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Get-tough Stand is Too Expensive, isn’t Productive

September 22, 2009

miamiherald.com : Get-tough stand is too expensive, isn’t productive.

South Florida cities and counties have clung to ill-considered ordinances that by now have forced upwards of 80 sex offenders to live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway — recasting Miami into a place given to medieval justice.

Newsweek, in this week’s issue, became only the latest national publication to eviscerate Miami’s image, describing the causeway camp as “a squalid and dreary place. The air is thick and stifling, reeking of human feces and of cat urine from all the strays that live there . . . Makeshift dwellings sprawl out in every direction — tents clinging to concrete pylons, rickety shacks fashioned out of plywood, a camper shell infested with cockroaches. There is no running water or sewage system; inhabitants relieve themselves in shopping bags and toss the sacks into a pile of refuse that they burn periodically.”

Unintended Consequences

The Newsweek article describes how Ron Book, the lobbyist who had pushed for the Draconian residency restrictions for sex offenders, now recognizes the escalating unintended consequences.

But even Book may find that city and county commissioners who originally voted for his get-tough ordinances won’t be so receptive to a softer approach.

Policitians are not easily convinced to back off the concept of getting tough, even when the policy equates to getting stupid.

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