Bobby Joe Helms, known in Florida as the “Hyde Park Rapist,” was cleared for release from civil custody months ago, according to tampabay.com. But he was only just recently released for good. After seven attempts to find Helms suitable housing arrangements, he found a place to stay in Melbourne, FL.
The first place that rejected Helms was a trailer park that housed several other sex offenders. But the management rejected Helms after learning how extensive his criminal record was.
Basically, Helms ended up spending three extra months in custody because of his difficulties finding a place to live. And he isn’t the first. Because sex offenders have very limited options for living and working (proximity to a school or other children’s gathering place is often a consideration), reentering the community successfully can be a challenge. And people who have been convicted of a variety of crimes frequently face difficulties finding legitimate work once they’re released.