Predatory offenders in Hennepin County are heavily concentrated in portions of North Minneapolis and the Phillips area where there is affordable housing and landlords willing to rent to them, according to an early look at a report from the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC).
People who have been convicted for certain sex crimes, kidnapping and false imprisonment in the state are required to register as predatory offenders, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The concentrated areas of predatory offenders include the Jordan, Willard Hay, Hawthorne, Near North, Harrison, Webber-Camden, Camden-Industrial, Phillips West, Midtown Phillips and East Phillips neighborhoods.
Overall, 790 offenders lived in those neighborhoods, including Level I, II and III offenders, when researchers were gathering information for the study. Higher risk offenders (Levels II and III) require intensive supervision after they are released from prison.
Hennepin County, however, is not seeing a significant influx of predatory offenders from other parts of Minnesota or other states, according to the update the Council’s Public Safety & Regulatory Services Committee on Wednesday.
Lauren Martin, director of research for UROC, said the final report and recommendations for the Council will be available in August.
The research team involved in the project includes a diverse group of community leaders, service providers and law enforcement officials.
City Council Member Blong Yang (Ward 5), who represents some of the concentrated areas, said it’s time to go beyond studies and do something about the issue.
“This report confirms what we knew already,” he said.
City Council President Barb Johnson (Ward 4), who also represents North Minneapolis neighborhoods, offered a similar perspective.
“I think it’s going to be really important to go beyond the research and develop some action steps about how we deal with this,” she said.
The City Council authorized the research project to study the concentration of sex offenders in Hennepin County in March 2013.