Entrapment is a crime, doesn't matter who is doing it, especially a vigilante cult. And making threats like this is also a crime. Hopefully one day, the FBI will bring down vigilantes and cults like PJ, AZU, etc. Report them to the FBI on their website or YouTube channel.
UTICA - On Rutger Street, hopes for historic revitalization often have clashed with the presence of poverty, rental units and a sprawling social services network.
But another dynamic has sparked recent concern among stakeholders: At least 12 convicted sex offenders live on the street, with at least five in close proximity to four historic mansions that officials and residents say are an important link to the city’s past.
“This is one of the two most historic areas of the city, and any hope of turning it around and having it as a destination point is potentially seriously impacted by this type of use,” said Michael Bosak, president of the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica.
The presence of sex offenders could limit investment in neighborhood that drastically needs it – creating “no fly zones” for investors, Bosak said. - Well, maybe if you'd get congress to stop passing unconstitutional laws, forcing people into certain areas, then this would not be much of an issue.
Oneida County has 692 sex offenders living here — the ninth highest out of 62 counties in the state, according to the state Department of Justice website. Its ratio of Level 3 offenders to residents is second only to St. Lawrence County.
Issues with sex offenders – who must merge back into society upon their release from prison with a very public stain on their record – are nothing new, said Fred Berlin, founder of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic.
But Berlin also said the concerns of residents must be put in context with reality – statistics from the federal Department of Justice show they are less likely to be charged again than those with other types of felonies.
“The majority of new charges are from those with no criminal record,” Berlin said. “Certainly there is a tremendous amount of misconception about these facts.”
Eighty-six percent of cases reported to law enforcement, for instance, were committed by a family member or acquaintance of the victim. And a 2003 justice department study found only 5.3 percent of sex offenders released from state prison were rearrested for another sex crime within three years (Recidivism Studies).
City Urban and Economic Development Commissioner Randy Soggs was not aware of the presence of the sex offenders on Rutger Street, but noted recent investments in the neighborhood, along with stakeholders such as the Rescue Mission of Utica and homeowners.
“As we’re able to revitalize the downtown arts corridor, I think you can see that return to its former glory as a residential community,” he said.
Name any law after a child, and the sheeple will happily endure any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation!
By Toby Barrett
Earlier this month, MPPs of all stripes got together to support legislation we could all agree on – strengthening provincial laws to protect people in Ontario from sex offenders.
Bill 163 (PDF), An Act to amend Christopher's Law, builds on the good work of the former PC government in 2000 to create Canada's first sex offender registry.
The registry legislation was originally introduced by Bob Runciman on April 28, 1999, and was titled Christopher's Law in honour of the of the11-year-old Brampton boy who was brutally murdered by a convicted pedophile out on federal parole. Local police at the time had no formal way of knowing that a dangerous sexual predator was in their community.
The original legislation followed a coroner's inquest that made 71 recommendations - key among them the call for the establishment of a national sex offender registry which has been done.
The original legislation was designed to require convicted sex offenders residing in Ontario to register their names and addresses with police in their communities and update that information on an annual basis or any time their address changes. Christopher's Law called for the information to be placed in the sex offender registry and be accessible to local police services who would also have the ability to release the information to the public.
While Christopher's Law has given the police the ability to track the whereabouts of pedophiles, rapists and other sex offenders, and to access information on sex offenders registered in other communities, an Auditor General's report in 2007 indicated that more needed to be done.
The report held some very serious and very disappointing statistics. Among them: 365 provincial sex offenders who should have been registered were not; 360 federal sex offenders who should have been registered were not; and 364 non-compliant offenders-almost 70% - were in breach of the act in excess of two years.
Under Bill 163 amendments to Christopher's Law are introduced that align it with the recent changes made to the National Sex Offender Registry.
requiring offenders who have been convicted of a sex offense outside of Canada and who have been ordered to report to the national registry to also report to the Ontario registry.
allowing the Ontario registry to maintain the records of registered offenders who receive a pardon under the Criminal Records Act.
Currently, Ontario is the only province with a sex offender registry - other provinces ask for access to the National Registry. Ontario's Registry is managed by the Ministry's Sex Offender Registry Unit within the Orillia Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters and has a compliance rate of 97% - one of the highest rates of any sex offender registry in North America.
If you want to save money, stop incarcerating people for petty crimes. And as always, follow the money. There is money to be made in prisons, and it appears the GEO Groups stocks are soaring. So I wonder, how many people have stocks in this company, who are pushing for prisons to be privatized?
By Scott Hiaasen
Florida lawmakers are poised to make dramatic changes to the state's prison system, turning over as many as 14 prisons to private companies in hopes of trimming the cost of housing the state's criminals.
But as the Legislature moves aggressively to expand the reach of private prisons, fundamental questions remain unanswered. Such as: Do private prisons really save Florida taxpayers money? And if so, how much cheaper are they?
Florida has been experimenting with private prisons for 16 years, with almost 10 percent of the state's 102,000 inmates now held in seven private facilities.
The state agency that oversees these prisons says they will save taxpayers almost $90 million over the next three years. But state financial analysts say they cannot show with any certainty how much money they save over state-run prisons.
At a Senate hearing in February, legislative analyst Byron Brown said differences in how public and private prisons operate and account for expenses "limit the conclusiveness" of any cost comparisons.
"There's never apples to apples," Brown told lawmakers.
While the benefits of prison privatization may be hard to see, the problems have been obvious: Over the years, the arrangement has been marred by mismanagement by state monitors, lax contracts, overbilling by prison contractors, a corruption investigation, and a legal loophole that allowed sexual misconduct in private facilities to go unpunished.
The Police Benevolent Association, which represents state corrections officers, said the privatization plan could put prison security at risk, with the lower wages of private prisons forcing out veteran workers and increasing staff turnover and vacancies. More than 4,600 corrections jobs could get wiped off the state payroll under one legislative proposal.
"Their whole business model is to save money, and you save money on employees," said Ken Kopczynski, a PBA lobbyist in Tallahassee. "If you have high turnover, that can turn into major problems."
Critics also say the plan to expand prison privatization is aimed at rewarding an industry that donates generously to the state Republican Party.
Since 2001, the Florida GOP has received more than $1.5 million from the two largest prison contractors and their affiliates, records show. More than $1 million of that has come from the GEO Group (News) of Boca Raton — formerly known as Wackenhut (See this article) — which manages two of the state's private prisons.
Supporters say state oversight of the private prisons has improved in recent years, and inspections show that private prisons are no less secure than those run by the state's Department of Corrections. The change is needed, backers say, to rein in the prison system's budget — which totaled $2.3 billion last year — at a time of mammoth deficits.
In the most ambitious proposal, the Senate's budget chief, J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, wants to give private contractors control over all the Department of Corrections facilities in 18 counties south of Orlando, including prisons and work camps in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.
The DOC has more than 4,600 employees in this region, with operating costs of about $391 million last year. Alexander wants the whole area put up for bid to any vendors who can provide at least 7 percent in savings — or $27 million less per year than the current cost.
By privatizing an entire region, rather than individual prisons, "we could more definitely answer the question of whether there is cost savings," Alexander said. He said he expects the "vast majority" of corrections staffers in the region will be re-hired by the private contractors.
A more modest plan in the House of Representatives would transfer only the corrections facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward — a list that includes six prisons and reception centers — to private vendors. The House proposal also would put private companies in charge of the felony probation system in Miami-Dade and Broward — a plan adamantly opposed by the PBA.
A likely bidder under either plan is the GEO Group, which, in addition to running prisons, recently purchased a company that monitors criminals on probation. According to a recent report to shareholders, the company seeks to expand its business to manage "the full lifecycle of an offender from arraignment to reintegration into the community, which we refer to as the corrections lifecycle."
Ron Book, a GEO Group lobbyist, said the company had no role in crafting the legislative proposals, though the company supports expanding private prisons.
"If you truly want to look at things like recidivism, you have to do a whole region. You can't do this cherry-picking," Book said.
The risks and benefits of private prisons have been hotly debated since 1995, when Florida's first private prison, the Gadsden Correctional Facility, opened west of Tallahassee.
Oversight of the private facilities fell not to the Department of Corrections — as it does in every other state — but to a specially created entity, the Correctional Privatization Commission. The commission became a nest of mismanagement and corruption.
When Gadsden, an all-female prison, first began operating, only about half of the guards were certified as corrections officers as required. In the early years the prison also failed to show a 7 percent cost savings compared to a comparable state prison, as required by law.
For years the commission also failed to keep track of staffing levels at the private prisons, allowing contractors to overbill the state by $4.4 million for vacant guard positions, according to a 2005 state audit.
The privatization commission "consistently failed to safeguard the state's interests," the audit said. The commission's failures cost the state almost $13 million, auditors found.
The commission was also rocked by another scandal: Its former director, Alan Duffee, was indicted on fraud charges for siphoning $225,000 in state money through a secret bank account under the commission's name. Duffee went to federal prison for 2½ years after pleading guilty in 2006.
The Legislature finally disbanded the privatization commission in 2005, and put the private prisons under the watch of the state's Department of Management Services, which primarily manages state lands, purchasing and personnel matters.
Oversight of the prisons has improved under DMS, legislative analysts have found. But the department was criticized as recently as last year for the lax response of contractors to security and contraband concerns raised in prison inspections. (Though the Department of Corrections does not manage the prison contracts, it does perform annual security inspections of the private prisons.)
DMS officials say they have become more aggressive in enforcing contract requirements. In the past two years, the agency has penalized prison contractors more than $840,000 for contract infractions, such as failing to report or inmate fights, and for failing to quickly fix security problems, records show.
"Most facilities are doing what they need to do most of the time," said Michael Weber, head of the DMS Bureau of Private Prison Monitoring.
Yet the performance of some private prisons has been subpar, DMS records show.
From July 2008 to June 2010, the Moore Haven Correctional Facility, then managed by the GEO Group, was rated below "acceptable" in 18 of 24 monthly reviews by DMS, records show. (The Corrections Corporation of America won the Moore Haven contract last year.) The CCA-run Lake City Correctional Facility failed to reach the acceptable level in 17 of 24 monthly reviews during the same period.
The parallel system of public and private prisons also created an unintended inequity: different rules for prison guards. For several years, a law prohibiting prison guards from engaging in "sexual misconduct" with inmates — conduct that does not rise to the level of rape — applied only to Department of Corrections guards, not to guards at private prisons.
The DOC's Inspector General investigated multiple claims of sexual misconduct at private facilities, but the guards could not be prosecuted because of the gap in the law. (The DOC could not provide exact figures on how many misconduct claims they investigated.) At the DOC's urging, the Legislature amended the law last year to include private guards.
The biggest question about private prisons — how much money they save — is also the most difficult to answer.
State law requires private prisons to cost 7 percent less than comparable state facilities. But these comparisons depend on a series of subjective judgments and cost "adjustments" that make claims of savings less than concrete.
To determine how much to pay a private facility, state officials first establish a daily cost of housing an inmate in a similar state-run facility, then reduce that "per diem" rate by 7 percent. The problem is, the prisons often aren't all that similar.
For example, the state compares the private Gadsden Correctional Facility to another female prison, the Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, to set a benchmark cost. But the differences between the two prisons are many: Unlike Gadsden, the Lowell facility has both a prison and a work camp (slave labor) on the grounds. Lowell also specializes in youthful offenders, and it has a higher security level, which often results in higher staffing costs.
In addition, some private prisons offer more drug treatment and educational programs than the state prisons — also frustrating any comparison. State auditors try to account for these differences by creating "adjusted" cost estimates for the state facilities; these cost estimates are then used as benchmarks for the private prison contracts.
The DOC calculated that the daily cost per every inmate at Lowell was $66.71. State auditors then "adjusted" the amount down to $54.85, omitting the work camp and other services to reflect a comparable cost to Gadsden's. The current contractor at Gadsden, Utah-based Management & Training Corp., is paid only $45.97 per inmate per day – 16 percent less than the adjusted rate.
Differences in the health-care needs of prisoners also skew comparisons. In their contracts, the private prisons have caps on the number of inmates they will accept with certain medical conditions – inmates that often become the most expensive to house.
From 2007 to 2009, two private prisons, South Bay and Lake City, spent $6.9 million on medical costs, while the two state prisons used for cost comparison spent $15.9 million on health care, according to a report by the Legislature's investigative arm, the Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability. Only 16 percent of the South Bay inmates had special medical needs — the maximum allowed under its state contract — compared to 41 percent at the state-owned Okeechobee Correctional Institution.
"The difference in the populations in public and private prisons results in the state shouldering a greater proportion of the cost of housing these inmates," another OPPAGA study concluded. "As a result, the requirement that the private prisons operate at 7 percent lower cost than state facilities is undermined."
Weber, of DMS, said healthcare costs should even out under new medical billing rules that took effect last year. The Legislature is also weighing a plan to turn over all prisoner medical care to a private contractor, again to reduce costs.
The private contracts have also saved money in other ways, Weber said. In response to budget cuts, DMS renegotiated its contracts to reduce the per-inmate pay rate, saving about $1.5 million. The department also withheld about $3.4 million from the GEO Group and CCA over two years for failing to maintain required staffing levels, records show.
Brown, the legislative analyst, said private prisons appear to yield "some savings" to the state, most of it in reduced cost of pensions for state corrections officers. But how much is hard to say.
The prison industry will have to find new ways to save money under any legislative proposal that gets passed.
Until now, the state's only private prisons had been built new for the state, and designed by the prison companies to maximize efficiency while reducing manpower needs. But under the plans in the Legislature, the contractors will be taking over older, existing facilities — including one built in 1932 — which are often more costly to run.
The persistent questions about the savings, and worries about potential job losses for corrections workers, have stirred concern about the privatization plans among Democrats in Tallahassee.
"The mere fact that we keep getting these different numbers gives us pause," said Sen. Christopher Smith, D-Oakland Park.
In 1692 the testimony of six girls led to the convictions and executions of 19 men and women for the practice of witchcraft. All but one of the "Circle Girls" later recanted their testimony, but much too late to save the innocent. Events like the Salem Witch Trials (Wikipedia) and brutal treatment by the British Empire were fresh in the minds of our founding fathers when the basis of our legal framework and government were put onto paper. The sentiments of the time led to a declaration of independence (Wikipedia, Website) and the ratification of our Constitution (Wikipedia, Website) and have become more than ideas of justice and freedom for all Americans. They are the very essence of what America is—a precious and delicate belief in what a government should be, ideas that we hold dear and sacred to this day.
Our system of law was designed to prevent future failures like those of Salem, Massachusetts. The basic premise of presumption of innocence undertones our bill of rights (Wikipedia, Website). Our belief that we are all innocent until proven guilty is the core of our faith and security in our legal system. We live out our lives with the comfort and assurance that if we remain civil and abide by the laws of the land that we have nothing to fear: our innocence protects us from an overzealous government and its people.
But as history shows, these perfect ideas of law can entirely break down in practice, as senator Joseph McCarthy (Wikipedia) demonstrated in the 1950’s. We look back to McCarthyism (Wikipedia) as a national faux pas, a breach of our tenants of law and a test of our system of government—and its people—to right itself over time. Surely again, we would never let such a thing happen.
Or would we?
Accused is a documentary film which will show how emotions and politics fuel hysteria that lead to gross abuses of our legal system that continue to destroy the lives of thousands of innocent American citizens. These failures of our legal system aren’t just moments of history we study to prevent future breakdowns—hundreds of actually and factually innocent people are currently imprisoned for a crime they did not commit, and thousands more are being wrung through a system that desperately needs to be re-examined.
Accused will examine: the problems of hysteria surrounding accusations of child molestation and rape and how these types of accusations have become an all-to-easy method of revenge and vindictiveness; growing abuse and criticism of sexual offender registries; problems with the politicization of key positions within our legal system; privatization and profiteering on the convicted; the increasing use of our legal system as a corporate weapon to eliminate fair competition; and the overall imbalance of equal-access to the law. Each of these problems are symptomatic of a larger problem within our legal framework. Untreated, these problems continue to eat away at all of our civil liberties.
Our idea of law is perfect. Our practice of law, however, is subject to the imperfections of human nature. It is easy to accept a few miscalculations of the system, until that miscalculation is you and your entire way of life has been completely stripped away. And our faith in the presumption of innocence blinds us to how easy it is to find yourself living inside a nightmare never imagined possible.
From the director:
I had never intended to make this documentary. Like most Americans, I was blissfully ignorant to a vast problem within our national legal landscape. But then I saw first hand the financial and social destruction that happens when false accusations are leveled against someone.
A close friend of mine was falsely accused of raping children, was arrested and is currently awaiting trial. When I began researching how someone defends themselves against such vile accusations (and they are vile, I know my friend to be innocent) I opened a door to a world I thought couldn't possibly exist in our country. It was a door that I could not close. What I saw shattered my belief and faith in a fair and impartial legal system.
And it made my heart sink when I knew my friend would be forced through a broken system, knowing that regardless of the outcome of his trial that he wouldn't come out of it unharmed.
Accused isn't a documentary about my friend. It isn't just about people falsely accused of child rape and molestation. It is about a national hysteria towards sex offenders and a resulting political, judicial and law enforcement environment that more closely resembles Russian Roulette than a rational carriage of justice. And no one has immunity: the revolver is pointed at each of us. You could be next.
Over the past couple decades the number of accusations of child sexual assault has skyrocketed: 500,000 accusations a year. However the number of substantiated claims has largely remained the same at 300,000 cases. This means that 200,000 Americans a year are wrung through our legal system despite their innocence. The average cost of receiving a proper and adequate defense against false accusations is an astounding $50,000 and the need for specialization in these types of cases makes the reliance upon public defenders almost a guaranteed guilty verdict. Once the innocent are falsely convicted, fighting on appeals can run into half a million dollars in legal fees.
But we don't stop there. Our societal zeal for persecuting sexual “crimes” and lauding the Sexual Offenders Registry as a success story surpassed absurdity moments after its introduction. Landing on the sexual offenders registry need not require a violent crime. It need not even require sex or sexual conduct of any kind. In several instances, you can become a sexual offender and added to the registry for committing a “crime” against yourself, so you are both the victim and the perpetrator.
Accused makes a comparison to the Salem Witch Trials. The reaction to this is that the Witch Trials were worse than anything happening today, that we no longer drown people who do not confess (yes, we do, just not with water), we don't accept heresy in our courts (oh but we do), we don't convict people without evidence (are you sure about that?). After all, most people argue, 19 people were executed as a result of the “legal dark ages” of Salem Massachusetts.
Accused will show how we have more than surpassed the absurdity of the Salem Witch Trials and the 19 innocent people who lost their lives. The death toll just from people who have been murdered (Videos), many targeted at random for being on the sexual offender registry has surpassed 55 people. Accused will show the atrocities that happen behind a veil of public safety and reveal the festering cancer which is eating our legal system, our due process and our civil liberties alive.