On the shaded streets of Long Island communities Coram and Gordon Heights, 39 convicted sex offenders live within a half-square-mile area. Fifteen reside on one block alone, and 11 properties house multiple offenders, reports Newsday. Of the 39 offenders, the state designates 17 as Level 3, the most dangerous classification–the category law enforcement regards as most likely to commit new crimes. One sodomized three boys younger than 8. Another abused two girls, 4 and 6.
It’s no accident that so many sex offenders ended up in a small area, say 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. Because many offenders require housing assistance, the county’s Department of Social Services also plays a large role in forming clusters. “There are sex offenders clustering wherever you have the lowest-cost rentals,” said one official.