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Broward's Solution To The Tuttle Causeway Condundrum

The task force assigned to sort through the difficulties associated with the myriad of sex offender residence restrictions and offer up recommendations for the Broward County Commission has released a draft of its findings. It's a thoughtful compilation that ought to resonate beyond Broward and into Miami-Dade County, where overreaching statutes have created the homeless mess under the Julie Tuttle Causeway. To download the entire report:
 

Or to read just the recommendations:

Broward Sex Offender & Sexual Predator Residence
Task Force Report
Page 26 July 2, 2009
RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on our review of the available evidence, we respectfully submit the following
recommendations for policy which reflects criminal justice research and "best practices."
While some of our recommendations were unanimously agreed upon, others were not.
Our recommendations reflect the consensus of the task force based on majority vote.
1. It is clear that bus stops diminish housing availability within buffer zones to a literal
point of non-existence. We recommend that if a residential exclusion zone is passed,
it should not include school bus stops as a prohibited venue.
2. Based on data provided by the county's Planning and Redevelopment Division (p.
22), it is also exceedingly clear that a 2,500 foot zone as described in the existing
ordinance will exclude sex offenders from residing in the unincorporated areas of the
county. Because 24 municipalities have also passed 2,500 foot exclusion zones, few
options exist for sex offender housing throughout the county. This raises concerns,
not due to sympathy for sex offenders, but because research indicates that housing
instability is a consistent and robust predictor of absconding, probation violation, and
recidivism for criminal offenders in general and sex offenders specifically. Reports
from FDLE indicate a growing number of "sex offender transients" in Broward, and
many more in Miami-Dade County where homelessness resulting from residential
restrictions has caught national attention.
3. Residence restrictions regulate only where sex offenders sleep at night and do
nothing to prevent pedophilic or predatory offenders from frequenting places during
the day where they can cultivate relationships with children and access opportunities
for sexual abuse. Therefore, we recommend that the commissioners consider
enacting a child safety zone preventing sex offenders from loitering without a
legitimate reason in areas where children are present.
4. We recommend that in any ordinance that is passed, an exception be made for
offenders who established their residence prior to the passage of the ordinance (a
"grandfather" clause). Such clauses are commonly found in other municipal
ordinances. Because housing throughout the county is so limited, such a clause will
reduce the probability of homelessness and transience for RSOs who are already
living in unincorporated areas. The proposed end-of-lease grandfather clause simply
delays housing instability rather than prevents it. Grandfathering homeowners but
not lease holders represents differential treatment based on financial resources.
Since there is no reason to believe that current lease holders present a greater
Broward Sex Offender & Sexual Predator Residence
Task Force Report
Page 27 July 2, 2009
threat to the safety of children than homeowners, this differential treatment seems
not only unfair, but illogical.
5. We recommend that an exception be made (referred to as a Romeo & Juliet clause
in Florida statutes) for young adults with a single victim and who, at the time of the
offense, were under the age of 22 and committed a "statutory" offense with a
teenage victim no more than 4 years younger than the offender. While we recognize
that such behavior is unlawful, and that minors cannot legally consent to sexual
activity with an adult, we also recognize that such offenders are not typically
diagnosed as pedophiles and probably do not pose a significant danger to commit
future sexually violent crimes.
6. We recommend that commissioners strongly urge our elected state senators and
representatives to enact a statewide solution to sex offender management. The
problem of clustering is a direct result of the multiplicity of ordinances throughout the
state (at least156) which push offenders into areas with less restrictive buffer zones.
The best solution is for the Florida legislature to enact a uniform statewide
residential policy for sex offenders. We recommend that the county commissioners
adopt a resolution asking the legislature to create a statewide residence solution,
which should include a Romeo & Juliet clause as well as a grandfather clause. The
recommendation to the legislature should also urge the adoption of a uniform
statewide child safety zone provision preventing RSOs from loitering within 300-500
feet of a school, park, daycare, designated school bus stop, or other place where
children regularly congregate. We also recommend that the legislature review the
crimes that require registration and that Florida create a more refined, risk-based
classification and tier system of offenders that might, in some circumstances, lead to
individuals eventually being deleted from the registry but only upon meeting criteria
established by statute and requiring judicial review.
7. We recommend that commissioners strongly urge leaders from the League of Cities
to endorse a uniform county-wide ordinance. The problem of clustering is a direct
result of the multiplicity of differing ordinances throughout the county (24) which
push offenders into areas with less restrictive buffer zones. In the absence of
legislative reform, the best immediate solution is for city councils to agree to enforce
uniform residential policies for sex offenders throughout this county.
8. We urge leaders from the League of Cities to undertake an analysis of potentially
compliant housing in each municipality and amend ordinances to allow for
reasonable housing availability to alleviate clustering. Information designating
compliant residential locations should be provided to DOC probation, law
Broward Sex Offender & Sexual Predator Residence
Task Force Report
Page 28 July 2, 2009
enforcement agencies, and other case managers to assist RSOs in securing
housing.
9. We recommend that commissioners consider text amendments to land use plans to
allow residential units in industrial areas as a permitted use. The feasibility of
alternative housing options for sex offenders needs to be more fully investigated, as
any alternative housing would be subject to zoning variances and practical
considerations such as affordability and access to residential infrastructure (public
transportation, shopping, services, etc.). Innovative housing options are recognized
as a possible long-term solution requiring complex planning and development, and
therefore should not be considered as a singular alternative to our other
recommendations.
10. We support Mayor Ritter's letter to Governor Crist asking for leadership and
assistance in addressing the matter and suggesting a statewide or regional task
force to allow for uniformity of residence requirements.
11. Based upon concerns raised by the Broward Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's
Office, we recommend that commissioners and the county attorney review the
language defining "temporary" and "permanent" residence in Ordinance 2009-22 as
"a place

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Valigator

Passed the buck task force..

Magister

Mr. Grimm, the link to the full report does not work. Is there another way to provide us with the full report?

tom

I find this all very hard to swallow . You create a sex offender camp segregate sex offenders after they have done there time in prison and continue to pass legislation that clearly punishes them NO END ! You have them living under bridges and on the streets thinking this is going to keep your children safe , What I would like to know is how is this keeping any one safe ? And what about the safety of the people that you have made homeless ? I find it odd that parents are not looking at there own parenting skills to look after there children , instead they are relying on feel good laws that do nothing at all to protect any one to do the parenting ! What also bothers me about all this is that the constitution and bill of rights was made for every one not just the people you deem desirable ! Segregation is against the constitution and bill of rights ! Another thing that gets me is that any time any one talks about sex offender rights they are also demonized , ridiculed and dismissed as being one them selves !
When you make a law that is X-Post-Fact-o pass it and have what you have now a huge mess what I find hard to swallow is just how much money that is costing tax payers and Just how this benefits not only the children but how this is affecting the human rights of people as well . Why is it that once a drug dealer , manslaughter , drunk driver , home robber , thief , or any other criminal get’s out of prison there punishment is over ? but a sex offender is constantly being punished even after serving there time ! Is this right ? NO it is not right ! Is this going to protect a child ? NO it will not ! Is this just making the sheeple feel good and get the public officials votes from them sheeple ? YES IT DOES THAT ! So just how well are the sex offender laws and punishment working out ? Well ? Tell me ONE child that has been protected at all in any way from any one sex offender law ? Now I can tell you NONE ! Not one Law that is on the books have done any thing at all but create a huge HUMAN RIGHTS MESS , and continue to add punishment far beyond the prison bars ! Now ask is that what this country is all about ? Is that what we do as American’s ? Then why not EVERY criminal ? It is easy to over look every one just not the sex offender ! When is the punishment over for them and just tell me why .

MSLGWCEO

Lets get to the real crux of the problem. It isn't so much the sex offenders as it is law makers passing laws without "Evidence based research."

The Adam Walsh Amendment (AWA), was passed under "Suspension of Rules," which means "non-controversial"

Now I ask you. HOW STUPID IS THAT? Law makers at both federal and state making laws without "Evidence Based Research!"

Now, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee met March 10 this year and will be meeting again soon I hope to look at "Evidence Based Research."

Why? Because the laws as they are written at both federal and state levels have many unintended consequences and are causing "MORE HARM THAN GOOD."

A recent study that has not as yet been released:
NEW STUDY: AWA (SORNA) Tier II & Tier III are less dangerous than Tier I

Here: http://cfcoklahoma.org/New_Site/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=0&func=view&catid=84&id=2312#2312

and HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE S REQUEST FOR INTERIM STUDY PROPOSAL Adam Walsh Amendment ( AWA). HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE(S)

REQUEST FOR INTERIM STUDY PROPOSAL
Community Safety – concerns regarding the implementation in Oklahoma of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act

Here: http://cfcoklahoma.org/New_Site/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=0&func=view&catid=42&id=2315#2315

This is an excellent read and every citizen of each state needs to read this and after doing so, WRITE EVERY MEMBER OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE BAT BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS AND DEMAND THEY ONLY PASS LAWS THAT ARE "EVIDENCE BASED RESEARCH.

Why? Because the laws as they are written "DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD." These laws are wasteing BILLIONS and BILLIONS of tax payers hard earned money and they PROTECT NO ONE! These laws are insane. They DON'T WORK


glenn

Either you can let them (sex offenders) out into society, or you can't.

Convicted killers get out of jail and have fewer restrictions placed on them. How is the risk of recidivism less for them? A killer is arguably worse than a pedophile, or at least just as bad.

Isn't there a more intelligent way to keep track of people like this besides making them walk 2500 feet to look for victims? My car and my phone both have GPS, what's the big deal with a technology solution here? You could even have some GPS-enabled Taser that shocks the hell out of them when they get too near a 'restricted zone'.

OK, just kidding about the Taser. Sort of.

ConcernedCitizenandMom

I've heard that nearly 200 people have been killed because of the registry. How many has it saved? I don't think there is even one case of someone being saved because of the registry. The killings aren't very reported because who cares about those "child molestors" yet out of the 100 or so former offenders I know, not one of them hurt a child. They're on the registry for consensual behavior with a teenager - and none were over the age of 25. Interesting eh? The lawmakers have it out for all young men. They've forgotten what it was like to be a typical teenager or young man. I sure remember as a teen girl what power we had over the teen guys and guys in their 20's. They were clueless! It was US going after them, not the other way around. No one wants to hear that though. Especially lawmakers.

I think they should be put on the registry for one DAY and feel the humiliation and grief..maybe then they'd understand the laws are not regulatory but punitive in nature. The registry is a joke and should have never been made public. It has killed more than it has saved.

The "zones" are ridiculous and won't prevent a REAL murderer or dangerous person from going wherever he wants to go. Let's get real here. Restrictions on where to live is ridiculous too, I want all the former offenders I know with a job, a family and an income! THAT is how we are all safe. They make all kinds of programs but leave out the dreaded "sex offender". Shoot, what I've read they cannot even go to college, is that true? (get help with college I mean) We're TRYING to punish them MORE for a crime (if it should even be called a crime for normal behavior either online or in person) after the fact. Isn't that ex-post-facto? I thought that wasn't legal?

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