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Challenges for Multi-sector Organizations in Tracking and Sheltering Registered Sex Offenders in Disasters

Publication Type : Journal Article

Source : Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 2012

Keywords : sex offenders, sheltering, tracking sex offenders, general population shelters, organizational challenges, temporary sheltering

Campus : Amritapuri

School : School for Sustainable Futures

Department : Sustainable Development

Year : 2012

Abstract : Emergency response personnel are called upon by society to solve, in a short and urgent time frame, policy dilemmas that have been perplexing even under conditions of leisurely consideration. In the wake of hurricane Katrina the methods for preparing, designating, operating and maintaining safe General Population Shelters (GPS) and Sex Offender Shelters (SOS) for unique populations received increased national scrutiny. This was because post Katrina, over 2000-registered sex offenders were placed into shelters and then evacuated to 30 states without the knowledge of the judicial system or the receiving states. The rapid proliferation of sex offender minimal use distance/ residence laws have created a new set of location conflicts and exacerbated problems for multi-sector organizations involved in providing safe post-disaster temporary shelters for the evacuees.This paper examines these conflicting residence laws, the variety of sex offender shelter types available, and the challenges faced by the Red Cross, emergency managers and law enforcement agencies in using these alternatives while trying to provide equitable shelter options for all. Data consists of systematic searches of news media reports, journal articles, FEMA reports, and state/ federal laws and regulations. Additionally, face to face interviews were conducted with seven key informants– emergency managers from three cities in the North Texas Region, two high ranking American Red Cross personnel, and two law enforcement officials concerned with providing safe shelters to evacuees in Texas. The paper is concluded by offering future considerations for research and suggesting that multi-sector, multi-level organizations work together in sharing their challenges and finding common ground that will prevent the diversion of resources and multiplicity of efforts. This will ensure that mass care and sheltering operations become more streamlined, and more reflective of the latest scientific knowledge.

Cite this Research Publication : Sudha Arlikatti, James Kendra and Nita A. Clark "Challenges for Multi-sector Organizations in Tracking and Sheltering Registered Sex Offenders in Disasters", Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 2012

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