There's a poorly researched Associated Press article circulating around the internet right now about a crowded homeless shelter in Cranston, RI that houses about 100 men. The shelter is allegedly in very poor condition and past its maximum capacity. The shelter directors want to relocate a few blocks away into an abandoned women's prison, which would allow them to offer their residents efficiency apartments as well as cleaning, maintenance and job skills classes to help them re-integrate into society. The problem? Big bad SEX OFFENDERS! Who all want to hunt down and prey on little children! It's so so so scary! Except it's not. Out of the 100 or so residents, "4 or 5" are sex offenders. To read the little gem by David Klepper: http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2012/03/26/cramped_ri_homeless_shelter_faces_hurdles_in_move/
For some unknown reason Mr. Klepper decided to ask Suzanne Arena for her opinion on the issue, which not surprisingly was that she did not support the move. She continued on, stating that she "never wanted them here" (referring to sex offenders). "Not in my backyard" strikes again. So where's the solution, Ms. Arena? Push them all into another community and let those children pay the price? Of course, that's assuming that these registrants are predatory monsters who have insatiable appetites for little kids. That's what Ms. Arena believes, and what most of the local politicians have latched onto. Luckily, that's probably not true. But the fact that Ms. Arena and her supporters are so quick to denounce the registrants, yet offer no solutions, is troubling.
This issue is nothing new, in fact it smacks of residency restriction and child safety zone hysteria of the recent past. For whatever reason, this particular incident of emotion-based, factless fear-mongering that lacks any actual solution inspired me to record a two minute video for your viewing pleasure. I'd like to make it very clear that this type of attitude is precisely what leads to re-offense. Remove every last remnant of incentive for registrants to re-integrate healthily, and what do you get? A desperate person with nothing to lose. Prohibit sex offenders from residing in a homeless shelter? People who are impossible to track or monitor. Make no mistake; when you fall into this type of mindset, you are not a child safety advocate. You are promoting new sex crimes.