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National

WI: Clock is ticking for county to find sex offender housing

[ehextra.com – 5/26/21]

MARINETTE — Nothing has changed since about two weeks ago when Marinette County Administrator John Lefebvre told the Administrative Committee the county still has not found a place to house a Wisconsin Chapter 980 violent sex offender. If the county doesn’t find housing for that person by June 10, it could face monetary sanctions.

At Tuesday’s county board meeting, he said, “At the present time options for placement are limited to none. There are no good viable options.”

The county received notice Feb. 10 that an offender (James _____, 52) from the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, Wisconsin, will be released to Marinette County. That center houses “Chapter 980” offenders, which according to state statutes are labeled “Sexually Violent Person Commitments.”

Wisconsin Chapter 980, which took effect in 1994, allows civil commitment and treatment for certain sex offenders after they complete criminal sentences. For many years after Chapter 980 took effect, violent sex offenders have faced hurdles finding places to live. In 2017, Act 184 was adopted which required counties where the offenders were convicted to find suitable housing after they have completed their prison sentences.

The committee thought it had a potential location on Mudbrook Road, located at the border of the towns of Lake and Porterfield, but at its March meeting, the county board voted it down by an emphatic 28-2 margin. About 100 residents from that area attended the meeting — 16 of them spoke during public comment — and they convinced most supervisors to vote no.

Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison, on Tuesday, seemed to blame the board’s vote on media coverage.

“Just so everyone is aware, all the parties are aware, the county board opted not to fund the house because the news media was all over that,” she said. “Just an FYI.”

The EagleHerald ran one short story in advance of that board meeting. Residents of that neighborhood took it upon themselves, to organize, educate themselves, conduct meetings and contact the proper officials. The end result was a strong, powerful show of support before the full county board.

Lefebvre, on Tuesday, pointed out that when a property is labeled as a potential site, the sheriff’s office then investigates to make sure there are no families with children living on the adjoining properties.

They are trying desperately to meet the June 10 deadline to submit a plan to the state. If they don’t, the county could be fined $500 to $1,000 per day.

Lefebvre said if the county does not have a plan by June 10, it will continue the effort because the fines won’t stop.

“It’s each day that we could be assessed a penalty,” he said. “If we don’t have one by the 10th, we will try to get one by the 11th, then we’ll go to the 12th and the 13th. We will just continue on until we find a placement. This isn’t going away.”

Lefebvre said if the county does not show it is trying to find housing, “the state will not look kindly on that.”

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LOL I love it that their own BS policies will now figuratively and literally cost them. This wouldn’t be an issue if they didn’t have those wonderful residency restrictions. May this bankrupt you all.

I love hearing about law enforcement struggling to house sex offenders and watching the medias fear-mongering coverage completely backfire in their faces
If every sex offender living in California picked one month out of the year and registered as transient and slept in their cars for two weeks in protest that shiit would literally destroy Megan’s law’s database.
Can you imagine the media’s coverage of thousands of sex offenders on the loose then the public can see for themselves how useless Megan’s law really is

Good luck 🤢

Pss Wisconsin here’s an idea get rid of the residence restrictions and while at the membership hit list. That’s one thing society should cancel the violation of people forced to register rights and being hated by our society.

This is what will bring the registry down.
I would like to congratulate the morons that helped pass such an idiotic law.

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