Thursday, June 02, 2005

TBI's Record of Sex Offenders In Our Zip: Two In Germantown

A search of the TBI database of convicted sex offenders living in the 37208 zip code yielded two in the North End. They live in different apartments at 1414 4th Ave., North. (Note: the list of addresses of offenders depends upon the offenders' initiatives to report and to update their places of residence). Their offences include sexual battery and sexual battery by an authority figure.

The complex at 1414 4th Ave., North sits in Germantown and appears seedy and drab from the outside. It sits in close proximity to the south side of Morgan Park. It is owned by Park Center, Inc., a non-profit agency that "provides job training and placement, housing, treatment, case management, dual diagnosis groups and other support services for adults diagnosed with a serious mental illness."

While I see the value of providing services for integrating the mentally ill into society, I also think that our communities need to remain vigilant and on guard to the possibility that known, convicted sexual predators might relapse. If they relapse, some in the neighborhood might be the victims next time. Natural consequences of committing sexual crimes include a perpetrator's own embarrassment and the valid fear felt by others living around the perpetrator. So, public knowledge of the presence of convicts is not contrary to the mission to fill gaps in mental health care.

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