Sex Offender Begs For More Jail Time

"But he's getting information from the other inmates who want to transfer to New York that they were flat-out rejected," said Koewing. "Now he's scared to death because he cannot live in Florida."

He is not alone. Scott Burgess said his life has been ruined by the laws. He committed a so-called "Romeo and Juliet" felony in 1991 when he was just 17, having sex with a 13-year-old whom Burgess claims he thought was older.

"I did over 10 years in prison, I was no angel," said the 36-year-old. "But to this day, I can never get back on my feet again."

Burgess lined up a painting job and was told when he showed for work, "Sorry we can't keep you."

He was let go from another job at a rental store when they found out he was an offender, and, like Marquez, ended up homeless.

After being thrown out of two homes -- one even owned by a family member -- he ended up in a Fort Lauderdale park that was dominated by gangs.

"I tried to live honestly," Burgess told Now, he's headed to a Florida state prison for second-degree murder, a crime he claims he didn't commit.

Sex Offenders Forced to Go Bad

"It's more than the world can handle," he said. "You can't get a job. You have no money and you still have to eat and clothe yourself. It forces you literally to go bad."

According to William Samek, director of Florida's sexual abuse treatment program, these laws "don't protect anybody and mislead and coddle us into believing we are doing something effective."

A 1998 study of studies published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, looked at a wide range of 23,000 offenders and found a 13.4 percent recidivism rate.

About 85 percent of those crimes are committed within families, according to Samek.

"The public is stirred by the media to see all sex offenders in general as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer," he told "For the majority, it was inappropriate touching within the family. Most are not particularly scary or dangerous."

"There is zero scientific evidence that [these laws] make sense or that they actually protect children," he said.

"There is no connection between where the offender lives and where he commits his crime, other than incest," according to Samek, who said that most sex crimes are not "committed on impulse."

Most sex offenders suffer from underlying disease or mental illness that is "very treatable" if the state is willing to invest in effective treatment and lie-detector programs, rather than "draconian punishment."

"For men who are required to be homeless and to live under bridges, it's less stressful to live in prison than live on the street with these sanctions," he said.

But Oakland Park Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue, who works on a task force to study the homeless situation in Broward County, disagrees.

"I think it's a matter of them not wanting to work or pay for a place to live," said Boisvenue in an interview with Florida's Sun-Sentinel. "There are plenty of lawns to mow."

She told that there is "more than enough housing" for these offenders.

Debt to Society

In both Miami and in Broward County, the Department of Corrections has been "dropping off" sex offenders in unincorporated areas where the homeless have converged, making the problem worse, she said.

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