Phoenix homeowners considering protest, lawsuit against AZ Dept. of Corrections

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People in a north Phoenix neighborhood say they are doing all they can to keep a DOC facility out of their area. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) People in a north Phoenix neighborhood say they are doing all they can to keep a DOC facility out of their area. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Susan Hoffland is one of many North Phoenix homeowners upset about new AZ DOC Reentry Center. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Susan Hoffland is one of many North Phoenix homeowners upset about new AZ DOC Reentry Center. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Protests, boycotts, even a possible lawsuit.

Homeowners in a north Phoenix neighborhood are planning to go "all out" in their fight to get a transitional center for released inmates out of their neighborhood.

Community activist Susan Hoffland is one of the residents leading the fight to get the Maricopa Reentry Center away from their community, near I-17 and Pinnacle Peak Road.

[READ MORE: Angry homeowners plan to keep up fight with AZ Dept. of Corrections]

The facility, which opened several months ago, is designed to help released offenders find a home or a job, as they transition back into society.

Many of the residents include convicted sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers.

Sex offenders are required to wear an ankle monitor.

Hoffland said that even though sex offenders are excluded from certain areas, it's not enough to make families feel safe.

"The exclusion zones are where offenders cannot go, like a school campus," said Hoffland. "But what if our children are walking to school? That's not included, if they are shopping or in neighborhoods, they are free to be."

Hoffland has set up a Facebook page where neighbors can discuss their thoughts, concerns and next plan of action.

It currently has more than 4,000 participants.

Matt Robinson has lived in the area for 15 years and has a wife and two children.

One of his complaints is that the Arizona Department of Corrections never notified homeowners by mail, phone or text about a public hearing to discuss the possibility of the Reentry Center opening next door.

The only notification was an ad in the local paper, he said.

"I gave up my Arizona Republic subscription back in the '90s, so if that's the means by which they are notifying us, a lot of people like myself would not have gotten that," said Robinson. "We weren't properly notified about the types of criminals that are going to be in the same area our kids are going to be."

ADC Director Charles Ryan met with two homeowners last week to discuss ways to ease the fears and concerns of residents.

"The ADC will continue to work with area residents to increase understanding of the Maricopa reentry program," Ryan said.

The ADC posted answers to frequently asked questions on its website to better inform the public about what takes place at the Reentry facility.

You can see the information by visiting https://corrections.az.gov/about/directors-office/media-relations/frequently-asked-questions-about-maricopa-reentry-center.

There are no plans to close or relocate the center, said an ADC spokesperson.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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