Sunday, March 17, 2013

PA - Adam Walsh Act

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission. The name has been abbreviated for their own protection.

By Robert:
Hello, I'm a RSO (Registered Sex Offender) and a regular visitor of this site. I recently had my registration period changed from a 10 year plea bargain to a tier III offender under AWA (Wikipedia). I noticed on the state registry 90 percent were listed as tier III. I had brought up the fact I was really bothered being a tier III in sex offender treatment class and having to register every three months for the rest of my life when my plea bargain clearly stated 10 year Megan's law (Wikipedia), and the counselor's who are female's told me "it was what I deserved because I had caused my victim a lifetime of pain"! And I have to sit there and take it or they can find a reason to unsuccessfully discharge me from the mandated program and that would violate my probation. I took a nolo contendere (Wikipedia) plea and can't even maintain my innocence as I would be discharged from the treatment program for denial. My charges are misdemeanor's and since I have two of them I'm a tier III offender automatically based on that alone, not on the risk level I impose on the community, although the community sees me as a high risk worst of the worst offenders now. There is no logic or justice in any of the sex offender laws in this country and we need to change them. I recently joined my local chapter of RSOL PA and plan to advocate for changes in these laws, not so much for my sake as for my family's I have kids who are very affected by the registry. Please any direction or advice you could give me on advocating would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Robert



I need some help!

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission.

By Thomas Erickson:
Hi. My name is Thomas Erickson and I need some help fast. I am a RSO (Registered Sex Offender). I have been on the sex offender registry since 1998. I recently learned that I could get off the registry. I hired a lawyer and have payed $3,500.00 Dollars to get the "Ball rolling". I have run into a huge snag and need some real help. I have been through sex offender treatment both in and out of prison, Here is the problem after 10 years the records of this are destroyed by the state. My lawyer wanted me to pay another $1,000.00 Dollars to get a evaluation from a doctor so that we would not be going to court "Naked" Well I am broke and have no more cash at all. What I do need from some one that is far better at articulating and writing than I am is 10 things I have learned from sex offender treatment. Every time I try to write it all out I fail. I just do not know what my lawyer thinks I am capable of but this is just not it. I am desperate, I need help. I need some one to help me write this out for the judge. I do not know what else to do. I am at my very end. I am desperate I do not know what else to do. I want off this "HIT LIST" I need off and have spent every last dime I have. I do not know where else to turn. I have followed your web page for well over 5 years and I can see that you are my only hope. You know what to say how to say it and just who to writ it out. I know you do not know me from Adam. But I am desperate you are my only hope. Please help me. Please.

I understand if you do not want to get involved but I just do not know where else to turn. I am out of options and time. Please could you find it in your heart to help me?

Thomas Erickson.



CA - Requesting Plaintiffs for Civil Rights Suit in Santa Ana, CA

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission. The name has been abbreviated for their own protection.

The following is an appeal by the California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization. We are trying to get plaintiffs for a civil rights suit against the Santa Ana Police Department. The organization president has approved the following text for release:

Are you a registered sex offender in the city of Santa Ana, California? The staff at California Reform Sex Offender Laws would like to contact you to discuss your experiences during your annual registration in the city of Santa Ana including but not limited to requirement to wear a prison uniform, registration in the city jail, and/or inability to leave during the registration process.

Requirements:
  1. Required to register on California Megan's Law (PDF) as per California Statute 290
  2. Required to register at the Santa Ana Police Department

ALL contacts with California RSOL are confidential and will NOT be reported to any other authority nor entity at ANY stage of our interviewing process. To arrange for an interview, please call 805-896-7854 or send a message through our contact form on our website contact page. You can also mail us at the following address:

CA RSOL

8721 Santa Monica Blvd., Box 855

Los Angeles, CA 90069-4507

Help make the city of Santa Ana safer for registrants. Thank you.

Please call 805-896-7854 if you wish to verify before publication. Thanks.



IL - I need to know how to go be with my sick father.

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission. The name has been abbreviated for their own protection.

By Anonymous:
Hi, I am an RSO (Registered Sex Offender) in Illinois and my family lives up in Michigan. My father is currently gravely ill and in the hospital. He might not make it and I need to go visit him.

My problem is that it is unclear how to do it without ending up in jail.

I can not move up to Michigan because the requirements would have me transferring all my stuff like my drivers license and other stuff up there and that would take time at the secretary of state and police station that I do not have in an emergency situation. Plus I would not have a place to live anyways.

Does anyone know what the procedure for a temporary visit of less then a week would be?



Jurisdictions Face Challenges to Implementing the Act, and Stakeholders Report Positive and Negative Effects

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission. The name has been abbreviated for their own protection.

By RF:
An eye opening "study" by GAO. Reveals the overall failure of implementating the AWA across the entire country. Most interesting here is the fact that "SORNA, when passed in 2006, required DOJ to conduct a comprehensive study on SORNA’s effects, which could help address current research gaps." But DOJ cites no funding for the study. DOJ has money, even unclaimed Byrne JAG funds from states that have not implemented SORNA, available to implement more SORNA programs BUT NO MONEY TO GATHER FACTS ON THE EFFECTS OF SORNA ONCE IMPLEMENTED!


Original Article (PDF)

What GAO Found
The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) has determined that 19 of the 37 jurisdictions that have submitted packages for review have substantially implemented the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Although the SMART Office has determined that 17 of the jurisdictions that submitted packages have not yet substantially implemented SORNA, the office concluded that 15 of these 17 jurisdictions have implemented at least half of the SORNA requirements; the office has not yet made a determination for 1 jurisdiction that submitted a package. A majority of nonimplemented jurisdictions reported that generating the political will to incorporate the necessary changes to their state laws and related policies or reconciling legal conflicts are among the greatest challenges to implementation. For example, officials from 27 nonimplemented jurisdictions reported reconciling conflicts between SORNA and state laws--such as which offenses should require registration--as a challenge to implementing SORNA. Officials from 5 of 18 jurisdictions that responded to a survey question asking how DOJ could help address these challenges reported that the SMART Office could provide greater flexibilities; however, SMART Office officials said they have offered as many flexibilities as possible and further changes would take legislative action.

A few studies have been conducted on the effects of certain SORNA requirements on jurisdictions and registered sex offenders, but GAO did not find any that evaluated the effects on public safety following SORNA implementation; stakeholders reported both positive and negative effects as a result of implementing the law. Officials from 4 of 12 implementing jurisdictions who responded to the survey reported that one benefit was improved monitoring of registered sex offenders. Stakeholders also reported that SORNA resulted in enhanced information sharing on registered sex offenders between criminal justice components, in part through the use of certain databases that enable jurisdictions to share information with one another. Stakeholders and survey respondents also identified negative or unintended consequences of implementing SORNA. For example, officials from three of five state agencies and all eight of the local law enforcement agencies GAO interviewed stated that their workload has increased, in part because of the increased frequency at which sex offenders must update their registration information as a result of the act. Officials from a majority of the public defender and probation offices also said that SORNA implementation has made it more difficult for registered sex offenders to obtain housing and employment, which can negatively affect their ability to reintegrate into their communities. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is statutorily required to study SORNA's effectiveness in increasing compliance with requirements and the effect of these requirements on increasing public safety. As of December 2012, DOJ had not requested the funding to conduct this study and the funding had not been appropriated. NIJ officials stated that NIJ does not proactively request funding for specific studies, but waits for Congress to decide when to appropriate the funding. Neither DOJ nor the Administrative Office of the United States Courts provided written comments on this report.

Why GAO Did This Study
Studies estimate that about 1 in every 5 girls and 1 in every 7 to 10 boys are sexually abused. In 2006, Congress passed SORNA, which introduced new sex offender registration standards for all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), the District of Columbia, and certain Indian tribes. SORNA established the SMART Office to determine if these jurisdictions have "substantially implemented" the law, and to assist them in doing so. The deadline to implement SORNA was July 2009; given that none of the jurisdictions met this deadline, DOJ authorized two 1-year extensions. This report addresses: (1) To what extent has the SMART Office determined that jurisdictions have substantially implemented SORNA, and what challenges, if any, have jurisdictions faced? (2) For jurisdictions that have substantially implemented SORNA, what are the reported effects that the act has had on public safety, criminal justice stakeholders, and registered sex offenders?

GAO analyzed SMART Office implementation status reports from September 2009 through September 2012. To identify any challenges, GAO surveyed officials in the 50 states, 5 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia; GAO received responses from 93 percent (52 of 56) of them. The survey results can be viewed at GAO-13-234SP GAO visited or interviewed criminal justice officials in five jurisdictions that have substantially implemented SORNA, chosen to represent a range in the number of registered sex offenders per 100,000 residents. Their perspectives are not generalizable, but provided insights.

For more information, contact Eileen R. Larence at (202) 512-8777 or larencee@gao.gov.



CO - Research to help those in your community

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By Alyssa Dawson:
Hello.

My name is Alyssa Dawson, and I am a graduate student as Colorado State University. My ex-partner is a registered sex offender, and I have a child with him. The consequences of this relationship have led me to be interested in studying women in a similar situation for my master’s thesis. I am especially interested in understanding how women who are still in relationships with those who have been convicted as sex offenders, as well as those women no longer in those relationships, cope with this dynamic in their lives.

For my project, I would like to interview women about their experiences. Specifically, I am looking for women who have children with RSOs. I am also including women who have children from previous relationships but are in a relationship with an RSO.

The interview will last about 1-1 ½ hours, and we will meet you at a place of your choosing. If you are not in Colorado, you can participate in an interview by phone. You will not receive anything for participating in this study, but we hope that the findings will help other women who find themselves in similar situations.

If you would like to hear more about this study and are interested in possibly participating, then I would be happy to provide you more details about the research project and to discuss the possible risks and benefits. Please contact me at adawson@rams.colostate.edu

Thank you for your consideration.

Alyssa Dawson

Masters Student

Department of Sociology

Colorado State University



NJ - I am currently in a relationship with a registered sex offender

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission. The name has been abbreviated for their own protection.

By SS:
I am currently in a relationship with a registered sex offender, he is a Tier 1 Offender (Lowest Tier).

I am worried/concerned my future career as an Algebra teacher will be affected by being with him.

His crime happened when he was 12 years old, he has 3 more years until he can request expungement.

However I ran his name on the Sex Offender NJ search engine and he did not come up, so why does he have to register if he is not on said Offender List? Is it because he was a juvenile? Will this affect my career/future from background checks when I try to apply at schools for jobs?



Dear SS:

He may be on the registry that is only available to police. In many states juveniles or Tier I offenders are not on a public registry but must still register with the police. Did you contact the local sheriff and ask them these questions? If not, you should.



NC - Failed Polygraph Exam

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission. The name has been abbreviated for their own protection.

By TH:
I have a question regarding my husband, who is a registered sex offender, in NC. He was convicted of possession of child pornography in 2005, and was released from federal prison in 2012. he had previously failed one polygraph exam due to being extremely nervous. He has since failed a second exam, on the question of being sexual with anyone under the age of 18. During the pre exam questions, he was asked if there was ANYTHING that could be even REMOTELY considered sexual. His response was that he tickled his twin 12 year old daughters on the stomach, and then tickled his older daughter. My husband failed the polygraph exam when the 3rd time he answered NO to that question was more force full that the first 2. The polygraph examiner went ballistic on my husband, telling him he was going to do his best to either send my husband back to prison, or take his girls away! And now my husband is supposed to go in front of a judge, with a good chance of going back to prison for something HE DIDN'T DO!

N. Carolina Dept of Social Svc did an investigation, along with the sheriff dept, an they found no evidence of a crime being committed.

Any help or advice that anyone has on this issue would be appreciated, as we are trying to put our family back together again. My husband's biggest fears are not being able to see his daughters, and having to go back to prison.

Thank You so much for anything you might be able to contribute.



Not sure where to start

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission. The name has been abbreviated for their own protection.

By L:
First, I want to say thank you for creating and maintaining this blog. I am glad to know I am not alone in the commitment I've recently embarked on to help sex offenders.

I am finding resources to create a program for sex offenders to find housing and employment, as well as to develop an understanding of how their actions affect society and other human beings, be accountable and people of integrity and then to help others who are struggling with the same feelings and desires.

Why is this my passion? I am a 31-year-old woman who realized 2 years ago I'd be molested by my grandfather during the majority of my childhood. I've experienced molestation, rape and sexual abuse many times. I believe the only way the issue of sexual victimization can be curbed is through forgiveness of offenders by victims and by sex offenders being accountable and having a voice.

I want to help sex offenders because in doing so, perhaps less children will deal with the experiences I have dealt with. There are tons of resources for victims and very few for offenders.

I hope to hear back from you regarding what is currently available so that it can be built upon.



NE - Bill would restrict sex offender residency near parks

Sen. Dave Bloomfield
Original Article

03/14/2013

The Judiciary Committee heard testimony March 13 on a bill meant to restrict certain sex offenders from living near parks.

The state’s Sexual Predator Residency Restriction Act currently allows a political subdivision to adopt regulations to restrict sexual predators from living within 500 feet of a school or child care facility.

LB473 (PDF), sponsored by Hoskins Sen. Dave Bloomfield, would extend that authority to restrict residency near parks.

The bill defines a park is defined as a parcel of ground or a facility established by a political subdivision for recreational use by the public that covers at least 2,500 square feet.

The bill also expands the definition of sexual predator of children to include a sex offender who has been convicted of a crime that involved the penetration or direct genital touching of, oral to anal contact with or oral to genital contact with a person younger than 13 years old.

The residency restriction would not apply if a sexual predator had established a residence before the bill’s effective date and had not moved from that residence, or if a park triggering the restriction is established after the effective date.

Bloomfield said the bill was necessary because South Sioux City experienced an influx of sex offenders following passage of a similar bill in Iowa.

This bill does nothing more than add parks to the list of places that can be restricted,” he said.

Ed Mahon of the South Sioux City Police Department testified in support of the bill, saying it would address concerns of parents in the area.

Between five and 10 individuals on Iowa’s sex offender registry recently have moved to South Sioux City due to Nebraska’s less stringent residency guidelines, he said.

Eric Baird of Papillion testified in opposition, saying residency restrictions create displacement of individuals on the sex offender registry without providing meaningful protection for children.

It’s a symbolic law, not an effective law,” he said.

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.



NY - Duprey sponsors new law on sex offenders

Janet Duprey
Original Article

03/17/2013

By JOE LoTEMPLIO

PLATTSBURGH - Assemblywoman Janet Duprey is looking to make campgrounds safer for children.

Kids should be allowed to be kids, and campgrounds need to be safe sites,” she told the Press-Republican.
- Following this logic, you could say the same about every place, but where do you draw the line?  How many kids have been sexually abused in a campground?

The Republican from Peru is sponsoring a bill that would prohibit registered sex offenders from entering or using campgrounds that offer overnight accommodations.

Duprey said the issue was brought to her attention last year when a sex offender moved into a permanent site at an area campground, which she declined to name.

The woman registered her address as the campground, as she was required to do by law.

The owner of the campground did not find out about her criminal past until a number of guests canceled reservations, giving her presence as the reason.

When the owner tried to have the woman ousted, there was nothing in the law to accommodate her removal.

The woman was arrested and removed after she allegedly approached a young child, Duprey said.

There is nothing in the law that says they can’t be at campgrounds.”

Duprey said the nature of campgrounds, with their expansive areas where children often roam free, can give predators fertile hunting ground.
- Not all ex-offenders, who are just trying to find a place to stay, are predators!

Clinton County Sheriff David Favro said the current sex-offender law targets schools, playgrounds and other sites where children gather but says nothing specifically about campgrounds.

This is something that probably should have been looked into a long time ago,” Favro said.

This law will provide for a safer environment for children and families. It’s common sense.”
- Not really, based on facts and emotions.  Most victims of sexual abuse know the offender and strangers account for a very few cases of sexual abuse, but who cares about the facts?

Duprey’s bill is before the Assembly Committee on Corrections right now, and she is hoping to get it through to the full Assembly and eventually the Senate.

We’ve got about 40 co-sponsors right now, and it’s bi-partisan, and hopefully it can gain some ground,” she said.