Los Angeles Builds Mini Parks to Drive Away Sex Offenders
Many municipalities prohibit sex offenders from living near parks. L.A. and Miami are taking it one step further and calling patches of grass “parks” in order to rid their cities of the offenders who currently reside there.
At the corner of Decker Avenue and Torrance Boulevard in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood of Los Angeles, the city is constructing the smallest park within its borders. At just 1,000 square feet -- the size of a modest apartment -- there’s maybe enough room for a jungle gym. Maybe.
But the new park isn’t being built primarily as a playspace for neighborhood kids. It’s being constructed expressly for the purpose of driving away the more than 30 convicted sex offenders who live nearby.
California law prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. The new pocket park will force offenders to move elsewhere. Los Angeles wants to build two more parks, in the nearby Wilmington neighborhood, for the same purpose. The city could spend up to $6 million on just one of those tiny parks, to purchase and develop the land.
Municipal ordinances limiting where registered sex offenders are allowed to live are nothing new. So-called “child safety zone” measures have proliferated in cities across the country in recent years; some localities now limit not only where registered offenders can live, but also where they’re allowed to go. Bans on entering parks, libraries and other public spaces have grown more common.
But building new parks as a way to force offenders to move is a recent development. Last year Miami officially redefined an unused city plot as a new park. It accomplished its intended purpose of moving out sex offenders in the area, but the park itself -- a couple of springy playground rides and some patches of poorly sodded grass -- wasn’t much to look at. “I’ve seen Third World countries with parks better than this,” one Miami resident told a local TV station.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST PUBLIC SAFETY & JUSTICE HEADLINES
Remaining Charges Dropped Against All Cops in Freddie Gray Case4 hours ago
Wildfires Prompt States of Emergency and Evacuations Around California6 hours ago
Pro-Pot Group Makes 2 Endorsements for New Hampshire Governor8 hours ago
Facing Lawsuit, Texas Eases Birth Certificate Policy for U.S.-Born Children of Immigrants1 day ago
Denied Medical Care, Sick Prisoners Sue Tennessee Officials1 day ago
With Restorative Justice, Offenders Avoid Prison and Victims Get a Bigger Voice2 days ago