They say that Miami-Dade County has some of the toughest sex-offender laws in the country — so tough, in fact, that they house some people who have been convicted of sex offenses against children right under the highway (I always thought prison was a pretty good solution, but I guess I was mistaken).

Convicted sex offenders in Miami can’t live within 2,500 feet of places children might gather, so the options are obviously limited. They’ll certainly never get close to R. Kelly and Michael Jackson, so about the only thing left to do is live under a bridge:

The sparkling blue waters off Miami’s Julia Tuttle Causeway look as if they were taken from a postcard. But the causeway’s only inhabitants see little paradise in their surroundings.

Five men — all registered sex offenders convicted of abusing children — live along the causeway because there is a housing shortage for Miami’s least welcome residents.

“I got nowhere I can go!” says sex offender Rene Matamoros, who lives with his dog on the shore where Biscayne Bay meets the causeway.

One of the men said he has to sleep on a chair to keep the rats off him. Penance can be a nasty thing, but in order to make him truly know what his victim(s) went through, we’d have to take away the chair.


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