Rehab facility housing sex offenders opens near school in Los Molinos


Imagine a rehab facility that houses sex offenders opening down the street from a high school.

That is what's happening at the Elijah House in Los Molinos. They opened their doors last week and are housing registered sex offenders who are being treated for substance abuse. And this isn't the first location they've opened.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Elijah House, Joseph Henderson, says this is the ninth location they're opening but the first in Tehama County.

"We are actually as far away from the high school while remaining in Los Molinos as possible," says Henderson.

But the distance between Los Molinos High School and the Elijah House on Google Maps says it is only 0.4 miles away, which is less than a two minute drive.

The Principal at Los Molinos High School says he and a maintenance worker measured the distance themselves and calculated the Elijah House being approximately 917 feet away from the school property. And the Superintendent of Los Molinos Unified School District, Joey Adame, says he is concerned.

"I'm concerned about the radius of the facility to the school and the clients that are staying there," Adame says.

The Tehama County Sheriff, Dave Hencratt, says the public should be aware that the rehab facility is there.

"There is really no good place for these treatment facilities," says Hencratt. "It would be of concern and it's always a concern. Our children are our best commodities," Hencratt said.

Sheriff Dave Hencratt along with his deputies have no control over whether or not the rehab facility is placed there. Hencratt says the sex offenders are required to register their address with the State of California, and the parole officers ensure they are abiding by the law and their probation.

The Founder of the Elijah House says they treat more than sex offenders. But Hencratt says otherwise.

"So you're telling me that every single patient being housed here is a 290, also known as a registered sex offender?" asked Meaghan Mackey, a reporter with KRCR.

"That's what I was told by the Elijah House and I believe that is going to be the case. I don't believe they're going to be able to mix non 290 with 290 offenders in there." Sheriff Hencratt responded.

And the Tehama County Sheriff's Office has no say in who is being treated there. When asked about how many registered sex offenders are being treated at the Elijah House in Los Molinos, Henderson would not give us a number.

But according to the Tehama County Sheriff's Office, three registered sex offenders have listed their address at the Elijah House in Tehama County. That address is 7904 State Highway 99 East.

Henderson says it is better for these sex offenders to be getting treatment for substance abuse than to be living on the streets getting no treatment for any of their issues.

Henderson says the Elijah House can house up to 15 men at one time. This leaves room for 15 registered sex offenders to move in to Tehama County into the Elijah House.

Sheriff Hencratt added that it is good these sex offenders are receiving some form of substance abuse treatment recalling that they are there on their own free will.

Henderson says the sex offenders they house and treat committed their sexual offenses when they were high on drugs or drunk off of alcohol.

We reached out to the parole officer in Tehama County to get more information on the radius these sex offenders have to be from a school but we did not receive a comment in time for deadline.

While the facility is not on lockdown, Sheriff Hencratt did say that all the registered sex offenders have to wear ankle monitors while on parole.

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