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Tim Trent On WIBX First News With Keeler In The Morning Discusses North Utica Citizens Meeting

Kristine Bellino, WIBX

Tim Trent says the meeting about housing registered sex offenders was “inconclusive.”  He says there were a lot of people at the meeting.  The questions were asked, the answers he said he is sorry to say, were “inconclusive.”  Primarily North Utica residents attended along with other county residents, the mayor, codes representatives, city and county officials, and probation authorities.

He mentioned that Ron Vincent, a North Utica resident, made the observation that government officials know the people, and know the problem, but are not doing anything about it.  He said that there are some unoccupied hotels north of the city, away from families and children, that might welcome those in transitional housing.  However, if they house sex offenders outside the city there are transportation costs that will be incurred.  Those transportation issues were discussed as well.

He says Oneida County should share the burden; it should not fall to the City of Utica.
He echoed the sentiment of many: “Spread the burden.”  He says he is personally very concerned that the city of Utica is getting a “disproportionately high concentration of people on Department of Social Services benefits…that is changing the character of the City in fundamental ways that…are not positive.”

Trent says “approximately twenty-six thousand felony offenders are released from New York prisons each year.”  He says the estimate is that the formerly incarcerated prison population in Oneida County is 1,500 – about three or four hundred a year.  He asserts that two-thirds of released prisoners are re-arrested within three years of release.

Bill Keeler asked him whether these offenders are “home grown,” meaning that they are originally from Utica.  Trent says that is the case in some instances.  However, it is not always the case.  He says he encourages those released from prison to go elsewhere.  He said he wants to encourage people to return to their home communities.  He said people should actively, community-wide, send a message to local agencies recruiting people for these services to stop doing so.

For the full interview click the audio button below:

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