Saturday, January 30, 2016

Outrage Grows Over Abele's Secret Placement Of Sex Offenders

Several weeks ago, I reported that Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele's plan to secretly place sex offenders in a south side home was blowing up in his face.  His hand-chosen appointees on the farcical Mental Health Board rubber stamped his plan without public input.  In fact, when one person, Dennis Hughes, did tried to speak out about it, Abele's people had him arrested.

What makes Abele's actions even more disconcerting is that he is still placed these offenders even though they were telling staff that they had plans to reoffend at the first chance they get.

On Friday, the community again expressed their outrage at Abele secretly placing the offenders in their neighborhood without even the courtesy of a notification.
"Our employees that are telling us that the sex offenders are being placed that when they were in the long-term care facility were openly talking about the fact that intended on assaulting children specifically a 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy," said Hughes.

Residents also feel they've been kept in the dark about who is moving in.

"The concern here is we don't know where these mentally ill people have been placed in the community. There are group homes throughout Milwaukee County and we don't know where they are or who is housed in them," said Hughes.

"If we have sex offenders that are entering our neighborhood without our knowledge, the threat for our children has increased tremendously," said Lewis.
One of the neighbors, Karrie Jones, made the reasonable request that their be better notification and public hearings when sex offenders were being placed in neighborhoods.

The Abele administration flat out denied that request, claiming that they "will not hold public hearings ever to let a community know that we're transitioning clients into their neighborhood."

That must be a recent policy change.  I used to help people transition out of the long term care units at the mental health complex.  When a new group home was opening, it was standard practice to hold open houses with the neighbors to inform them about the group home, the type of clients that would be housed there and what precautions and safety plans would be in place.

Then again, we used to also not move the clients until a team of professionals determined that the person was ready to be reintegrated into the community, that an appropriate placement had been identified, that proper service and safety plans were in place and that the client had a chance to visit on numerous occasions to help make the transition smoother.

Those things stopped happening too.

Abele, his imperial self, finally deigned to issue a statement, which as you might have expected, simultaneously dismissed the concerns of the neighbors and blamed the county board for the unpopularity of his plan:
County Executive Chris Abele's office issued a statement to WISN 12 news saying today's committee hearing "is nothing but the board's latest attempt to stop the positive progress we have been making, which unfortunately also perpetuates damaging stigmas about mental illness."
Ah, so in Abele's elitist and arrogant mind, listening to the citizens is simply a political stunt.  Doesn't that say more about Abele than the citizens or the clients?

But there's more.  With all things Abele, there is always more.

Another new concern has arisen.

A year ago, WISN-TV reported how the state found a way around the City of Milwaukee's law regarding placement of sex offenders.  The state simply kept shuffling the sex offenders every three days to new homes so that they were technically not in violation of the law.

Could Abele be doing the same thing?  With Abele's secrecy and disdain for public safety, it's entirely possible.

One place we know that the offenders won't be placed, however, is in the Moderne, the high rise condo building where Abele lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment