Sex offenders targeted for move
The pair were living in a halfway house in Waianae with two other sex offenders
The Hawaii Paroling Authority has taken steps to remove two sex offenders who were living in a Waianae halfway house with two other convicted sex offenders.
This follows a Waianae Neighborhood Board's resolution seeking follow-up to ensure that registered sex offenders' addresses are complete and updated. The board expressed concern that some of the 93 convicted sex offenders on the Waianae Coast live near schools or may be living together.
Hawaii Paroling Authority Administrator Tommy Johnson took action once it was brought to his attention.
He said there were a total of six to eight persons on parole or probation living in a "clean and sober home."
On Thursday, the Honolulu Police Department responded by letter to the neighborhood board's resolution, saying it would work together with local and state agencies to step up enforcement of those listed on the sex offender registry.
Johnson said none of the four Waianae residents had sexually assaulted children, although there are convicted child sex offenders living in Waianae.
Johnson said it is difficult to enforce, but there are stringent restrictions for child sex offenders, such as not being permitted to hang out in areas frequented by children.
"If they are on parole, we keep a pretty tight rein on sexual offenders," he said, with frequent drug testing, field visits, rehabilitation and counseling.
Johnson said part of the problem is finding affordable housing for parolees.
He noted that listed on the registry are either those in prison, on probation, parolees or others who have completed probation and/or parole who are not being supervised.
Those unsupervised must check in on their own and provide a current address.
A bill passed last year would require a public informational meeting before a county permit can be issued for a halfway house for people released from a prison or mental hospital or receiving substance abuse or sex offender treatment.
But the law does not require the zoning commission to accept the community's recommendation.
Also the Department of Health licenses halfway houses which hold training or dispense medication, but not "clean and sober homes" where people simply live, Johnson said.
A city ordinance restricts more than five unrelated adults from living together, and those homes may have to be zoned as a structural living facility, he said.
Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Waianae), who worked on getting the state laws passed with both the halfway houses and the registry, said, "The community may have the information (on the sex offender registry), but until they take it upon themselves to look at it and to bring it to people like Tommy Johnson's attention, it just sort of slides."