Civil Liberties

New York Post Outraged That Sex Offenders Accepted at City Homeless Shelters With Children

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Up on Drudge is a New York Post story that wants to bring you the alarming news that sex offenders, even those convinced of truly heinous acts including raping a 9-year-old and sodomizing an 8-year-old, are allowed into city homeless shelters, even though those shelters also sometimes house families with children.

State sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) made this disturbing report (and in fact initially complained about this problem four years previously) and the story quotes concerned parents who have stayed in these shelters. And the problem, tilts the Post, is that people "refuse to close loopholes" that let these ex-cons stay at the shelters. Also, "privacy laws prohibit shelter officials from alerting their residents to the predators among them." Basically, the law is tilted in an overly Samaritan fashion and that's not good.

But this is a fundamental problem that comes from the U.S.'s "S" for "sex offender" scarlet letter way of sentencing. Perhaps someone who raped a 9-year-old has no business being outside of jail. Or, if they do, after hopefully being actually guilty (nearly always a question) and serving a very long time indeed, that should be it. The notion behind the sex offender registry — first started in New Jersey in 1994 — is that sex criminals have a particularly high rate of recidivism. But that's not hard and fast. Numbers are difficult to pin down, but studies have found 5-24 percent rates (the former from a Department of Justice study over three years, the latter a Public Safety Canada study over 15 years). The high end of those numbers are similar with robbery and less severe crimes. 

It's a lot easier to find sympathy for sex offenders who don't deserve punishment, namely not the horror stories of 17-year-olds that had sex with 15-year-olds and were pariahs for life. The people who actually harm children may not deserve any sympathy but the various laws — excellently critiqued by Jacob Sullum — that require them to move house, lose all privacy, or even in one extreme example, congregate in hobo camps under a bridge, since in some locations they are barred from living within 1000-odd feet from places where children reside, are not helpful. They further alienate people who have little to lose from communities. And in the most egregious examples, federal sex offenders can even be indefinitely detained if they are seen to be dangerous enough. That should disturb anyone, regardless of the guilt of these men, knowing that some have been detained for up to four years without a hearing.

Fundamentally, if you have served your time, you have served your time. And where else is someone just out of prison likely to end up but a homeless shelter? Some of these offenders need help, too. There should be a way to do that without endangering children.

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    1. So lock ’em up for life without parole.

    2. Bullet to the back of the head. Problem solved.

      1. I’m serious. You rape an 8-year-old and that kid is as good as dead. Fucked up for life. I have seen it countless times.

        1. You just have to remember how often things are not beyond a reasonable doubt when it comes to the perpetrator.

          Maybe if the 80s-90s Satan sex abuse panic had happened in the 1880s… I just don’s trust the criminal justice system.

          1. Generally, a rape kit identifying semen in the ass and the DNA of said semen is enough for me. I have worked with scores of sexually abused children. It isn’t pretty. And like it or not, the news is filled with stories about kids being raped. It’s not all made up (I am old enough to remember the Satanist bullshit). Again, semen up the ass doesn’t lie.

              1. This is propaganda, right?

                1. I guess you could consider Shiite polemic against Sunni Muslims and other faith to be “propaganda,” yes.

                  1. That’s funny every time I read it.

            1. So then you realize that there are also tons of false accusations that people are in prison for, and that most abuse cases don’t require any such evidence because the prosecutors live on fear for a plea. Also, if that were the only type of person with the “S” then the registry might be beneficial to parents. There are almost 200 crimes that land you on the registry. Some are not sex crimes.

          2. You also forgot to mention that you can become a sex offender if you are 16 and your 16 year old girlfriend sends you a nipple shot.

        2. You rape an 8-year-old and that kid is as good as dead. Fucked up for life.

          I find that hard to believe. I think people are more resilient than that…especially at a young age.

          But yeah if someone gets caught raping a child they should not be let out until they are grey or dead.

          1. “I find that hard to believe.”

            Okay.

          2. It is because they are at such a young age that they are fucked up for life. They do not have a true individual identity at that age, let alone the psychological defenses required to deal with such a thing. A child molested or raped at 5 years or younger is almost certain to become schizophrenic. A year or two older, they will be messed up for life, with damage to platonic and romantic relationships throughout their life.

            To add to the horror, child sexual abuse is both widely under reported and commonly the subject of false accusations.

            1. I am sorry until fairly recently the entire planet was a horror show of death and murder and rape.

              If children were such fragile flowers there would be no one alive and he world would be without people.

        3. Um as someone who was molested several times by several different people between the ages of 5 and 8 I can categorically state that this is utter Bullshit.

          Are some kids fucked up for life in that situation? Absolutely, probably even a plurality of them but it is hardly a guaranteed outcome.

  1. It must be sex offender week. The local news has been running a series of SEX PREDATORS LURKING AT YOUR CHILDRENS BUS STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!! stories.

  2. It’s a lot easier to find sympathy for sex offenders who deserve the punishment

    You mean don’t deserve it, I assume.

    1. Errrrrrr, yes. This is not unlike the time I wrote that Gary Johnson’s pro-life stance was too controversial for the Republican party.

      1. Don’t you have a preview button?

        1. They’ve been keeping the Edit button all to themselves.

      2. Don’t worry, Lucy, we know you meant that you think that 17-year-olds who sleep with their 15-year-old boyfriends/girlfriends should be put to death, immediately.

        1. Oh yes. You’ve been reading my work for so long, you should be able to guess that I am for warfare, draconian punishment, and always trusting the government.

          1. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

          2. Actually Lucy, what we have learned is that you were not formally educated by professionals. This calls into question everything that you say.

            I personally can’t believe that you can function at all without having been taught socialism socialized.

          3. Well hopefully Lucy you won’t let your desire to ride the Orange Line and drink cocktails at parties with other cosmotarians and be liked by democrats keep you from voting for Romney in the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIME.

  3. I’m a sex offender…

    In my pants!

  4. So, is anyone else getting a bunch of singles ads in the sidebar on this article?

    1. Fitness singles chick turns me on standing next to meh girl.

      1. I’m a fan of meh girl. I think it has something to do with her panties.

  5. I have a friend suffering through this bullshit right now.

    He was a sonogram tech. One day he didn’t wait for the nurse to come to the room when he started his look. As has been publicized considerably with regard to forcing women to have sonograms prior to abortions, it is sometimes necessary to put the wand inside the woman to see the baby. After he was finished with the procedure and left, the woman called security. When the security officer arrived, the woman still had her gown up around her middle and she claimed that my friend had molested her.

    He didn’t take it very seriously. He lost his job and the hospital paid her a generous sum even though it was not her first claim. My friend stupidly got a public defender. At his hearing, they convinced him that he might be found guilty even though the woman’s claim was the only “evidence”. He pleaded guilty. I obviously wasn’t there and so I can’t know for certain what happened but I believe him when he says he did not do anything wrong.

    1. cont:

      He is now a registered sex offender. As far as the State of Texas is concerned, he is a homosexual child rapist, but not in jail. He had to spend time in the County jail because he had answered hello to one of his children’s friends. He has to spend a considerable amount of money on “counseling” and drug tests and lie detector tests and the GPS tracker. It is big business. He can’t go anywhere that “children gather” which is almost everywhere. He is not supposed to drink ANY alcohol. I always say that if he is as dangerous as they claim, he sure shouldn’t be out of jail.

      There must be more instances of these people “going postal” and it is being covered up. If you are not the most mentally and emotionally stable, the shit they put you through would make you snap. I give my friend only a 50/50 chance of not losing it and killing a bunch of bureaucrats. I don’t know if I would have lasted this long.

      1. Fuck dude that is a depressing story. Do you know anything about a sex offender’s prospects of leaving the US? It might be difficult to get another country to take him in, but it seems like this guy deserves a chance to live a free life somewhere. Although I will admit that I kinda hope he goes on a buerocrat killing rampage.

      2. Marshall – there are way too many of these stories out there, plus the teenagers who do what teenagers do. In some states even those charged as children will be on the registry for life. Who are the victims in those cases? And then the young men who have used Limewire for music and porn and ended up with child porn in with those legal files. They haven’t touched anyone and most using these sites wouldn’t/didn’t even think of it.

      3. Shit, it’s too bad he pleaded guilty. No-one should ever be convicted of a crime if the only evidence is one person’s word. In fact, if that’s the only evidence, you have to wonder whether the original thing should be a crime in the first place. If you’re in a situation where you could be offended, where the only evidence is your word against someone else’s, then take some personal responsibility and make sure someone else is there. No-one should be charged based on word alone.

        But that isn’t how it works. Our society wants to believe all men are sex crazy and will take advantage of women at every chance.

  6. Damnit Epi, I warned you about haunting all those homeless clinics! Besides, those kids don’t wash, so you’ll get some sort of nasty infection.

    1. Don’t try and pin this all on me, JJ. What about the times we haunted together, hand in hand? Are you just going to ignore what happened?

      1. That wasn’t my hand…

        1. It wasn’t mine either, JJ. See what I mean?

  7. So NYC is clamoring for homeless apartheid. That’s what you get when you voluntarily turn your city into a giant public housing project, with some public housing more equal than other.

  8. If our ameriKKKan citizenry is going to strip these people of their civil liberties and render them marginalized, disenfranchised and ostracized; without employment or a place to live, it is duty bound to support them through social services. The Germans did this to the Jews. The comments on this board are very distressing.

  9. AGREE completely with roshar. First we create an underclass of persons who can not reintegrate into society. We pass laws that preclude where they live, worship, deny them the ability to go to the beach, library, get a job, see their families … essentially make them homeless (and more prone to crime and desperation) and then shut them out of homeless shelters because there are kids in the vicinity. What ever happened to (a) parents keeping an eye on their kids, (b) the fact that most abuse is perpetrated by someone the child knows, not a stranger, (c) the fact that not all persons on the registry are child molesters, not even MOST of them are, and (d) the concept that after serving one’s time, one can make a fresh start? Seriously small minded, vindictive and frightening comments here.

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