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Suffolk Notebook: County Eyes New Plan to House Sex Offenders

Meanwhile, trailers in Westhampton and Riverside stay open.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone this week said he plans to close two controversial homeless sex offender trailers in Riverside and Westhampton as soon as a new plan is developed for housing, though critics had hoped he would shutter the shelters by the Jan. 1 deadline he set himself.

Bellone said that he has directed the Suffolk County Police Department to work with other agencies of county government, advocacy organizations and mental health experts to review existing county laws and to submit a plan to reform the county's approach to dealing with sex offenders by the end of January.

A new approach is necessary, Bellone said, because current laws intended to protect communities from sex offenders are being successfully challenged in jurisdictions across New York.

There are more than 1,000 registered sex offenders throughout Suffolk County, he said. But, Bellone added, county policy has been disproportionately focused on about 40 sex offenders who are homeless. Suffolk County is obligated under New York State law to pay for the housing of the homeless, including homeless registered sex offenders, he said.

Last year, Bellone vowed at a press conference to have the two trailers closed by Jan. 1. And in December, local elected officials urged him to keep that promise. Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman said last month that if the trailers were not closed by Jan. 1, he would organize a large community meeting in Riverhead and ask that Bellone come speak directly to community members about why.

"I'm disappointed," Schneiderman said Wednesday. "I was hoping the county executive would be able to make his own Jan. 1 deadline."

Sandy Disaster Recovery Centers to Close

More that two months since Superstorm Sandy devastated much of Long Island, Suffolk County said it will close Disaster Recovery Centers in Islip and Mastic at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

More than 3,400 locals who survived the hurricane have visited the centers since they opened.

The Disaster Recovery Center at the Lindenhurst Library in Lindenhurst will remain open.

Jaguar-Guy January 10, 2013 at 07:29 PM
John K. Happy New Year. I'd like my increased tax dollars go to paying down the debt.
Tod January 10, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Also, there are children as young as ten years old on the list. Here's another atrocity of the shame list. If a guy has sex with his girlfriend when he was a teenager, the conviction in some states will be listed as 'Sexual assault of a minor' (because minors can not consent, so it must have been rape). Then 20-30 years later all his neighbors know about him is that the web site says he sexually assaulted a minor. NOBODY is going to buy his story that he just had sex with his girlfriend at an age when neither one of them knew what they were doing. AND, it's always the guy who gets this noose around his neck. The girl is the 'victim'. Politicians have turned the list into a three ring circus, so that it can no longer be used for anything worthy. It can only be used as a way to make ourselves feel better by hating somebody else that we've agreed it's okay to hate. If we could replace the sex offender registry with a registry of people who have committed violent crimes (of any kind) and where it has been determined that they may reoffend, who could be against that?
John K Massaro January 10, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Probably the smartest post I've read on this entire board. You hit the nail directly on the head...
Preliator January 10, 2013 at 08:39 PM
I think these ideas merit more discussion. Good job.
Pamela Fowler January 11, 2013 at 05:52 PM
*"Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members".~Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), My Several Worlds [1954]. *"A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." has also been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi although the complete quote i actually: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man" *Aristotle has often been quoted as saying you can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. If we consider the atrocious crimes committed against children and the way the elderly are treated as second-rate citizens in our so-called civilized countries, I would have to say that whoever came up with the quote was, and still is, right on the money. I sought definitive attribution and the above represents that which is undeniably relevant.

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