Stimulus Funds Help Sex Offenders
SEPTEMBER 03, 2009
Although Congress banned federally subsidized housing for serious sex offenders more than a decade ago, Florida’s most populous county is using a chunk of stimulus money to help homeless predators pay for rent and utilities.
Officials in Miami Dade County will use a portion of $7.5 million in federal stimulus funds, designated for the area’s homeless, to help dozens of sex offenders and predators currently living under a busy highway that connects the city of Miami to Miami Beach.
Because the county has tough restrictions against where sex offenders can live, the convicts have few choices when they complete their prison sentences. Many have served time for raping children and are restricted from living within 2,500 feet of any facility used by kids such as schools, parks or day-care centers.
Sympathizing with the felons’ plight, county officials will utilize federal funds—intended to jumpstart the economy and put Americans back to work—to house these deplorable criminals. Under the generous taxpayer-funded program, offenders can receive financial assistance for up to 18 months.
The money is being administered by the scandal-plagued federal agency that oversees housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Earlier this month the agency’s inspector general revealed that it annually spends more than $12 million to illegally provide homes for thousands of lifetime registered sex offenders.
Congress banned federally subsidized housing for sex offenders in 1997 after a convicted sex offender molested a 9-year-old neighbor girl who lived in the same public housing building. Incredibly, HUD still gives the taxpayer-financed perk to about 3,000 serious offenders banned by federal law from receiving it. Now Miami Dade County will do the same, albeit on a smaller level, for its sexual predators.
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