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Miracle Village: A haven for America’s social pariahs (with Video)

Almost 750,000 Americans are now on sex offender registries, and the numbers just keep growing. Because the truly dangerous are mixed in with the far more numerous low-risk offenders, registries are useless from a public safety perspective. But they do have a pernicious effect on ex-offenders, who oftentimes find themselves with nowhere to go and no hope of ever reintegrating into society.

Enter “Miracle Village” in Florida. Built in 1964 for sugar cane workers (some of whom still live there), it was transformed into a haven by an evangelical pastor and his wife (both of whom, ironically, were sexually molested as children). It’s now home to about 100 convicted sex offenders, a place they can be among others like themselves and feel a bit more human. Since the community was established in 2009, there has not been one reported sex crime, according to the local sheriff’s office. Full Article – New York Times Article / Video

Join the discussion

  1. Kathleen

    This makes me think of a leper colony. Or maybe that place out in the California desert where they made the Japanese go during WWII.
    I’m glad the residents in this place have found some peace but it’s still segregation.
    And, as someone I know pointed out, the research shows that there wouldn’t have been recidivism no matter where these men resided.
    Do you want your children raised in a “camp?”

  2. Anonymouse

    In what kind of society is a young man who has a 16 year old girlfriend a ‘social pariah’ for the rest of his life???

  3. Kathleen

    Anonymouse, the answer to that is… The kind of society where legislators, law enforcement, mental health providers, journalists, television talk show hosts, and the general public call them “social pariahs” and get away with it. (And a lot of other nasty names)

  4. Fish in a net

    great beginning, but does not far or deep enough into the truth. These reports need to go deeper into the non offence offences. The Romeo and Juliets, reporters please put this side by side with marriage age statistics from our grand parents and great grand parents generations. The victim less offences, not a single individual was touched or even spoken to… The pirated music downloader that picked up a picture image in error, the indecent exposure that wasn’t even a “flasher” senerio just poor judgement of time/place/privacy (i.e. are the homeless bared from having sex since they lack a private home to have it in?)

  5. JD

    At Reform Sex Offender Laws’ (RSOL’s) annual conference last year, a map of Albuquerque, New Mexico was shown with all of the places a “sex offender” cannot live close to circled, with each circle representing the area within which a sex offender cannot live. Virtually the entire city was engulfed in circles on this map…except for a very small area on the south side, where sex offenders have naturally congregated to find homes in which they can legally live. Some have been forced to relocate miles from any town, and others follow. This is, indeed, a travesty.

    That this travesty has been possible in our “democracy” is a perfect example of how our country has already become something far *less* than a democracy. It is a far cry from the country we all grew up believing was built on a Constitution which protects the right of us *all* to due process. Far too many of us blithely assume everyday that we are safe from the whims of government and politicians because we “are not criminals.” How do we know we aren’t criminals? How do we know that tomorrow a bill will not be passed into law which makes one of our daily habits a crime? Far-fetched? Unlikely? Impossible? Try living your life with this important WWII statement in mind everyday, because enough of us doing so would change everything:

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.
    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.
    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.
    When they came for the Jews,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a Jew.
    When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

    Friedrich Gustav Martin Niemöller

  6. Alicia Tabolt

    We no longer live in a demcratic society when an innocent man is imprisoned for 6 years for child pornography on his hard drive after using a music file sharing program. A family devastated financially, emotionally, publically. Sex offender registry to follow incarceration for a lifetime of discrimination and hardship. What is this country coming to when tax paying, law abiding, productive members of society are railroaded by their own local police departments, defense attorneys and the government that claims to be for the people. Innocent until proven guilty no longer exists. We now live in a society that only cares about justifying a means to an end, innocent or not. Some day those who hold the authority to pass judgment will be judged.

  7. suzi

    “Miracle” Village?? What kind of a “Christian Group” is conspiring to augment this “Final Solution” against the mostly innocently-arrested & illegally convicted victims already made by your dishonest out-of-control Court systems in Florida which also further illegally punishes law-abiding singles & parents of children, by attempting to further segregate or banish them? Anyone conspiring to the segregation or banishment of non-criminals from society is punishably INHUMAN, and punishably ILLEGAL in America, especially in America!

    JESUS CRIST himself would angrily FORBID the ‘power’ you greedily attempt over your helpless American victims under your disquise of supposedly “helping” them with your “Ministry”!

    SHAME ON YOU !!

    *(please read below)*

    Haven’t you all learned anything from Hitler, Stalin, the Dark Ages, the Winatchee Witch-Hunts, Guantanamo Bay? Here in civlised Europe we HAVE learned from centuries of dishonest Monarchies, leaders of Witch Hunts, etc., therefore we don’t have ‘your’ American hysteria & problems here, no ‘Witches/Frankensteins’ (no falsely-made ‘sex-offenders’) nor your supposed ‘crime’! Do the math!

    >Travel warnings against America:Witch Hunt: A True Story of Social Hysteria and Abused Justice, by Kathryn Lyon<

    The only way to finally stop this? Your Country's infatuation with 'creating' innocent 'Sex Offenders' needs to STOP somewhere, then it's countless victims and their suffering children/families paid to for their permanent damages, and those who hatefully conspire to further hurt the innocent lives of such innocently convicted responsible singles & parents MUST be forced to pay for all damages which they have knowingly caused (starting with much of your criminally-mined 'Social-workers & Police', your 'PERVERTED, LYING PROSECUTORS' AND ESPECIALLY PUNISH YOUR VAST REGION OF INTENTFULLY "DISHONEST JUDGES" in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale & Miami, etc – then making a public example out of THEM by giving them L-I-F-E in prison!)

    History: Around late 1980's sadly marked the enormous outbreak of the widely publicized false sex-abuse cases in America (& especially the illegal / wrongful / false criminal convictions, often ending in suicide or permanent expatriation). Since then the vast majority of these so-called 'sex-offenders' are, in reality, truly NOT guilty of their 'described charges' and likely may have never committed ANY crime in their productive lives. The majority were 'represented' by your "public defenders" who usually have ties with dishonest prosecutors / police / judges, etc. The vast majority of these common injustice victims were knowingly 'rail-roaded' into making false plea-bargains (scared into admitting to something where there was a much, much smaller incident, and/or often where there was no crime at all!) by cruel threats of inhumanly-long prison sentences (or death), often when the Prosecutors & Judges personally know NO such crime ever existed!!! My God! What the H*ll has happened to America, especially out-of-control Florida?

    You hysterical people can now be SUED by your victims for everything you will ever own for attempting your 'personal power' by persecuting & defaming such good people who are doing nothing wrong (and who has likely never committed ANY crime!)

    SHAME ON YOU ALL for conspiring to continually rip apart innocent families and children in your illegal & highly inhuman wake of further persecutions against people who are doing nothing wrong, and who have the very same Rights to survive & pursue happiness as we all do!

    • td777

      Suzi, while I agree with your sentiment, I have to say I disagree with you in part. At least someone is doing something to provide a place for these people to go. Ideally, they would be able to go back home and be left alone. Since that is not allowed, I’m glad to see some Christians stepping up to the plate and saying “we’ll take you.” These registrants do have conditions put on them by Miracle Village, and some of those conditions are ridiculous. However, they do it so that they have less issues with law enforcement, as a way to protect the registrants.

      I am a Christian and a leader at my church and a registrant myself. I agree, the whole thing is ridiculous and anyone and everyone who is behind creating these laws will be accountable, if not in this life, then before our Lord himself. At the same time, I look at my life and what it would be like without my church coming along and saying “we’ll take you” when everything else in my life was being set up to isolate me from society itself. Praise the Lord, this church is at least trying to do the same for some registrants.

  8. Brubaker

    There are some who say you can get a fair trial in california ..
    Let Them Come to orange county ……
    they can call for an immediate backhall conference to delete/
    remove evidence from record after witness acknowledged no
    crime occurred and motive for accusation in the first place….
    they can keep from open court re-reading of the very same
    evidence …….they can blatantly give false jury instruction …..
    they can keep a Real private attorney from entering the case
    before sentence………………they need to close that court system
    Down……. corrupt.

    • td777

      LA and Riverside counties are no different. In fact, Riverside county doesn’t even allow you to have the option of pleading no contest. There, you either plead guilty or you go to trial.

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