St. Petersburg, Fla. — Sex offenders tracked by the state are banned from public hurricane shelters in Florida under a new policy that lets allows them to weather the storms in prison instead.
The policy was created to keep sex offenders and predators away from children, said Robby Cunningham, spokesman for the Department of Corrections. Offenders who go to a prison will stay in areas such as visitor or meeting rooms, he said.
The policy only affects sex offenders under state supervision who are not allowed near children. They can go to a prison if their evacuation address given to authorities can't be used or is deemed unacceptable, Cunningham said. He did not know how many sex offenders could be affected.
The policy took effect at the beginning of hurricane season, June 1. Six offenders stayed in prisons during Hurricane Dennis in July.