OKLAHOMA CITY — Hands Up Ministries, a christian non-profit ministry, has hired an attorney and plans to file a lawsuit challenging a new sex offender law.
David Nichols, founder of Hands Up Ministries, says for the past 16 years, he’s been housing and rehabilitating sex offenders coming out of the prison system.
But Senate Bill 852 is affecting how the ministry is run.
The bill, in effect, says that sex offenders cannot live together.
Hands Up Ministries was housing three sex offenders to a mobile home.
But since the law went into effect July 1st, they’ve had to cut that down to just one man per home – meaning the other two have been forced out.
Many are now living in tents without running water or electricity.
And dozens are no longer registered.
“There’s many of them we don’t know where they’re at. I know we counted 77 that was on the unregistered list that used to live here,” said Nichols.
Nichols has hired attorney, David Slane, to challenge the law for him.
“I think that the law is negligent. I think there was a bunch of political hacks at the legislature wanting to look good for their constituents,” said Slane.
But Slane says instead of protecting the public, the law is doing the exact opposite and forcing these sex offenders to live in places they’re not supposed to be living.
He plans to file a lawsuit this week challenging the law.
“They’re going to be somewhere. People that criticize where they’re at right now seems to me to beg the question. The larger question is do you want to know where they are?” Slane said.
Hands Up Ministries says they provide a structured environment for these men, requiring counseling and monitoring and keeping them in compliance with all laws.
They also say they have caused no problems in their neighborhood and are doing all this with only private donations – no taxpayer money.