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National

TX: Houston Is Forcing Its Parolees Out of City Center and into ‘the Boonies’

[injusticetoday.com 5/22/18]

Houston has come up with a new way to make life harder for people leaving prison on parole: by forcing the programs that provide them with housing, often paired with job placement and other services, to move outside the city limits.

At the end of March, the city council approved an ordinance that imposes new regulations and inspections designed to improve safety conditions in boarding houses and other facilities. But it also requires housing for people on parole — known as “alternative housing” — or correctional facilities to be located at least 1,000 feet from parks, schools, daycares, and other re-entry housing.

Jeff Reichman, a principal with data consulting firm January Advisors, created a map at the request of advocates with public data on Houston parks and schools that drew a red dot for each school or park. There’s virtually nowhere in the city’s center where re-entry housing can now be located. “The only place they’re leaving for expanding or building new housing for these folks is out in the sticks, in the boonies,” said Jay Jenkins, Harris County project attorney at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.

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Following upon the great success that municipalities across Texas and the US have had in banning sex offenders by means of residency restrictions, the City of Houston is now going to do the same to all parolees released from TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) by imposing a 1000-foot proximity restriction on the location of re-entry housing (halfway houses) relative to parks, schools, daycares, and other re-entry housing.

It’s a bad thing, but it might do some good. The more people that society bans, the more the practice will be scrutinized, and the more that will join the fight against it.

Agreed! Any legal challenges which scrutinize how others are forced to register will inevitably redound to our benefit.

This is starting to look like a bad Kurt Russell Movie.

As I’ve said time and time again, any policy or law imposed (and cheered) upon sex offenders inevitably gets expanded upon until it encapsulates all criminals.

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