Nestled in the sugar cane fields of Florida is this small, pleasant-looking village. From the outside, it looks like any other small town in America, except it’s not. Far from it, in fact.
The name of this place is “Miracle Village,” and it’s a village almost exclusively made up of convicted sex offenders.
Florida law makes it difficult for convicted sex offenders to find a place to live after they’re released from prison. Offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or bus stop because of fears that they might re-offend.
Late pastor Dick Witherow founded Miracle Village in 2009. Before that, sugar cane workers used the area for housing.
Witherow himself was almost a convicted sex offender after he impregnated his 14-year-old girlfriend. Lucky for him, the judge allow Witherow to marry her instead of convicting him of statutory rape.
Miracle Village has a strict screening and application process for new applicants.
Those convicted of certain types of sex crimes are not allowed, as well as those with a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse.
Residents at Miracle Village try their best to live a normal life. They go to church, bible study, and anger management classes.
Locals has met Miracle Village with mixed reception. Some are supportive or not bothered by the village. Others are vehemently against having the village so close to their home and family.
Something must be working though. Since the founding of Miracle Village, there has not been a single sex crime reported there.
(Via: Amusing Planet)
Even though it’s an issue we’d rather not face, we as a society need to address the welfare of released sex offenders. Since laws like Florida’s are commonplace, convicted sex offenders around the country often end up living on the streets. This puts them at a greater risk to others.
You may not like the idea of having a place like Miracle Village in your backyard, but more places like it are necessary.