Restrictions for sex offenders force many to live in same areas

PINELLAS COUNTY, FLA - Action News found more than 100 sex offenders all living in the same place and one man says it's a good thing.

"Sex offenders are all over the place. The general public runs into sex offenders every day, they just don't know it," said Jim Broderick.

Broderick is a registered sex offender.

"I certainly put myself in a very, very bad position," Broderick said.

In 2005, Broderick was convicted of using the internet to solicit a 14 year old for sex. In reality, the teen was a police officer.

He went to prison for three years and now lives in a mobile home park off Interstate 275. He is one of more than 100 tenants, nearly all registered sex offenders.

"They're human beings. They have to live somewhere," he said.

Broderick calls the mobile home park the Florida Justice Transitions. For $350 a month, sex offenders can rent space in these mobile homes while they work to reintegrate back into society after a prison sentence.

"I would like the public to understand or try to understand that we're performing a positive service to the community here. We're giving sex offenders good, quiet, safe place for them to live. Certainly, they have to have a place to live," Broderick said.

Where they can live is limited.  In Pinellas County, they can't be within 1000 feet from schools, churches or parks.

Other counties have even more restrictions, but deputies with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office say knowing where registered offenders are is a better alternative than having hundreds homeless.

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