Updated: Friday, 21 May 2010, 8:10 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 21 May 2010, 8:10 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Thursday night, 24-Hour News 8 brought you an I-Team 8 special report called Wake-Up Call . It revealed that child molesters, rapists and sexual predators are living next door to families in hotels across the state while the Indiana Department of Correction is picking up the tab.
A child molester we'll call “Jack” spoke openly to I-Team 8 about his experience following his release from prison in 2008.
"No one is brought up looking to be or wanting to be a child molester or a rapist," said “Jack”.
But that's what “Jack” is.
He molested 15 children as a church youth director in northern Indiana. After he got out of prison, returning to northern Indiana was not in his best interest. “Jack” had no place to go, the quandary faced by so many newly-released sex offenders.
So the Indiana Department of Correction did as they often do in cases like his. They got him a hotel room and picked up the tab. Housing sex offenders is a source of revenue for hotel owners, a source they're often reluctant to acknowledge.
But I-Team 8 confirmed 15 sex offenders are staying at the Always Inn at 21st and Shadeland in Indianapolis.
A snapshot of surrounding states reveals that, while Indiana and Michigan provide housing for newly released sex offenders, Kentucky and Illinois do not.
Julie Walburn, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Correction, says she doesn't know if her state puts newly-released sex offenders in hotels, but I-Team 8 could find no evidence that it does.
However, Ohio does have a non-profit group called The Exit Program that provides group housing for newly-released offenders.
Department of Correction leaders in every state admit finding housing for newly released sex offenders is challenging.
Adam Deming is the Director of the Indiana Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program. He says while hotels do not provide the ideal environment, "our goal is to annually decrease the number of sexual offenders that return to the community that end up committing new crimes."
He says the program does that by requiring sex offenders to take regular polygraph tests and attend group therapy. And he says providing assistance to help them transition from prison to the community is critical.
“Jack” insists the program works.
"My inner thoughts change through the counseling through truly understanding the damage that I caused," he said.
But he acknowledges that assuring that he doesn't re-offend is a lifelong journey.
"I am not exempt from going back into that lifestyle choice of victimizing innocent kids," said “Jack”.