnally

MUNCIE - There's controversy in Muncie over where convicted sex offenders should be allowed to live and the issue is becoming more heated because of the bitter cold.

Mark called the city's Jackson Street bridge home after his release from prison, where he served time for a sex offense involving a minor.

When temperatures turn dangerously cold, Mark and four to eight other child sex offenders came to Christian Ministry Shelter, until the director got the news they must all leave.

"I was shocked, because it was something that we haven't been questioned about before," said shelter director Becki Clock.

Bridges become shelters partly because many defenders cannot find a place to stay. Especially in cases involving sex against minors, with laws barring them from being 1,000 feet from things like schools, libraries and parks.

Near the Muncie shelter there is a library, which is closed for repairs, and a small park by the fire station. It has no playground equipment.

"They really got frightened. They had a lot of agitation," Clock said.

"Where am I gonna go?" Mark said.

"My faith compels me to do something," said Rev. Steve Graves (Email) of Fountain Square Methodist Church (Facebook).

Graves and others convinced the state to let the men stay during the cold crisis, but after that they must leave. For neighbors, it's a tough issue.

"I would be concerned about that, too," said one man. "But they deserve a chance, too, they've done their time."

"I'm kind of torn between the good and the bad of it all," said another Muncie resident.

"They ought to have a place to stay," said a third man. "But I don't agree with sex offenders."

The pastor and others will now try to come up with a long-term housing solution for sex offenders. He knows lawmakers are just trying to protect the public, but "to say that there is no place for them to go to lay their head, it's not right."

Ex-offender Mark, who says he won't offend again, says "we're denied a place to live."

See Also:

13 WTHR Indianapolis


rejco said...

What about the brutal rape?

Michael said...

This happened in the UK, where the sex offender registry is not online. So your comment, "Once again and innocent person is attacked due to the online (hit-list) registry. This is exactly why the registry should be taken offline and used by police only," does not make sense.

Sex Offender Issues said...

Okay so it may not be online, but how else did the person find out about the person he thought was an ex-offender? Apparently the news media, community notification or an online registry, all of which contributed to this attack and should not be done.

Macintosh said...

You're correct, the UK government doesn't publish an online sex offender registry, but you completely missed the fact that the attackers targeted Mr Hemingway because they believed Mr Hemingway was a sex offender. Even though the list is not public in the UK, the attackers still TARGETED someone they believed was a sex offender. Are you saying that publishing sex offender information online makes anyone who lives at one of those address less likely to be targeted? It makes perfect sense that the online registries put people in danger.

Are you saying that Mr Hemingway deserved to have intruders break into his home, assault him, rob him, and leave him for dead? If the article was titled "Home Invasion and Assault" and never mentioned anything about a sex offender you might feel completely different about it. Is it that the story talks about a sex offender that makes it seem like there was some sort of justification? What if Mr Hemingway's brother had been convicted of robbing a home? After such an attack, would you advocate publishing the addresses of people who'd robbed homes? The attackers targeted Mr Hemingway. People have strong reactions to the "sex offender" label. Publishing the addresses and info of sex offenders only makes total sense that the registry is more of a hit-list. In truth, Mr Hemingway's wasn't a danger to anyone, but once he had the sex offender label (mistakenly), the truth about Mr. Hemingway's actual threat to the community didn't matter. The same is true for people that have the sex offender label, but once the label is on ... they are targets.

Michael said...

The article doesn't say how the attacker found out. I would guess that it was due to something in the local news (the press in the UK is even more vicious than in the US when it comes to scandals and the like). Or it could have been by word of mouth in the community. But it was not due to an online registry, since it does not exist in the UK.

Michael said...

You have come to some very wild conclusions about my post that could not possibly be justified. There is nothing in my post that any reasonable person could interpret in the way you have interpreted it. Of course, as someone who used to live in fear every day that someone would break down my front door and attack me or my girlfriend just because I am on the sex offender registry (until I moved to a country that believes in human rights), I would never deny that putting sex offenders on an online registry puts them and their loved ones at risk of serious harm or death, nor would I consider such an attack justified. If you make a habit of misinterpreting unambiguous statements like mine in such an illogical, irrational manner, you are behaving just like the politicians, media, and other idiots who victimize us former sex offenders.