Where Should Sex Offenders Live When They're Released?
After they've served their time, sex offenders by statute must be released into the communities where they committed their crimes. Understandably, this doesn't sit well with potential neighbors, but they have to go somewhere, right?
The almost-release of convicted sex offender Michael Fink into the Manree Park neighborhood touched a deep nerve throughout the community.
Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz temporarily rescinded his release order because one of Fink's victims lives just a block or two away from Fink's proposed residence at 918 Lathrop Avenue.
Fink was convicted first in 1987 of second degree sexual assault and served an 18-month sentence. He was then convicted of attempted burglary and got a five-year stint in prison. Then, in 1994, he was convicted of attacking two 12-year-old girls. After he served his sentence, he was found to be sexually violent under Wisconsin's 980 law and committed to the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston.
State statute says that sex offenders have to be released back into the communities where they committed their crimes so Fink will live, albeit under strict supervision, somewhere in Racine County. The trick, according to Lloyd Sinclair of the Department of Human Services, is finding a location that isn't too close to schools, playgrounds, or daycare centers. DHS also has to be sure that victims aren't nearby and there aren't too many other sex offenders in the neighborhood as well.
It's a tall order to be sure, and residents who live in the vicinity get vocal about not having these types of criminals in their neighborhoods.
Terri Renguette on Facebook said, "I suggest right next door to the judge, his attorney, the parole board or anyone else from the court system that think this is a safe idea. Let him be their next door neighbor around their kids and grandkids."
Patch reader C. Sanders posted a comment on an earlier story, "If they want to release this (expletive), then air drop him nude to a remote location in Antarctica. For that matter, send him into space with enough air for 30 seconds."
Fink's release is still a go, and the DHS has 30 days or less to find a suitable location, per the judge's order issued Thursday.
So, readers, where should sex offenders be placed when it's time for them to be released?