Many people feel safer because of sex offender registration laws, but few pause to consider that these laws leave convicted sex offenders with little or no housing options. Even if a registered sex offender is able to find a community where he is allowed to live, he is unlikely to find a landlord willing to rent to him. Unless offenders have friends or family members willing to take them in, many find themselves forced to live a transient lifestyle.
This problem has received a great deal of attention in Florida in recent years. In Fort Lauderdale, sex offenders had been using a Budget Inn as a semi-permanent home because there were no other housing options in the area. Once the motel's owner found out that he was housing sex offenders in his business, he immediately evicted them to keep the rest of his guests - which included families with young children - safe.
This kind of reaction, however, has the potential to cause more harm than good. According to a report published by the Broward Sexual Offender and Predator Residence Task Force, "housing instability is the consistent and robust predictor for absconding, probation violation and recidivism for criminal offenders...and sex offenders specifically."
As someone who was convicted of lewd or lascivious conduct on a minor, Randy Young knows the housing challenges that registered sex offenders face first hand. In order to help others in this predicament, he has purchased properties around Florida and rented them out to sex offenders who need a place to live.
Despite concerns from the neighbors who are aware of what Young is doing, he told the Sun Sentinel that he is trying to keep sex offenders off the streets.
"I am providing a service people need. In the world of sex offenders, it's either a mattress inside a room with other offenders, or living under a bridge," he said.
An Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love is facing prosecution for a sex crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can assess your case and help you protect your rights. For more information, contact a criminal defense attorney today.