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NY Counties Pay Sex Offenders to Find Housing

January 13, 2010

wpix.com: Plan to Build LI Sex Offender Shelters Abandoned.
empirestatenews.net: Suffolk to mirror Nassau Policy on placement of homeless sex offenders.

Suffolk County is discontinuing its efforts to locate facilities to house homeless sex offenders and will follow Nassau County’s model of providing vouchers that will enable homeless sex offenders to pick and choose their own places of residency, county officials announced today.

Suffolk had conducted an extensive search for locations that could meet an array of state and local restrictions for housing sex offenders before determining that such a site is virtually impossible to secure. As a result, County Executive Steve Levy has directed officials to follow the practice that is in place in Nassau County and other counties throughout the state—a system that requires homeless sex offenders to choose their own locations and to notify police within 10 days when they have done so.

According to Social Services Commissioner Gregory Blass, the state has decided to abandon the proposal and will also close two overnight locations in East Suffolk. Homeless sex offenders instead will reportedly be given a $90 voucher to stay at a hotel of their choice.

In other words, the laws governing where former sex offenders can live have become so restrictive that these counties have resorted to giving each offender cash to go find a place on his/her own.

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