IT may look just like any other run-down trailer park, but the residents living on this site have one chilling thing in common – they are all convicted sex offenders.
Palace Mobile Home Park in Florida is a unique housing programme which is home to some of Florida’s sickest offenders as they attempt to re-integrate back into society.
Paedophiles, rapists and other sex attackers in built-up Florida are forbidden from living within 1,000 feet of places where children regularly congregate.
And the trailer park sprung up as a solution to the problem of needing to rehabilitate and integrate offenders without risking anyone else’s wellbeing.
Palace Mobile Home Park is home to 126 offenders between the ages of 25 and 88, who share trailers for the price of £500 per month.
The offenders who call the park home have all left prison, but need somewhere to live as they begin their transition back into society.
Residents are taught the severity of their crimes through group therapy, with rapists and paedophiles coming to terms with what they’ve done in counselling sessions led by staff at the park.
Staff also help residents to claim benefits, as well as offering on-site church services, and addiction support groups.
Publicity material for the park states: “Palace Mobile Home Park has provided housing for sex offenders for over a decade.
“We provide safe, affordable housing, while offering guidance and services to help an individual return to a normal life after incarceration.”
The offenders who live in the park are often unable to live in halfway houses, where their past crimes mark them out for revenge attacks by other former prisoners.
Instead, they live together in the trailer park, where they have access to televisions, support services and their family members – who are allowed to visit the park so long as they are over 18 years old.
The park made headlines recently after being featured in a documentary, Pervert Park, which explores the lives the park’s residents and follows offenders’ journeys as they gradually transition back into society.
The Sundance Film Festival award-winning movie shows how many offenders have managed to get jobs in the local community as they wrestle with their awful pasts.
Residents include a man caught in a police sting operation when he expressed interest in having sex with a young girl over the internet.
Equally chilling is the story of one woman who had sex with her own son, and grew up in a household where her own father sexually abused her when she was a baby.
Whilst the park is deliberately located away from schools and play parks, the scheme is not well received by locals, who vandalise the park at night and refer to its residents as “baby rapers.”
Despite the hostility faced by locals, park staff are adamant that the scheme is in everyone’s benefit.
The park’s promotional material claims: “In our existence, no resident has been convicted of a new sex offence.”