Tuesday, January 1, 2013

PA - Pennsylvania ups the ante on sexual offender registration

Original Article

01/01/2013

By STEVE MCCONNELL

Stricter measures targeting sexual offenders in Pennsylvania recently went into effect as part of a final push to comply with a federal law named in memory of Adam Walsh, a murdered 6-year-old boy whose father became a fierce advocate for child abuse prevention laws.

In late December, Pennsylvania became one of several states to adhere to the requirements of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, federal legislation named after the son of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh.
- It has never been proven who did the crime or if sexual assault was even involved.  So why are they punishing all ex-sex offenders and not everybody who harms children?  Do we punish all people who run stop signs for what some murderer did?  No, of course not, so why are we punishing ex-sex offenders for the MURDER of a child?

Enacted in 2006 (Video), the legislation built upon previous federal laws that mainly required convicted sex offenders to register their personal information in publicly accessible state databases tracking their whereabouts so that communities can feel safer knowing who they are and where they live.
- Exactly, it punishes ex-sex offenders, who had nothing to do with Adam's death.  That is like punishing all DUI offenders for what Charles Mansion did, or brainwashed people to do.  If they wanted to "protect" children from all abuse, then all people who abused children would be required to report where they live and all their personal info on the online shaming hit-list, and the registry would not be called the "sex offender" registry, but the "child abuse" registry.  So it's apparently not to "protect" children from abuse, but to punish ex-sex offenders, the scapegoats for all crimes involving children!

The Adam Walsh Act took further steps to eliminate a patchwork of state sex offender registration laws - commonly known as Megan's laws - to establish baseline requirements.

In Pennsylvania, state and local officials had been working to comply with the law by Dec. 20. They say they've met the deadline.

"It's a huge change, and it's definitely having a lot of impact," said state police Cpl. Steve Vesnaver of the agency's Megan's Law division.

Among the changes, convicted sex offenders must register immediately after they are sentenced by a judge. Before, they registered after fully serving out their sentence or after they were released from prison.

In Lackawanna County, convicted sexual offenders will be registered within 48 hours of sentencing at the county courthouse in Scranton, Assistant District Attorney Patricia Lafferty said.

"It's just to make sure everybody gets right into the system," she said.

In the county, four registration sites are now ready to go, including at the state police barracks in Dunmore and the Scranton Police Department, Ms. Lafferty said, which have been loaded with new software to better link with the national sex offender database maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Also, offenders classified as the most sexually violent must stop by a law enforcement agency four times a year to check in and confirm their information - such as most recent address, and their photo - is up-to-date.

Of the roughly 12,200 sexual offenders currently registered in the state's database, about 85 percent will have to fulfill that requirement, Cpl. Vesnaver said.

Before, sexual offenders in that category reported once a year, although they always had to quickly provide changes to their personal information under previous laws.

The new provisions of the law also require sexual offenders to provide more information about their personal life than before, including the address of where they work and the make and model of any vehicle they drive.

Officials hope the tougher reporting measures prevent the database from being riddled with outdated information, in effect defeating its purpose. Failure to register is a felony offense.

Lastly, the changes require sexual offenders to be registered for longer periods of time, depending on the severity of the crime.



7 comments :

Rodney Ferrer Sr said...

I'm an out of state registrant who pled out to attempted sexual abuse in Alabama, no such law here in Pennsylvania. Now I have to register 4x's a year as if I were a violent sex predator due to the fact Meghans Law doesn't know how to classify me for this misdemeanor, if anyone knows of any help for me, please contact me @ rod_Ferrer@yahoo.com, thanxs:)

Robert said...

Also, offenders classified as the most sexually violent must stop by a law enforcement agency four times a year to check in and confirm their information - such as most recent address, and their photo - is up-to-date.

This applies to all tier III sex offenders not just the most sexually violent or SVP's. And to become a tier III offender all you need is more than one charge like indecent assault and corruption of minors witch most all sex offenders have and 80% are listed as tier III offenders in Pennsylvania.

Randy said...

I'm curious about all the funding cuts and programs going broke in the areas of education, healthcare, unemployment, social security, etc etc....how much money, I wonder, is being pulled from all these programs to help fund the AWA and Megans law? Expensive, fully funded programs get their income from somewhere...

Loneranger said...

One would think if they really laid out what this does the populous would not want it. When you look at this system closely you see that they have placed 80 percent in the highest category increasing the number of times someone has to show up and be processed. Ok so they have increased the amount of time and work expended by their local police departments almost by four times. Now given most area's have problems funding police and jails and the like already how does this help? The fact that a constant string of people showing up say yep everything is the same is such a waist of time and money. Then when they do get some that for some reason don't get there or are late they can arrest them. Ok another cost to the county and state. The way it looks is no mater how good it makes a few feel to know day to day where someone sleeps at night it's not worth it. The damage this causes the counties and states through wasted tax dollars is enormous. Just to create an appearance that sex offenders are being controlled and supervised when in fact they are not. Once they sign the paper saying yes everything is the same and yes I still live at this same address and drive the same car they go off to do what ever they do. Just like anyone else. End result is they have disrupted their life once again to comply with useless requirements to make this program appear as if it is doing anything at all. Just because someone is willing to show up and be photographed it doesn't mean somehow they are being controlled they only know what they look like. To what end I'm not sure as if all this makes a difference. It has not reduced the number of offences because the majority of new offences are people not on the registry. So millions of dollars spent and no return on the investment. It has been suggested that somehow this is a deterrent and offenders frequently reporting will keep them in line. It has made zero impact in other states and will make the same impact in this one. So it has been said that doing the same thing over and over expecting a different out come each time is the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing four times as frequent looks like four times the insanity to me.

deathklok said...

I think the answer is deficit spending. I sometimes think of government as a demented group of Mafia gangsters coercing people into believing their main function is to protect everyone's family, But it's going to cost you a lot of money.

Be prepared for increased taxes as the threat level grows and we're lead to believe that the "Evil Doers" are all out to get us and destroy our enviable freedoms. The catch; we have to surrender our freedom to the good guys in order to maintain our well being from the bad guys. How much protection is too much? And at what costs to be passed down on our children? 16 trillion and growing. To put it in perspective; Approximately $50,000 per man, woman, and child that are U.S. residents. I'm tapped out.

P.S. We provide military presence in countries like Germany and Japan at a cost to U.S. taxpayers. They don't have an army and their economy is perfectly fine. I find this troubling.

deathklok said...

"It's a huge change, and it's definitely having a lot of impact," said state police Cpl. Steve Vesnaver of the agency's Megan's Law division.


What the heck is he saying? I wish journalist would stop throwing senseless quote's into articles.

Teutonic said...

Germany does have a (very capable, but defensive) army, and I have found the overwhelming sentiment there is welcoming the departure of US Military instead of it, a country with a perfectly fine economy and moral compass, being used as a base for preemptive wars based on lies.