Boxed in by Laws, NY Beach Town Houses Sex Offenders in Trailers


Two trailers in the wealthy beach town of Southampton, N.H., stand as testament to an increasingly intractable problem for localities across the country: where to let sex offenders live after prison, reports the New York Times. The cramped trailers house convicted rapists, sexual predators and child abusers, about 40 sex offenders in all. They are stuck there in large part because Suffolk County, like many jurisdictions, has in recent years passed laws that bar convicted sex offenders from living near schools, day care centers and other places with children. The restrictions are so sweeping that it can be difficult for the offenders to find housing, leaving many homeless, officials said.

Suffolk County, on Long Island, installed the trailers, after the authorities discovered that sex offenders had crowded into cheap motel rooms, sometimes down the hall from families with children. Around the country, similar clusters of offenders have been found in campgrounds, under highway overpasses and other isolated spots. The solution was supposed to be temporary. That was nearly six years ago. Today, the number of men living in the trailers in Southampton has doubled. No seems satisfied with the situation.

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