‘Sentinel’: Sheriff Wants Sex Offenders Banned from Hurricane Shelters

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By: E&P Staff

They’ve had their names splashed across the Web and newspaper pages, their photos posted on walls. They’re prohibited from living close to schools in many areas. Now a Florida sheriff, the Orlando Sentinel reports today, wants to ban sex offenders and predators from public hurricane shelters in his county.

And he might just get his wish. A state Department of Corrections spokesman, Robby Cunningham, told the paper: ?There are certain places they have to go,? such as a correctional facility or with relatives. ?They are not allowed to go to (public) shelters.? But sometimes, they do.

Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said sex offenders should be evacuated to a separate shelter where they can be monitored, and he wants to use a 50-bed work release center at the Seminole County Jail in Sanford for this purprose.

Deputy sheriffs would be sent to the home of each known offender who fails to report to that shelter, Eslinger told the newspaper. Unless they are home or in another approved location, they would face arrest for violating their probation, he said.

Last year, officials said two sex offenders were sent by their probation officers to Lyman High School in Longwood, one of several Seminole County schools designated as public shelters.

The men were isolated from each other and others at the shelter. ?Officers had to escort them to get their meals or arrange to have the food taken to them,? the Sentinel said. ?The men were allowed to take showers only after everyone else in the shelter was done.

?Many of the hundreds of evacuees at the shelter had no idea why the two men had individual rooms while everyone else had to cram into the same area.?

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