Click to view image: 'Photo'
Controversy Over Shantytown Continues
MIAMI -- The controversy over a shantytown under the Julia Tuttle Causeway is growing more heated as an increasing number of paroled sex offenders are moving in, barred from living elsewhere by housing restrictions.
Miserable weather kept squatters as inside as they could be in a tent under the Julia Tuttle on Tuesday. Across town, Miami-Dade County commissioners were getting an earful.
"That population is growing largely because the Department of Corrections continues to approve people to live under the bridge. That, ladies and gentlemen, is just fundamentally wrong," said Ron Book of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.
The area under the Julia Tuttle Causeway happens to lie outside an overlapping patchwork of 2,500-foot buffer zones that South Florida's cities and municipalities have drawn to keep sex offenders away from children. The shantytown is in the city of Miami, but the offenders are technically under state control.
"The probation and parole officers are sent there at 5 o'clock in the morning every day -- that's from the state. The state of Florida's driver's license office issues licenses which lists them as being under the state. The state has a de facto policy, and in fact, I think, a de jure policy, of putting those sexual offenders under the bridge because they own the land," said Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.
Miami City Manager Peter Hernandez wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Gov. Charlie Crist earlier this month. A response arrived on Friday, essentially saying it is Miami's problem.
"When you have that many people, whether they be sexual offenders or laborers, confined in such a small area, sooner or later something is going to happen," Hernandez said.
Tags: sex, sexual, offender, issues, sex offender, sexual offender, miami, miami-dade, julia tuttle, julia tuttle causeway, florida, homeless,
Location: Miami, Florida, United States (load item map)
Views: 7909 | Comments: 0 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 1 | Times used in channels: 1