Tuesday, July 14, 2009

OH - SB-10 (The Adam Walsh Act) declared constitutional, trial court reversed

Courtesy of "A Voice of Reason"

See the text below for a letter written and sent out.

07/14/2009

In a blow to the RSO movement in Ohio, the Court of Appeals Richland County, Ohio, 5th Appellate District reversed the trial court decision which held that, the changes made by SB-10 (Adam Walsh Act) were unconstitutional.

In a decision 6-30-2009 the appellate court, on four assignments of error, reversed the trial court decision and sent the case back to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with its opinion. The full decision is here: by Ohio Court of Appeals

However, the Ohio Supreme court will be the ultimate decider...



<Title> <First Name> <Surname>
U.S. Supreme Court Building
1 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20543

To <Title> <First Name> <Surname> and The Honorable Members of the United States Supreme Court:

I am writing this in hopes of finding some peace, if nothing else to at least have done something as a Citizen of the United States fighting for his, and others, rights.

Twenty five years ago I made a very serious mistake and paid a very dear price for that mistake. And now I am being compelled to pay even a higher price for my past transgression long after expiring and completing my original adjudicated sentence and moved on to become a productive law-abiding taxpayer. You see now, as of 2005, I am a Registered Sex Offender.

My frustrations are with the flood of new restrictions and sanctions that now come almost daily since this Court ruled in Doe-v-Smith, 01-729 in 2003. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision finding that the registry did not impose punitive restraints in violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause among other findings as well.

It was found not to be an Ex Post Facto Law or punishment for several very basic key reasons in that opinion;

  • Registrants’ convictions were already public record.

    Yes, and if they only posted my public information from my arrest and conviction 25 years ago that is fine. But my current photo, address and employment information today is NOT part of the public record. Nor my phone number, email addresses, and hundreds of other bits of personal information I am now being force to divulge for public dissemination.
  • Registrants have an extremely high rate of recidivism.

    Not True! This Court was “lead” to believe this false myth via misquoted and outdated information that today has been refuted time and time again in ALL the studies done. One by the Dept. of Justice itself puts that figure at less that 4%, second lowest rate of any offender and Sex Offenders are the least likely to re-offend.
  • From Doe-v-Smith - “The record in this case contains no evidence that the Act has led to substantial occupational or housing disadvantages for former sex offenders…”

    Well, this needs no explanation. Just read the news and see Registered Offenders now having to live under bridges and being forced into jobless and homeless nomadic lives.
  • From Doe-v-Smith - “…the record contains no indication that an in-person appearance requirement has been imposed on any sex offender subject to the Act.”

    Not only do we have to make in-person appearances, we are required to report to Local Law Enforcement and subject to supervisory interviews. I am under virtual “House Arrest” every 90 days while I await verification. I can’t leave town or go on vacations at those times, no exceptions. And if I do leave, at other times, I am required to notify them that I am leaving, where I am going and staying, and when I will be back.
  • From Doe-v-Smith - “…offenders subject to the Alaska statute are free to move where they wish and to live and work as other citizens, with no supervision.”

    We are NOT free to move, travel, live and work as other citizens. The Government tells us now where we can live and work, and where and where not we can move and travel to. Restrictions placed on me today are more severe and restrictive than those I had to comply with while on Supervised Parole many years ago before Doe-v-Smith.

I wonder if you, as well as the other Honored members of this court, would still hold to this view and opinion today considering plethora of the fear and hysteria driven draconian and oppressive laws passed to pacify the cry of the nation’s lynch mobs for revenge against former Offenders?

Doe-v-Smith is the flag waved as Constitutional validation of every draconian law passed even though many of these laws far exceed the limits of Doe-v-Smith.

Almost everyday a new law is passed that uses the Registry Information, and the hysteria it has incited, to curtail the rights and freedoms of us who have to Register. Many are being sent to prison for nothing more than a technical violation due to an oversight with no real intent to commit any crime. Some even for life for nothing more than a technical violation of a “Regulatory” scheme. They are being forced to move from family homes and property without due process to sleep in cars and under bridges. Those that had employment are being terminated with little to no hope of finding another job as vigilantes us the Registry information to harass employers.

Myth and Hysteria concerning Former Offenders is the fodder of Politian’s and the trough myth and fear for the media to obtain votes and ratings. I won’t go on as I am confident you are very aware of the climate this decision, Doe-v-Smith, has created.

It is a climate of death and destruction as well. Living in Maine I have watched three offenders murdered. Two by a young man who used the Registry information to hunt them down and kill them right in their homes. A third homeless man was burned to death under a bridge. And recently, a Registered Former Offender who had been harassed had enough and killed a woman who confronted him using the Registry information to harass him.

Records I have access to clearly show a steep increase in Registered Former Sex Offender (RFSO) murders related to the Registry that directly correlates with the 2003 Doe-v-Smith* ruling.

1991 - one RFSO death
1993 - one RFSO death
1994 - two RFSO deaths
1995 - one RFSO death
1998 - one RFSO death
2000 - two RFSO deaths
2002 - one RFSO deaths
2003 - twelve RFSO deaths (Doe-v-Smith)*
2004 - twenty-three RFSO deaths
2005 - twenty-two RFSO deaths
2006 - forty RFSO deaths
2007 - thirty-one RFSO deaths
2008 - forty-five RFSO deaths
2009 - six RFSO deaths to date…

Here is the website with all these facts and news reports for verification if you are interested along with many other facts and information;

http://sexoffenderresearch.blogspot.com/search/label/%28.Murdered%20RSOs%20in%20the%20U.S.

Other blogs on murders & suicides:

http://on-murders.blogspot.com/
http://on-suicides-deaths.blogspot.com/

And this does not include the innocent people who have been killed such as the wife of a Registered Offender when vigilantes set his house on fire using address information from the Registry Website. He escaped, but his wife did not. Or those mistaken or accused being a Sex Offender and killed. There may be more that we are unaware of as Law Enforcement has been downplaying Sex Offender murders since the incident in Washington State when an individual using Registry Website information and addresses posed as an FBI agent and killed two offenders and was looking for a third when he was caught. Quoted from the news interviews with
Washington authorities…”We don’t want to not bring too much attention to these murders for fear of a sympathetic backlash that might endanger the Registry.”

How many Registered Former Offenders have to be “Lynched” before it stops?

Probably the saddest part of all this is a statement I read in one of the local newspapers here in Maine when a Legislator commented on the Maine State Supreme Court ruling last year concerning the Registry being punitive. He stated that the Court had no business telling the Legislature its business.

When I was in school they taught us that there were three (3) branches of our Constitutional ly formed Government, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary. All designed by our founding fathers in order to assure the proper checks and balances of power, and to protect the rights of the people.

«Title» «Surname», thank you for your valuable time and consideration of this letter and hearing out a lowly but humble citizen of the United States.

I will leave you with this considering the tough job ahead of you on this topic;

"Judges ... rule on the basis of law, not public opinion, and they should be totally indifferent to pressures of the times." Justice Warren E. Burger Chief Justice, U. S. Supreme Court

Respectfully and Sincerely,

<Your name here>


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


MA - First Annual Reform Sex Offender Laws National Convention - Boston Massachusetts July 10-11, 2009 - CFC NM Report Part 1

NOTE: This is for informational purposes only, and we do not necessarily agree with everything posted below.

This was a historic event of National Importance to our country, for that there was no doubt among attendees. Every civil rights movement has a significant organizational event that becomes the historical beginning of the movement and I believe this was it. It was fascinating to hear from so many diverse individuals that share the same beliefs and concerns. To have direct access to those that have studied, and are the foremost experts in psychology, civil rights law, child safety, sex offender treatment and other fields confirm what we already know and lend their support at great risk was amazing. To hear of the destruction the sex offender hysteria and laws are causing to children, former offenders, the family unit, the penal system, our constitution, former victims and the entire fields of psychology and social work validates the importance of our young movement. Every Man, Women and Child is effected whether they know it or not.

The location at the Suffolk University Law School was an appropriate location as well. This beautiful new building is located just across the street from the cemetery where many of our founding fathers are buried, such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere. Not far away is a little town called Salem as well. My only regret was not having more time to explore the area.

Once again the importance of organizers meeting in person was validated. Simply the amount of information communicated day and night was as much as you might take in 6 months working via the internet.

I realize this is a long report, but please take some time to review this wealth of information. All information for speakers was taken directly from my hand written notes, and are as accurate as possible.



Friday July 10th:

Having arrived early I spent the morning with a fellow SOSEN staff member figuring out the transportation system, and exploring downtown Boston. Others, including a group from Maine joined the La Quinta Inn clan and we were off to dinner down town.

Dr. Richard Pillar introduced the nights speaker, Dr. Jerome Miller, and his presentation “De-Mythologizing the Sex Offender, Replacing hysteria, slander and demonization with research, justice and common sense” I was on a panel to respond and challenge the speaker, along with other unique parties. Unfortunately the video link with the second location in Austin Texas was troublesome, and they missed my panel talk.

Dr. Jerome helped end reform schools for children and the related abuses that occurred. He has been active in racial discrimination and discussed showing a film on the abuse of sex offenders in Massachusetts, a filmed BANNED for a period of time. One example of reform school abuse was they used to bend a run-aways ring finger back until it broke as punishment.

He then discussed the connections of the modern moral panic over the “boogy man”, and its association with neo fascists societies, and likened the modern persecution of former sex offenders to the eugenics movement to sterilize black women, and idea discussed as late as the early 80s.

Another rule of a moral panic is facts should not get in the way. When research showed sexually violated victims largely do well in life, books were forced to remove this evidence. A small number of victims are scarred for life, but most are not. The “scarred for life” is way over hyped, even some who endured extreme abuse are able to move on and lead a normal life without significant scars, even forgiving there victims.

He then discussed the value and successes of therapy for victims. According to Jerome today’s society has dealt with social, mental health and family problems by declaring war on the family with the Police, Social Workers and politics.

The registry was a gut reaction to horrible crimes in Washington initially. It should be noted, not is all as it seems on To Catch a Predator.

In the past families worked through issues, including minor sexual issues, most of the time very successfully with therapists. Now the police step in and destroy families. The moral panic has dramatically effecting professionals as they must report anything these days, instead of working through issues and allowing families to move on. Another reason families were stronger in the 40s-50s when they were kept intact. Today many will advise offenders that are looking for help NOT to seek help from certified sex offender therapists, as they will report them to the police and 70% are simply a tool of law enforcement. Treatable problems are not being treated, leaving victims at risk. Additionally certified therapists are being used as a means to put former offenders on probation back in prison. In California 70% of all Sex Offenders are their because of a “technical” violation of probation. It seems to be the goal of a probation officer is no longer helping a former offender re-integrate into society as it was originally designed, but scoring points by creating technical violations and sending former offenders to prison.

Dr. Jerome Miller reviewed numerous cases of registry abuse, and of draconian sex offender laws. This included an inmate given Civil Commitment instead of being released because he consensually kissed another male in mate. China came to visit Virginia because they liked Virginias sentencing guidelines. They also looked at old Eugenics laws in the US.

Dr. Jerome Miller has also encountered what he considers to be racial bias in sex offender law application. Additionally he directly participated in making situations disappear, including the White House and Air Force 1, showing a certain bias. All sorts of people have all sorts of sexual problems, and they should be dealt with by trained professionals who can help. Not by those that can hurt such as law enforcement. He gave a disturbing example of a judge caught admitting he “got off” torturing sex offenders. He also presented an example of a man told to avoid help due to likely prosecution, and later murdered 2 kids.

Dr. Jerome Miller discussed bogus studies created to move the story forward of high recidivism rates for sex offenders. All legitimate studies show offenders rarely ever re-offend, and that the registry absolutely does not work. A recent Child Porn study showed those that viewed it rarely ever touched a child. Yet, for release from therapy requirements many times they are required to admit that they actually have touched children. Other foreign studies have also shown no relation between viewing child porn and acting out.

After Dr. Jerome Millers presentation a panel was held. Since I was busy on the panel I took few notes of other panelist that including a family member, RSO and other. My primary challenge was the racial aspect, as I see this problem transcending race and political lines. I also had him re-enforce that even those with elicit fantasies can lead a normal life, and keep those in control.

I also made a few short comments about being there and thanking those that put the event on.

"You don’t have to sell off humanity for public Safety" Dr. Jerome Miller, First Annual RSOL Conference, Boston Massachusetts July 10, 2009

After Dr. Jerome Millers presentation we adjourned, and returned to get rested for Saturday.

End Part I


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - Broward Sex Offender & Sexual Predator Residence Task Force Report

PURPOSE: TO REVIEW, RESEARCH, AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS REGARDING THE ISSUES INVOLVED WITH THE RESIDENCE RESTRICTIONS OF SEXUAL OFFENDERS AND PREDATORS CONVICTED OF CERTAIN SEX OFFENSES.

Excerpt:
According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), on June 4, 2009 there were 1275 registered sex offenders (RSO) and predators in Broward County. Most were sex offenders (91%), 8.2% were predators, 1.1% (14) were juveniles, and 1.5% (19) were female. About 35% were supervised under Department of Corrections (DOC) probation, community control, or conditional release, 1.6% were on federal probation, and about 5% were incarcerated in the county jail. Nearly 54% had been released and were under no supervision at all, 7.5% had absconded from probation or registration, and about 2% were deceased or deported. According to FDLE, 29 sex offenders in Broward are currently registered as "transient."

Child sexual abuse is a profound social problem with far-reaching effects for victims, their families, and society. In 2004, over 84,000 children across the United States were verified by child protection agencies to be victims of sexual abuse, accounting for approximately 10% of the total number of substantiated cases of child maltreatment (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006). Moreover, official data underestimate actual prevalence, as many cases of sexual child abuse go unreported. There are currently more than 640,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, and research indicates that 5% to 25% of them will be rearrested for committing a new sex crime in the future (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003; Hanson & Morton-Bourgon, 2005; Hanson, Morton, & Harris, 2003).

In an effort to protect children from predatory sexual abuse, city commissioners throughout Broward County have passed municipal ordinances prohibiting sex offenders from residing within close proximity to places where children commonly congregate. Despite their best intentions, these laws have resulted in an array of unintended consequences. The restrictions limit housing availability to a point where the number of homeless sex offenders is increasing, and, in fact, many are now designating their registered address as "transient." At the same time, county officials and residents have noted a clustering effect in unincorporated areas, where a less restrictive buffer zone has allowed offenders to more easily secure housing. On June 4, 2009, there were 1275 registered sex offenders in Broward County. On that date there were approximately 100 registered sex offenders living in Broadview Park, or approximately 7.8% of all the county’s sex offenders, raising concerns about the safety of children living in that area. The land area of Broward County is 1205 square miles. The land area of Broadview Park is one square mile, which is .0008298 or less than 1% of county land. Clustering of sexual offenders may lower property values and unfairly burdens the unincorporated areas of Broward County. Thus, residence restrictions throughout the county have resulted in homelessness, transience, and clustering.

Click the image to view the entire PDF report



"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


Too many tears in the good-on-paper Jessica's Law

View the article here

07/14/2009

By Debra A. Johnson

Thank you so much for the editorial "Murphy's Law: Bad legislation comes back to haunt the author" (July 6, Page A-7). Jessica's Law is one of those feel-good laws that looks good on paper, but those of us who provide treatment realize it makes absolutely no sense.

For instance, Jessica's Law says that sex offenders cannot live within 2,000 feet of a school or a park, which means they cannot spend the night there, however, they can be there during the day. When are children in parks and schools?

Another issue related to Jessica's Law is rather than having offenders in treatment, ankle bracelets were placed on all parolees at the cost of $1,500 per unit, plus $150 per month monitoring fee, which squandered all the treatment funds. The problem with placing ankle bracelets on child molesters is that they do not go off when they are around a child. Given that 90 percent of molestations happen at home, all we will know is that the offender was home, but not that they are with or around a child.

In fact, there was a case in Washington where a sex offender murdered a 13-year-old girl while wearing an ankle bracelet. The probation officer's response was "we knew where he was, we did not know that he was with a child, or that he was murdering a child at the time."

In contrast, over the 30 years we have been providing treatment for sex offenders, we have a less than 1 percent reoffense rate among our offenders. For the very same amount of money the offenders could be in treatment rather than on an ankle bracelet.

The analogy would be something along the lines of if you had cancer and both treatments were the same cost, would you rather have the treatment where you have a 99 percent chance of the cancer going into remission or have the treatment that will simply tell you that the cancer is spreading?

The new blunder on the horizon is that offenders will have to take lie detector tests twice a year to monitor their treatment. In some instances it can be very helpful. Unfortunately, research has shown unless the lie detector administrator is very talented, the sex offender can pass the test. That means the treatment providers would be getting a false positive indicating that this person is absolutely honest and is not thinking about children or in any way going to act out again, which gives the offender a free pass to reoffend.

It is about time that we started talking to the people who have worked in the field over the past 30 years and look at what the research shows us is effective for sex offender treatment rather than doing knee-jerk, feel-good legislation which does not protect our children.

Again, thank you for your editorial that is starting to expose this ineffective use of government funds.

Johnson is clinical coordinator and owner of Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Services and sponsor of Parents United of Stanislaus Inc.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


AUSTRALIA - Study finds no link between child porn and sex abuse

View the article here

07/14/2009

MEN without a prior sex conviction who look at child pornography on the internet are unlikely to sexually assault a child, according to Swiss scientists.

Researchers led by Frank Urbaniok of the Canton of Zurich Department of Justice delved into the criminal record of 231 men who were charged with viewing child pornography via a US website.

In the six years before the 2002 police operation, only one per cent were known to have committed a hands-on sex offence.

And only one per cent of the men committed a hands-on sex offence in the six years afterwards.

The study reinforces previous research which found most consumers of internet child pornography are well-educated and view other types of illegal pornography as well, including sexual acts involving animals or violence.

Mr Urbaniok said men who surfed the web for child pornography were sex offenders, but it should not be automatically assumed that they were a risk for sexually assaulting a child.

"Our results support the assumption that these consumers, in fact, form a distinct group of sex offenders," he said.

"Probably, the motivation for consuming child pornography differs from the motivation to physically assault minors."

"Furthermore, the recidivism rates of one per cent for hands-on and four per cent for hands-off sex offences were quite low."

A 2005 paper by Canadian researchers Michael Seto and Angela Eke found that of 201 men charged with child pornography offences, 24 per cent had prior offences for sexual contact.

Four per cent went on to commit a subsequent sexual offence after being charged or prosecuted.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


Political sex scandals a nonpartisan affair

View the article here

We've learned nothing, except hypocrisy is great in politics, and politicians can and do usually get a way with crimes.

07/14/2009

By Kristi Keck

(CNN) -- If there's one thing Democrats and Republicans have in common, it's sex scandals.

No matter which party the philanderer belongs to, the public wants all the juicy details, as evidenced most recently by the public's fascination with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's Argentine travels.

"That's just prurience," said Sally Quinn, a longtime Washington journalist and columnist. She's married to former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee.

"Sex sells and everybody's interested in sex, so when there's a sex scandal, it's got everything -- you're talking about sex, you're talking about power, and in a lot of cases, money is involved. You are talking about how the mighty have fallen," she said.

Politicians' misdeeds date back to the beginning of politics, but the media's role as watchdog over their sex lives is relatively recent.

"In the past, these things were never even covered. [President Kennedy] got a totally free ride," said Paul Slansky, author of "The Little Quiz Book of Big Political Sex Scandals." "I think what really happened is that after Watergate, the press discovered that there was gold there -- to examine the politicians' lives." Time.com: A little quiz on big sex scandals

During the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s, many details of then-President Richard Nixon's private life came out, and the public devoured the minutiae with voracious fervor. But, Slansky said, when the Republican president resigned in 1974, there was suddenly a void in the expanding world of tabloid news.

The void was short-lived because, just two months later, along came Rep. Wilbur Mills and the "Argentine Firecracker." Lessons learned from past political scandals

Mills, a Democrat from Arkansas and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was stopped on a speeding violation in October 1974. Riding in the car with him was stripper Fanne Foxe, known as the "Argentine Firecracker."

When police pulled Mills over, the stripper fled and jumped into the Potomac River tidal basin. Mills won re-election the next month, but then appeared apparently drunk in a club where Foxe was performing. Democrats expressed their displeasure, and Mills resigned his leadership post. He didn't seek another term, bringing an end to his 38-year career in the House.

"[Mills was] hardly a sexy guy and hardly a guy anyone in the country really cared about, but it was just such a sensational and insane story. I think of that one as kind of the first sex scandal of the modern era," Slansky said.

In the decades since Mills' downfall, dozens of politicians have followed in his missteps. In some cases -- like that of Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana -- the guilty parties are able to overcome their dalliances. Recent political sex scandals

But for others -- like Democratic New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (Client No. 9) or sext-messaging Rep. Mark Foley, a Republican from Florida -- a political scandal can be a death sentence for one's career.

At times, the politicians bring the mockery upon themselves. Take Gary Hart, for example, who was considered the front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.

After allegations of an affair surfaced, he challenged the media to follow his every move, assuring them that "they'll be very bored."

But what he assured was that he would get caught.

Shortly after he dared the media to catch him doing anything wrong, a picture surfaced of a 29-year-old woman sitting on his lap aboard a boat called -- believe it or not -- Monkey Business. It was Donna Rice, the same woman reporters had spotted leaving his house while his wife was out of town. One week later, Hart abandoned the race for the White House.

"I think as each scandal happens, it becomes almost more of an entertainment than a disappointment, except for the people who are close to them," said Quinn. "And I think that people are much more cynical these days, much less inclined to revere people in high office than they used to be."

The scandals have become fuel for late-night talk shows and a pastime for those killing time online.

After former Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig's 2007 arrest on suspicion of lewd conduct at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, bored Web surfers took to the Internet to re-enact their interpretation of his "wide stance."

Similarly, shortly after e-mails between Sanford and his Argentine mistress were printed, people went online to post their dramatic interpretations of the letters, further humiliating the Republican governor (and his family).

But with each laugh comes another bruise to the credibility of the fallen and another speed bump on the road to recovery. "I think there's an image-tarnishing element to it that never goes away," Slansky said.

While each scandal has its own quirky twists, Quinn said there's one common thread in the key to survival.

"I really do think the bottom line is toughing it out -- you have to absolutely have the thickest skin there ever was -- and you just have to say, 'Sorry, I'm not leaving,' " she said.

"You can try to win back the people if you want, but the only way you can do that is to keep your mouth shut and work really hard to do your job."


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


NY - Albany County residency law thrown out

Click the image to view the PDF document



"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - Too many restrictions turn sex offenders into gypsies

View the article here

They have a poll on the site as well, take it.

07/14/2009

By Gary Stein

It is time for South Florida to get real about sex offenders, and where they can live.

Right now, with restrictions in place in so many cities, they basically can live nowhere.

Actually, that's not true. They can live under a bridge in a tent. Or they can be homeless. Or they can, like Broward's Raphael Marquez, choose to go back to jail after finding there is no place to live.

You don't have to feel sorry for sex offenders in order to realize the restrictions on where they can live have gone too far. Remember, these are people who have served their time, paid their debt to society.

They have to live somewhere. We have drug addicts and murders and rapists among us, if the justice system says they have done their time. Sex offenders should be in the same category.

But it makes society feel so good to put tremendous restrictions on where sex offenders can live, and how many feet they have to live from a park or a school. Essentially, we've said they can live anywhere in South Florida. Hence, the tent cities under bridges, the homeless sex offenders walking the street, and people who have done their time still preferring jail to the streets. Tell me how this helps cure the problem.

Remember, not all sex offenders are alike. Some get the label because they had a girl friend who was too young. They are restricted, too.

Tracking sex offenders is fine. Cracking down doubly hard on repeat offenders is fine. Turning people who have done their time into gypsies with overly restrictive guidelines isn't fine.

And it isn't fine when you get this kind of comment from politicians like Oakland Park commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue, explaining why she doesn't buy the idea of restrictive rules promoting homelessness:

"I think it's a matter of them not wanting to work or pay for a place to live," she told the Sun Sentinel. "There are plenty of lawns to mow."

Nice grip on reality, commissioner. You know, there are some politicians I wouldn't want living in my neighborhood.

Copyright © 2009, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


CA - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Recidivism Studies

Original Article

06/2008

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has conducted two sex offender recidivism studies that are very interesting. They were published on June of 2008:

Study 1) A 5-year study of 4,204 sex offender parolees, who were released in 2002 and followed until the end of 2007. Of the 4,204 parolees released 135 were returned to prison with a new sex offense conviction, a 3.21% recidivism rate. As to non sex offenses, 197 were returned to prison for a 4.69% non sex offense recidivism rate.

Study 2) A 10-year study of 3,577 sex offender parolees, who were released in 1997 and followed until the end of 2007. Of the 3,577 parolees released 121 were returned to prison with a new sex offense conviction, a 3.38% recidivism rate. As to non sex offenses, 137 were returned to prison for a 3.83% non sex offense recidivism rate.

In both studies the majority of the recidivism occurred in the first year ( 86 of 135 for 64% -v- 79 of 121 for 65% respectively). Again in both studies the majority of non sex offense convictions occurred in the first year ( 114 of 197 for 58% -v- 89 of 137 for 65% respectively). Technical violations of parole, although 47.05% and 49.06% respectively, were far less than other parolees who showed 60-70%.

The two studies virtually validated each other on a few points, remembering, each study had different parolees.

See Also: