FLORIDA HOUSING SEX OFFENDERS UNDER BRIDGE
cnn.com/John Zarella and Patrick Oppmann
Five men, all registered sex offenders convicted of abusing children, live along Miami's JuliaTuttle Causeway because there is a housing shortage for Miami's least welcome residents. TheFlorida Department of Corrections says there are fewer and fewer places in Miami-Dade County wheresex offenders can live because the county has some of the strongest restrictions against this kindof criminal in the country. Florida's solution is, house the convicted felons under a bridge thatforms one part of the causeway. Nearly every day a state probation officer makes a predawn visit tothe causeway. Those visits are part of the terms of the offenders' probation which mandates thatthey occupy a residence from 10 pm to 6 am. For several of the offenders, the causeway is theirsecond experience at homelessness. Some of them lived for months in a lot near downtown Miami untilofficials learned that the lot bordered a center for sexually abused children. With nowhere to putthese men, the Department of Corrections moved them under the causeway. Convicted sex offenderKevin Morales sleeps in a chair to keep the rats off him. He has been living under the bridge forabout three weeks. State officials say unless the law changes their hands are tied, and for now thesex offenders will stay where they are.