A capital district activist says he has uncovered dozens of instances across the state in which convicted sex offenders are being placed in group homes for people with developmental disabilities.
The sex offenders carry Level 2 and Level 3 designations. Michael Carey, the found of the Jonathan Carey Foundation, says he discovered the information after filing an open records requests with the state.
He is still going over the data, but as of Tuesday, Carey says he’s found 12 group homes housing almost 40 sex offenders across New York State.
“There’s no way that you can possibly provide or ensure safe care and services by putting convicted Level 2 or 3 sex offenders in the group homes,” Carey said.
Few people were more shocked than local New York State Senator Rob Ortt.
“I’m the chair of (the) mental health and developmental disabilities (committee),” Ortt said. “I was surprised that this is a current, ongoing practice. My first feeling is I was shocked that this is happening.”
The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities responded with this statement: “Under state law and decades long practice, people with developmental disabilities who have sex offender designations can be and have been legally and appropriately served in group homes.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Mailey a spokesperson for New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said, “Housing for any parolee being released is approved only after an intensive review and if necessary, consultation with appropriate oversight agencies. The goal is to safeguard the welfare of the community, as well as to give the parolee the tools and treatment necessary to successfully reenter the society and not re-offend.”
The issue has made its way onto the gubernatorial campaign trail. During a stop in Lancaster Tuesday, Republican candidate Marc Molinaro called the practice “inexcusable”.
“We decided to talk about this today, not for political benefit, but we ought to be talking about it. It’s not right,” Molinaro said.
Incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who is running fo re-election, did not respond to requests for comment.