Sunday, August 9, 2009

National Institute of Corrections - Sex Offender Articles


1. Does Sex Offender Registration and Notification Reduce Crime? A Systematic Review of the Research Literature
The impact of sex offender registration and community notification laws on crime reduction is investigated. This report ... Read More
Added: July 21, 2009
2. Residency Restrictions: What's Geography Got to Do with It?
The use of a geographic information system to manage residency restrictions applied to registered sex offenders is explored. ... Read More
Added: June 30, 2009
3. Residency Restrictions for Convicted Sex Offenders: A Popular Approach on Questionable Footing
The effectiveness of residency restrictions for convicted sex offenders is examined. This publication takes a look at: four ... Read More
Added: June 25, 2009
4. Civil Commitment of a Sexually Dangerous Person
"In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) finalizes its proposed rule providing definitions and standards relating ... Read More
Added: June 03, 2009
5. Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Limited Effects in New Jersey
Results are provided from an evaluation of the impact of Megans' Law in New Jersey. Sections of this review include: ... Read More
Added: May 28, 2009
6. The Use of the Polygraph in Sex Offender Management
The utilization of the polygraph as an aid to supervising sex offenders is reviewed. This bulletin covers these topics: the ... Read More
Added: February 19, 2009
7. Megan's Law: Assessing the Practical and Monetary Efficacy
The "various impacts of community notification and registration laws (Megan's Law) in New Jersey" are examined (p. 1). ... Read More
Added: February 19, 2009
8. Homelessness among Registered Sex Offenders in California: The Numbers, the Risks and the Response
The impact of an increasing number of sex offenders registering as transient on public safety is examined. Following an ... Read More
Added: February 12, 2009
9. United States v. Comstock
The Fourth Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court's decision that 18 U.S.C. 4248 of the Adam Walsh Act is ... Read More
Added: February 05, 2009
10. Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website [NSOPW]
"This Website is a search tool allowing a user to submit a single national query to obtain information about sex offenders ... Read More
Added: February 03, 2009


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved



Residency Restrictions: What’s Geography Got to Do with It?



The following is only excerpts of the entire PDF

The use of a geographic information system to manage residency restrictions applied to registered sex offenders is explored. Contents of this bulletin include: what geography has got to do with residency restrictions; right place, right time -- GPS monitoring in Pinellas County (FL); residency restrictions and sex offender recidivism -- implications for public safety; technical tips; geographic research suggests sex offender registry laws may not work; and news briefs.

Julie Wartell
San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
San Diego, California

During the summer of 2006 as the election season was heating up, Proposition 83, called Jessica’s Law, was on the California ballot. This proposition increased penalties for specific sex offenses, stipulated that all sex offenders had to wear global positioning system (GPS) anklets, and created a 2,000-foot residency restriction for all sex offenders around schools and parks where children “regularly gather.”

As the crime analyst for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, I was asked to create a variety of maps and spatial analyses to educate policymakers, law enforcement, and community organizations interested in understanding the consequences of Jessica’s Law. I worked with geographic information system (GIS) experts to determine the percentage of registered sex offenders living in zones that would be excluded by Jessica’s Law and find out which areas would not be excluded. Many jurisdictions across the country have been using geographic techniques to examine the effects of sex offender residency restriction laws, and the practice can help tell communities how restrictions will affect recidivism. Problematically, many of these studies have suggested that residency restrictions hamper offenders’ reentry process and make it more likely that they will not get treatment and will reoffend.

Our analysis of Jessica’s Law worked to provide realistic estimates of land availability for sex offender residency if the law passed. Much of the “available” land was open space or other nonresidential property, so we added land use and tax parcel data to create a better estimate of what land was available. To educate the San Diego community, we used the results of this analysis and a series of maps that showed the areas that would and would not be available for sex offender residency once the law went into effect.

San Diego’s case study illustrates how using mapping and spatial analysis can help jurisdictions understand the effects of sex offender residency restrictions. Jurisdictions across the United States have used GIS to identify sex offender housing, analyze offenders and their movements, and allocate resources to supervise offenders and hold them accountable for their actions. GIS and global positioning systems can identify potential housing locations and analyze offenders’ whereabouts at all times of the day.

This issue of Geography & Public Safety discusses the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ geographic study of sex offender recidivism, the Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department’s use of GIS and GPS, and a spatial analysis technique being piloted using California Department of Corrections data. In addition to the efforts completed by the jurisdictions reporting in this bulletin, Texas, Iowa, and Colorado have been significant players in the debate over residency restrictions.

Much like the studies discussed in this bulletin, a number of published papers and web sites include important information about the geography of sex offender residency restrictions (see “Resources” on pg. 14). In addition, a recently published special issue of the Criminal Justice Policy Review was dedicated to the subject. Although most research findings imply that the effects of residency restrictions are negative, many states and local jurisdictions continue to implement new laws.

The California court system is still debating the residency restriction aspect of Jessica’s Law. In December 2008, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Sex Offender Management Board released a report on the effect of Jessica’s Law on the increasing homelessness of offenders. The report contributed valuable information to the debate about the negative aspects of sex offender residency restriction laws. More and more frequently, jurisdictions are seeing value in studying the geography of the residency restrictions. We hope that in the future these geographic studies will have a greater effect on the legislative process.

Conclusion
Results from this and other studies suggest that residency restrictions would have, at best, only a marginal effect on sexual recidivism. Recent research has found that a lack of stable, permanent housing increases the likelihood that sex offenders will reoffend and abscond from correctional supervision (Meredith, Speir, and Johnson, 2007; Williams, McShane, and Dolny, 2000). By making it more difficult for sex offenders to find suitable housing and successfully reintegrate into the community, residency restrictions may actually compromise public safety by fostering conditions that increase offenders’ risk of reoffending.



"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved



Sex Abuse Hysteria: Salem Witch Trials Revisited (Hardcover)

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From Library Journal
In response to an apparent epidemic of child sexual abuse, psychiatrist Gardner has written a passionate and perceptive analysis of the prevalence of false accusations, especially those made in the context of day care centers and custody disputes. While noting that the majority of allegations are probably valid, Gardner exposes the ways in which suggestible and immature children are manipulated by coercive, biased interviews. His severest criticism is for the incompetent evaluators whose zealous determination to uncover sexual abuse causes them to use a variety of objectionable techniques to elicit the responses they seek. A final chapter focuses on the similarities between this current phenomena and the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. An insightful and thought-provoking study for both specialists and lay readers. Highly recommended.
- Ilse Heidman Ali, Motlow State Community Coll., Tullahoma, Tenn.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved



TX - Sex, Lies, and Videotapes

View the article here
Day care sex abuse hysteria
Sex Abuse Hysteria: Salem Witch Trials Revisited (Hardcover)

08/09/2009

By Michael Hall

The Texas attorney general takes a second look at the Mineola child sex ring cases.

What does a district attorney do when the chief investigator in the biggest child sex ring case in state history turns out to have been hiding important evidence? If you are Matt Bingham, district attorney of Smith County, you try to get as far away from the case as you possibly can. You call in the attorney general’s office for help. And you hunker down and hope the resulting investigation doesn’t make your office look like one that casually convicts innocent people.

And that is a real danger for Bingham. The so-called Mineola swingers club cases, which I wrote about in April (“Across the Line”), were already pretty dodgy, even before the latest revelations. Three adults were convicted of running a sex kindergarten for kids and then putting them onstage for shows at a swingers club in Mineola (three more defendants await trial). There was no physical evidence against the adults, and there were no grown-up witnesses—just the inconsistent and often bizarre words of five young children.

The leader of the investigation was Texas Ranger Philip Kemp, who never even visited some of the alleged crime scenes and who broke all kinds of professional protocols in interviewing the alleged child victims. Now it turns out that Kemp was hiding evidence. A series of July pretrial hearings in Tyler for the next defendant, Dennis Pittman, revealed that in particular Kemp had not told the truth about an early interview with the first two child victims. At a July 2 hearing, Pittman’s attorney, Jason Cassel, asked Kemp about August 17, 2005, interviews with the two kids—interviews none of the defense lawyers in the first three trials had been told about. “I don’t know anything about those,” replied Kemp. “I’ve never seen them.” (He also claimed he had never seen or heard of two other interviews, also conducted in 2005.) Cassel asked him again about those August 2005 interviews at a July 30 hearing. But Cassel had in the meantime found some of Kemp’s handwritten notes that were made while watching a video of the interview. At that July 30 hearing Cassel held up the notes and asked Kemp if it was his writing. It was, said Kemp. Then Cassel revealed that the writing obviously referenced the August video. “So you watched the video from August 17, 2005, that you denied ever watching, correct?” Kemp replied, “I must have.”

This revelation capped a bad month of hearings for the prosecution, during which all kinds of evidence that never made it into the first three trials was revealed, such as the seven different interviews with those five children in which they either never mentioned a sex kindergarten or sex club or they denied that they knew anything about either one. Then there were the interviews with eight other local children, all of whom also denied knowing anything about a sex kindergarten or club.

All of this was enough for Bingham. According to Tyler defense attorney Bobby Mims, on Thursday, July 30, Bingham told trial judge Jack Skeen that he was going to recuse his office from the case because of the possible violations of the prosecution’s obligation to turn over all exculpatory evidence to the defense. (The planned recusal was reported that evening on Tyler’s CBS affiliate, KYTX.) Bingham also asked the AG’s office to step in and take over the still-pending Pittman case. But on July 31 Lisa Tanner, assistant attorney general, refused. She did this in a group telephone conversation and, according to Mims, who was a part of the group (he has become, in his words, “something of a spokesperson for the defense bar in Smith County”), she said she was worried about her office’s workload and the ability of the attorneys to do a thorough job before a fall trial date. But Tanner told Bingham the AG would assist in his prosecution, and so later on July 31 he asked Skeen for a continuance in the Pittman trial. Skeen agreed to it, and now the AG is sending two investigators to Tyler.

What will they find? A complicated case, a lot of documents, and some very nervous people. When trying to summarize something as byzantine and maddening as the Mineola and Tyler child sex ring cases, it’s always tempting to sum up by using the phrase the bottom line is… But there are so many bottom lines here. For example: The bottom line is, there is still no evidence that these people committed any crimes.

Or, the bottom line is, at first every single alleged child victim denied anything ever happened to him or her—sometimes repeatedly.

Or, the bottom line is, this investigation was botched from the start.

Or, in the words of Mims, “The bottom line is, these people are innocent.”


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved



MA - Video helps clear convict of abuse after 21 years

View the article here

08/09/2009

Evidence in accused man’s favor never shown to his attorney and jurors

_____ lost a great portion of his life for crimes he says he never committed.

He was 19, working as an assistant at a day care center, when his life went completely off the rails. Now he is a middle-aged man with a smoker's cough, newly in charge of what's left of his life, working as a landscaper in Boston.

In the early 1980s, as an openly gay high school dropout in a blue-collar Massachusetts town, he was accused of molesting the children in his care. The country was gripped by a series of panic-fueled day care sex scandals. He was convicted and sentenced to three concurrent life terms.

There was evidence in his favor — hours of videotaped interviews with the children — but jurors, _____ and his attorney never saw all of them.

At trial, the prosecutor left out the ones in which _____'s charges said they'd never been harmed by him.

"You could hear the children saying I didn't do anything to them," he says.

In 2006, at age 42, _____ walked out of prison after serving 21 years. A judge overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial, citing the incompetence of his trial lawyer and the videotapes, which had recently resurfaced after years of being lost among boxes of evidence.

In May, the district attorney dropped all charges against _____.

'Didn't want no homo'
His case had followed a tortured path — the first complaint came from a drug-addicted couple, acting as narcotics informants, who told their police connection they "didn't want no homo" watching their son. One day, they said, the boy's penis had blood on it.

_____ was eventually arrested. His photo appeared in the local newspaper. One by one, five sets of parents came forward to say their daughters and sons had been molested.

Convicted in 1985, _____ lost his first appeal. For the next nine years, he had no lawyer because his family couldn't afford one. He was transferred from prison to prison after being beaten, sexually assaulted in the shower and having his eye split open by an inmate's fist.

"If you're considered a child molester, you are the bottom of the barrel," _____ said. "To be considered a gay child molester? That's the worst of the worst."

But in June 2004, _____ got a new legal team, courtesy of a local advocacy group. And the missing videotaped interviews were finally found in an evidence room, filed with tapes of drunken-driving arrests.

'Oh, my God'
Appellate attorney John Swomley watched them all. "It was like, 'Oh, my God,'" he said.

In one, a 6-year-old boy is being questioned. "The kid keeps saying over and over, 'Where's my prize? You promised me a prize! I want my prize now!'" Swomley said.

In others, children say _____ never touched their private parts. In some, children said he did, often after being repeatedly asked the same question until it is answered affirmatively, according to Swomley.

The trial prosecutor had only shown an edited tape of the latter interviews, Swomley said.

_____ knows he could sue Berkshire County, home to expensive vacation estates and breathtaking views, alleging wrongful prosecution. He doesn't know if that would make him feel any better.

"It doesn't seem like it's enough," he said. "Unless there's some kind of change in the system that would make it impossible for this to happen to someone else."


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved



The Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual



All the text below is from the 2009 version.

Welcome to A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual Online. Here you can download and print the entire contents of A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual and Supplement, one chapter at a time. You'll need a to have a program called Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer in order to download A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual. You can download Acrobat for free by clicking here:



If you already have Acrobat installed on your computer, you are ready to start reading A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual.



Legal Disclaimer

A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual is written and updated by members of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. The law prohibits us from providing any legal advice to prisoners. The information is not intended as legal advice or representation nor should you consider it as such. Additionally, your use of the JLM should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship with the JLM staff or anyone at Columbia Law School. We have attempted to provide information that is up to date and useful. However, because the law changes frequently, we cannot guarantee that this information is current or correct.



Chapter 1 - Introduction: How to Use the JLM
Chapter 2 - Introduction to Legal Research
Chapter 3 - Your Right to Learn the Law and Go to Court
Chapter 4 - How to Find A Lawyer
Chapter 5 - Choosing a Court & a Lawsuit: An Overview of the Options
Chapter 6 - An Introduction to Legal Documents
Chapter 7 - Freedom of Information
Chapter 8 - Obtaining Information to Prepare Your Case: The Process of Discovery
Chapter 9 - Appealing Your Conviction or Sentence
Chapter 10 - Applying for Re-Sentencing for Drug Offenses
Chapter 11 - Using Post-Conviction DNA Testing to Attack Your Conviction or Sentence
Chapter 12 - Appealing Your Conviction Based on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Chapter 13 - Federal Habeas Corpus
Chapter 14 - The Prison Litigation Reform Act
Chapter 15 - Inmate Grievance Procedures
Chapter 16 - Using 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 28 U.S.C. 1331 to Obtain Relief From Violations of Federal Law
Chapter 17 - The State's Duty to Protect You and Your Property: Tort Actions
Chapter 18 - Your Rights at Prison Disciplinary Hearings
Chapter 19 - Your Right to Communicate With the Outside World
Chapter 20 - Using Article 440 of the New York Criminal Procedural Law to Attack Your Unfair Conviction or Illegal Sentence
Chapter 21 - State Habeas Corpus: Florida, New York, and Texas
Chapter 22 - How to Challenge Administrative Decisions Using Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules
Chapter 23 - Your Right to Adequate Medical Care
Chapter 24 - Your Right to be Free from Assault by Prison Guards and Other Prisoners
Chapter 25 - Your Right to Be Free From Illegal Body Searches
Chapter 26 - Infectious Diseases (AIDS, Hepatitis, and Tuberculosis) in Prison
Chapter 27 - Religious Freedom in Prison
Chapter 28 - Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities
Chapter 29 - Special Issues for Prisoners with Mental Illness
Chapter 30 - Special Information for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Prisoners
Chapter 31 - Security Classification & Gang Validation
Chapter 32 - Special Considerations for Sex Offenders (Related)
Chapter 33 - Rights of Incarcerated Parents
Chapter 34 - Temporary Release Programs
Chapter 35 - Getting Out Early: Conditional & Early Release
Chapter 35 - Parole

Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
Appendix IV
Appendix V

Immigration and Consular Access Supplement


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved