Daycare upset that parole office opening next door - KCTV5

Daycare upset that parole office opening next door

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV/AP) -

Parents with kids at a Kansas City, KS, daycare are fired up about what is moving in next door.

The Kansas Department of Corrections has signed a 10-year lease for the building, so it's essentially a done deal that a parole office is going into the location. But it doesn't mean its neighbors or parents have to like it.

For nearly 22 years kids have hula hooped and everything else little kids do at the Pandarama Daycare, located at North 7th St. Trafficway and Nebraska Avenue in downtown KCK. It's been a stress-free existence for them until they heard of the arrival of their new neighbor. The Kansas Department of Corrections is opening a parole office next door.

"These kids are innocent kids. You don't need no child molesters or whatever next to them. It's too close," said Darryl Ford, a parent at the daycare.

"God knows what they're in there for and the fact that you have them next to kids. I mean, I know it's not a school, but it's children here and we should think about the children's safety too," said Clarice Angelo, another daycare parent.

Parents echo the sentiments of daycare owner Carolyn Sipple who feels something underhanded went into the move.

"They had a plan already in motion and no one can say that someone up in the higher echelon, even as high as the mayor did not know about this and they did not come and inform us or ask us what our opinion," Sipple said.

Tarence Maddox is part of a group of Unified Government of Wyandotte County commissioners who voted unanimously to oppose the new office's location.

"There's different areas that we can find, locations and buildings, and put parolees in there. So it doesn't necessary have to be in the downtown area where you'd like to see growth and business," he said.

While safety was always a top priority, Sipple says now it's even more so.

"There is nothing 100 percent and the fact remains is that these predators and these offenders are going to be around here. We don't know one of them from another, other than someone could be angry with them and God knows what could happen," she said.

The daycare owners are considering installing an even taller fence as well as getting more surveillance for their grounds. They say it's an expense that wouldn't be necessary if the state had simply picked a different location further away.

New filings in a class action lawsuit challenging Missouri's treatment of convicted sex offenders seek the release from custody of more than 200 men in the program.

The legal challenge to the Missouri Department of Mental Health claims its Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services program is mismanaged, overcrowded and essentially a prison disguised as a mental hospital.

The program was created to treat sex offenders who complete prison sentences but are deemed unsafe to be released. They are held indefinitely as mental health patients at secure facilities.

Since the program was started 14 years ago, no one has successfully completed treatment. The suit was first filed in 2009. Missouri is among 20 states with similar treatment programs.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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