Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies

View the article here | Deconstructing Reaction to Net Safety Task Force Report

Videos referenced in this article, are at the end.

The following materials are products of the Task Force's year of activities.

Quarterly Reports


Research Advisory Board


Presentations

  • Teens Online: Stranger Contact and Cyberbullying: What the research is telling us (April 30, 2008) Amanda Lenhart, Pew Internet & American Life Project Presentation: Adobe PDF video
  • Youth & Law Enforcement Surveys (April 30, 2008) Janis Wolak, Crimes against Children Research Center Presentation: Adobe PDF video
  • Social networking sites, unwanted sexual solicitation, Internet harassment, and cyberbullying (April 30, 2008) Michele Ybarra, Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc. Presentation: Adobe PDF video
  • Panel Q&A with Amanda Lenhart, Janis Wolak, and Michele Ybarra (April 30, 2008) Presentation: video
  • Youth Exposure to Pornography and Violent Web Sites (June 20, 2008) Michele Ybarra, Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc. Presentation: Adobe PDF video
  • Online Abuse and Crime By Youth: Results from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Survey of Internet and At-risk Behaviors (September 24, 2008) Samuel McQuade, RIT Presentation: Adobe PDF video

Further Reading


Technology Advisory Board


Submissions

ALIAS Technology LLC
Appen Speech and Language Technology [DSPT][TAT]
Aristotle
Assert ID
BeenVerified
Chatsafe
ChatSafe (Patent Pending) [update]
Choicepoint
ContentWatch/Net Nanny
Covenant Eyes [Unfiltered Version][Filter Plus Accountability]
Credint
DeepNines
e-Guardian
EthoSafe
Gemalto, Inc.
GenMobi Technologies, Inc.
icouldbe.org
Identity Corp
IDology
Infoglide Software Corporation
InternetSafety.com, Inc.
Keibi
Kidsnet
Kelly Maloney/RedStarhs [update]
McGruff SafeGuard
Microsoft
NetIDme Ltd
Portcard
Privo
Privo/Parity
PureSight Technologies Ltd.
RelyID
SaferSpace/Zemerick Software, Inc.
Sentinel [A.D.A.P.T.][SAFE]
SpectorSoft
Symantec
VerificAge [update]

Comments from Observers


September 23-24 Open Meeting


Welcome

Session 1 video
  • John Palfrey, ISTTF Chair
  • Attorney General Martha Coakley
  • Attorney General Richard Blumenthal
  • Attorney General Roy Cooper (invited)

Age Verification Group #1

Session 2 video
Public Records
  • Aristotle — [PPT]
  • IDology — [PPT]
  • Sentinel — [PPT]
  • BeenVerified — [PPT]

Lunch

Age Verification Group #2

Session 3 video
School-based/tokens
  • Microsoft [PPT]
  • e-Guardian [PPT]
Peer-to-Peer
  • Assert ID [PPT]
Biometrics
  • VerificAge [PPT]

Filtering/Auditing

Session 4 video
  • ContentWatch/Net Nanny [PPT]
  • Symantec [PPT]
  • McGruff SafeGuard [PPT]
  • Keibi [PPT]
  • SpectorSoft [PPT]
  • EthoSafe [PPT]

Combining Multiple Technologies and Authentication Tools

Session 5 video

Social Network Sites

Session 6 video

Social Network Sites #2

Session 7 video

Youth Perspective: WiredSafety's Teenangels

Session 8 video
  • WiredSafety's Teenangels [PPT]

Open Discussion of Technologies Presented

Session 9 video


AK - Lottery winner attacked downtown

View the article here
Related Article Here

01/13/2009

By JAMES HALPIN

The man who won the state's first half-million dollar lottery was attacked on a downtown street this afternoon with a tire iron or metal pipe, according to Anchorage police.

Police say _____, 53, was attacked in the 400 block of D Street at about 3:30 p.m. when a man approached him to ask if he was the man who won the $500,000 jackpot.

Whether the attack was motivated by _____'s winning the lottery or the widely distributed reports that _____ is a three-time convicted sex offender is not known.

"There was no apparent attempt at robbery," police Lt. Dave Parker said. "He was struck eight to 10 times, and then he threw his Pepsi at the assailant and he ran for Phyllis' Cafe and the assailant ran off."

_____ told officers he had been stopped by a white man believed to be about 21 and wearing a blue-and-white checked shirt, blue jeans and a white baseball cap as he entered the 5th Avenue Mall. The stranger asked if he was the lottery winner, and _____ said he was, then went into the mall.
- So why did he tell the stranger he was? 

When he walked out minutes later carrying a Pepsi, the man approached him and began hitting him on the head with the weapon, police said.

"Oh my God, I was so afraid something was going to happen to him," said Nancy Haag, executive director of Standing Together Against Rape, the nonprofit that benefited from the lottery. "I'm just very sorry to hear that this has happened. ... Nobody deserves to be a victim of any kind of violence, and that's our stand."

_____ was transported to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries, which did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

"There were injuries to his head -- lacerations, that kind of stuff," Parker said. "Nobody knows how bad it is until doctors do their job, but he was talking and able to communicate with the officers."

Police were continuing to comb the area for the assailant. There were "loads of witnesses" to the attack, but none of them was immediately able to identify the man, Parker said. It did not immediately appear that the attack had been caught on any surveillance cameras, he said.

_____ came forward as the lottery winner Saturday, and reports that he is a convicted sex offender were soon publicized by KTUU Channel 2 News and picked up by other outlets, including the Daily News. By Monday, _____'s victims were telling the media they thought _____ should not benefit from the lottery, which was conducted by Lucky Times Pull Tabs to benefit the nonprofit Standing Together Against Rape.
- So why does the news media feel it is their obligation to broadcast that someone who one the lottery is a sex offender?  So they are responsible for this attack.  If they would've kept their mouth shut, this would not have occurred.  I just checked the news media site, and as expected, they are not reporting the attack!

Asked whether the media should have publicized that _____ was a convicted sex offender, Haag said, "I think it put him, obviously, at greater risk because there are people who like to take justice into their own hands."

_____ was convicted in 1993 of molesting two girls under the age of 13. He was sentenced to four years in prison, according to court records.
- And now, this media outlet, is reporting it also!  Yeah, it may already be out, but why continue to say it?

In March 2000, police arrested him again for molesting a different young girl he was baby-sitting. Through a plea bargain, _____ was sentenced to six years in prison on a single count of sexual abuse of a minor. Prosecutors in that case dropped another sex abuse charge, and a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.


Net threat to minors less than feared

View the article here
Archived Files
Deconstructing Reaction to Net Safety Task Force Report

See info at the bottom, for the links from the report, and here is the full pdf.

01/13/2009

By Larry Magid

A long awaited report from the Internet Safety Technical Task Force concludes that children and teens are less vulnerable to sexual predation than many have feared. The report also questions the efficacy and necessity of some commonly prescribed remedies designed to protect young people.

The task force was formed as a result of a joint agreement between MySpace and 49 state attorneys general.

Over the past couple of years, several state AGs have been looking into potential dangers to youth, and some have called for social-network sites to use age verification technology to confirm the ages of users in an attempt to prevent adults from or interacting online with minors. The task force includes representatives of Internet and social-networking companies, security and identity authentication vendors, and nonprofit advocacy organizations. It's chaired by John Palfrey of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Disclosure: I served as a member of the task force, representing ConnectSafely.org, a nonprofit internet safety organization I co-founded along with Anne Collier. ConnectSafely receives financial support from MySpace, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet and social-networking companies. I am also founder of SafeKids.com and am on the board of directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is represented on the task force.

Based on data analyzed by its Research Advisory Board, the task force concluded that "actual threats that youth may face appear to be different than the threats most people imagine" and that "the image presented by the media of an older male deceiving and preying on a young child does not paint an accurate picture of the nature of the majority of sexual solicitations and Internet-initiated offline encounters."

While the task force found that youth risk from predators is a concern, the overwhelming majority of youth are not in danger of being harmed by an adult predator they meet online. To the extent that young people have received an unwanted online sexual solicitation, data from a 2000 study and a 2006 follow-up from the Crimes Against Children Research Center concludes that "youth identify most sexual solicitors as being other adolescents (48 percent in 2000; 43 percent in 2006) or young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 (20 percent; 30 percent), with few (4 percent; 9 percent) coming from older adults, and the remaining being of unknown age."

What the task force did find is that "bullying and harassment, most often by peers, are the most salient threats that minors face, both online and offline." Partially because researchers can't agree on a definition of bullying and harassment, the actual risk is hard to quantify, but it is clearly much higher than the risk of being harmed by a predator. Some studies suggest that as many as 49 percent of youth have experienced some type of bullying or harassment. In many cases no serious emotional or physical harm occurred. However, a study by Michelle Ybarra and Janice Wolak found that "39 percent of victims reported emotional distress over being harassed online."

There is also a widespread belief that deception is often involved where adults pose as teens to engage with young people, but research shows that that's rarely the case. The report found that "although identity deception may occur online, it does not appear to play a large role in criminal cases in which adult sex offenders have been arrested for sex crimes in which they met victims online." Interviews with police show that "most victims are underage adolescents who know they are going to meet adults for sexual encounters." This does not imply that such relationships are healthy or safe, nor that we should blame the victims or tolerate the actions of adults who engage in sex with minors. But it does suggest that child safety advocates need to take a more proactive role in helping teens understand the risk of seeking engaging in relationships with adults.

Importantly, the task force found that online risks "are not radically different in nature or scope than the risks minors have long faced offline, and minors who are most at risk in the offline world continue to be most at risk online." For example, "a poor home environment full of conflict and poor parent-child relationships is correlated with a host of online risks."

The attorneys general who called for the task force were anxious for us to study the efficacy of using age verification to help limit inappropriate contact between adults and children online. To help in that job, the task force formed a technical advisory board (TAB) composed of technology experts from Harvard, MIT, Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts, University of Utah, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Bank of America. This board looked at a wide range of technologies including age verification and identity authentication, filtering and auditing, text analysis, and biometrics.

What the TAB found was that age verification technology can be used to identify adults and therefore help prevent minors from engaging in adult-only activities such as accessing adult content or purchasing alcohol or tobacco. There were several technologies submitted by companies that could identify adults based on accessible records such as credit reports, criminal history, and real estate transactions, but these relatively automated systems cannot reliably identify or verify the age of minors because, as the TAB concluded, "public records of minors range from quite limited to nonexistent." Documentation about young people such as birth certificates, passports, and school records are restricted by federal law for some very good privacy and security reasons.

Age verification options presented by some companies would allow parents to request that their child's school verify his or her identity and age, but these proposals have their own critics including those who worry about the cost, the possibility of privacy or security leaks, and the financial model presented in some cases that includes providing marketers with information about kids.

The TAB also looked at "peer-based" verification schemes that "allow peers in a community to vote, recommend, or rate whether a person is in an appropriate age group based on relationships and personal knowledge established offline" but worried that with these methods "users can vote as many times as they wish to artificially raise or lower a peer rating." There were concerns that "minors might organize against another minor in their ratings or recommendations in an online form of bullying."

At one task force meeting, a company presented technology that tries to distinguish between an adult and a child by analyzing the bone density of the person's hand. Another tool attempts to identify an individual through facial recognition to match that person against a database of registered sex offenders.

Although the TAB expressed "cautious optimism" about the possibility of using technology to protect kids, it concluded that "every technology has its problems" and that "no single technology reviewed could solve every aspect of online safety for minors, or even one aspect of it one hundred percent of the time." The bottom line was that "technology can play a role but cannot be the sole input to improved safety for minors online" and that "the most effective technology solution is likely to be a combination of technologies."

But even if these technologies can be employed effectively, there remains the question of whether they are necessary or helpful. Using technology to separate kids from grown-ups doesn't address the fact that kids are far more at risk from other kids than from adult predators.

Another danger is that age verification or new rules could be used to keep kids off of social networks or require parental consent. But before issuing rules about this, authorities should explore possible unintended consequences such as isolating kids, causing them to go underground, failing to serve kids from dysfunctional families, and preventing kids from accessing vital services such as the Suicide Prevention Hotline or one of the many online self-help groups.

The task force report will have its critics, including possibly some attorneys general and others who feel that it underestimates the risk of online predators. Indeed, sting operations from law enforcement (as well as the TV show To Catch a Predator) demonstrate that there are plenty of adults who, if given the chance, would engage in sex with youth they meet online. But, based on the research presented to the task force, it appears that the vast majority of young people are savvy enough to avoid such encounters.

Still, there remains a minority of youth who--for a variety of psychological and social reasons--are vulnerable both online and offline. More research needs to be done to identify these young people and provide them with resources and protective services. The fact that most kids are safe is reassuring but it's not sufficient. If even one child is in danger, then there is work to be done, and that is one thing everyone who cares about this issue can agree on.

Download the Final Report


NC - Suspect cut off electronic monitor to avoid going back to jail

View the article here

More proof that GPS is a waste of tax payer money, and will do absolutely nothing to prevent a crime. If a person is intent on committing a crime, they will just cut it off, commit the crime, then vanish. Just like this man has done.

01/13/2009

By MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36

CHARLOTTE -- He's a convicted sex offender awaiting trial for another offense, and police say he may have just been caught with child pornography.

_____ is now on the run, after cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet, police say, to avoid going back to jail.

Sgt. Dave Scheppegrell is in charge of the electronic monitoring bracelets and said, "It seems clear that he didn't want to go to jail. We got an alert instantly when he cut his monitor off."

_____ was awaiting trial for refusing to register as a sex offender, and was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. Police say he cut the bracelet off after a recent visit from his probation officer.

"The probation officer was doing normal checks. They did search his house and they located what they suspected to be child pornography."

That's right. _____, a convicted sex offender who was already told he couldn't talk to kids on the computer because of one conviction, may have been caught with child porn.

"Shortly after the probation officer left his house he cut his monitor off and he fled."

Charlotte's violent criminal apprehension team has been looking for him ever since.

He was last seen running from his Indian Trail house. Peters is 5'8, 160 pounds, and police say he drives a black, 4-door Honda. If you can help bring him in, you could get cash. Call VCAT, the violent criminal apprehension team.

That number is 704-336-VCAT.


Overblown Report Calls Online Threats to Children Overblown

View the article here | Another Article | Full Report | Archived Files
Deconstructing Reaction to Net Safety Task Force Report

NOTE: They modified the article, after I captured it here, so the link above, shows a slightly different report. I wonder why NYTimes changed the article after it was published? Leave me wondering!

01/13/2009

By BRAD STONE

The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.

A high-profile task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was charged with examining the extent of the threats children face on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, amid widespread fears that older adults were using these popular Web sites to deceive and prey on children.

But the report cited research calling such fears a “moral panic,” and concluded that the problem of child-on-child bullying, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults.

This shows that social networks are not these horribly bad neighborhoods on the Internet,” said John Cardillo, chief executive of Sentinel Tech Holding, which maintains a sex offender database and was a member of the task force. “Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.”

The report will be released Wednesday, but The New York Times obtained a draft copy. The 39-page document was the result of a year of meetings between dozens of academics, childhood safety experts and executives of 30 companies, including Yahoo, AOL, MySpace, Facebook, Verizon and AT&T.

The task force, led by the Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, looked at scientific data on online sexual predators and found that children and teenagers are very unlikely to be propositioned by adults online. In the cases that do exist, the report said, teenagers are typically willing participants and are at risk in other ways — because of poor home environments or substance abuse, for example.

Not everyone was happy with these conclusions. Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut, who has agressively pursued the issue and helped to create the task force, said he disagreed with the report. He said it “downplayed the predator threat,” relied on outdated research and failed to provide a specific plan for improving the safety of social networking.
- So one man, knows better than a whole task force?  Talk about egotistical!

“Children are solicited every day online. Some fall prey, and the results are tragic,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “That harsh reality defies the statistical academic research underlying the report.”

Mr. Blumenthal noted that 50,000 convicted sex offenders were found to be using MySpace before the company started filtering its membership rolls against sex offender databases. “Anybody who tells me sexual predation is a flyspeck on the wall of Internet safety ignores that staggering number,” he said.
- Again with this "out of thin air" 50,000 number.  See here to see where this fake number came from.  And he is ignoring what expert after expert after expert has said, but he is mister know it all!

The task force’s report criticized previous findings that as many as one in five children are sexually propositioned online, saying that in a strong majority of those situations, a child’s peers are responsible for the proposition, which is typically an act of harassment or teasing.
- Another made up number.  See the link for more info about the so called "1 in 5!"

In what social networks may view as something of an exoneration after years of pressure from law enforcement, the report said that sites like MySpace and Facebook “do not appear to have increased the overall risk of solicitation.”

That is somewhat surprising, considering the circumstances surrounding the creation of the task force. Attorneys general like Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Roy Cooper of North Carolina publicly accused the social networks of facilitating the activities of pedophiles and pushed them to adopt measures to protect their youngest users.
- They've been listening to Perverted-Justice and other idiots too much!

The attorneys general “saw only one part of the full set of issues, when some kid was molested or something bad happened and they prosecuted someone,” said an Internet executive who did not want to be named because he was speaking before the report’s release. “The task force did its job filling in the whole picture.”

The attorneys general did pressure the social networks to adopt safety measures like scanning their membership databases for known sex offenders. In creating the task force, they also charged it in part with evaluating technologies that might be able to play a role in enhancing safety for children online.

A special technology advisory board, comprised of academic computer scientists and forensics experts, was created within the task force to look at these technologies. It asked various companies in the industry to submit their child-protection systems.

Among the systems it looked at, the board evaluated so-called age-verification technologies that attempt to authenticate the identities and ages of children and prevent adults from contacting them. But the technology advisory board concluded that such systems “do not appear to offer substantial help in protecting minors from sexual solicitation.”

One problem is that it is difficult to verify the ages and identities of children since they do not have driver’s licenses or insurance. One popular idea, to rely on schools to assist with the age verification, would place too much of a burden on the educational system, the report said. And it noted that none of these solutions address the larger problem of cyberbullying.

The age verification approach has so many holes that “you simply can’t use it effectively as a means to protect children,” said Nancy Willard, a childhood safety advocate who submitted written testimony to the task force.


Report Calls Online Threats to Children Overblown

View the article here
Another Article
Full Report
Archived Files
Deconstructing Reaction to Net Safety Task Force Report

NOTE: They modified the article, after I captured it here, so the link above, shows a slightly different report. I wonder why NYTimes changed the article after it was published? Leave me wondering!

More studies, articles and videos here, to also prove this point!  And I've been saying this myself for awhile, that it was nothing but a moral panic, and they confirm that.

01/13/2009

By BRAD STONE

The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.

A high-profile task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was charged with examining the extent of the threats children face on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, amid widespread fears that older adults were using these popular Web sites to deceive and prey on children.

But the report cited research calling such fears a “moral panic,” and concluded that the problem of child-on-child bullying, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults.

This shows that social networks are not these horribly bad neighborhoods on the Internet,” said John Cardillo, chief executive of Sentinel Tech Holding, which maintains a sex offender database and was a member of the task force. “Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.”

The report will be released Wednesday, but The New York Times obtained a draft copy. The 39-page document was the result of a year of meetings between dozens of academics, childhood safety experts and executives of 30 companies, including Yahoo, AOL, MySpace, Facebook, Verizon and AT&T.

The task force, led by the Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, looked at scientific data on online sexual predators and found that children and teenagers are very unlikely to be propositioned by adults online. In the cases that do exist, the report said, teenagers are typically willing participants and are at risk in other ways — because of poor home environments or substance abuse, for example.

Not everyone was happy with these conclusions. Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut, who has agressively pursued the issue and helped to create the task force, said he disagreed with the report. He said it “downplayed the predator threat,” relied on outdated research and failed to provide a specific plan for improving the safety of social networking.
- So one man, knows better than a whole task force?  Talk about egotistical!

“Children are solicited every day online. Some fall prey, and the results are tragic,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “That harsh reality defies the statistical academic research underlying the report.”

Mr. Blumenthal noted that 50,000 convicted sex offenders were found to be using MySpace before the company started filtering its membership rolls against sex offender databases. “Anybody who tells me sexual predation is a flyspeck on the wall of Internet safety ignores that staggering number,” he said.
- Again with this "out of thin air" 50,000 number.  See here to see where this fake number came from.  And he is ignoring what expert after expert after expert has said, but he is mister know it all!

The task force’s report criticized previous findings that as many as one in five children are sexually propositioned online, saying that in a strong majority of those situations, a child’s peers are responsible for the proposition, which is typically an act of harassment or teasing.
- Another made up number.  See the link for more info about the so called "1 in 5!"

In what social networks may view as something of an exoneration after years of pressure from law enforcement, the report said that sites like MySpace and Facebook “do not appear to have increased the overall risk of solicitation.”

That is somewhat surprising, considering the circumstances surrounding the creation of the task force. Attorneys general like Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Roy Cooper of North Carolina publicly accused the social networks of facilitating the activities of pedophiles and pushed them to adopt measures to protect their youngest users.
- They've been listening to Perverted-Justice and other idiots too much!

The attorneys general “saw only one part of the full set of issues, when some kid was molested or something bad happened and they prosecuted someone,” said an Internet executive who did not want to be named because he was speaking before the report’s release. “The task force did its job filling in the whole picture.”

The attorneys general did pressure the social networks to adopt safety measures like scanning their membership databases for known sex offenders. In creating the task force, they also charged it in part with evaluating technologies that might be able to play a role in enhancing safety for children online.

A special technology advisory board, comprised of academic computer scientists and forensics experts, was created within the task force to look at these technologies. It asked various companies in the industry to submit their child-protection systems.

Among the systems it looked at, the board evaluated so-called age-verification technologies that attempt to authenticate the identities and ages of children and prevent adults from contacting them. But the technology advisory board concluded that such systems “do not appear to offer substantial help in protecting minors from sexual solicitation.”

One problem is that it is difficult to verify the ages and identities of children since they do not have driver’s licenses or insurance. One popular idea, to rely on schools to assist with the age verification, would place too much of a burden on the educational system, the report said. And it noted that none of these solutions address the larger problem of cyberbullying.

The age verification approach has so many holes that “you simply can’t use it effectively as a means to protect children,” said Nancy Willard, a childhood safety advocate who submitted written testimony to the task force.


CA - Panel: Take another look at sex offender restrictions

View the article here

They love to waste tax payer money, it's not their money, on BS laws they make and pass without even investigating them, or reviewing the studies, or listening to anybody.  They are all high and mighty, and know more than anybody else.....  NOT!

01/13/2009

By Michael Rothfeld

California's Sex Offender Management Board is urging lawmakers to reevaluate housing restrictions in Jessica's Law that it says is costing the state millions.

A state panel is urging lawmakers and the governor to reconsider restrictions on where sex offenders can live and criticizing officials for housing such offenders at high cost to taxpayers.

The residency restrictions, passed by voters two years ago in Proposition 83, do not contribute to prevention of new crimes and may harm public safety, the panel says.

The state's Sex Offender Management Board says that since the residency requirements were imposed in the initiative known as Jessica's Law, "the availability of suitable housing has plummeted."

Barring sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of areas where children gather has driven many into homelessness -- an unstable situation that can propel them back to crime -- and as a result, the state is spending millions each year to house them. That practice should be stopped, the panel suggested.

"It seems unwise to spend such resources as a consequence of residence restriction policies which have no track record of increasing community safety," board members have written in a new report.

The board includes state and local officials from law enforcement, judicial and social services backgrounds.


NC - CMS wants sex offenders away from schools


WI - Neighbors push for sex offender ordinance in Manitowoc

View the article here

Studies show that the registry grows each day, and 90% or more of all sex crimes are done by someone you know, your family, or close friends.  So once again, they are only worried about known sex offenders, and not those living around them they do not know about.

01/13/2009

By Helen Clarke - Herald Times Reporter

City again will explore residency restrictions at Jan. 21 meeting

MANITOWOC — The day Patrick Lacosse and his neighbors learned a convicted sex offender had moved into a nearby apartment, their vibrant neighborhood became a ghost town.
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Their north-side streets — once populated with dozens of cheery children — went vacant, parents too afraid their kids would be preyed upon by the watchful eyes of an abuser, fresh out of prison.

Convicted in 1997 in Brown County of two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child and again that year in Manitowoc County of third-degree sexual assault, Scott J. Brantmeier was released from prison last summer. The lifetime registrant of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry first moved into a temporary housing facility before renting an apartment in the 900 block of North 16th Street.

Living downstairs was a single father with two young children, said Lacosse, who lives at 1603 Wisconsin Avenue. Nearly 25 kids under age 13 live within two blocks of the apartment, he said, which is within three blocks of a park, two schools and a day care center.

"Where they placed him was a peculiar place … in the middle of a residential area with a lot of kids near schools and parks," said District 6 Alderman Ray Geigel, who represents the area. "Why in God's name would you place him in an apartment full of kids? Somebody dropped the ball on that one."

Now, just a few months later, Lacosse and his neighbors have petitioned for an ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders are allowed to live in the city of Manitowoc. He turned 115 supporting signatures in to the city in December, prompting the Public Property and Safety Committee to schedule a 5:30 p.m. Jan. 21 meeting at City Hall to discuss the issue.

"You've gotta take care of your neighbors," Lacosse said. "I happen to know my neighbors and I know their kids. I'm not going to sit and hide in my house."
- You THINK you know your neighbors!

At the time of Brantmeier's move to North 16th Street, the neighborhood was not required to be notified of his residency, Manitowoc Police Chief Tony Dick said. Neighbors weren't clued in to Brantmeier's presence until a resident spotted the man on the state sex offender registry. But Dick says the police department's policy on community notification has since changed.

While prior practice was to alert neighborhoods to convicted sex offenders only when they moved into temporary housing facilities after being released from prison, Dick said police now make the notification when an offender seeks long-term housing. The Brantmeier situation, he said, is a prime example of why the change needed to be made.

"Public trust in that neighborhood took a hit," Dick said. "It just hits people at home. (Residents) are well within their right to voice their objections."

A few months ago, Brantmeier moved again — this time, to Maribel. Though he may be out of the city, another 88 people listed on the state sex offender registry currently are living in Manitowoc. And with the cities of Green Bay and Sheboygan having ordinances in place that restrict where offenders can live, it seems registrants' options are dwindling.

"The fear is that every community around you has one of these ordinances, and then you become an island," Dick said.

As far as Geigel is concerned, that fear has been realized.

"I'm afraid what's happening is Manitowoc's going to become a dumping ground," Geigel said. "These people have to have a place to go. These people have rights, too, and we have to be careful not to violate that. But we're targeting people who are still being monitored and are still a threat."
- I am so tired of hearing this "sound bite!"  The offenders have to live somewhere, and the very restrictions make certain places "dumping grounds!"  You repeal the law, and you will not be a dumping ground!

Still, Dick says communities can be kept safe from sexual predators in other ways. Instead of telling an offender that he or she cannot live in a certain area of the city, some communities have instead opted to restrict offenders from entering "safe zones" like schools, parks and daycare centers.

In current practice, the Manitowoc Police Department makes home checks of convicted sex offenders on its own, instead of relying on Probation and Parole. Dick said the local department was one of the first agencies in the state to do this. The department also employs detectives on second shift, which enhances its ability to monitor those living within the city limits.

"Whether there's an ordinance or not, we're going to continue our efforts," Dick said. "It really comes down to trust. Will the public trust the government? If not, (an ordinance) will pass."
- Trust the government?  Are you kidding me?

As recently as last year, though, it seemed the community was content with the city's practices.

Alderman Chris Able and former alderman Paul Tittl set off in December 2007 to get public input on a sex-offender ordinance. But support waned for the proposal by the following spring, when various law enforcement officials and community leaders denounced the plan's effectiveness.

"There needed to be someone to champion the cause last time," Dick added of why the 2008 efforts faltered. "It needed to have public support, and no one showed up."

Eric Sitkiewitz, who chairs the Public Property and Safety Committee, said Monday that no member of the committee is pushing the issue. But if ordinance talks gain the interest of the public this year, he said the discussion wouldn't focus on the Brantmeier situation that sparked the debate.

"The last thing I would want to do is put in an ordinance that restricts one person," Sitkiewitz said. "We would try to make it not about individuals and more about a problem as a whole."

Geigel said he is working with his constituents to explore what other communities have done to keep their residents safe from sexual predators. At this point, he said an ordinance remains in the works.
- Not all sex offenders are predators!  Start using the terms correctly, you are only helping the hysteria, which I believe is your goal!


AK - Father of lottery winner's victims speaks out

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Out come the wolves!  So are we going to dictate how winning lottery money is spent now, instead of letting the winner decide?

01/12/2009

By Lori Tipton

ANCHORAGE -- Days after a convicted sex offender won a $500,000 statewide lottery designed to benefit a rape awareness charity, critics are speaking up about Alec Ahsoak, saying he doesn't deserve to keep the money.

The father of two of his victims said Monday the money should be used to pay restitution.

Rev. Bob Martin says Ahsoak sexually assaulted his two daughters, who were 4 and 5 at the time of the first assaults in 1993.

Ahsoak was a man whom Martin welcomed into his home and considered a close friend.

"I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe," Martin said of his reaction upon hearing Ahsoak had won. "Up until '93, we were friends, we were best of friends."

Martin says he met Ahsoak in Bible college in 1984, and about 10 years later Martin opened his home to Ahsoak.

"We trusted him," Martin recalled. "He was a good friend, or he seemed to be a good friend."

Ahsoak helped out by babysitting Martin's two young daughters. But the girls later confided in their aunt that Ahsoak was sexually abusing them.

Ahsoak was arrested, convicted and served six years.

"When I spoke to him after he was arrested, he admitted to me that he has done this many times before and never got caught," Martin said. "He was surprised he got caught this time."

Ahsoak was caught again in 2000 in an incident involving another girl. He served his time and is now out on probation.

When interviewed Saturday, Ahsoak told Channel 2 News he has worked hard to turn his life around and has been in treatment for the past year.

He also said he will use some of his winnings to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

But Martin says Ahsoak should have to pay restitution to his victims, including Martin's two daughters, whom he says have spent many years in therapy.

"You pay restitution for the crimes or the sins you have caused," Martin said. "If you've hurt people in the past, you take care of it."

If Ahsoak is truly sorry for what he did, Martin said, he will make right by his victims.

Ahsoak did not return phone calls Monday for comment.

And since this was not a state-run lottery, the state has no control over the money Ahsoak won, so it would be difficult to force him to pay restitution to the victims.

Ahsoak did say over the weekend he will donate $100,000 of his winnings to Standing Together Against Rape, the local non-profit that was to benefit from the lottery.

STAR issued a statement Monday emphasizing the organization's community efforts. STAR's story is not about Ahsoak or the lottery, the press release said.

"The story of STAR is about the victims of sexual assault we serve and sexual assaults we seek to prevent through our educational outreach," the press release said.


CA - Fresno sex-offender plan hits legal snag

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01/12/2009

By Denny Boyles / The Fresno Bee

City may lack power to track paroled inmates.

Within minutes of taking office last week, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin made a dramatic first policy initiative: a plan to track high-risk sex offenders as long as they live in the city, even after they finish parole.

But the new mayor has scaled back her plan -- and postponed a City Council discussion for two weeks -- amid concerns that it may not be legal.

Swearengin's plan, known as Operation Monitor, would allow Police Chief Jerry Dyer to use money seized from drug dealers to pay for ankle bracelets that use GPS satellites to track the movements of sexual predators convicted of rape, child molestation and other high-risk crimes after they have completed parole.

The plan would cost $50,000 this fiscal year, and $120,000 in the next fiscal year, beginning July 1.

Should the plan be approved, Fresno would be the first city in the state to actively monitor sex offenders. Other cities, such as Long Beach, have tightened rules on where sex offenders can live and how often they must report to local authorities, but have stopped short of monitoring them.

But as Dyer and Swearengin researched the plan after her swearing-in ceremony, they began to question whether the state law clearly gives the city authority to carry out the program.
- Typical, push the sex offender issues on false promises, then when in office, finally do research and find out it may not be possible.  Riding the backs of sex offenders to further their careers, PR, etc.

At issue is how to interpret Jessica's Law, a 2006 state ballot measure that was approved by 70% of the voters.

Fresno City Attorney James Sanchez said the measure mandates that certain sexual offenders be monitored for life.

But the law provides no funds for the state to do so -- and does not clearly allow local officials to continue the monitoring after state officials release parolees, Dyer said Monday.

"There is a vagueness in the law in terms of who is responsible after parole," Dyer said.

As they learned more, the mayor and police chief decided to scale back the program to monitor offenders for just one year, Dyer said.

"What we're trying to do is put an ordinance in place that will be a stop-gap until the state resolves issues of authority and funding," Swearengin said.

The mayor said she expected a legal opinion from the attorney general late Monday night that would support the city's plan. But she decided to delay council discussion to give council members more time to consider it.

Swearengin said she didn't see the change of plan and council delay as evidence that her first policy initiative was a political misstep. She said the city has every reason to believe the plan is legal because parole officials have already offered to arrange a transition from state to city monitoring for sex offenders.

"But because no other city has answered all the questions, we're going to take a few weeks before we move forward," Swearengin said.

One legal expert was less confident that the plan is legal. John Sims, a constitutional law professor at the University of Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, said he isn't sure where the city would get the authority to operate such a program.

Sims said the idea of the government monitoring someone for life reminded him of George Orwell's novel "1984," in which a totalitarian government monitors every aspect of daily life.

"There are definitely some disturbing policy aspects to it," Sims said.

Council Member Paul Caprioglio said the fact that no other California city had a similar program made him cautious.

Caprioglio, a criminal defense attorney, said that he was sure monitoring sex offenders would be popular, but he wanted to make sure the plan was defensible should the city be sued.

"The problem is whether this is a rush to judgment," Caprioglio said.

New Council Member Andreas Borgeas, also an attorney, took a similar view.

"Jessica's Law is an excellent attempt to look after public safety and to give the public confidence that we are dealing with sex offenders," Borgeas said. But "no one has tried this before."


UK - Esther Rantzen: Fear of paedophiles is harming children

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10/03/2008

By Martin Beckford, Social Affairs Correspondent

Esther Rantzen has admitted she blames herself for raising fears of paedophiles to such a degree that adults are now scared to help crying children.

The veteran broadcaster, who founded the counselling service ChildLine, warned that young people are now being harmed by the widespread suspicion that anyone who has contact with children could be a child abuser.

Her fears were confirmed by an experiment she helped conduct in a busy shopping centre, which found that 99 per cent of adults chose to walk on by rather than going to the assistance of two children who looked lost and distressed.

Even the handful who did stop admitted they were worried that people would assume they were trying to abduct the children.

This comes amid growing concern that in the wake of high-profile cases such as the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and the Soham murders, all adults are now viewed as paedophiles unless they can prove themselves innocent.

There are now no men under 25 teaching in state-run nurseries, such is the fear of being branded a child molester, while from next year 11.3 million adults will have to have their backgrounds checked by the Independent Safeguarding Authority before they can work or volunteer with under-16s.

Even malicious allegations made against teachers or priests must now be kept on file until they retire, while council officers are questioning the motives of any lone adults who walk through a public park.

Rantzen asked of the results of the test, to be shown on TV tonight: "What does that say about our attitude to children now? Have we unwittingly put up barriers protecting ourselves, but harming them?

"It seems to me that many adults may now actually be putting children at risk, because we are so afraid someone will suspect us of having sinister motives if we help them.

"I blame myself for a lot of this. Thirty years ago most people didn't realise that abuse ever happened, so abusers just got away with it. But in 1986 we made a programme called Childwatch in which we pointed out that abuse is far more common than most people realise, but of course it's a secret crime, it happens mainly in children' homes, within the family.

"Now people are treating abuse as if it goes on behind every tree."

She added: "The tragedy is there are people who hurt children, and we must protect them against pain and abuse. But unless we hang on to our common sense the whole of child protection is going to suffer, so many of these rules and attitudes are designed to keep adults safe, to keep jobs safe, to keep organisations safe, to keep councils safe. Our priority should be to keep children safe."

In the experiment, to be shown on ITV1's Tonight programme, two child actors were left alone in a London shopping mall looking upset while hidden cameras were set up to observe how many people offered them assistance.

A total of 1,817 people walked past the children, a seven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy, but only five did something to help.

Almost 500 people walked past the boy before one of them informed the shopping centre manager about his plight, and more than 100 ignored the girl before one of them stopped to ask if she was OK.

In addition, the five adults who did stop to help all admitted they had been worried their would be seen as suspicious.

Mark Williams Thomas, a child protection expert and former policeman, said: "It does concern me that no member of the public is even asking this child are they OK. They actually had to walk around them."





AZ - Online sex offender info rapidly expands

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01/12/2009

By John Gramlich, Stateline.org Staff Writer

Arizona parents who want to find out whether a suspicious e-mail has been sent by a registered sex offender now can check the sender’s e-mail address against the state’s database of convicted molesters.
- Reporters piss me off!  Not all people on the sex offender registry are child molesters, but the above statement, leads you to believe they are.

Utah residents can sign up for e-mail alerts to notify them when a sex offender moves into their neighborhood.

Wisconsin’s online registry provides maps to let users know exactly where the closest sex offender lives.

And in Texas, the state’s sex offender registry — which includes more than 54,000 people — now features information ranging from offenders’ work addresses to their nicknames and even shoe sizes.

The four states are among more than two dozen that quietly have added a wide range of new services — and new categories of information — to their online registries of convicted molesters. All 50 states have publicly searchable sex offender registries, which are accessible through a national database kept by the U.S. Justice Department, a Web site that averages 2.3 million page views a day.
- Again, not all sex offenders are molesters.

The new features come as states approach a July deadline to comply with the Adam Walsh Act, a 2006 federal law intended to crack down on the estimated 674,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. The law was named after the murdered 6-year-old son of “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh, who was informed by police in Florida on Dec. 16 that his son’s killer was identified after more than 25 years.

The Adam Walsh Act requires all states to adopt the same minimum standards for registering and tracking sex offenders, including the information they post online. Under the law, states must include where sex offenders work and go to school, the cars they drive, the aliases they use, the crimes they have committed and more.
- No it doesn't idiot!  The Adam Walsh Act is guidelines on implementing it, it's not required, or else there would be no deadline.  Plus, it costs states more of tax payer money to implement, than to not implement!  Plus, if you'd read the law, it says nothing about online info, and they are NOT required to include work and schools they attend.  Are you a reporter, or just someone guessing?

The law also calls for some juvenile offenders as young as 14 to be included in online registries, though many states so far have balked at that provision, arguing that juveniles should not be singled out publicly.
- But it's OK if adults are singled out publicly?

Many state lawmakers, corrections officials, advocacy organizations and members of the public have criticized the Adam Walsh Act, questioning its costs, demands and whether aspects of it do more harm than good. The posting of new information about sex offenders also has drawn criticism. Blogs and other Internet forums have buzzed as visitors voice frustration over the trove of details now available to anyone at the click of a mouse.
- And can you even understand why?

The Justice Department says it’s there simply for information and not for punishment. If they were in our shoes, I think they’d reconsider,” said Carlos Robles, 32, a registered sex offender in Austin, Texas. Robles — who received probation for engaging in consensual sex with a 16-year-old when he was 20 — said nonviolent and low-risk criminals should not be included on the Texas registry.
- Well, the Injustice Department is lying, they know it's punishment.  Why don't you put your name on the registry for 10 years or so, then tell me it's not punishment?

States are under pressure to comply with the Adam Walsh Act by July — or lose 10 percent of their share of funding under a federal grant program that pays for state and local police programs. No states have been deemed compliant with the Adam Walsh Act yet, though they can apply for a pair of one-year extensions.
- I am willing to bet, this is where some of that "bail out" money is going!  And by saying "if you comply, you get your 10 percent share of grant money, and if you don't you lose it!"  That is bribery!

At least 13 states last year and 12 states in 2007 passed laws authorizing the collection of new information from sex offenders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Some states passed the laws on their own, while others did so specifically to meet federal Adam Walsh Act demands, NCSL said.

While some of the new laws stipulate that the collected information can be posted only on internal law enforcement Web sites, many states are adding some of it to their public registries as well, in accordance with Adam Walsh Act requirements. Wyoming, for instance, is among a dozen states where residents can view license plate numbers or vehicle descriptions of the cars driven by registered sex offenders.
- And this is why the registry has now become an online hit-list for vigilantes!

A Stateline.org analysis of all 50 state sex offender registries, conducted in December, found:

  • All states include information about the crime committed by each sex offender or, in some cases, general information about the victim. New York, for example, includes whether sex offenders committed their crimes against family members.
  • At least 29 states provide mapping to show exactly where sex offenders live. Some states offer significantly more information on their maps. Washington state shows where sex offenders live in relation to schools, day care centers and other places where children gather.
  • At least 19 states allow users to sign up for e-mail or other alerts to inform them when sex offenders change status, including when they move. North Carolina allows residents to sign up for telephone alerts as well.
  • At least 18 states list information about where registered sex offenders are employed, though details vary by state. West Virginia, for example, posts only the city and county in which offenders are employed, while Virginia provides the name of the employer and the company’s address.
  • At least 12 states post information about the cars sex offenders drive, such as vehicle make and model or license plate.
  • At least five states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and West Virginia — allow users to search for sex offenders by their online identifiers, such as e-mail address or instant messenger screen name.

Those who support the surge in new online information say it can help law enforcers, parents and other members of the public keep a watchful eye on sex offenders, including many who are described as sexual predators and have used the Internet to commit their crimes.
- Much of what people are always reporting, is totally backwards.  Very few people on the registries are true predators.  That is, if they would get the evaluations the states claim they do, which they do not, they just throw everyone into the "predator" label so they can get it done quickly and move on to other corruption!

Supporters say states like Delaware — where each sex offender’s profile includes a phone number to contact the police agency responsible for monitoring the offender — are innovators that provide useful information that can be helpful for reporting and even deterring crime. Other states that allow users to provide tips directly to police through their sex offender registries include Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In Connecticut, state Rep. Mike Lawlor (D), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is pushing for the state to include more information in its sex offender profiles, including whether victims are male or female, an adult or a minor and an acquaintance of the offender or a stranger.

“On Connecticut’s registry, only the technical name and number of the crime of conviction is listed, which is meaningless to citizens hoping to make decisions about the risk of a nearby offender,” Lawlor recently wrote in an opinion piece published in the Hartford Courant.

But the expansion has generated resistance from civil libertarians, privacy groups and a small but growing number of advocates for sex offenders who say some of the new information could subject former offenders to harassment or even violence. Media reports in recent years also have tied sex offender suicides to the public registration requirements they faced.

Critics say some online information, such as the size of offenders’ shoes in Texas, serves no reasonable law enforcement purpose.

“I’m just curious, how is that keeping us safe?” said Mary Sue Molnar, who helped found Texas Voices, a support group for registered sex offenders in Texas. Molnar said one recent change to Texas’s registry — the posting of offenders’ places of employment, in accordance with the Adam Walsh Act — has caused law-abiding offenders she works with to lose their jobs.

Battles over the Adam Walsh Act and similar state-level laws are playing out in state and federal courts around the country. Most have focused on whether the act’s requirements can be applied retroactively to those who committed their crimes before such laws were approved. Legal experts say few major cases have challenged the new information being included in online registries.
- Well, if everyone was upholding the Constitution, like many took an oath to do, then these laws would be knocked down.  But, we have a corrupt government who does not believe in the Constitution anymore, so of course, anything is possible now!  This is exactly why the founding fathers made this document, for the governments abuse of power, just like they are doing now!

Leonard Sharon, a criminal defense attorney in Maine who has defended sex offenders, said it could be difficult for lawyers to win lawsuits asserting sex criminals’ right to privacy. “Your right to privacy is restricted once you’ve been convicted,” he said.
- No, it's because the Constitution is worthless now, so anything is possible now!

Meanwhile, a crucial undercurrent in the debate over the expansion of online sex offender information has been whether the information itself is reliable. A December report by the inspector general of the Justice Department found that public sex offender registries run by the states are “inconsistent and incomplete.”

“The public,” the report said, “cannot use the state information…as a reliable tool to identify all registered and non-compliant sex offenders in their communities.”

Moreover, if state Web sites inaccurately list firms that employ sex offenders, companies could be “stigmatized or potentially jeopardized by vigilante responses, however infrequent they may be,” said Wayne Logan, a law professor at Florida State University who has studied sex offender laws.

Another twist is that not everyone who is listed on state sex offender registries is a sex offender, according to Kristen Anderson, director of case analysis with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which monitors 57 sex offender registries, including those of the states and overseas territories.

Fourteen states include non-sex criminals in their registries, including arsonists and drug offenders, Anderson said. She said she did not know which 14 states because some information submitted to her organization from the states is provided anonymously.
- So now, it's a criminal registry, with the "sex offender" label.  Wow, congress is a bunch of idiots!

But perhaps the most contentious aspect of the Adam Walsh Act — its requirement that states add some sex offenders as young as 14 to their publicly accessible registries — appears no closer to being resolved, even with the law’s rapidly approaching deadline. Logan some some states have a “principled objection” to posting personal information about young offenders online.

While many states have included some juvenile offenders in their online registries for years, Logan said, those offenders usually were convicted as adults. The Adam Walsh Act, by contrast, would include those convicted in special juvenile courts for aggravated and other serious sexual crimes.

Many states are wrestling with whether to adopt that requirement. Wisconsin, for instance, has collected information from 1,900 people who committed their crimes as minors, said John Dipko, a spokesman with the state Department of Corrections. But the details are published only on the state’s internal Web site for law enforcement — not on the public registry.

“Our statute does not give us authority to do that,” Dipko said.


DC - Man disabled anklet before killing 3, police say

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Yet more proof of what I have said many times. GPS is a waste of money, and if someone is intent on committing a crime, they will do so, regardless of GPS or any law passed.

01/12/2009

By Scott McCabe - Examiner Staff Writer

A 22-year-old man ordered to wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet disabled the device before allegedly killing three men in the embattled Trinidad neighborhood this summer, authorities said.

William McCorkle, of Northeast Washington, was able to thwart the GPS technology by wrapping aluminum foil around his anklet before he got into an argument in a gas station, pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and gunned down three men, authorities said.

The incident prompted the D.C. Council to pass emergency legislation last week to make tampering with the devices a crime. Since August, 18 offenders have tampered or removed electronic monitoring devices.
- Come on, do you think making a new law is going to prevent someone from committing another crime?  You people in congress are truly idiots!  More knee-jerk, feel-good BS that doesn't do anything!

“We can’t sit around and let the criminals get the upper hand,” said D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson.
- So what magic mumbo jumbo are you going to do to prevent it?  Nothing!  A criminal will commit a crime, regardless.  Pass 10 million laws, and it will still occur.

Under the temporary law, anyone convicted of interfering with the device will face six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Like that is going to stop someone!  Does the death penalty stop people from killing?

The District is one of the largest users of the GPS devices, with about 800 offenders being tracked daily using GPS technology. Offenders sometimes try to beat the system by refusing to charge the unit, wrapping the device in aluminum foil or attempting to cut it off their ankles, officials said.
- And they are wasting a ton of tax payer money as well, on something that will not work!  It's a placebo to make everyone feel better, and that is all!

Since the Trinidad shootings, the company that provides the bracelets has developed alternative technology to make sure authorities can continue to monitor the offender, said Leonard Sipes, spokesman for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.
- So they will then just cut it off!

Sipes said the technology has been effective in making sure offenders comply with their orders and helps protective the community.

“It’s helped in closing crimes, bringing people to justice and convicting numerous offenders having problems complying,” Sipes said.

The technology has been used to identify suspects by matching their whereabouts to the scene of a crime. In February, authorities traced the movements of a 23-year-old man that placed him at the site of a kidnapping and sexual assault of two teenagers. A retired D.C. police officer was assaulted on the street and the GPS technology placed the individual at the scene at the exact time and date of the attack.
- That is because these are idiots!  If I was a bad criminal and was going to commit a crime, the GPS would be the first thing to go.  They must have wanted to be arrested or something, IMO.

Each day, law enforcement agencies in the city plug the dates, times and places of major crimes into a computer system and cross-reference them with the movements of known offenders as provided by GPS tracking.

Early last year, authorities couldn’t figure out why one particular sexual offender was hanging out every day at a Metro stop until they placed a Google Earth overlay on the site that revealed he was going to a children’s playground. Authorities remotely searched the offender’s computer and found he was visiting child pornography Web sites, officials said.