Sunday, July 8, 2012

GA - Georgia law requires more abuse reporting

Original Article

07/01/2012

By Joy Lukachick

Summer-camp volunteers, coaches and Sunday school teachers will be required to report boys' and girls' complaints of abuse under a new Georgia law that went into effect this week.

Those who don't report sexual or physical abuse or neglect could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Before the law was amended, workers such as teachers, police and physicians were required to report suspicions of abuse. But parts of the law were vague and didn't state clearly everyone who is required to report, said Melissa Carter, director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University.

Now anyone who volunteers or works with children is a "mandatory reporter," required to tell supervisors about any child abuse, ranging from physical injury to neglect and sexual abuse.

Georgia's move was spurred by the Penn State scandal, in which former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of abusing, raping and sodomizing young boys for years.

After Sandusky's arrest, Georgia and 29 other states scrambled to re-evaluate and tighten their mandatory reporting laws, officials said. Sandusky was convicted on 45 charges.

While at least 105 bills were proposed in statehouses across the country, only 10 states, including Georgia, enacted new mandatory-reporting laws. Tennessee didn't propose a revision in 2012.

"It was an opportunity to renew public awareness and education [about child abuse]," Carter said.

But critics question whether lawmakers acted out of fear, using an extreme example, and they worry authorities will be flooded with false allegations of child abuse.

"You take a bad set of facts and make a bad law," said Page Pate, an Atlanta-based defense attorney. "I don't think we're going to get any more valid child abuse reports."

Child advocates agree most people who learn about a child being abused would report the suspicion regardless of the law. But they praise the statute for bringing renewed attention to child abuse and hope it will promote more training on the signs of abuse.

Atlanta's Interfaith Children's Movement has been hosting training sessions for faith communities, teaching about the signs of abuse, what defines child abuse under state law and how to follow the right chain of command in reporting. Under the law, someone who suspects or hears of child abuse is required to go to a supervisor, who then must report to a child welfare agency or police.

Under the revised law, volunteers for clubs or summer programs will be responsible for reporting, whether they volunteer for one day or three months, said Pamela Perkins Carn, a coordinator for the Interfaith Children's Movement.

Public school officials don't expect many changes because employees already are required to report even if the law didn't require it.

"It's one of our 10 commandments, if you will," said James Fahrney Jr., principal at Davis Elementary School in Dade County. "That is one of the things we try to burn into our teachers' brains or anyone that works with children."

He said broadening the law is a good thing because it allows all employees who work with children to tell someone who can investigate, without fear of retaliation if their suspicion turns out to be wrong.

"We would rather over-report that ... than allowing that to be swept under the rug," he said.

But critics argue the law forces people with good judgment to make quick decisions for fear of being arrested if they don't.

"Are we criminalizing volunteers?" Pate asked. "It's dangerous whenever we make citizen volunteers investigate [potential criminal allegations]."



UK - Sex offenders face GPS tagging

Original Article

07/08/2012

Sex offenders could be tracked via GPS when released back in the community if new government plans are given the go ahead.

With a pilot scheme scheduled to start in April next year, the new measures would see those convicted of sexual offences and crimes against children wearing an ankle tag that would be traced by satellite.

This will then let the police know if the wearer has gone near ‘no-go areas’ such as schools, playgrounds or the addresses of victims.

The details of the proposed tagging system are unknown, but it is understood that it will involve both high and low-risk offenders from across the country who have a mix of prolonged, little or no contact with the authorities.

The move coincides with an internal investigation by the Scottish Liberal Democrats amid concern that a sex offender who befriended a couple with two young children made false claims about his role within the party.

A Motherwell couple warned by North Lanarkshire Council that the individual, who had been in the area over a year and become a close friend, posed a “grave threat” to their children.

This would also mean that criminals such as Da Vinci rapist [name withheld], who has threatened to carry out repeat attacks, would be under 24hour surveillance.

In 2009 [name withheld], another convicted sex offender, was released from prison in Aberdeen and within a week he attacked a pensioner as part of a plan to seize two kids.

Disclosure

According to figures published in 2011 there are 3,100 sex offenders locked up in Scotland with 30 being considered likely to re-offend if they are not closely watched by authorities.

A similar GPS-tracking project was carried out in England in Wales in 2004 but it is understood that no police services nowadays actually use the technology anymore.

Reliability concerns have put the Scottish government off introducing the plans in the past, but officials feel that advances in technology mean that they are now able to put the methods to the test.

This has increased the claims for disclosure on sex offenders living in communities.

At the moment parents, carers or guardians of under-18s can ask the police about details of someone placed on the sex offenders register.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “We are in the progress of tendering for a new electronic monitoring contract which will have the capability of providing GPS tagging services."

The exact ways in which that capability can be utilised are still to be determined. However the new contract will be in place from April 1, 2013.”

John Lamont, the chief whip of the Scottish Conservatives, thinks that it is “shocking” that it has taken the government this long to act.

He said: “We’ve been calling for the use of GPS satellite tracking for sex offenders since 2007."

While the go-ahead for such a scheme would be a welcome development, it’s shocking it has taken so long for the SNP to recognise the full benefits of using such a robust system.”



OFFENDEX - Putting lives in danger for profit - And using old out-dated information?

Original Article

What this site is doing is basically extortion! They are scouring the public registries and filling their own database with information, and apparently a lot of it is out dated, since they never remove it. How is this not extortion? Well, I don't see where they are making threats, but it's still exploitation and using the registry to harass others and also make money from public records, which I thought was illegal?

Update: Offendex.com has now split into another site called SORARCHIVES.COM possibly due to this site: OFFENDEXTORTION.COM.


07/01/2012

I just moved to a new house. Shortly after moving in, I found out that a previous tenant had been a registered sex offender with his address (now my address) listed. Although the state sex offender registry rightfully has delisted my address, it is still listed on private Internet registries who have not responded to my request to remove my address. One site, Offendex.com, even wants me to pay them 200 dollars, otherwise they will NEVER take it off! I really don't have the money for a lawyer to fight this, but I've had two windows broken and my car key-scratched, as well as get late-night honks and shouts of "pervert!" all the time, and I'm frankly scared for my family's safety. Local law enforcement is powerless to do anything. What can I do?