Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (02/21/2011) - Lisa Ling explores the lives of sex offenders

On February 28th, 2011 Lisa Ling will be airing a show about the lives of sex offenders. I'm sure it will be the usual biased report and hatred of sex offenders instead of a fair and balanced show. We will see.


Show Description:
Our America with Lisa Ling takes viewers along for an in-depth look at some of the most controversial and thought-provoking issues in the United States today, including religious movements, sex offenders, drug addiction and online brides. In each episode, Lisa immerses herself into the lives of the people she meets, offering compelling accounts of varied experiences and providing insight into some of our nation's most contentious issues. In sharing these stories, Lisa challenges viewers to understand different perspectives and even question what they themselves have always known to be true.

In the video below (click the image) the part about sex offenders starts around 18:05.

Click the image to view the John Stewart video from 02/21/2011


CO - Colorado may skip offer of federal grant and stick with own sex-offender standards

Original Article

02/27/2011

By Jessica Fender

A lack of cash and some philosophical objections have so far kept Colorado law enforcement agencies from implementing federal rules that would require more criminals to register as sex offenders for longer periods of time.

Complying with the rules contained in the federal Adam Walsh Act by July 1 would bring Colorado close to $500,000 in federal grant money.

But opponents argue that it will cost far more than that federal grant amount to comply with the rules.

A national chorus of state government groups and research institutions has raised concerns about the way the federal law treats juvenile offenders, potential constitutional conflicts and data showing sex-offender registration doesn't prevent repeat offenders.

Among the skeptics is Laurie Kepros, who oversees sexual offenses for the state public defender office.

"It's just not going to be cost-effective, and does it do us any good in terms of public safety?" Kepros said.

In December, Colorado got notice that its current system for handling sex offenders is far from being in line with what federal authorities want.

"Now we don't know what to do," she said.

Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act in 2006 in an attempt to organize hundreds of sex-offense statutes in 50 states into three uniform categories that indicate the crimes' severity.

The legislation establishes registration and reporting standards for those categories — in many cases more stringent than state requirements — and compels local law enforcement to do more to communicate with other jurisdictions when offenders are on the move.

Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board in 2008 advised against compliance with the federal law, but nonetheless acknowledged the benefits of a single, unified reporting and tracking system.

"The Adam Walsh Act will . . . ensure that law enforcement has access to the same information across the United States, helping prevent sex offenders from evading detection by moving from state to state," the panel wrote.

Only four states have complied

Though the federal government has pushed for five years for states to tighten reporting requirements, so far only four have complied: Ohio, South Dakota, Florida and Delaware.

Crimes where Coloradans can now petition to be removed from the registry after five years — like misdemeanor indecent exposure — would remain listed for at least 10 years.

Those convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a child younger than 15 would spend a minimum of 25 years registering as a sex offender instead of a 10-year minimum with good behavior, as state law now reads.

And new crimes like criminal invasion of privacy and kidnapping or false imprisonment of someone younger than 18 would become registerable offenses, even though Colorado prosecutors frequently file those charges in instances where no sex offense has occurred.

One of the changes that has met with the greatest resistance is the way the federal law handles juvenile offenders.

Teens would stay on registry


Call for women in intimate relationships with sex offenders

This was posted to SOSEN forums.

I am writing to request your cooperation with a research project I am pursuing, and which is described in this letter. My name is Lisa Anne Zilney, Ph.D. and I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University in New Jersey. I am conducting a study of the experiences and coping mechanisms of the women who are involved in intimate relationships with registered sexual offenders. Like the offender himself, these women face a variety of challenges in responding to how the criminal justice system and society treats the sexual offender and those who associate closely with him once he is released from incarceration. These women are unique in that they provide one of the few sources of support for sexual offender reintegration into the community, but they are also subject to much of the same labeling, and if they reside with the offender are subject to criminal justice sanctions, such as residency restrictions, as well. Familial contact, as has been well established by sociological and criminological research, is a significant buffer against recidivism, yet this notion has not been explored with regard to the sex offender population – a population perhaps in greatest need of a support system to prevent further sexual recidivism.

This study will involve exploring several research questions:
  1. How do community notification and registration laws impact the female partners of registered sexual offenders?
  2. How do residency restriction laws impact the female partners of registered sexual offenders?
  3. Given the hypothesized difficulties resulting from the labeling of sexual offenders and their significant partners, what are the motivating factors for a woman to remain in, or start, a relationship with a registered sexual offender?
  4. What are the coping strategies implemented by women who are in a relationship with a registered sexual offender to deal with the negative consequences of community notification and registration laws, residency restrictions, and other labeling impacts?

The study will consist of a short quantitative survey for demographic and brief questions, as well as an in-depth, qualitative interview conducted by myself. The interview will focus on the experiences and coping mechanisms of the women. Interviews will be kept completely confidential and identifying information for participants will not be coded and therefore no participant will be linked to her responses.

As principal investigator, and the sole interviewer for this project, I have significant experience researching in the area of sexual offenders and sexual offender legislation and I have recently co-authored two books and one encyclopedia entry (Zilney, Laura J., & Zilney, Lisa Anne. (2009). Perverts and predators: The making of sexual offender laws. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield; Zilney, Lisa Anne, & Zilney, Laura J. (2009). Reconsidering sex crimes and offenders: Prosecution or Persecution? Westport, CT: ABC-Clio; Zilney, Lisa Anne, & Zilney, Laura J. (2008). Sex offender laws. In Gregg Barak (Ed.). Battleground: Criminal Justice (pp. 671-681). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press).

The media has created a moral panic around sexual offenders and much of what the public knows is myth and based on this media hype. Legislation has been passed to quell public fear, and while it may do that, it does little to decrease the recidivism of sexual offenders and decrease American rates of sexual violence. Lost in the analysis are the hidden victims . . . the families of sexual offenders who are stigmatized alongside their offending loved one. This work will be the first ever to study the women who are involved in intimate relationships with previously convicted sexual offenders. This study is both original and will become a significant building block in the development of future research. Findings of this research will have policy implications for how to reintegrate sexual offenders into the community after incarceration and how to minimize the labeling effects of criminal justice sanctions on both the offender and his loved ones. Additionally, this research will give a voice to the experiences of those intimately involved with individuals convicted of a sexual offense, and help others understand the impact of labeling on their lives.

It is my sincerest hope that you will encourage members who have significant others that meet the criterion of this study to contact me for participation! I have attached a poster Call for Participants if that would be of help. I would be more than willing to address any concerns you have about this project or answer any questions!

Sincerely,

Lisa Anne Zilney, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Montclair State University
Justice Studies Department
1 Normal Avenue, 349 Dickson Hall
Montclair, NJ 07043
Office: 973-655-7225
Fax: 973-655-4186
Cell: 732-221-2241
Email: lisa.zilney@montclair.edu or lzilney@gmail.com