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General NewsNational

NY: Sex Offenders Sue City, State

____ ____ needed to satisfy his crack habit. So he grabbed a sawed-off shotgun and robbed two women in the elevators of Brooklyn apartment buildings. During one of the 1985 holdups, he reached into a woman’s bra looking for cash, he said.

Last June, Mr. Griffin was paroled after serving nearly 30 years in prison for robbery, grand larceny and sexual abuse. He wanted to move back home, to New York City.

“I have brothers and sisters that have apartments, and nieces and nephews in Brownsville,” said Mr. Griffin, now 52 years old. But because he is a sex offender and isn’t allowed within 1,000 feet of school grounds, he couldn’t live with his family. Full Article

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  1. Malcolm

    Is there any way someone can paste the contents of this article to our board? I do not want to subscribe or sign in to read a new story.

    • Roger

      Sometimes it works to use Google’s cached pages feature, which are web pages Google has stored. You can read about how it works here:
      https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1687222?hl=en

      Unfortunately, the WSJ website appears to not allow Google to cache all its pages, so you won’t see the “cached” option when you follow the above procedure.

      But the cached pages feature is very handy for looking at pages that were deleted.

    • David Kennerly

      Your wish is my command (I’m a subscriber):

      Sex Offenders Sue City, State

      Parolees say they are being kept behind bars because of shelter rule; sticking point is schools

      Donald Griffin lives in a shelter on Wards Island, at the northern end of the East River between Manhattan and Queens. The shelter is one of the few places he can live in the city because he is a sex offender and isn’t allowed within 1,000 feet of school grounds.

      CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
      By CORINNE RAMEY
      June 22, 2016 9:02 p.m. ET
      15 COMMENTS
      Donald Griffin needed to satisfy his crack habit. So he grabbed a sawed-off shotgun and robbed two women in the elevators of Brooklyn apartment buildings. During one of the 1985 holdups, he reached into a woman’s bra looking for cash, he said.

      Last June, Mr. Griffin was paroled after serving nearly 30 years in prison for robbery, grand larceny and sexual abuse. He wanted to move back home, to New York City.

      “I have brothers and sisters that have apartments, and nieces and nephews in Brownsville,” said Mr. Griffin, now 52 years old. But because he is a sex offender and isn’t allowed within 1,000 feet of school grounds, he couldn’t live with his family.

      New York state enacted its Sexual Assault Reform Act 16 years ago. At the time, Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, hailed it as a “historic weapon” to protect New Yorkers from sexual predators.

      In the past few years, the push to keep tabs on sex offenders has continued. In 2014, the state corrections department stopped sending offenders to shelters within 1,000 feet of school grounds because of political pressure.

      “In many cases, they’re not cured, and in some cases they commit crimes against children,” said state Sen. Jeffrey Klein, a Democrat who has released reports on sex offenders living near schools and in shelters.

      Betty Braton has fought for years against sex offenders at a shelter in her part of Queens. “In most communities they prefer no sex offenders anywhere, but to have them all consolidated at one address is problematic for a community,” said Ms. Braton, chairwoman of Queens Community Board 10.

      The upshot for both New York and the city is that housing sex offenders has become even more complicated. In the past few years, the already limited options for sex offenders have shrunk as more city shelters have been deemed off limits. About 100 sex offenders who have completed their sentences are being kept in prison, according to a class-action lawsuit against the corrections department and the agency that manages city shelters.

      According to the lawsuit, filed last month in state Supreme Court in Albany, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is illegally incarcerating those whose sentences are complete, and the city, which is obligated by law to provide shelter, isn’t making shelter beds available.

      Residency Restriction

      State law prohibiting some sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school leaves few city shelters available to those who are homeless and recently released from prison.

      School
      1,000 ft. radius
      Men’s shelter
      Women’s shelter
      BRONX
      Veteran’s shelter
      NEW JERSEY
      MANHATTAN
      QUEENS
      *
      BROOKLYN
      STATEN
      ISLAND
      3 miles
      Note: Areas shown are calculated based on address points rather than school grounds boundaries and may not represent the full extent off limits to offenders. *Shelter doesn’t accept sex offenders

      Sources: City documents; New York State law; New York City Department of City Planning
      Some of the people being held past their sentences are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was brought by private firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and public-defender groups the Legal Aid Society and Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York. Oral arguments are scheduled for August.

      A state corrections department spokesman declined to comment because of the pending litigation. A spokesman for the city Law Department said the complaint is under review.

      When released from prison, a parolee typically gives an address that must be approved by the corrections department; state law stipulates certain sex offenders aren’t allowed within 1,000 feet of school grounds.

      “What the law does is render many people homeless,” said Wesley Caines, re-entry coordinator at Brooklyn Defender Services, a public-defender organization.

      Until the 2014 policy change, the corrections department directed sex offenders to city shelters. “The fallout…was swift and severe,” the complaint says.

      The switch quickly created a backlog of offenders, some of whom are in sections of prisons that have been renamed residential treatment centers but operate as prisons, the complaint says.

      A field near the Wards Island shelter where Mr. Griffin lives. PHOTO: CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
      Given the laws, the corrections department and the shelter system are left with few options. “They are between a rock and a hard place in terms of what their options are,” said JoAnne Page, president and chief executive of re-entry organization the Fortune Society.

      Cities and states nationwide have passed laws much like New York’s that restrict where some sex offenders can live. Some say these laws make it nearly impossible for sex offenders to be reintegrated into society and note research has shown residency restrictions don’t deter them from committing another crime.

      “Sex offenders are among the people we fear the most, yet we’ve created a scenario in which it’s almost impossible for them to become normative,” said David D’Amora, a senior adviser at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, a policy-research nonprofit.

      • Erwin

        Article fails to mention that New York State only allows locales to apply a uniform 1,000 foot rule to level 3 offenders. Level 1 & 2 are free to live where they want. In fact, level 1 offenders aren’t even listed on the public websites

        New York is way ahead of the curve compared to Wisconsin. Their law is totally opposite of NY. Level 3 offenders have more rights because WI law overrides local ordinances when placing level 3 offenders released from prison. However, the local ordinances still apply to low level 1 & 2 offenders. So the DOC has the right to place into a community a level 3 offender convicted of a violent rape whereas a level 1 convicted of indecent exposure has no rights.

        • SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

          If you are going to quote ny law you should correctly do it so not to misinform. the 1000 foot rule applies to all on probation and parole if the victim or “imaginary” victim is under 18 years old and all level 3’s regardless of age

        • Erwin

          Nothing incorrect about what I posted. You’re just nit picking. The article doesn’t make a clear distinction between parolees and RSOs no longer under supervision. If you can tell me where the article makes that distinction, I’m all ears.

          When the article leaves out that crucial information, one is led to conclude that the 1000 foot ordinance applies to ALL sex offenders including the ones not under supervision.

          But like I said, if you’re no longer under supervision, you are not restricted by residency ordinances in the state of New York unless you’re a level 3 offender

          …..now if you can dispute what I say and back it up with evidence, bring it on

        • Erwin

          Parolees and probationers (especially once who committed sex offenses) are always under more restrictions no matter what state they live in

        • SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

          once you are done with parole and probation there is no restrictions regardless of your level read the law.

        • Erwin

          Not in the state of New York

          Even if one is off of probation or parole, locales can still enforce the 1,000 foot ordinance for level 3 offenders

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/02/17/ny-ruling-local-laws-restrict-sex-offenders-homes/23585499/

          You need to brush up on your homework

      • Malcolm

        Thank you David 🙂

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