Monday, August 10, 2009

Guess Who I Am? (And other videos)

Love Is Not A Crime

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"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


Homeland Security USA Episode 10 - What Kind of Grades Did You Get in Recess?



Comprised of 13 hour-long episodes shot entirely on location throughout the United States, Homeland Security USA is based on a popular Australian series now in its fifth season. Produced by Oscar and Emmy-winner Arnold Shapiro (Scared Straight, Big Brother), the series takes cameras into situations never before seen on television, with each episode covering eight or more locations on the "front lines" where the officers and agents work each day. They have a job that is dangerous, difficult and always unpredictable. These aren't heroes. They're average men and women working against an epic landscape. The Department's missions include everything from vetting adoption papers and checking visitors' passports to intercepting undocumented immigrants, drugs and other contraband, and stopping potential terrorists trying to cross our borders. What viewers will see is powerful, dramatic, unforgettable and emotional, with unexpected moments of humor.

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"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


OH - Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System

View the article here

08/09/2009

By SOLOMON MOORE

FRANKLIN FURNACE - The teenager in the padded smock sat in his solitary confinement cell here in this state’s most secure juvenile prison and screamed obscenities.

The youth, Donald, a 16-year-old, his eyes glassy from lack of sleep and a daily regimen of mood stabilizers, was serving a minimum of six months for breaking and entering. Although he had received diagnoses for psychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder, a judge decided that Donald would get better care in the state correctional system than he could get anywhere in his county.

That was two years ago.

Donald’s confinement has been repeatedly extended because of his violent outbursts. This year he assaulted a guard here at the prison, the Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility, and was charged anew, with assault. His fists and forearms are striped with scars where he gouged himself with pencils and the bones of a bird he caught and dismembered.

As cash-starved states slash mental health programs in communities and schools, they are increasingly relying on the juvenile corrections system to handle a generation of young offenders with psychiatric disorders. About two-thirds of the nation’s juvenile inmates — who numbered 92,854 in 2006, down from 107,000 in 1999 — have at least one mental illness, according to surveys of youth prisons, and are more in need of therapy than punishment.

We’re seeing more and more mentally ill kids who couldn’t find community programs that were intensive enough to treat them,” said Joseph Penn, a child psychiatrist at the Texas Youth Commission. “Jails and juvenile justice facilities are the new asylums.”

At least 32 states cut their community mental health programs by an average of 5 percent this year and plan to double those budget reductions by 2010, according to a recent survey of state mental health offices.

Juvenile prisons have been the caretaker of last resort for troubled children since the 1980s, but mental health experts say the system is in crisis, facing a soaring number of inmates reliant on multiple — and powerful — psychotropic drugs and a shortage of therapists.

In California’s state system, one of the most violent and poorly managed juvenile systems in the country, according to federal investigators, three dozen youth offenders seriously injured themselves or attempted suicide in the last year — a sign, state juvenile justice experts say, of neglect and poor safety protocols.

In Ohio, where Gov. Ted Strickland, a former prison psychologist, approved a 34 percent reduction in community-based mental health services to reduce a budget deficit, Thomas J. Stickrath, the director of the Department of Youth Services, said continuing cuts would swell his youth offender population.

I’m hearing from a lot of judges saying, ‘I’m sorry I’m sending so-and-so to you, but at least I know that he’ll get the treatment he can’t get in his community,’ ” Mr. Stickrath said.

But youths are often subjected to neglect and violence in juvenile prisons, and studies show that mental illnesses can become worse there.

George, 17, an inmate at Ohio River Valley, detailed his daily cocktail of psychiatric medications, including Abilify and Seroquel. In addition to having bipolar disorder, he is a sex offender and is H.I.V. positive — severe stigmas in prison.

I be getting punked,” he said, using prison slang to describe how gang youths routinely humiliate him. He blinked, and his leg shook uncontrollably. “They take my food, they hit me, they make me do things.”

Demetrius, 16, another inmate there, said he had received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Officials said he has psychotic episodes and attacks other inmates. In an interview in June, he said he was receiving no mental health counseling or medications. Andrea Kruse, a spokeswoman for Mr. Stickrath, said that since July 1, he has had more than 20 counseling sessions.

According to a Government Accountability Office report, in 2001, families relinquished custody of 9,000 children to juvenile justice systems so they could receive mental health services.

Donald has been in and out of mental health programs since he attacked a schoolteacher at age 5. As he grew older, he became more violent until he was eventually committed to the Department of Youth Services.

I’ve begged D.Y.S. to get him into a mental facility where they’re trained to deal with people like him,” said his grandmother, who asked not to be identified because of the stigma of having a grandson who is mentally ill. “I don’t think a lockup situation is where he should be, although I don’t think he should be on the street either.”

Lawsuits and federal civil rights investigations in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio and Texas have criticized juvenile corrections systems for failing to meet their obligation to prohibit cruel and unusual punishment of prisoners.

Despite downsizing to about 1,650 juvenile inmates from about 10,000 youth offenders in 1996, California’s state system remains under a 2004 federal mandate to improve conditions, including mental health services — the result of a class-action lawsuit that documented the systematic physical and sexual abuse of wards.

Under a plan to reduce the state juvenile inmate population, many youths who once would have been held by the state are now detained by the Los Angeles County juvenile detention system. Los Angeles County is also under a federal mandate to improve psychiatric services for juvenile inmates, especially at the six camps at its Challenger Memorial Youth Center, which holds most of the county’s medium- and high-risk offenders and most of its mentally ill ones.

We were told that the Challenger camps are, paradoxically, the only camps at which staff are authorized to carry O.C. spray,” wrote federal civil rights investigators in a 2008 report to county authorities, referring to oleoresin capsicum, known as pepper spray. “One supervisor told us that he believed that allowing staff to carry and use O.C. spray made sense given the ‘mental health population.’

The investigators also recounted how staff members body slammed unruly juveniles, often breaking their bones.

In May, a reporter toured the Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall with Eric Trupin, a consultant hired by the Department of Justice to monitor mental health services in California’s juvenile justice system. Dr. Trupin, a psychologist, said some detainees appeared to be held there for no reason other than that they were mentally ill and the county had no other institution capable of treating them.

One inmate at the county’s juvenile hall, Eric, 18, was given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and prescribed Risperdal, a powerful antipsychotic, to help him avoid violent flashes of temper.

A public defender who specializes in juvenile mental health issues, said Eric had been arrested more than 20 times near his South Los Angeles home. Dr. Trupin worried that if Eric is released and arrested again, he will be charged as an adult and enter the Los Angeles County jail, the nation’s largest residential mental institution, with 1,400 mentally ill inmates.

In the 1960s and ’70s, the increasing availability of antipsychotic medications coincided with a national movement to close public mental hospitals. Many private hospitals barred psychotic patients, including juveniles. By the 1980s, juvenile justice systems had become the primary providers of residential psychiatric care for mentally ill youths.

But as cutbacks have worsened, the debate has intensified over what constitutes adequate mental health care. Often juvenile justice systems have very little to go on when attempting a diagnosis.

Often Daddy is nowhere to be found, Mommy might be in jail,” said Daniel Connor, a psychiatrist for the Connecticut juvenile corrections system. “The home phone is cut off. The parent speaks another language, so it’s often hard to figure out exactly what’s going on with each kid.”

School records often do not arrive with arrested youths, nor do files often come from other corrections institutions. The lack of information is particularly problematic when psychiatrists try to prescribe medications. Joseph Parks, medical director for the Missouri Department of Mental Health and a national expert on pharmaceutical drug use in corrections facilities, said many juvenile offenders are prescribed multiple psychiatric drugs as they move from mental health clinics to detention halls to juvenile prisons.

A decade ago, it was rare to find juvenile offenders on two psychotropic drugs at once, Dr. Parks said. Now, many take three or four at a time, often for nonprescribed uses like helping the youths sleep.

If you just give a kid a pill, the prison administration doesn’t have to do anything differently,” he said. “The staff doesn’t have to do anything differently. The guards don’t have to get more training.”

Census studies of child mental health professionals show chronic shortages. A 2006 study estimated that for every 100,000 youths, there were fewer than nine child psychiatrists. Dr. Penn of Texas said the state youth prison system there recently instituted a system of telepsychiatry sessions, conducting videoconferences between mental health professionals and youths being detained hundreds of miles away.

Inadequate mental health services increases recidivism. In a February report on psychiatric services at the Ohio River Valley center, Dr. Cheryl Wills, an independent mental health expert, found that officials were unnecessarily extending incarceration for youths who acted out because of their mental illnesses.

Mr. Stickrath, the director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services, said that one challenge in dealing with large numbers of psychologically ill youths is determining who is “mad versus bad.” He mentioned Donald, whose file he knew by heart.

He’s been in 130 fights since he’s been with us, and there were no resources in the small county he’s from to deal with him,” Mr. Stickrath said. “Our staff worked to get him in a sophisticated psychiatric residential program, but they said he had to leave because he was attacking staff.

Mr. Stickrath shook his head. “He just wears you out.”


"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


MI - Parolee panic threatening rehab efforts

View the article here

08/10/2009

In editorials, the Daily Press & Argus has cautioned against sacrificing public safety by issuing paroles to some prisoners as part of cost-cutting. Detroit Free Press editorial writer Jeff Gerritt offers a different view in a column, partially reproduced below, which was originally published in the Free Press.

Recidivism and crime rates have fallen in the last two years, as parole rates have gone up. You wouldn't know it, though, by listening to Warren Mayor James Fouts or Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, or many other politicians and pundits across the state who suggest that hordes of newly released felons are putting us all at risk. Fear-mongering and hysteria threaten to take Michigan back to the failed lock-'em-up-till-they-drop prison policies of the last three decades.

The latest battleground is Warren, where Fouts has accused the state of turning his city into a dumping ground for sex offenders and drug addicts. He wants the Self-Help Addiction Rehabilitation (SHAR) center on Chicago Road to move, charging that he was not properly notified that the residential treatment center would take ex-prisoners after opening in June.

This beef has generated more heat than light. "Warren is not a penal colony," proclaimed a sign across from SHAR. When I spoke to protesters, they objected to prisoners getting "early releases" and feared Michigan would become a dumping ground for California convicts.

In truth, the state has granted no early releases. All released prisoners ... have served at least a minimum sentence. As for California, even if Michigan takes some of its inmates, it would send them back before they're paroled.

Michigan has increased parole rates, including those for sex offenders, who make up 20 percent of Michigan's 47,500 prisoners. But state prisons still hold more than 11,000 inmates who have served their sentences and are eligible for parole.

Where should SHAR go? So far, the Warren center has two dozen clients, mostly parolees who come from the Macomb County area. About half are sex offenders. No one wants them around, and state law restricts them from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park, day-care center or playground.

In Miami, local laws have virtually forced sex offenders to live under a bridge linking Miami to Miami
Beach — and now they're getting booted out of there. Such restrictions force parolees into homelessness and make it nearly impossible for police to track them.

The risks are far smaller at SHAR, where parole officers and police will have on-site offices. Most offenders wear electronic tethers and get treated for addictions and other problems. SHAR has had no problems with residents, said Chief Executive Officer Dwight Vaughter. Nor has the Detroit-based nonprofit had any serious breaches in working with corrections clients for more than 20 years.

Warren isn't the only spot hyperventilating. Prosecutor Cooper is suing the state for a list of felons scheduled for release. Television crews have camped outside hotels in Grand Rapids where some sex offenders stay. Some YMCAs are expelling registered sex offenders. This isn't public safety; it's a 21st century witch hunt.

Nearly all prisoners will get out after serving their sentences. The state can either release them into supervised treatment, or cast them aside like lepers and push them into more crime.

Fear and hysteria will drag Michigan down. Spending $2 billion a year on prisons — more than the state spends on higher education — has failed to make Michigan citizens any safer than states with fewer prisons.


"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


Problems persist in questioning children in sex assault cases

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08/09/2009

By Ed Treleven

There are cases in which the accused admits, in sickening detail, exactly what was done to children: A self-anointed pastor walks into a small-town Louisiana sheriff’s office and announces he and others have forced children into sexual acts for years, dabbling in witchcraft as well.

Those are the easy ones.

Then there are those in which the facts may never be known. The ones that show some authorities still stumble when talking to children about abuse — despite the awful legacy left by hysteria-driven trials that began in the 1980s and lasted two decades.

The accusations continue, though in smaller numbers and with considerably less media attention. And investigators still use discredited interviewing techniques blamed for prompting children to describe crimes that never happened.

Such questioning elicited bizarre stories of underground tunnels and satanic sacrifices during the McMartin Preschool case in Southern California, which lasted seven years and involved hundreds of children — only to end in 1990 with no convictions and dropped charges. It was the most expensive criminal trial in U.S. history.

I don’t think we’ve learned any lessons since those cases,” said New York attorney Robert Rosenthal, who has appealed several convictions of accused molesters.

Among them were Margaret Kelly Michaels, indicted in 1985 for 299 offenses involving 33 children at the Wee Care Nursery School in Maplewood, N.J. After she spent five years in prison, her 47-year sentence was overturned. The state Supreme Court said interviews conducted with the children were coercive, suggestive and highly improper.

This stuff is still happening,” Rosenthal said.

There is no standardized protocol for interviewing young victims of alleged sexual abuse. Neither are there uniform policies for recording their questioning, whether on video or in writing.

Anatomically correct dolls are still given to toddlers, child experts said, though their use in the McMartin trial and others produced embarrassingly unreliable testimony. Young children appeared unable to see the doll as a symbol of themselves, and were more interested in playing with the dolls and taking off their clothes and finding extra features not found on typical dolls.

Some jurisdictions, including Los Angeles County, home of the McMartin trial, have markedly improved the way they question children and now work with psychiatric experts at a university hospital. States including Washington and Michigan have guidelines for such cases.

Still, there is no central repository for information on sexual abuse cases, nor an accounting of what interviewing tactics are used by individual law enforcement agencies.

In Dane County, local law enforcement and social service agencies rely upon the Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, a nonprofit agency that interviews child victims of abuse and trains police officers to conduct their own interviews in a non-leading and non-suggestive manner.

Safe Harbor director Brenda Nelson said the agency’s office provides a comfortable environment for child victims, much different from the frightening and sterile confines of police stations or county human services offices. Safe Harbor is the setting for about 180 interviews per year of children ages three to 16, about half of which are done by Safe Harbor staff, and the rest by law enforcement or social workers.

Video recordings of the interviews can be used in court in place of testimony by child victims, although the victim must be present in court to be available for cross-examination by defense attorneys, Nelson said. She also said that Safe Harbor is a source for law enforcement on the latest research and protocols for interviewing child victims.

Recordings of interviews done at Safe Harbor are also submitted regularly to national and state peer groups for review so that interviewers and police officers can get feedback on their technique, Nelson said.

They’re really hard cases to prosecute, I understand that,” Rosenthal said. “The kid is the evidence. The kid is the crime scene. There’s rarely any physical evidence. That doesn’t mean abuse doesn’t happen. It happens every day.”

But there remains ample room for improving the way authorities talk to children, say those who work such cases — ways that don’t taint the investigation and do no added harm to a frightened child suddenly thrown into the very adult world of police and prosecutors.

Take the case of Pennsylvania child psychologist Jerry Lazaroff, acquitted in May of sexually assaulting and endangering the welfare of four children, ages 5 through 10, who once were clients. The therapist, who treats emotionally disturbed youngsters and conducts court-ordered custody evaluations for divorce proceedings, had practiced for 30 years in suburban Delaware County and used “play therapy,” including basketball and a foosball table, to encourage children to interact with him.

He was arrested in 2008, after a 10-year-old girl told her mother Lazaroff had touched a place she called her “Virginia.” His attorney, Mark Much, said the psychologist acknowledged touching the girl accidentally. She had been running across a couch in his office, while Lazaroff sat on the floor in front of a board game they’d been playing, the therapist testified. When he reached back to stop her, he didn’t realize the girl had sat down, and his hand bumped her private parts.

He apologized, Lazaroff said, telling the child, “That part of your body is off limits. That was a mistake and it won’t recur.”

Jurors apparently believed him, acquitting him of abusing the girl and three other children whose parents went to police after the psychologist’s photograph appeared on the local paper’s front page, accompanied by a story asking other potential victims to come forward.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Galantino stood by his case. “We’re disappointed,” he said. “We believed we presented more than enough evidence, but they chose to acquit and we have to accept that verdict.”

Much had argued the children’s testimony was contradictory — one boy said he’d been touched on his penis nine different times but later testimony showed his parents had been in the room during each of those sessions. Another boy told investigators the therapist Scotch-taped his hands to the floor and then tickled the boy’s privates.

Interviews with the children were handled by law enforcement officers. “I was shocked that the interview process didn’t have any child psychologists or social workers,” Much said. “These children were abused — by the process that put them on the witness stand.”

Police took one mother’s report in front of her daughter. Then officers questioned the girl while her mother looked on. “A child doesn’t want to call their parents a liar,” Much said. “Children have a tendency to regurgitate what the parent has said.”

Social and mental health workers now generally agree children should be interviewed separately, in an atmosphere that makes them feel safe and is built to their scale — small tables and chairs, for example, in colors and styles they’re use to seeing in everyday life.

Children should be asked open-ended questions that allow them to tell their stories in their own words. Details should be repeated, to make sure both child and questioner understand what was said.

The techniques are designed to strengthen cases that go to trial and weed out cases that shouldn’t.

Those tactics might have saved everyone involved from being dragged through a muddy case that fed a local media frenzy, Much said, but fell apart in front of jurors.

If only someone had challenged what the kids said,” he said. “I don’t blame the kids, I blame the interviewers. How can Scotch tape hold an arm to the floor?

Carl Lewis, a former police officer in Northern California, taught himself to work sexual abuse cases by researching interview protocols published by the National Institute of Child and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health. After watching publicized abuse cases spectacularly implode, Lewis taught fellow officers to alter their approaches to children.

It wasn’t easy.

I thought we could change it overnight,” he said. “I ran into a lot of resistance. I constantly heard, ’What’s wrong with the way we’re doing it now? We’re putting people in jail.’ And while there certainly has been an attempt to improve the way children are questioned, moving a mountain is a hard and slow process.”

Lewis said he has interviewed hundreds of abused children. The trick, he said, is to never ask yes-or-no questions, and to never prompt, suggest or lead a child.

I would start by saying, ’I want to talk to you about why you’re here today,”’ Lewis said. “And the kid may say, ‘I’m here to tell you what my uncle did to me.’

And Lewis would respond, “Tell me everything about that.”

The questioner may get details that bolster a case — the color of the walls where the abuse occurred, a painting in the room, something that can be shown to exist in reality.

Earlier interviewing methods tried to reassure children, but instead twisted their answers.

For example, in the Little Rascals Day Care Center trial, North Carolina authorities charged seven defendants with abuse including rape and sodomy against dozens of children. Most convictions were later overturned when hindsight showed mistakes were made in handling the children.

Don’t worry, they were told: Your schoolmates have already told us about the bad things that happened and here’s what they said.

That intimidates kids,” Lewis said. “A kid thinks, ‘If I don’t say what the others said, they’re going to think I’m stupid.’ So the child answers the way he thinks the questioner wants.”

In the Little Rascals scandal, children as young as 3 told of kids being taken on boat rides and then thrown overboard, of babies being killed, of children taken to outer space in a hot air balloon.

Maggie Bruck, a psychiatric expert at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore who’s written extensively on the way children describe molestation, says some authorities — but far from all — have gotten better.

I deal with cases all the time where the investigations were just horrible,” Bruck said. “The interviewers were just horrible. Do you know how many people interview children? A gazillion. Some of them are very, very poorly trained.”

Bruck testifies in abuse trials, sometimes as a witness for the accused, on how questioning methods can produce false accusations. Changing those practices would not be difficult, she said. But it would require a national movement.

A mandated standard would make a huge difference,” she said. “Mandatory taping of all interviews would make a huge difference.”


"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


FL - Homes hard to find for sex offenders

View the article here

08/10/2009

By ADAM LINHARDT

Monroe County officials are closely watching a growing legal row over a shantytown under a Miami causeway spurred by a Miami-Dade County sex offender ordinance.

The American Civil Liberties Union (Email) last month filed a lawsuit against Miami-Dade County alleging its law prohibiting registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of any school, day care, park or playground interferes with the state's ability to monitor them.

Having more than 100 people living in a makeshift campground under the Julia Tuttle Causeway drew national headlines and embarrassment for Miami officials, who claimed their hands were bound by the law. The sex offenders living there and many probation officers said there was nowhere else for them to go.

Miami-Dade imposes a more stringent restriction than the 1,000 feet called for not only by the state but Monroe County, home to about 200 sexual offenders on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's registry, according to the agency's Web site.

Of those living in Key West, many live in Mid Town, New Town and Stock Island.

"The 1,000-feet law makes finding these offenders housing tricky in Key West," said Todd Koson, the Department of Corrections' correctional probation senior supervisor in Monroe County. "Key West is difficult even though we're not facing anything greater than the 1,000-feet zone like they are in Miami. But, sure, it's easier to find housing that falls under the legal guidelines in say Big Pine or elsewhere in the county."

Though municipalities such as Key West, Marathon and Tavernier could enact ordinances similar to Miami's, making it nearly impossible for offenders to find homes, they have yet to entertain the idea, said Assistant State Attorney Manny Madruga, an active spokesman for children's rights and member of the Boys Girls Clubs.

"It's very hard already," Madruga said. "When you find something outside the area of restriction, it's often in an area where there's nothing to rent. In my mind, a 2,500-foot restriction like they have in Miami-Dade would effectively eliminate their ability to live in town. Now, there's constitutional issues that arise out of that."

Such a move would probably draw the ire of the ACLU and offenders claiming an ordinance would violate their rights, but it could be debated in court if the government argues there is a compelling state interest in protecting residents, namely children, Madruga said.

Madruga wondered aloud whether the parents of Megan Kanka wished their community had a 2,500-foot ordinance such as Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Megan's Law is named after Kanka, the 7-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a repeat, violent sexual offender who lived near her in New Jersey.

Megan's Law, passed in 1994, requires the state to publicize sexual offender's names, addresses, crimes and other information.

Weighing public safety versus an offender's rights has long been a subject within Monroe County courthouses, said Key West defense attorney Sam Kaufman.

"Judges have historically addressed this on a case-by-case basis," Kaufman said.

Monroe County judges can make exceptions to the 1,000-feet rule if mental health and prison officials do not deem the offender a threat to public safety, Kaufman said.

Koson agreed it depends on the case.

"You have to look at the big picture, the offender and what the judge's terms are," Koson said.

"There is a uniqueness to our [Key West] geography that judges take into consideration," Kaufman said. "If we're talking about a dangerous repeat offender, then no one would expect a judge to make an exception under any circumstances. And I guarantee you that there are as many denials as there are exceptions."

Kaufman said he'd be surprised if Monroe County ever had to deal with an issue such as the camp city that sprung up under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami.

"I wouldn't predict such a thing would happen here," Kaufman said. "But, sure, the geography of our community creates a hardship for many guys who are really trying to do the right thing."


"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


Key Roles of Law Enforcement in Sex Offender Management

View the article here

08/10/2009

By Center for Sex Offender Management

Introduction

Law enforcement officials have always played a pivotal role in promoting community safety through crime response, public education, and crime prevention activities. Currently, safety concerns are particularly high with respect to the presence of sex offenders in local communities. Highly publicized violent sex crimes, generally involving child victims, draw this issue to the forefront and further heighten public fears.

In some instances, citizens have mobilized themselves in attempts to drive sex offenders from communities, and some recent laws (i.e., residency bans) have had the same overall effect. Experts indicate that this can actually decrease public safety, in part because law enforcement officers and others responsible for sex offender management will not be able to track offenders’ whereabouts or provide effective supervision and monitoring, which is certainly not in the public interest.[1]

Law enforcement agencies have long recognized that fear can be just as paralyzing to a community as the actual perpetration of a crime. It matters little whether the incidence of sex crimes is low; the public reacts to the danger they perceive. As Paul Grabosky (1995), from the Australian Institute of Criminology, said: “While the fear of crime expressed by some citizens is well-founded, other individuals are at less personal risk than they might believe. Their fear, however, is no less real.”

Therefore, the key question is not how to keep sex offenders out of communities; rather, it is how to best manage sex offenders who are in the community and still ensure public safety.

Citizens generally turn first to law enforcement for these and other answers. And undoubtedly, law enforcement officials are an integral part of the broader systemic response.

The purpose of this brief is to provide an overview of the multiple roles that law enforcement can play in increasing public safety and reducing sexual victimization through sex offender management efforts.

Sex Offenders are a Diverse Population

Because sex offenders are often cast in a single light, community members, lawmakers, and others tend to assume that they should all be managed in the same way. In reality, the individuals who commit sex offenses are nearly as diverse as the general public. They differ in terms of their demographics, the crimes they commit, the individuals whom they victimize, their reasons for engaging in sexually abusive behavior, and the extent to which they can be safely managed in the community.

Indeed, the level of risk that sex offenders pose to communities is one of the important ways in which sex offenders differ from one another. Some have a high likelihood of reoffending, whereas others are at relatively low risk to recidivate. This has implications for a number of decisions that are made throughout the system. Research indicates that increasing public safety by reducing the risk of recidivism is more likely to be successful when the intensity of correctional interventions matches offenders’ levels of risk (see Andrews & Bonta, 2006). This means that intensive supervision, monitoring, and treatment are best reserved for higher-risk sex offenders, and lower-intensity strategies are more effective for lower-risk sex offenders.

Specialized assessment tools can help differentiate higher- from lower-risk offenders and ensure that stakeholders throughout the system – including judges, law enforcement agents, community supervision officers, and treatment professionals – routinely use this information to inform decisions.

Sex Offender Management Requires a Comprehensive Strategy

The problem of sexual offending is complex and multifaceted and, as such, addressing this issue requires a multifaceted and comprehensive strategy. A comprehensive approach takes into account various responses and activities throughout the criminal justice system, including the following (see, e.g., Carter, Bumby, & Talbot, 2004):

  • Investigations of sex crimes;
  • Prosecution and sentencing decisions;
  • Assessment practices to inform decisions pre- and post-sentencing;
  • Prison-based and community-based interventions;
  • Supervision, tracking, and monitoring strategies; and
  • Public education and prevention efforts.

Given these components, it is clear that the responsibility for sex offender management cannot rest solely on a single agency or discipline. Collaborative partnerships across multiple agencies and disciplines are necessary. Law enforcement officials are among the key stakeholders that play a significant role in these efforts.

Community Policing Provides a Complementary Model

Prior to the 1980s, the primary role of law enforcement was to respond to law violations; the focus of their efforts was on the investigation and apprehension processes. This reactive approach often resulted in officers responding to the same locations to deal with the same or similar concerns time and time again. Reactive strategies proved to be a significant drain on resources and did not result in significant reductions in crime.

In the 1980s, the concept of community policing emerged as a philosophy and practice for law enforcement agencies. The basic principles of community policing dictate that police agencies work with communities in innovative ways to address crime and the conditions that lead to it, reduce the fear of crime within the community, and enhance the overall quality of life of citizens (Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1990, 1994).

The result has been a shift to a much more proactive approach to law enforcement that promotes problem solving, collaboration with community partners, public education, and prevention. Presently, well over half of the police departments nationwide have adopted elements of community policing, most often through the use of problem-solving partnerships and community education efforts (Hickman & Reaves, 2006).

These particular community policing approaches complement the various components of a comprehensive sex offender management model. For example, while law enforcement officers take the lead role in responding to and investigating sex crimes, they remain actively involved in partnerships throughout other aspects of the system as a means of ongoing management and prevention efforts. Key partners for law enforcement officials include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Victim advocates, who provide assistance and support to those who are affected by sexual victimization, and who help to ensure that law enforcement agencies are responsive to the rights, needs, and interests of victims throughout the investigative process;
  • Prosecutors, who make charging decisions based in large part on the investigations conducted by law enforcement;
  • Community supervision officers (i.e., probation and parole officers), who are responsible for implementing strategies for reducing and otherwise managing sex offenders’ risk to reoffend and for ensuring that sex offenders abide by the conditions of their supervision; and
  • Community agencies and organizations, which provide or coordinate programs, services, and other resources for victims and offenders.

Collaborative partnerships for community policing and sex offender management are based on the recognition that public safety benefits can be maximized by respecting different perspectives, exchanging information, coordinating limited resources, and appreciating the complementary roles and responsibilities that exist within and across agencies and disciplines.

The Traditional Role of Law Enforcement: Investigating Sex Crimes

The responsibilities of law enforcement officers begin the moment a sex crime is reported. Indeed, uniformed officers are often the first to have contact with identified victims. It is important to note, however, that a large percentage of individuals who have been sexually victimized do not report these crimes to the police or other public safety officials (Hazelwood & Burgess, 2008; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006; Woods, 2008).

Under-reporting occurs for many reasons, including the following:

  • The extremely private and personal nature of sexual victimization;
  • Anxiety about their identity being made public;
  • Fears that they will not be believed or may even be blamed for the crime;
  • Self-doubt and self-blame;
  • Emotional ties to, financial dependence on, and/or concerns about the prosecution of the perpetrator; and
  • Fears about retaliation.

Community Policing Defined
“Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”
Source: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.cops.usdoj.gov

When victims of sex crimes do come forward, it is generally because they hope to prevent victimization from happening again to themselves or to others (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006). But even then, they may later recant some or all of the allegations or express hesitance around participating in the investigation and subsequent court proceedings, for the same reasons noted above.

As such, the nature of the interactions between the investigating officer and the victim become a paramount consideration. Law enforcement personnel must demonstrate respect, sensitivity, and support and take great care to minimize the potential for inadvertently re-traumatizing victims during the course of the investigation (Woods, 2008). Immediately engaging victim advocates, providing referrals and linkages to resources that are available to victims and their families, and offering information about the investigation and subsequent court processes are among the strategies that patrol officers can routinely employ (Woods, 2008).

Challenges Associated with Investigating Sex Crimes

In addition to under-reporting challenges, multiple other factors complicate the investigation of sex crimes, including the following (see, e.g., Hazelwood & Burgess, 2008; Woods, 2008):

  • The often-familiar nature of the relationship between the identified victim and suspect (e.g., commonly family members or acquaintances);
  • Limited physical evidence, particularly for cases in which reporting was delayed, victims bathed or showered prior to reporting, or overt acts of physical aggression were absent;
  • Obtaining reliable information from child victims because of memory, suggestibility, or limited verbal abilities;
  • “Date rape” substances that affect a victim’s awareness and/or memory of the event which can lead to delayed reporting and, in turn, impact toxicology evidence; and
  • Computer-based sex crimes, such as those involving sexual solicitations or other inappropriate on-line conversations in the absence of physical contact.

These unique challenges underscore the need for specialized training for law enforcement officers who have investigative authority or may be otherwise intervening in sex crimes cases. Ideally, officer training includes forensic interviewing techniques, responding to victims of sex crimes, collecting and preserving sex crime-specific evidence, and utilizing or accessing specialized technologies and tools (e.g., computer search software, sex offender registry databases, fingerprint analysis systems, DNA analyses) that can be useful for investigations in these types of cases.

At a more fundamental level, law enforcement personnel can benefit from introductory training and information that is designed to enhance officers’ awareness and understanding of sex offenders and sexual victimization trends. As is true with all who have a role in sex offender management, attitudes and beliefs about this population impact the ways in which they carry out their duties and the messages that they convey to their agency partners and the public. Indeed, introductory training for officers can dispel common myths, assumptions, or biases that may unduly influence officers’ interpretations and responses during the investigative process.[2]

Examples of Formalized Law Enforcement Partnerships for Investigating Sex Crimes
Sexual Assault Response Teams: These multidisciplinary teams are established to ensure that identified victims receive a range of needed services (e.g., medical care, legal assistance, counseling) and to increase the potential for sex crimes to be prosecuted successfully. Team members typically include a forensic examiner, victim advocate, prosecuting attorney, and law enforcement officer. Formal protocols outline the roles and responsibilities for these investigative teams.

Child Advocacy Centers: These programs/facilities are designed to provide a child-focused, comprehensive, multidisciplinary response to the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child sexual abuse, including sexual victimization. Services commonly include forensic interviews, medical evaluations, educational and treatment services, and support to victims and their families. The teams are often comprised of law enforcement, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals, child protection services personnel, and victim advocates.

Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces: This is a federally supported initiative designed to address the problem of sexual exploitation of children via the Internet. The program encourages state and local law enforcement agencies to establish multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional responses to these crimes. Representatives of these task forces include federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, federal and local prosecutors, local educators, and other practitioners such as treatment providers.

Enhancing Investigations through Collaboration

Investigating sex crimes requires a coordinated team of partners, each of whom brings distinct expertise and a commitment to collaboration. In addition to a law enforcement investigator, the team composition typically includes a victim advocate, medical professional, and prosecutor. The structure varies depending upon the scope or type of investigation (e.g., child sexual abuse, forcible rape, computer-based child exploitation). In many states, formal policies and protocols define the required team members and operating procedures for these types of teams.

Strategic partnerships for investigating sex crimes allow law enforcement agencies to minimize duplication of investigative efforts, enhance the collection of reliable evidence, and limit the potential for the investigation process to negatively impact victims and their families. Ultimately, this ensures integrity of the investigation process, increases clearance rates, and results in greater potential for successful prosecution.

The Expanded Role: Supporting Ongoing Sex Offender Management Efforts

Beyond their initial investigation and apprehension functions, law enforcement officers play a significant part within the broader system of sex offender management long after suspects are convicted and sentenced, and even after sex offenders have been discharged from the authority of corrections and supervision agencies. Some of the responsibilities have been added or expanded in recent years as a direct result of changes to state and federal sex offender-specific laws, whereas others build upon already established community policing strategies within and outside of the field of sex offender management.

Implementing Sex Offender Registration Laws

When federal legislation required states to establish sex offender registries in the mid to late 1990s, an important role was defined for law enforcement agencies nationwide: to enhance ongoing investigation and tracking efforts. Sex offender registration creates a mechanism for “keeping track” of convicted sex offenders and provides authorities with a natural starting point when investigating sex crimes.

This is accomplished by collecting identifying information about convicted sex offenders (e.g., name, address, photograph, fingerprints, DNA sample) and entering this information into databases that are accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide. The extensive information that is maintained in these databases can help investigators quickly rule in or rule out specific sex offenders as suspects.

Because the value of these registries is dependent upon their accuracy, most law enforcement agencies are also responsible for verifying the data through in-person contacts with registered sex offenders. National guidelines prescribe the minimum intervals for these verifications, which range from three months to one year, depending upon the tier to which an offender is assigned,[3] although some states actually conduct verifications monthly. Several jurisdictions throughout the country have dedicated specific officer positions, or created teams that include combinations of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and civilian employees, to conduct monthly address verifications (see IACP, 2007).

Conducting in-person address verifications can have significant workload and resource implications for law enforcement agencies, but some agency officials believe that the accountability and monitoring benefits far outweigh the costs (IACP, 2007). Examples of the benefits include identifying any changes in offenders’ physical appearance or condition, updating other important information such as employment status or registered vehicles, and sending a clear message to offenders about being held accountable.

The value becomes even greater when patrol officers use address verifications for more than just satisfying a policy requirement and instead take the opportunity to use them as purposeful contacts (IACP, 2007). For example, capitalizing on the address verification contact allows officers to:

  • Assess important risk-related changes in offenders’ circumstances;
  • Establish and maintain rapport with offenders;
  • Become more familiar with other members of offenders’ households; and
  • Serve as a visible resource to others in the neighborhood or community.

This highlights a few examples of the manner in which community policing strategies can be applied to sex offender management.

Conducting Community Notifications

In addition to ensuring that sex offender registries are accurate and up to date, law enforcement agencies are also charged with releasing information to the public about registered sex offenders who are residing in their communities (i.e., community notification).

The federal and state statutes that require community notification are designed to raise public awareness about these sex offenders, which ideally empowers citizens to assume a role in promoting safety for themselves, their families, and their communities.

The broadest community notification strategy occurs through the posting of registered sex offenders on registry websites that are generally maintained by local and state law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, many law enforcement officers actively reach out to citizens to inform them about specific sex offenders living nearby. For example, patrol officers may make door-to-door contacts in certain neighborhoods, contact at-risk entities on a “need to know” basis (e.g., schools or daycare centers), or issue special bulletins or alerts through the media.

Community notifications are also conducted through community meetings. This approach differs from the other strategies in that community meetings are a collaborative effort between law enforcement and a team of partners such as community supervision officers, prosecutors, victim advocates, and treatment providers. It further differs because the public receives information that extends far beyond a description of a given sex offender. Rather, team members provide information about their respective roles and responsibilities in sex offender management efforts, review myths and facts about sex offenders and victims, address community involvement and reaction, and discuss prevention measures.

From a community policing perspective, notification meetings are designed as proactive opportunities to engage and educate the public in a constructive, problem-solving dialogue. Citizens are afforded the opportunity to ask questions, clarify the issues, voice their concerns, and explore potential ways in which they can prevent sexual victimization in their homes and communities. This approach is also more likely to achieve the intended goals of community notification and minimize the potential for unanticipated effects (e.g., increased fear among citizens, hostility directed toward offenders) that can occur when notification is conducted in the absence of a well-coordinated, deliberate, and thoughtful strategy.

Tracking with Technology

Over the past several years, law enforcement agencies have begun to increasingly use technologies to enhance their routine patrol activities. For example, over half of the police departments nationwide now use in-field computers (i.e., either laptops or vehicle-mounted) to access criminal records or vehicle registration records, identify outstanding warrants or current protection orders, or produce field reports (Hickman & Reaves, 2006). As applied to sex offender management, officers can use in-field computers for mapping registered sex offenders in a given location, accessing sex offender registry information when questions or concerns arise during routine patrols, conducting address verifications, and quickly sharing information with community supervision officers as needed.

What Law Enforcement Officials – and the Public They Protect – Should Know about Sex Offenders


  • Sex offenders are a diverse group with different motivators, patterns, risk factors, types of offenses, backgrounds, social histories, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Juveniles are responsible for a significant proportion of arrests for sex offenses; although they share some common characteristics with adult sex offenders, developmental and other differences have significant management implications.
  • Most sex offenders victimize family members or acquaintances, not strangers.
  • Sex crimes often occur in the homes of the victims or offenders, or other private settings; victims are much less likely to be taken from or victimized in public settings.
  • Risk for reoffending varies from sex offender to sex offender; some pose a high risk, others pose a lower risk.
  • Reoffense risk for a given sex offender can change over time depending upon specific risk factors, either as a result of changing circumstances or interventions.
  • Sex offenders are more apt to recidivate with a non-sex crime than with a new sex offense.



Most notable from a technology perspective is the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for tracking sex offenders in the community. Indeed, using this specific form of electronic monitoring for sex offenders has become a widespread practice throughout the country (see IACP, 2008). To date, it has been primarily employed by community supervision or community corrections agencies as a surveillance tool for sex offenders under probation or parole supervision. However, with the increasing applicability of some sex offender-specific laws to persons who are no longer under community supervision (e.g., lifetime GPS, residency restrictions, and other “buffer” zones), the use of GPS by law enforcement agencies will likely increase in the years to come (IACP, 2008).

Joining Local Collaborative Teams

Consistent with a community policing orientation and within a comprehensive sex offender management model, law enforcement officers can play significant roles in ongoing sex offender management by participating in multidisciplinary teams. These collaborative teams serve one or more functions, such as developing local policies, enhancing case management practices, and/or providing community education and outreach services.

Developing local policies

Local policy teams are designed to assess the various policies that guide how the system manages sex offenders, from the investigation of sex crimes to the supervision of offenders post-conviction. These teams benefit from the involvement of officials who represent every aspect of the system, including law enforcement, prosecution, defense attorneys, the judiciary, corrections, supervision agencies, treatment providers, victim advocates, child protective services, and other service providers. They also address information-sharing and other system barriers, and identify opportunities for additional collaborative partnerships, in order to enhance sex offender management efforts at the local level.

Factors That Law Enforcement Officers Should Assess During Field Contacts with Sex Offenders

  • Evidence of substance abuse?
  • Socially isolated or withdrawn?
  • Increased hostility?
  • Change in appearance, hygiene, or grooming?
  • Less compliant, disengaged?
  • Antisocial attitudes and social influences?
  • Failing to avoid high-risk situations?
  • Impulsive?
  • Unstable employment?
  • Conflicts with coworkers, friends, family, partner?

(see, e.g., Hanson & Harris, 2000)

Enhancing case management practices

In a collaborative case management model, law enforcement works closely with community supervision officers, treatment providers, and others to enhance community management capacity. Members of these teams meet routinely to discuss individual cases, including their risk ratings, specialized supervision conditions, overall progress in treatment, employment status, and other information that is necessary for effectively monitoring the offenders.

Through daily patrolling activities and their familiarity with these cases – and with specialized training about the specific type of changeable risk factors associated with recidivism among sex offenders[4] – law enforcement officers can provide an extra set of “eyes and ears” to local case management teams. For example, they may detect questionable behavior or violations of supervision conditions (e.g., absence from work, entering prohibited areas) or identify changeable factors that may signal a greater risk to reoffend (e.g., sudden change in appearance or hygiene, impulsive behavior, affiliating with antisocial peers). Alternatively, their observations can confirm offenders’ compliance with supervision conditions and other prosocial behaviors.

In this way, law enforcement provides an important enhancement to the community supervision process, expanding the amount and number of contacts with offenders that would otherwise be possible. Moreover, when sex offenders are no longer under the active supervision of probation or parole agencies, these experiences and interactions will be useful for the law enforcement officials who may continue to have contact with these offenders.

Providing community education and outreach services

Law enforcement officers can provide a great deal of leadership and support to multidisciplinary teams with respect to community education and outreach. Crime prevention education is a key underpinning of community policing, and it is among the key responsibilities reported by law enforcement agencies nationwide (Hickman & Reaves, 2006).

As noted previously, law enforcement officers have taken a lead role in coordinating multidisciplinary team approaches to community notification meetings, with a primary focus on public education and prevention. Outside of the community notification context, similar partnerships have been established between law enforcement agencies, victim advocacy organizations, probation and parole agencies, prosecutor offices, and sex offender treatment providers to engage in a wide range of educational and outreach activities (see IACP, 2007). Key examples include the following:

  • Developing a formal community education curriculum;
  • Meeting with community or civic groups to discuss sex offenders, victims, and/or sexual abuse prevention;
  • Facilitating broad community meetings – not specific to community notification – designed to educate citizens about sexual victimization and prevention efforts;
  • Participating as speakers at multidisciplinary training events; and
  • Creating public awareness websites pertaining to sex offender management, through which citizens can submit crime tips, express concerns, or pose questions to law enforcement officers.

Finally, law enforcement can play a significant partnership role in providing information to legislators and other policymakers as a means of promoting informed public policies. Indeed, lawmakers may be particularly interested in the perspectives of the persons responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws that they have enacted. Law enforcement officers can also provide policymakers with invaluable and unique insights about the types of laws, policies, and strategies that can enhance sex offender management comprehensively, from both a crime-response and crime-prevention perspective.

Conclusion

Responding to victims of sex crimes, investigating those crimes, and managing the individuals who commit them requires collaboration among multiple agencies and organizations, not the least of which is law enforcement. Their role in investigating sex crimes and apprehending suspects has been long recognized. And as law enforcement officials have begun to shift from reactive to more proactive strategies, their roles in ongoing sex offender management are expanding. Familiarity with current research about sex offenders, victims, and promising management strategies is critical to ensuring that the responses to victims, offenders, and communities are well-informed. Equally important is the development of partnerships with other agencies involved in sex offender management, including probation and parole officers, victim advocates, prosecutors, and treatment providers. By building upon key community policing principles and applying those principles to a comprehensive approach to sex offender management, law enforcement officials will be well-positioned to contribute not only to investigation and management efforts, but also to the prevention of sexual victimization.

State of Rhode Island Probation/Parole: Law Enforcement Partnerships

In recent years, the Rhode Island Department of Corrections has formed partnerships with both city and town police departments. The partnerships focus on coordination and collaboration between police and probation/parole in the areas of information sharing, specialized enforcement, and enhanced supervision. Enhanced supervision, a partnership between police and probation/parole staff, results in joint supervision of selected offenders who are under community supervision.


Seattle Washington Police Department and Washington Department of Corrections:
Collaborative Sex Offender Projects

In Washington State, partnerships between police and community supervision officers are commonplace. For example, in King County, community corrections officers share office space with the Seattle Police Department Sex and Kidnapping Offender detectives. Since they share responsibility for some of the same sex offenders, information (such as living conditions, treatment concerns, and employment information) is exchanged daily. Together, police and supervision officers monitor offenders’ compliance with court-ordered conditions and conduct risk assessments.

In addition, officers from both agencies jointly:

  • receive training in scoring actuarial risk assessment tools (i.e., Static-99) and participate in other training programs;Establish and maintain rapport with offenders;
  • act as referral agents in the event offenders require additional services; and
  • provide education to the community on sex offender management issues and enforce a “no tolerance” policy for harassment and intimidation by the public.

In another example of collaborative partnerships, police conduct a Community Transition Class for sex offend

Foot notes:

  1. In addition to the impact on supervision and monitoring efforts, research suggests that these types of exclusionary strategies can lead to housing and employment instability, loss of positive supports, social isolation, and hostility, which are linked to reoffending among sex offenders (see Levenson & D’Amora, 2007 for a review).
  2. For example, research indicates that police officers investigating rape allegations are more likely to close cases as unfounded when suspects are acquaintances as opposed to strangers, despite the consistent findings from victimization research indicating that sexual assaults are much more likely committed by individuals known to the victims (see, e.g., Simon, 2003).
  3. These national guidelines were established through the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
  4. Researchers studying sex offenders under supervision have identified a number of changeable risk factors that are associated with increased potential for reoffending and have developed tools for reviewing these factors during routine field contacts (see Hanson & Harris, 2000; Hanson, Harris, Scott, & Helmus, 2007).

Acknowledgements

This document was developed by Gary Kempker (former Chief of Police, Jefferson City, Missouri and former Director of Public Safety, State of Missouri) and Dr. Kurt Bumby of the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) and edited by Madeline Carter, CSOM Project Director, and Debbie Smith of First Folio Resource Group, Inc. CSOM would like to express its gratitude to Chief Scott Cunningham, Detective Robert Shilling, and Commander Steven Stahl for their thoughtful insights and review of this document.

Contact

Center for Sex Offender Management
8403 Colesville Road, Suite 720
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 589-9383
Fax: (301) 589-3505
E-mail: askcsom@csom.org
Internet: www.csom.org


References

Andrews, D. A., & Bonta, J. (2006). The psychology of criminal conduct (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Anderson.

Carter, M., Bumby, K., & Talbot, T. (2004). Promoting offender accountability and community safety through the Comprehensive Approach to Sex Offender Management. Seton Hall Law Review, 34, 1273–1297.

Grabosky, P. (1995). Fear of crime and fear reduction strategies. Trends & Issues, 44 (1), Australian Institute of Criminology.

Hanson, R. K., & Harris, A. J. R. (2000). Where should we intervene? Dynamic predictors of sexual offense recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27, 6–35.

Hanson, R. K., Harris, A. J. R., Scott, T. L., & Helmus, L. (2007). Assessing the risk of sexual offenders on community supervision: The Dynamic Supervision Project (User Report 2007-05). Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada.

Hazelwood, R. R., & Burgess, A. W. (2008). Practical aspects of rape investigation: A multidisciplinary approach (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: CRC Press.

Hickman, M. J., & Reaves, B. A. (2006). Local police departments, 2003. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

International Association of Chiefs of Police (2007). Sex offenders in the community: Enforcement and prevention strategies for law enforcement. Alexandria, VA: Author.

International Association of Chiefs of Police (2008). Tracking sex offenders with electronic monitoring technology: Implications and practical uses for law enforcement. Alexandria, VA: Author.

Levenson, J., & D’Amora, D. (2007). Social policies designed to prevent sexual violence: The emperor’s new clothes. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 18, 168–199.

Simon, L. (2003). Matching legal policies with known offenders. In B. J. Winick & J. Q. LaFond (Eds.), Protecting society from sexually dangerous offenders: Law, justice, and therapy (pp. 149–163). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2006). Extent, nature, and consequences of rape victimization: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, special report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trojanowicz, R. & Bucqueroux, B. (1990). Community policing: A contemporary perspective. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing Company.

Trojanowicz, R. & Bucqueroux, B. (1994). Community policing: How to get started. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing Company.

Woods, T. O. (2008). First response to victims of crime: A guidebook for law enforcement officers. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime.


"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


UK - Birmingham sex offender 'killed after attack by vigilantes'

View the article here

08/09/2009

By Jeanette Oldham

Man died after being kicked and punched in his home

A SEX offender who died after being beaten at his home may have been the target of vigilantes who had learned of his previous convictions.

_____, 49, who had a string of offenses for indecent exposure, was found covered in blood at his Birmingham flat in January.

He had suffered serious injuries to his body and head, consistent with having been repeatedly kicked and punched in a prolonged attack which police believe may have lasted up to two hours.

Serial flasher _____, from Small Heath, died three weeks later.

Now it has emerged that he may have been targeted by vigilantes after rumours circulated locally that he had been spotted in the sex offenders’ wing of a Midland prison.

Police sources said it was “no secret” _____ was well-known in the community as a convicted sex offender. It is believed there had been a number of earlier incidents when his property may have been damaged.

_____, who was unemployed, had a total of nine sex offense-related convictions stretching back five years and was on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

His first conviction was in 2004, when he was sentenced to a 24-month rehabilitation order after pleading guilty to indecent exposure. He was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

In September 2005, _____ received a one-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting four new charges of flashing.

His name was also added to the register for a further seven years.

A month later he was convicted of a further four counts of indecent exposure and of breaching the terms of the register after failing to report a change of address to West Midlands Police. He received 12 weeks in prison.

In March 2006 _____ was sentenced to 18 months for an attempted robbery.

Then in July 2007 he was locked up for four months after again being convicted of breaching the register’s conditions by not telling police he had moved address.

Community sources revealed that middle-aged _____ was set upon in his flat in Mansel Road, Small Heath, on the evening of January 25 this year. He was found with serious head injuries and was bleeding profusely.

_____ was rushed to hospital at about 11.30pm but remained in a critical condition.

It is believed he never regained consciousness.

Two men, aged 22 and 29, and a 19-year-old woman have pleaded not guilty to murder and are due to stand trial in November.

There have been a succession of vigilante attacks against paedophiles in recent years.

_____, a child sex attacker, was shot in the head on his doorstep in north-east London in 2000. Others have been hounded from homes and hostels by groups of vigilantes.

Despite public campaigns that dangerous paedophiles must remain in prison, child sex offenders are released regularly and many reoffend.
- That is a lie!  Some do, but "many" do not!

Each attack reignites the debate over whether vigilantism could drive offenders into hiding, making police surveillance even more difficult and increasing the chances that they will strike again.


"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved