Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ARC RADIO - ****SPECIAL GUEST**** Josh from Police Abuse Complaint Center

Hosted by: RealityUSA

Title: ****SPECIAL GUEST**** Josh from Police Abuse Complaint Center

Time: 07/15/2009 09:30 PM EST (LIVE NOW)

Episode Notes: Have you ever had a confrontation with a Law Enforcement Official? How were you Treated? Did you know that there is help out there for citizens to file complaints? Listen to the show on this night to hear all kinds of real complaints and also how to file a complaint and other advice. Using available technology, the Police Complaint Center documents and investigates alleged incidents of police abuse. Our staff are students, researchers, attorneys, former police officers and licensed private investigators. We believe that many police organizations have done a poor job of protecting the public from abusive officers. Our primary service is assisting victims of misconduct with reporting complaints to appropriate enforcement agencies. We also investigate police and Sheriffs deputies that are accused of abusive behavior. Policeabuse.com




"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 - Colonie looks to limit sex offenders

View the article here

07/15/2009

By Matt McFarland

COLONIE - The town of Colonie is trying to get a law on the books similar to one Albany County saw tossed out by a judge.

It's aimed at limiting where sex offenders can live. The county law placed restrictions on where sex offenders can live. Colonie, meanwhile, is looking to limit how many can live in one spot.

Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan admits her town has a problem.

"We have a concentration of sex offenders in town, particularly in one area," she said.
- Yeah, and that is due to the very laws you passed, which force them into certain areas of the state, now you are trying to limit that. What's your true agenda? To get them all locked up? If so, then admit it!

According to Mahan, a good chunk of Colonie's nearly 120 registered sex offenders are living at motels out on Central Avenue. Her proposal would cap the number of sex offenders living at one address.

Right now, the hotels are doing nothing wrong. In fact Mahan says if the state or county places a sex offender there, motels can get $45 per day per room to house them.

The Colonie cap would be based on the size of a hotel and the level of the sex offenders living there. For a motel or hotel with 50 or fewer rooms, the limit would be six points.

"So you could have six Level Ones, two Level Threes, whatever combination. Fifty-one or more, 9 points," Mahan explained.

But will it work when other local laws are being ruled unconstitutional?

Attorney Kathy Manley recently worked on overturning Albany County's very own sex offender law. Passed in July 2006, it prohibited Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet from a school or childcare facility.

"The state has acted in this area to negotiate sex offenders and so therefore it doesn't make any sense and actually it's not permitted for counties, towns, and cities to do their own laws," Manley said.

Manley says because of the far reaching county laws, sex offenders were getting forced out of cities to places like motels on the outskirts of town. She says Albany County's law getting ruled invalid could actually end up benefiting Colonie.

"I would think that they would be moving out, and with DSS paying for them, now they'll be able to find apartments a lot more affordable," she said.

The proposal will be introduced Thursday night at the Colonie Town Board meeting with a public hearing to follow at a later date.




"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 - Follow Up For the Julia Tuttle Causeway Disaster (Part 2)

See this related article

07/14/2009

Pedro C Martinez, P.E.
City Manager

THE STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMETT OF TRANSPORTATION
SAFETY OFFICE
605 SUWANEE ST
TALAHASSEE, FL 32399

Re: (I-195) Julia Tuttlle CSWY (Underneath the bridge)

NOTICE OF VIOLATIION Potential Property Lien

Dear TRUSTEES OF THE INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT TRUST FUND OR FLORIDA

You are notified that an inspection of the above property discloses that you are in violation of the following laws, including

  • VIOL REF# 1513 - Illegal Units. ZON ORD SEC 401 & Article 25
  • VIOL REF# 1504 – Work completed without a completed permit. City Code SEWC 10-3 (FBC 104, 105)
  • VIOL REF# 1516 – Illegally maintaining of depositing junk of trash, or using trailers for storage in unauthorized zoning district. ZON ORD Article 9 SEC 917.12 & Article 4 SEC 401.
  • VIOL REF# 1508 – Outside storage of miscellaneous materials, equipment, and/or debris. ZON SEC 401 & 917.12.

REMARKS: illegally built structures underneath the bridge with illegal electrical connections and unacceptable sanitary conditions.

You are directed to correct said violations by July 15th , 2009 and to notify the undersigned that the violation(s) has been corrected. If the violation has not been corrected with the approval of the undersigned within the specified time period, further legal action may be pursued. Legal action including, but not limited to injunctive relief and fines of up to $500.00 per day for each violation(s) remains uncorrected beyond the time period provided.

UNPAID FINES RILL BECOME LIENS AGAINST ALL PROPERTIES YOU OWN, AND WILL BE RECORDED IN THE PUBLIC RECORDS OF DADE COUNTY. LIENS WHICH REMAIN UNPAID FOR THREE (3) MONTHS MAY BE FORCLOSED IN COURT. In addition, the Certificate of Use and Occupational License of any business occupying this property may be suspended or withheld. Operating a business without all required licenses is illegal under state and city law, and is punishable by criminal arrest and/or closing the business.

Sincerely,

Mariano Loret De Mola, Director (MDeMola@ci.miami.fl.us)
Office of Code Enforcement
City of Miami
(305) 416-2039

CITY OF MIAMI CODE ENFORCEMENT
444 S.W. 2nd Avenue, 7th Floor, Miami, FL 33130 (305) 416-2087 Fax: (305)416-2006
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 330708, Miami, FL 33233


"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)


PA - Program helps identify likely violent parolees (PRE-CRIME)

View the article here

People, nor computers can predict the future, only God! What a load of BS Voodoo!

07/08/2009

By Faye Flam

As part of an attempt to fight crime, Philadelphia is now the subject of an experiment never tried in another city: A computer is forecasting who among the city's 49,000 parolees is likeliest to rob, assault, or kill someone.

Since March, the city's Adult Probation and Parole Department has been using the system to reshuffle the way it assigns cases. Each time someone new comes through intake, a clerk enters his or her name and the computer takes just seconds to fish through a database for relevant information and deliver a verdict of high, medium, or low risk.

"It's a complete paradigm shift for the department," said chief probation and parole officer Robert Malvestuto. "Science has made this available to us. We'd be foolish not to use it."

Criminologists say the system works - it can identify those most likely to commit violent crimes. But whether Philadelphia can use that to intervene and change people's behavior is still not known. A full evaluation won't be done until the end of the year.

Yet some probation officers say the changes already are making it far harder for them to help those at lower risk to get off drugs and improve their lives.

The controversy over the new system cuts to the heart of a long-standing debate: whether parole agencies should control dangerous people or help them reclaim their lives.

The computer isn't merely crunching data - it is creating its own rules in what is known as "machine learning," a fast-growing technology that enables computers to encroach into the human realms of judgment and decision-making.

The Adult Probation and Parole Department started considering a technological upgrade in 2006, the year the murder rate hit a peak of 27.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest of any of the nation's 10 largest cities.

University of Pennsylvania criminologist Larry Sherman suggested the department go high-tech, with the help of University of California statistician Richard Berk.

At the time, Berk had been doing computer modeling for the California prison system. "We were forecasting what types of inmates are likely to do nasty things in prison," he said.

Later that year, Berk took a job at Penn and started applying his statistical skills to predicting murder. He later added assault and robbery. "The idea was to forecast who the real bad guys were - so you could deliver special services to them and reduce the number of homicides," he said.

Berk is an expert in machine learning. Computers equipped with this capability, which is somewhat different than artificial intelligence, can execute surprising feats - predicting which products consumers will buy or which SAT essays will get top marks from panels of English teachers.

The computer doesn't use a formula, nor does it develop one that anyone could write down. Instead, it learns by itself after being fed reams of "training data," in this case on past parolees and their subsequent crimes. The system looks for patterns that connect such factors with subsequent crimes.

Only recently has computer data-processing power been up to the job of predicting crime. "You couldn't do this five years ago," Berk said.

To "train" the system, Berk fed in data on 30,000 past cases; about 1 percent had committed homicide or attempted homicide within two years of beginning probation or parole.

The data included the number and types of past crimes, sex, race, income, and other factors.

To test its power, he fed in a different set of data on 30,000 other parolees. This time he didn't tell the computer who would go on to kill.

Applying what it had previously learned, the system identified a group of several hundred who were considered especially dangerous. Of those, 45 in 100 did commit a homicide or attempted homicide within two years - much higher than the 1 in 100 among the general population of probationers and parolees.

The predictors that mattered most were age, age at first contact with adult courts, prior crimes involving guns, being male, and past violent crimes.

A typical high-risk case, he said, might be a 22-year-old male convicted of robbery, with seven priors, two involving guns. His first contact with the adult courts happened at 15, and he would return to a high-crime part of the city.

Race mattered only a little - and so Philadelphia decided to leave it out of the equation. Berk said he thinks the model should work fine without it and the decision to ignore race minimizes concerns about racial profiling.

When the Probation and Parole Department began restructuring in March, there was no money to hire more parole officers, researcher Lindsay Ahlman said. So it had to find some way to better use the resources it had. The average parole officer had been handling 150 cases, but as an early test, some were asked to supervise many more - 350 to 400 people flagged by the computer as low risk.

For comparison, the department had other officers take on the usual 150 cases, also from this low-risk group.

What this revealed was that less supervision did not increase crime among the low-risk parolees and probationers, she said.

Not all of the officers were sold. "They'd say, 'This guy had a knife at school - he's not low risk,' " she said.

She said she tries to explain that the computer can't make exact predictions about individuals, but it's good at predicting the number of crimes likely in a group of 350 to 400 people.

The difference is already becoming apparent, she said. Officers who used to handle 150 cases of all types were getting an arrest alert or two every day, Ahlman said. Now they've got upwards of 350 low-risk cases and are getting alerted to arrests only once a week or so.

Conversely, some officers are assigned much smaller groups of high-risk cases, typically fewer than 50.

Probation and Parole Department researcher Ellen Kurtz said they can't tell how well the program is working yet. A full evaluation will take at least six months, she said. She declined to say how the system rated any of the people on parole or probation who've been put through it.

But these innovations are straining a system that's already suffering from lack of resources, said Louise Carpino, president of the union that includes probation and parole officers.

Paying more attention to these "high risk" cases comes at the expense of all the others, she said. Officers can no longer help low-risk people get off drugs, go to AA meetings, or get a GED.

"I've seen this change people's lives," she said. "But you've got to have a human connection."

Criminologist Todd Clear of City University of New York said helping rehabilitate criminals was the original mission of parole and probation.

There's some evidence that it works, he said. But starting in the 1970s, the system has shifted to controlling people who are considered threatening. There's little evidence this does any good, he said.

Clear says he thinks the new machine-learning technology could tip the debate in either direction. But ultimately, he said, it will work only if it can help figure out how to transform "high risk" people into lower-risk ones.

Another hazard is that while the system isn't expected to be right all the time, it influences how people are treated.

"The main ethical concern," said Richard Bonnie, a law professor at the University of Virginia, "is the possible unfairness to the 'selected' offenders."

If the high-risk people do get more supervision, it means they face a greater risk of being caught in a technical violation that will send them back to prison. Should such power be relegated to a computer?

Berk said he's not worried. "This is not like the movie Minority Report . . . as if we are all fated to do one thing or another," he said, referring to the Tom Cruise film in which police make arrests based on psychics who see crimes committed in the future.

The Philadelphia Probation and Parole Department researchers spoke enthusiastically about plans in the fall to experiment with special classes for the highest-risk offenders, guiding parolees to change their thinking and so their actions through "cognitive behavior therapy."

Berk said he's been asked to design similar systems for Washington and other major cities. Whether it helps cut crime in Philadelphia will be closely watched.




"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)


Def Jam Poetry - Daniel Beaty "Knock Knock"




"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 - Sex Offender Begs For More Jail Time

View the article here

See the comments at the end for something sent to me via email.

07/15/2009

By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES

Maze of Laws Don't Work, Only Coddle Public Into Sense of Safety, Says Expert

Florida sex offender Raphael Marquez was just released from an eight-year prison term, but now he's begging the judge to send him back.

Marquez is one of many sex offenders whose new beginnings have been tripped up by a patchwork of laws designed to protect the public from sexual predators.

These laws require offenders to register with the communities in which they live and stay away from schools and playgrounds, leaving some who have served their time and are trying to comply with the law homeless.

Marquez was released June 20, but the only legal and affordable option he could find was a rat-infested overpass in Broward County next to a park filled with 100 other sex offenders.

"This is a very nasty crime, but I deserve a second chance," said the 38-year-old former cabinet maker who was charged with sexual battery of a 12-year-old relative.

"I am positive I won't do this again, but I need all the support and help I can get," Marquez told ABCNews.com. "I am willing to risk my life on it."

Under House Arrest and Homeless

Marquez is just one of hundreds of sex offenders who are unable to find work or housing in Broward County. One local blogger describes his plight as being "under house arrest without a home."

And the problem isn't just there. In Miami, a legal battle has erupted over a growing colony of sex offenders who have been forced under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. The vagrants live in shacks, creating a national dialogue over the unintended consequences of residency laws.

Marquez was required to register in his Oakland Park neighborhood and carry a large GPS box to track his every move.

He must observe an indoor curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and not live within 2,500 feet of a school, day care facility, playground or other place where children regularly congregate.

That, in addition to the high cost of rent, has made finding a place to live impossible, according to his public defender lawyer, Cheryl Koewing.

"No one wants to employ him," Koewing told ABCNews.com. "How can law enforcement keep track of these individuals and not have them turning to other means to get food to live? They've served their time."

Marquez can't drive alone without his parole officer's approval, rent a post office box or use the Internet. He must submit to warrantless searches of his home and vehicle, as well as to sex counseling and regular polygraphs at his own expense.

Better Jail Than Violate Parole

"I'd rather be here than violate my probation and run," said Marquez, stressed and losing weight in the Broward County Jail. "I am back to square one."

Twenty-four of Broward's 31 cities have adopted laws banning offenders from moving near children. The state requires only 1,000 feet separation, but most of these cities have 2,500-feet buffer zones, essentially blanketing entire cities.

Marquez could have moved to Broadview Park, a small swath of unincorporated neighborhood that is packed with about 100 sex offenders. But in April, officials passed an ordinance making that illegal.

His mother wired him $500, which he spent on cheap motels, but that money ran out. His parole officer found him a rehabilitation home for sex offenders, but he couldn't afford the $750 deposit and had no transportation to get there.

Marquez, who has no family in Florida, wants to move to Buffalo with his mother, hoping that he can trade more time in prison to get lifetime regular probation, allowing him to travel across state lines.

"But he's getting information from the other inmates who want to transfer to New York that they were flat-out rejected," said Koewing. "Now he's scared to death because he cannot live in Florida."

He is not alone. Scott Burgess said his life has been ruined by the laws. He committed a so-called "Romeo and Juliet" felony in 1991 when he was just 17, having sex with a 13-year-old whom Burgess claims he thought was older.

"I did over 10 years in prison, I was no angel," said the 36-year-old. "But to this day, I can never get back on my feet again."

Burgess lined up a painting job and was told when he showed for work, "Sorry we can't keep you."

He was let go from another job at a rental store when they found out he was an offender, and, like Marquez, ended up homeless.

After being thrown out of two homes -- one even owned by a family member -- he ended up in a Fort Lauderdale park that was dominated by gangs.

"I tried to live honestly," Burgess told ABCNews.com. Now, he's headed to a Florida state prison for second-degree murder, a crime he claims he didn't commit.

Sex Offenders Forced to Go Bad

"It's more than the world can handle," he said. "You can't get a job. You have no money and you still have to eat and clothe yourself. It forces you literally to go bad."

According to William Samek, director of Florida's sexual abuse treatment program, these laws "don't protect anybody and mislead and coddle us into believing we are doing something effective."

A 1998 study of studies published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, looked at a wide range of 23,000 offenders and found a 13.4 percent recidivism rate.

About 85 percent of those crimes are committed within families, according to Samek.

"The public is stirred by the media to see all sex offenders in general as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer," he told ABCNews.com. "For the majority, it was inappropriate touching within the family. Most are not particularly scary or dangerous."

"There is zero scientific evidence that [these laws] make sense or that they actually protect children," he said.

"There is no connection between where the offender lives and where he commits his crime, other than incest," according to Samek, who said that most sex crimes are not "committed on impulse."

Most sex offenders suffer from underlying disease or mental illness that is "very treatable" if the state is willing to invest in effective treatment and lie-detector programs, rather than "draconian punishment."

"For Raphael, it's less stressful to live in prison than live on the street with these sanctions," he said.

But Oakland Park Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue, who works on a task force to study the homeless situation in Broward County, disagrees.

"I think it's a matter of them not wanting to work or pay for a place to live," said Boisvenue in an interview with Florida's Sun-Sentinel. "There are plenty of lawns to mow."

She told ABCNews.com that there is "more than enough housing" for these offenders.

Debt to Society

In both Miami and in Broward County, the Department of Corrections has been "dropping off" sex offenders in unincorporated areas where the homeless have converged, making the problem worse, she said.

"Not enough has been said about protecting these children and how they are damaged for life," said Boisvenue, who worked as a hospital nurse for 30 years. "You should see the condition they come after they have been mutilated."

"You have to wonder why all the attention being given to the sex offenders," she said. "I don't think it's fair. We need to be talking about the rights of the children."

As for Marquez, who was a model prisoner and worked in the canteen, he believes he has paid his debt to society.

"I regret what I did every day, and I will never do it again," he said. "I tried to kill myself twice in prison. I have to live with this for the rest of my life."



Comments sent in via email:

I think everyone will find this article interesting. When do "regulatory" schemes become punitive?

Isn't punishment subjective? Meaning, it must be taken from the view of Whom the punishment/regulation is aimed?

For example:

"Time out" for child "A" may be the worst thing in the world.
But for child "B" he/she might view it as 5 or 10 minutes in a corner and no big deal.

Child "C"'s worse punishment would be taking away his video games for a day, while child D could care less!

Parents ATTEMPT to regulate childrens behavior through punishment for a wrongdoing and/or to correct behavior. Lawmakers are clearly doing the same with these laws.

While I am not familiar with what exactly the man did, I can't imagine how bad it must be with all these clearly punitive schemes "masquerading" as regulatory, that a person would beg a judge to put him back in prison versus having his freedom (ahem) back after he fulfilled his sentence.

Begging the question, which is MORE punitive - prison with bars you can see and a roof over your head and three squares a day, or prison on the outside with bars that are invisible but are none the less every bit as real with none of the aforementioned benefits of shelter and food.


"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)


IN - Lebanon park ban aimed at sex offenders


An Indiana city wants to ban registered sex offenders from stepping foot in their city parks. Lebanon police officer and city council member Brent Wheat has introduced an ordinance to ban sex offenders from Lebanon city parks.




"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 - Follow Up For the Julia Tuttle Causeway Disaster

It appears instead of the state resolving the sex offender laws, they are going to try to get some code violation against the offenders FORCED to live under the bridge, due to their own draconian laws.  What heartless scum we have running this country!

07/14/2009

This is what has transpired as of today... We received a visit from the second most despised person whom has pushed for the enactment of this failed ordinance. Even more than Ron Book. Commissioner "Pepe" Diaz (Contact) visited the bridge today along with the presence of Lauren Book, and the mayor of Miami (Email). Some law enforcement presence was also there posting CODE VIOLATIONS...

They are ordering the immediate removal of all structures constructed without proper permits. And the removal of all trash citing it to be a health hazard.

They have given the state till the 25 of July, to resolve the problem or the state will be fined $500 per day.

I will post a copy of the actual citation once I scan it....

So I guess the state will be doing what they do best?
Video Link | Story of police cutting up homeless tents



"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)