Now, I discuss another issue that a traveler may encounter when looking for a motel.
Blogger Bob G. over at The PA-IN Erudition recently found an interesting article on an Indiana program that deals with registered sex offenders:
...Since 2006, the Indiana Department of Correction has used federal grant money to house some sex offenders recently released from prison in motels across the state.
The program has been dubbed “DOC Assist” by prison officials and is designed to help offenders with no place to go and no support system to get back on their feet...
A motel housing a sex offender through the program typically receives money from the Department of Correction to cover three weeks’ worth of room fees... He said that in some cases the department might extend payments an extra week if needed.
At least one sex offender staying at Travelers Inn...said that is not the case.
“They’ve paid my bill since March 8,” said Willard Ernie Ritchie, a 58-year-old who was convicted of child molesting and served two years in prison.
After being released from prison, Ritchie said he was put up by the Department of Correction at Hallmark Inn. He lived there nearly three months...
Nothing like trying to save a few dollars while traveling on a family vacation, and checking-in to a hotel where a crew of registered sex offenders secretly reside.
I can see arguments from the opposing perspectives.
On one side, the public wants to know where registered sex offenders are living--especially when government funds are being used to pay for the housing.
It is a matter of public safety.
You know, while you watch your kids do cannonballs into the pool at a Motel 6 or Super 8 (two Indiana hotels participating in their program), and are not really wondering who else is viewing the water play.
From the other side, corrections officials want these released offenders to have a residence so that they can properly monitor them.
Often, local restrictions prevent sex offenders from living just about anywhere within a community.
So, with nowhere to go, the offenders then become homeless (like in several Florida cities)--living a transient lifestyle that makes if difficult for officials to know what these folks are doing.
And obviously, making it dangerous for citizens.
Regarding the government-financed motel rooms for sex offenders, I don't think this program has much of a future.
The more publicity that "DOC Assist" receives, the fewer hotel/motel owners that will want to participate.
Also, the funding for such an initiative would be limited, and possible liability concerns with the offenders would be troublesome as well.
Well then, what should society do with registered sex offenders knowing that some/the majority/many (depending on your perspective) will reoffend?
Currently, officials and experts do not have many answers to that question, but it should be noted that officer and former sex crimes detective Momma Fargo and I previously offered our opinions.
And we both only lost a few blog followers after doing so.