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New Plan Proposes One Homeless Sex Offender Per Facility

The vote for the new legislation could come as soon as Tuesday.

A new plan that could shut two controversial homeless sex offender trailers permanently was unveiled this week.

Under Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's new plan, which was unveiled Thursday by law enforcement and Parents for Megan’s Law at the Suffolk County Legislature’s public safety committee meeting in Hauppauge, the current clustering of homeless sex offenders in one community will end.

Instead, the trailers will close and homeless sex offenders will be relocated to other county shelters -- with only one registered sex offender per facility.

Law enforcement will be made aware of each individual and where they are living, with an eye toward enhanced monitoring and other community safeguards.

According to Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Parents for Megan’s Law will strengthen and support the Suffolk County Police Department’s program that verifies the addresses of all registered sex offenders within the county.

Currently, there are 1,016 registered sex offenders residing in Suffolk County; address verification is one component of Bellone's eight-point plan to protect the community.

In addition, the plan includes using email, social media and other technology to better alert and notify the community.

"The plan promises to provide the toughest sex offender monitoring and enforcement program in the nation," Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman has said that the legislation could be up for a vote before the legislature as soon as next week. He has urged the public to come out and participate to help ensure passage of the new legislation.

A public meeting was held on Wednesday night, organized by Schneiderman to garner input on the trailers, which have sparked a public outcry for years.

Bellone spoke with Schneiderman Wednesday and explained the focus of the plan would be to ensure that sex offenders would not be clustered in any one neighborhood; instead, they would be spread across Suffolk County.

A mini-shelter program which had previously been passed by the legislature is not one Bellone feels is the best approach, Schneiderman said, since the shelters would still be placed in communities, with a clustering of six sex offenders in each facility.

Should the plan get the green light in the legislature, Schneiderman said the Parents for Megan's Law would act as a contract agency to ensure that all 1000 sex offenders in Suffolk County were living where they should be and community safeguards were in place.

During their conversation, Schneiderman said Bellone reiterated his May pledge to close the two trailers. "He said the trailers will absolutely close within a matter of months. I told him I'm going to be driviing the tractor with that trailer hitched to the back of it," Schneiderman said.

The plan, Schneiderman said, is a good one; the next step is to urge legislators to vote in support and pass the legislation; 12 votes would be required.

Schneiderman said he is "cautiously optimistic" that the plan could pass. First, he said, both Parents for Megan's Law and the Suffolk County Police Department are advocating the proposal, and also, the mini shelter program plan is a backup -- which might compel legislators who do not want the mini shelters in their districts to support the new legislation, he theorized.

Finally, Schneiderman said Bellone has made a public commitment to closing the trailers. "It makes a big difference," he said. "For years I had a county executive fighting against getting rid of the trailers. Now I have one fighting to get rid of the trailers."

What do you think of the new plan to spread sex offenders across Suffolk County? Let us know in the comments section.

Extremely Disgruntled February 02, 2013 at 07:51 PM
When offenders have a stable place to stay, if you think that registries actually help prevent any crime that is, wouldn't they be inclined to be verified a lot easier in one place? Put the homeless trailers in appropriate places, of course not on a school grounds, but maybe in some other commercial area. As long as the offenders have that stability, they have a chance at getting ahead possibly, and off the recidivism trail. All offenders are not child molesters, each crime is different and has to be treated that way. Read the statistics on another like-offense. Quite low. Especially in stable environments. If you keep up that INstability, you are only inviting recidivism in all its forms.
Jay Byrd February 03, 2013 at 03:54 AM
(((BTW Good to see your still around ED, kinda quiet on the forum now though and the spell check function vanished...ya know.))) [quote]Should the plan get the green light in the legislature, Schneiderman said the Parents for Megan's Law would act as a contract agency to ensure that all 1000 sex offenders in Suffolk County were living where they should be and community safeguards were in place.[/quote] I'd sure like to know what makes Mr. SchiesterMan think that parents for megans flaw has any authority at all to act as any sort of 'contract agency' to 'ensure' that these oppressed registered citizens are ...ahem ..."Living where they should" as they put it. I'll tell you right now they DO NOT have any such authority. That is job of law enforcement and ONLY law enforcement. First of all this shouldn't even be an issue because once a person has served their sentence and completed parole or probation they should be free to live as a free citizen again, at least the same as other felons who have served their time. And should be free to live where they so chose the same as anyone These people most likely wouldn't be homeless in the first place if they were not subjected to these residency restrictions, which by the way have been statistically proven to be totally unnecessary... http://www.jwrc.org/KeepKidsSafe/SexualOffenders101/ResidencyRestrictions/tabid/84/Default.aspx
Jay Byrd February 03, 2013 at 03:58 AM
...... Schiesterman and people like him created this problem by passing and supporting the hysterical, illogical, knee jerk legislation which has prevented these people from reintegrating in to society, the way they should be able to, and find the jobs they need in order to secure housing and maintain stability and to live normal productive crime free lives. The laws and the treatment of these people imposed upon them by people like Schiesterman, Bellone, and parents for magans flaw are completely counterproductive to the goals of the criminal justice system and DOC and in direct opposition of all that has been proven to help successfully reintegrate FORMER offenders back in to society. And in direct opposition of all that has been proven to prevent recidivism and make communities safe. Since Schiesterman and his cronies created this problem these homeless oppressed registrants should be allowed to live in his and the rest of the legislatures homes with all expenses paid.
Joel Dreher February 03, 2013 at 06:11 PM
I have to agree its no different for crimes like DWI felonies. If the convicted can't find work to live due to the (f) word than why even let them out of Corrections? Its just going to lead to more crime due to frustration of being unemployable.

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