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The View From 1000 Feet Up

Among the duties of Brian Clay, a forensic photographer with the Crime Scene Investigations Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department, involves aerial photography over crime scenes. He writes:

      “I might do this once or twice a month, and go to 6-10 locations on a single flight in one of our department's helicopters. This past Tuesday I was finishing up a flight, heading north back to Opa-locka Airport and over an area between the Florida Turnpike and Krome Avenue, west of the Doral/Hialeah Gardens area. This area has many active rock pits, a few of the western correctional facilities, a trailer park or two and a whole lot of nothing else.

      “Looking down, it occurred to me and the pilot that just about anywhere you looked was at least 2500 feet from still nothing else. The one trailer park I noticed was rather run down, but roads eventually lead to it. Sitting and looking out the window made me think that one of the arguments for allowing the sexual offenders to live under the various causeways is that there is no other place for them to go that complies with the distance restrictions. Well, as I saw it at that moment, there is a whole lot of space out there that might be compliant, available, cheap, and without a lot of neighbors to object.

      “I think that many people, myself included, don't have a great deal of compassion for people who have been tried and convicted of horrible crimes against the public, but the idea that the only place that our society has found for them is under a bridge harkens back to the Middle Ages or leper colonies. If sexual predators have to live, work and report to authorities here then they should at least have some sort of habitable place to continue their lives.

      “The rock pits are bringing up huge amounts of limestone; maybe some of it could form a somewhat high and dry pad for the state to place manufactured housing or concrete block apartments or whatever. It certainly doesn't need to be any more than minimally fit for human habitation. These people do need some place to at least perhaps try to rehabilitate and pay their debt to society. While it would be quite some distance from heavily populated areas, I'm sure that a bus line or other forms of transportation could be arranged for those who need to work and make probation visits.

      “Something needs to be done and from my vantage point of about 1000 feet, it seemed that there are some solutions to be found if you just look at them from the right angle.”


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Well put and that would be a start. Housing of any kind would be helpful. But the fact of the matter is that residency restrictions have not been proven to prevent recidivism of sex offenders only looks like to me that residency restrictions cause recidivism by making people think to live like a human being they have to abscond. They need to look at and study this more. People are people and if we allow laws to do this to one set of people no matter how grim they seem to be then they could eventually do it to other people. Banishment is against the constitution.

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