sex offenders

Emily Michot emichot@miamiherald

A Miami-Dade judge on Thursday cleared the way for the county to dismantle a tent village of homeless sex offenders outside Hialeah, and a lawyer for some of the residents said the ruling leaves them no choice but to live on a roadside or street somewhere else.

Miami Herald

Four homeless sex offenders living in tents outside Hialeah are suing to block Miami-Dade from dismantling their roadside encampment, arguing the county's own rules aimed at sexual predators have left them few options.

"Inhabitants of the encampment are not there by choice or circumstance," reads the request for an emergency injunction from unnamed plaintiffs. "They were forced into involuntary homelessness by Defendant's deliberate, long-standing policy of severely restricting where individuals formerly convicted of certain sexual offenses may reside in Miami-Dade County."

Florida is upgrading the website that allows people to find out the location of sexual offenders and sexual predators.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Roughly 260 sex offenders have registered as their residence the intersection of Northwest 36th Court and 71st Street, on the edge of Hialeah and Miami.  The closest house is four blocks away and the only buildings here are squat warehouses.

In 2010, Lester Packingham was convicted of having a Facebook account. That's a crime in North Carolina, which bars registered sex offenders from "accessing" certain social media sites, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether that law violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Packingham contends the statute, instead of being narrowly targeted, encompasses a "vast amount" of speech that is protected by the Constitution.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement wants to revise a law further cracking down on sex offenders that was slated to take effect a couple months ago.

Florida Department of Corrections’ probation officers will be working with law enforcement across the state Monday to ensure sex offenders are not interacting with kids this Halloween.

Adam Fagen/flickr

While students are out of school for the holiday break, Florida’s attorney general is waging a Twitter campaign to keep kids safe in cyberspace. The campaign urges parents to get a good look into their children’s electronic devices.

Kids have more time to spend online when school is out. Attorney General Pam Bondi says predators know this and are looking for potential victims. She says predators use online games with message boards and Internet chat rooms to pose as teenagers and ask for face-to-face meetings. 

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Doug Smith / Florida Department of Corrections

On The Florida Roundup: The state Supreme Court approves a controversial new drug mix used in executions of Death Row inmates. Plus we look at the latest reports cards on South Florida public schools.

Join Tom Hudson as he speaks with Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times, Margie Menzel of the News Service of Florida, Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press, Sammy Mack of WLRN-Miami Herald News and Patricia Mazzei and Melissa Sanchez of the Miami Herald.

Share your thoughts on the week’s news below in a live chat  curated by our digital editor Maria Murriel.

Elaine Chen / WLRN

The housing recovery has come fast to South Florida. But some are concerned that the cash-fueled rebound here may be relying, in part, on dirty money.