Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sex Offenders Concentrated in North Minneapolis - And Residents Are UPSET!

For the past few months, the concentration of sex offenders in North Minneapolis has been a spotlighted hot button issue throughout the community, especially here on Johnny Northside Dot Com.

Recently, Councilman Don Samuels used his monthly community forum, Dessert with Don, to bring the discussion of sex offenders and their residential concentration to the forefront.  In my opinion no breakthroughs and solutions were achieved at this community forum, however just taking the steps to talk about and examine the problem is a good first step.  It's not enough though, and constituents of North Minneapolis must continue to push the agenda of sex offender concentration reform to the front of the line with our elected  and public officials, especially the state legislators, since it seems that is where reform must happen first.

Here is one North Minneapolis neighbor and community activist who did a little number crunching on his own.  It's residents like this that will pound the table and create the change we need to see in regards to this topic.  Let this video be a little motivation to everyone out there in NoMi-land to take up the cause, contact your state and local leaders and demand that laws be written and strengthened to protect the most vulnerable communities from bearing the unhealthy burden of housing the most dangerous and most undesirable in such lopsided ways.

Dessert with Don is held each month, on the last Monday of the month, at 6:00pm at UROC on Plymouth Ave. The 5th Ward office can be reached at 612-673-2205 if you'd like to recommend a certain issue to be highlighted at Dessert with Don.

(Do not click "read more")


Folwell Fox said...

I'll keep posting this for people to read until I hear something different from Mr. Mullery's office.

A note from State Rep. Joe Mullery after contacting his office:

Thank you for contacting my office about the concentration of Level III Sex Offenders on the North Side.

As my legislative assistant told you, this is an issue I worked on extensively several years ago. I met with the police, the Department of Corrections, and neighborhood groups to try and formulate a solution to this problem. The end result was legislation that said "the agency responsible for the offender's supervision shall take into consideration the proximity of the offender's residence to that of other level III offenders and proximity to schools and, to the greatest extent feasible, shall mitigate the concentration of level III offenders and concentration of level III offenders near schools." (M.S. 244.052, subd 4a) The problem continues because the county board doesn't require their probation officers to do this.

The enclosures will give you some background information on the obstacles we faced in trying to locate these offenders in other communities. One of the biggest obstacles was the complete lack of interest in the issue by members of the legislature. Unless the legislator represented the areas affected on the North and South sides of Minneapolis, no one cared because it didn't affect them. Even other members of the Minneapolis delegation showed no enthusiasm for making changes; after all, they didn't want these offenders showing up in their neighborhoods. Basically, only four of us in the legislature (out of 201) wanted to make changes.

In reviewing the enclosed materials, you'll see "findings" by so-called experts and scholars on how concentration of Level III sex offenders doesn't affect recidivism rates. However, the problem isn't just a public safety one, although that is a huge part of it. What isn't addressed is the "livability" issue. That part of the problem gets glossed over very quickly by the "experts". And I would be very surprised if any of these experts or scholars lives in a neighborhood where there is a high concentration of Level III sex offenders.

Joe Mullery
State Representative
District 58A
Hennepin County

Anonymous said...

I have a question about this issue. Why does the fact that someone is a registered sex offender make them a threat only to children? I really don't understand. I have been learning more than I ever cared to about the legal system through some unfortunate happenings with a close family member. We will continue to find our own way through this heartbreaking mess as a family, but it raises more questions for me. How accurate is the information we are getting? What do these levels really mean? I have been looking for information on this, but I think it's reasonable to assume that NO ONE is safe. Even the offenders.

Anonymous said...

Read the statute Denny. It's not an absolute. It doesn't apply to all L3 sex offenders.
The wording doesn't require anyone to do anything. It says they have to try. And if they try, that's all they have to do.
Until they re-write the statute, not much you can do but be angry.

Johnny Northside said...

The spammers are getting more clever. One left the following substantive comment, but their profile is for a penis enlargement product.

Thanks for the post! This has been nagging at me, too. I live in Near North and I’m white. It’s a huge struggle living up here, although I love parts of it, and deciding on a candidate for City Council is hard. They’re both vying for the black vote (which is smart, I suppose), but no one’s really addressing the issues that matter up here: where’s the infrastructure? why are violent crime abatement efforts failing so miserably? why doesn’t the rest of minneapolis care about our neighborhood (enough, even, to comment here)? North Minneapolis is ignored by larger Minneapolis, as if people are in the dark about what that ignorance means. And the best candidates we can get (one is better than the other; Don, who at least shows up at murder vigils and peace events) are people bickering about who’s blacker? That’s not what North needs.

September 12, 2010 11:03 PM


I am reproducing the comment (reproducing? get it? HA!!!!) but will not allow a link to a spam profile.

denny said...

To Anon 9/13/10 1:30 AM

MNSS244.052,Subd. 4a

"to the greatest extent feasible, shall mitigate the concentration of level III offenders"

Looks a little stiffer in intent than "try"

Anonymous said...

Black people have always pitted themselves against each other and trying to call each other on their respective blackness. There is a serious racist problem in the Black community and it is them vs. them.Hey,man, your'e not Black enough which obviously means that said person is to close to being White.No racism there.Post this, Mr. censorship.You aint got a fuckin' clue.