Tuesday, September 26, 2006
From Newsday.com: A Newsday analysis shows that Coram and Gordon Heights have by far the highest concentration of Level 2 and 3 sex offenders on Long Island: 39 convicted sex offenders live within a half-square-mile area. Fifteen reside on one block alone, and 11 properties house multiple offenders.
It's no accident that so many sex offenders ended up in this small area, according to experts, politicians and offenders themselves. Newsday's analysis shows that this cluster came about for a variety of reasons, including the low cost of rentals, their location more than a quarter-mile from schools or playgrounds, which is required by law, and the willingness of some landlords to accept sex offenders.
Department of Social Services also plays a large role in forming clusters. DSS officials insist they do not "place" offenders in homes or neighborhoods. Rather, they say they give offenders vouchers to pay for housing, advertisements for vacancies, and phone numbers for brokers and landlords willing to accept offenders; but offenders are responsible for choosing a residence. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]