Search for missing sex offenders sparks shelter criticism
CRANSTON, R.I. —
Missing for months.
Convicted sex offenders Peter Malboeuf and Carlos Natal.
Police are trying to track them both down for failing to register updated addresses.
Last known address for both: Harrington Hall in Cranston.
Carolyn Medeiros of the Alliance for Safe Communities is critical of the homeless shelter.
"What's going on at Harrington Hall and the managing of Harrington Hall is dangerous. There are too many sex offenders in there," Medeiros told NBC10.
"If somebody is homeless, we take them in," said Jean Johnson, head of House of Hope, which runs the shelter.
She says the shelter houses about 145 people a night.
Currently, 23 of them are sex offenders.
Johnson told NBC 10, "Well, in some ways, we find that concerning, too, that the Department of Corrections and law enforcement haven't addressed a proper way to relocate sex offenders when they're leaving prison."
Johnson says the number of sex offenders at the shelter spiked recently with the enactment of a new state law expanding the distance sex offenders must stay away from schools, limiting their options for housing.
Medeiros disagrees. "They were starting to overflow way before that law was passed," she said.
Johnson argues having the sex offenders at the shelter is better than leaving them on the street. "Here, at least, we're able to help law enforcement monitor the comings and goings of the sex offenders who have no place to go."
Johnson says it was her staff that notified police when the two sex offenders didn't return to the shelter, one in May, the other in August.
"We do our best to try to monitor every single one of them that's living in our city," Capt. Karen Guilbeault of the Cranston Police Department told NBC 10. "We do check Harrington Hall as well as private residences. We check them regularly," she said.
Medeiros is pushing for a new state law to limit the number of sex offenders that can stay in one place.