Report finds predatory offenders clustered in a few Mpls. neighborhoods

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Five Minneapolis zip codes have a significantly higher concentration of predatory offenders living there than the rest of the city, according to a report discussed at a City Council committee meeting this week.

The Action Research Team on Sex Offender Concentration report – available on the council's meeting agenda – is a project requested by the City Council two years ago.

On Wednesday, the council's Public Safety, Civil Rights and Emergency Management Committee discussed the not-quite-final report. It found five zip codes – 55404, 55405, 55411, 55412, and 55430 – had a significant concentration of predatory offenders compared to the rest of Minneapolis.

Council Member Blong Yang, a representative of some of those areas, said at the meeting it "confirms what we already knew," The Journal reports. Council President Barb Johnson said they now need to figure out how to actually address the issue, according to the paper.

Those zip codes comprise the Jordan, Willard Hay, Hawthorne, Near North, Harrison, Webber-Camden, and Camden-Industrial, Phillips West, Midtown Phillips, and East Phillips neighborhood.

There are 790 total predatory offenders in that concentrated area, according to the data, making up about 0.71 percent of the total population there.

According to the Census Bureau, the 2013 American Community Survey estimates put the population of those zip codes at 116,071 – meaning approximately one in every 147 people there is a predatory offender.

KSTP spoke with a family of all women and children that lives in one of those zip codes about the impact it has on their day-to-day lives, and how it makes them nervous to be in the neighborhood.

Why does this clustering happen?

The availability of and restrictions on housing are the main reasons for clustering of sex offenders in certain areas.

According to a couple of surveys conducted, there aren't many options for affordable and transitional housing, and there are very few landlords in other neighborhoods that will rent to a predatory offender. The availability of offender services and support systems, as well as employment opportunities and transportation, also play a role.

Other findings

  • Predatory offenders don't reoffend as much as the public perceives they do, and it has less impact on public safety than re-entry of some other types of criminals into society.
  • This clustering does hurt housing values; they fall anywhere from 2.3 percent to 12 percent.
  • Hennepin County isn't getting any "extra" predatory offenders (whether from another county or another state).

The group is slated to publish a final report next month. It will be available on the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach – Engagement Center website, and on the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights webpage.

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