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That’s one thing that makes life at City of Refuge easier: You’re not within 2,500 feet of "But where are we supposed to go? Also shitty that there doesn’t seem to be much distinction in the eyes of the law between their crimes and the crimes committed by the least equivocal and unmitigated of sexual predators, a number of whom I will get to meet over the following days.That is, a sex offender is a sex offender, and you’re branded for decades or even life.They live in this exile, of course, because there is nothing lower than their kind.Considering how welcoming they are, however, I’m inclined to resist the urge to assume the worst—and anyway, I don’t particularly want to know the specifics of any of their crimes.Society has already exacted its debt, is my thinking.I arrived on a Sunday and found my new friends just finishing up a game of touch football.When Witherow died, in 2012, Pat became the Grand Pooh-Bah of the place, with a nominally involved board of directors."Mommy and Daddy got all messed up on drugs," Pat says by way of explanation, so his granddaughter had to come here for a spell.
Rose smiles and says the sign was a Christmas present from a neighbor. That’s when a freshly showered Ted enters, chuckling in his smoky, affable way, to join me at the table. She’ll hit you with a parole violation for a hangnail.
Everyone was all sweaty and out of breath and still laughing about how one of the guys, Glenn, had been running a fake reverse and collided with a clothesline pole.
I apologized profusely for showing up early and offered to find a motel for the night, but one of the guys, Ted, said it wasn’t a problem, not at all, we’re happy to have you, we’ll fix you up in our guest room. He did it very formal, like: Rose, who isn’t the only woman in the village but who is the only registered female sex offender.
Jay Kirk reports on life in an American community—yes, that's definitely the right word—like no other I suppose in this case I am the offender.
You could say they’re lucky to be here, even if it is four miles from anything resembling a town, not much of a resemblance at that, and the "city" (really more of a village) being just a lonely former barracks built by U. A couple of dozen older Jamaicans still live here, too, but the sex offenders arrived six and a half years ago when Pat Powers, an offender himself, came and claimed the place in the name of Jesus Christ.