A Place For Convicted Sex Offenders to Live After prison
Located in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sugar cane fields in the poorest area of Palm Beach County in Florida, this community of criminals and sex offenders lives in almost total isolation from the rest of the world.
Welcome to Miracle Village
The 200 people of this village have all committed crimes, such as robbery, murder and sexual offenses, some of them living with their families. And more than 100 of them are registered as the sex offender.
Some individuals are convicted of committing crimes of a sexual nature and have been convicted of imprisonment. Some of them viewed child pornography or harassed or sexually abused their children.
This community has become a rare refuge for these people to try to rebuild their lives, as finding an apartment to rent elsewhere is nearly impossible, or trying to reintegrate society.
Under the Florida law, none of these sex offenders can live in a 1000-odd division of schools, day care centers, parks or playgrounds. Meanwhile, some cities have increased these limits by 2500 feet.
Some of these sex predators have GPS devices installed and controlled by the police.
For this reason, these sex offenders are marginalized by society and the survival of this community can only come from within as they have to respond to all their basic needs. When your nearest supermarket is 40-minutes away, each transport is calculated.
Where do you go when you are forbidden to live close to a school, a bus stop, a park, and so on? That’s how Miracle village came about.
Florida laws have made Miracle Village so popular.
The Miracle Village was founded in 1964 for sugar cane workers and in 2009 priest Dick Virvoy opened it to those convicted of different sex offenses. He noticed the problems of the perpetrators and tried to find a place for them.
Studies show how by creating a sense of community and bound where helping each other out is the only way to survive has fostered a more positive future for this community of sex offenders.
In order to maintain itself, the village is managed autonomously.
The inhabitants of this village have their daily lives and their routines far from any judicial restriction and have found a way to create their own rules to insurance a sense of harmony.
The village even has amenities and cultural facilities where families can gather and take part in different social activities.
Looking to rebuild their lives, some have now become teachers, priests, sports coaches, some who are guilty of sex offenses. Should we let this happen? Or should reintegration within society be in fact the key solution from preventing this vicious cycle to continue?
There are those who have gone to jail with their confessions and also those who had sex with underage girls.
The effect of this law is to eliminate sexual offenders from populated areas, yet is this the real solution? Where do these people go? Are all crimes worthy of the same punishment?
Some might wonder how this all started in the first place, similar to what Australia used to be for prisoners from Europe.
When you hear the words sex offender, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Perhaps a dirty old pedophile that creeps around a school looking to lure little kids with candy, no?
Did you know that the term ‘‘sex offender’’ englobes a wide range of cases? This means that the most terrible crime committed toward a child is painted with the same brush as an 18-year old having consensual sex with his underage 16-year-old girlfriend.
Are the two the same?
Would you feel comfortable enough to reintegrate them within society? Or is eternal punishment the solution?