A New York court is taking state prison officials to task for policies that allow sex offenders to remain locked up long past their release dates.
The case in question involved a man, in prison for second-degree rape, who remained locked up four months after he was to have been released — due to residency restrictions.
Under the Sexual Assault Reform Act, Gonzalez is not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a school or any place where children congregate during his probation. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision interpreted this statute a little more than three years ago to include homeless shelters falling within that distance.As The New York Times reported at the time, this rule has had a “profound effect in New York City, where only 14 of the 270 shelters” are eligible to intake sex offenders. There are dozens of sex offenders like Gonzalez who have been forced to stay in prison beyond their release dates because the law’s residency restrictions.
The court ruled that state officials did not do enough to help Mr. Gonzalez find adequate housing.
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