Sex offenders forced from Allapattah trailer park, now in Hialeah
As many as 54 registered sex offenders were ushered out of a trailer park on the outskirts of Allapattah last week by probation officers from the Florida Department of Corrections after the state discovered the park was too close to a center for troubled youths.
The offenders were told to leave because of a strict Miami-Dade County ordinance that doesn’t permit them to live within 2,500 feet of a school or anywhere children might congregate. The ordinance exceeds the state’s 1,000-foot limit and has caused headaches over the past several years for local and state officials, as well as sex offenders, who are forced to shuttle from place to place as children’s gathering spots are discovered.
This is the third high-profile removal of offenders since 2007, when a group was found living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Last year another group was forced to leave a Shorecrest street corner.
This time the issue is a school for troubled kids called The Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services, which is within 2,500 feet of the River Park Trailer Court at 2260 NW 27th Ave., where the offenders were living. State officials say they only recently learned the trailer park was near the youth center, though the center has been a drop-off point for troubled kids for the state’s Department of Children & Families for years.
“We were unaware that facility was considered a school,” said Misty Cash, deputy communications director for the state Department of Corrections. “When we became aware, we’re going to do what the law says.”
The Miami Bridge houses mostly runaways and troubled children who are too old for foster homes. About four months ago, when representatives from the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust visited the Miami Bridge, they realized its proximity to River Park.
Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book said his staff then contacted corrections, and Corrections Circuit Administrator Maria DiBernardo told Book the Miami Bridge wasn’t listed as a gathering spot for children, as it should have been.
A Miami-Dade County website shows River Park is within 2,500 feet of several sites where children congregate, including the Miami Bridge. A disclaimer on the site says the information is gathered from a multitude of sources and may not be up to date. Most of the offenders removed from the trailer park now spend evenings at a warehouse district next to train tracks at Northwest 71st Street and 36th Court, in unincorporated Miami-Dade across the street from Hialeah. They sleep outside without a roof over their heads, urinating and defecating in a nearby field behind some trees.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/08/3551330/sex-offenders-forced-from-allapattah.html#storylink=cpy