2013 - 2014
Pahokee, Florida, United States
In southern Florida on the southeast corner of Lake Okeechobee lies a small community called Miracle Village. The rectangular compound made up of 52 off-white duplexes on 6 streets and 2 roads was formerly used to house migrant workers that would work in the surrounding miles of sugarcane fields. Now it’s home to over 100 sex offenders. The community was founded four years ago by a Christian ministry that seeks to help individuals reintegrate into society. The residency restriction is the most difficult law to abide by for sex offenders since they must live a minimum of 2,500 feet from any bus stop, school or place where children congregate. Thus the village is isolated— 5 miles from the closest small town of 8,000 inhabitants and 40 miles from the closest city in the West Palm Beach area. Over a year and a half, I befriended, lived among and photographed the residents of Miracle Village. The men are mixed in age and from various educational and ethnic backgrounds. Together they are all coming to terms with the permanence of living with the label. There is also one woman. In my book, I have chosen 12 individuals that tell the story of a community where everyone shares the same label.