Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CA - Residents protest outside sex offender's home

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So we have politicians making and passing these laws, then they are behind the protest? Come on! They must be running for office or something.

09/02/2009

EAST PALO ALTO (KGO) -- On the peninsula there was another protest in front of a house in East Palo Alto where a convicted sexually violent predator is now living. Wednesday's demonstration is being led by city officials. They want the judge who placed him here to reconsider.

The protest began at 6 p.m. with a number of families gathered outside the house of where _____ is living and was lead by the Mayor of East Palo Alto. On Tuesday night, the East Palo Alto city council passed a resolution opposing _____ moving into the neighborhood, which he did almost a week ago.

Neighbors are outraged. _____ is a sex offender with a long history of convictions for felony sexual assaults against adult women between 1970 and 1984, including the rape of a 71-year-old woman.
- He has to live somewhere idiots!

He became eligible for parole in 1997, but remained at a state mental hospital where he received treatment through a program for sexually violent predators.

Last month a Santa Clara County judge ordered him to be released and to live at a home in East Palo Alto. _____ was living in East Palo Alto at the time of his last conviction and has family there.

However, city leaders and neighbors are raising concerns about the home's close proximity to schools half a mile away, churches and a day care center, and they want the judge to reconsider.

"I have a wife, children, and a mother who live with me and every single noise wakes me up now," said Kenneth Burillas, a neighbor.

"We really feel strongly that he needs to change the order and send Mr. _____ not to another community, but to an alternative place," said East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica.

That alternative place, the mayor said, should be some kind of transitional group housing for sex offenders.
- Even if he moved there, another mob would come out in protest.

While at home on Beach Street, _____ is living under 24-hour surveillance. A private contractor was hired to oversee his release, and one of those monitors answered the door earlier on Wednesday at the house.

However, for the neighbors gathered at the protest, that is not much comfort. They say it's unclear how long that surveillance will continue.

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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


GA - Sex Offender Creates Poster For Missing Woman

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Maybe I'm missing something here, but how would he gain any money by offering $100,000 for information about a missing woman? Maybe he truly is trying to help?

09/02/2009

CLEVELAND - A poster, offering a $100,000 reward in the case of a missing Blairsville woman, was not authorized by Kristi Cornwell’s family, her brother said.

In fact, family members said while researching the name and phone number listed on the flier, they discovered it belonged to registered sex offender _____ of Towns County.

"Of course we were in shock and I grabbed the poster and ran out and called 911 when we realized it was a sex offender that had produced those posters," said Richard Cornwell.

The poster was discovered in the days following Kristi Cornwell’s disappearance, said Richard Cornwell.

"It really is unbelievable that there are people in the world that will try to gain financially from this disgusting crime," said Richard Cornwell.

Investigators believe that Kristi Cornwell was abducted while she was walking along Jones Creek Road in Blairsville more than three weeks ago.

"We're continuing to be hopeful that she's out there alive somewhere," said Richard Cornwell.

Kristi Cornwell’s family believes that _____ was trying to profit off the case, but the GBI said it couldn’t charge him because _____ didn’t take any money.

The GBI said it sent an agent undercover pretending to make a donation. But instead of taking the bait, _____ said he'd need to call the family.

"In the past it has been an issue of people interjecting themselves into an investigation to stay close to it and know as much as the authorities know about it," said Mike Ayers with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Jodie Fleischer tried to find _____ for an explanation, but no one answered at his home in Hiawassee.

GBI agents have worked more than 1,000 leads, and say they're no closer to finding Kristi.

"We looked at him hard, and there's nothing there," said Ayers.



You can read his apology here

Here is the e-mail convicted sex offender _____ sent to Channel 2 Action News reporter Jodie Fleischer about the missing woman poster he produced:

Dear Ma'am:

I have wanted to extend my apologies to the family of Ms. Cornwell for any feelings my actions may have stirred in them. I intended only to help by pledging an amount that I felt anyone connected to the kidnapping couldn't ignore, as I saw no other means by which I could assist.

I am a registered sex offender by the same default law that is meant to be addressed by Senate Bill 157, i.e., the kidnapping of a 17-year old drug dealer in 1991 when I was 17-years old myself.

There was no sexual element to my case whatsoever.

Since coming home, I have endeavored to build an honest and dependable life and livelihood.

This does not include profiting off someone else's misery.

I sincerely hope that my impulsive actions, as well intentioned as they were, do not cause lasting undue hardship to the Cornwell family at this terribly difficult time in their lives.

I can only offer my sincerest apologies. I AM SORRY.

_____


"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 - Stimulus cash may help move sex offenders from causeway

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This may be good, for awhile, but I do not think this is what people had in mind when creating the stimulus package. How does this stimulate the economy? Don't get me wrong, this may be a good idea, but, if they do not repeal the 2,500 foot law, and go back to the 1,000 state law, then the problem will pop up again, or just be moved somewhere else.

09/02/2009

By JULIE BROWN

A slice of $7.5 million in federal stimulus money is being offered to help homeless sex offenders and predators living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway to cover rent, housing and utilities.

The money comes from federal funds designated for homeless people in Miami-Dade, but convicted sex offenders who meet income requirements are eligible, said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, who has led efforts to find housing for the bridge dwellers.

Under the program, participants can receive financial assistance for up to 18 months, but must be recertified every 90 days.

The camp, which has become a national embarrassment for Miami, is emptying.
- And where does she get this from?  Ron Book?  The people actually living under the bridge say it's just as full as always.

Book estimates that from a high of about 100 a few months ago, 49 remain in cardboard boxes and rusty cars in the sandy, bug-infested underpass. Some of them are still unwilling to leave, but they are moving one by one, he said.

Lawmakers and others say the stimulus money still won't solve the larger issue: Where do sexual predators and offenders live in a state with such restrictive residency laws?
- I don't think lawmakers are saying this, they are the ones who passed the laws, and continue to ignore the issues, so they can "look tough" on crime, by creating it.  Forcing people to live in this situation, will only lead to more crime, in order to survive.

"I have reservations about how the money is being used," said Miami-Dade Commissioner Pepe Diaz. "But I can appreciate what Ron is doing to help us deflate a problem that is like an black eye for all of us."
- So do I, especially when Ron Book was investigated for other fraud issues (See here).  It's only a black eye for you, because you did not listen to experts and ignored facts to pass a draconian unconstitutional law.  The counties, along with Ron Book, created this law, not the state.

State Sen. Dave Aronberg (Email), D-Greenacres, points out that residency laws do nothing to protect children when they are most vulnerable: during the day.
- Aronberg is running for the state Attorney General, so of course he is going to say and do anything to get elected.  He may mean well, but history has shown that once they get into office, things change quickly.  And yes, residency restriction do NOTHING to protect anybody, nor prevent any crime, nor contribute to offenders re-offending, and the only way to cure the Julia Tuttle issue is to repeal the county restrictions and stick with the state 1,000 foot law, or better yet, get rid of it period, since no studies have proven they work at all.

Aronberg has unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation to revise the state's sexual predator and offender laws, and eliminate the hodgepodge of local ordinances. He says there are other, more effective ways to keep sex offenders away from children.
- And what are these "other" ways?

"We can solve this problem if there was some political courage to stand up for public safety," said Aronberg, a candidate for state attorney general.

Book agrees that a statewide rule is in order, and said he could live with a rule that keeps sex offenders 1,750 to 2,500 feet away from parks, schools and other public places.Miami-Dade and many counties and towns abide by a 2,500-foot restriction.
- Hey Ron, this county has a 2,500 foot law, so making it statewide would cause more chaos, or just push offenders into other sections of town.  You need to stop spewing your usual BS and listen to the experts, like Jill Levenson.

Ironically, Book, one of the state's most powerful lobbyists, is rethinking his position on the very laws that he aggressively pushed years ago that many say left some convicted sex offenders with limited housing options.

Book's daughter, Lauren Book, who was sexually abused by her nanny for six years, said she, too, has reconsidered the issue as a result of the Julia Tuttle fiasco.

"I don't think 2,500 feet is the best number, and I don't think anyone should live under a bridge. But do I think they should be away from children? Absolutely," said Lauren Book, founder and executive director of Lauren's Kids, a nonprofit foundation that helps educate and support children and families about sexual abuse.
- Well Lauren and Ron, these laws affect ALL sex offenders, and not all sex offenders have harmed children, so forcing someone a way from children, when their crime had nothing to do with children, is just plain stupid and wrong.

"We've learned a lot through this ordeal," Diaz said. "I am looking at what occurred, what has taken place and we will be adjusting and modifying the rules."
- When?

However, he is adamant that the 2,500-foot boundary is solid.
- Are you stupid?  So then what are you planning on changing?

Kevin Morales, who has lived under the bridge for three years, said he doesn't plan to move until the state enforces its own 1,000 foot boundary -- no matter how much money he is offered.

"Are we picky about where we want to live?" he said. "I guess yes. I want to find a place that's suitable for me."
- Yes, like back home with family and support!  God Bless you Kevin, I wish you luck.

Morales, who was convicted of lewdness against a 16-year-old family member when he was 30, said he and many of his counterparts have misgivings about Book and taking the money -- for fear that when the stimulus money runs out, they will be out on the street again.
- They are creating homeless problems, by passing draconian laws, and when people become homeless, due to the state's actions, then they want to use tax payers bail out money to help homeless people?  Sounds insane to me!  Repeal the county law, stick with the state law, and most of the problem is solved.

The money to help homeless people, including those living under the causeway, is being administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

After participants leave the program, they may qualify for funding or assistance from the Homeless Trust, which is funded by the county's food and beverage tax.

Book said he is already talking to the state Department of Corrections and the state Department of Transportation about fencing in the property, so bridge residents may soon be forced to leave.
- So Ron, are you going to fence in all bridges in the state?  How much is that going to cost?  Oh yeah, you don't care about the rest of the state, just Miami, to protect it's image, and your image.

"We have begun discussions . . . about a closure plan -- when do we install a guardrail, when do we begin to fence it off. That is going to come very soon."
- I believe it's a scare tactic to get the offenders to leave.  If I was forced into this situation, I would not leave either.

Still, that may not be the end of sex offender camps.
- No, it won't.  Their HUGE ego's are the problem.  They will just move the encampments somewhere else, then the cycle will repeat itself.

"Unless the county brings its ordinance in line with state law, another shantytown will spring up as sure as night follows day," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (Contact), which is suing Miami-Dade over its 2,500 foot rule.


"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


OK - Sex Offenders To Mental Institutions Proposed (What is next, concentration camps? Firing up the ovens?)

If the video does not work, click the "Video Link"

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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


NC - Agencies interpret sex offender law differently

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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


NC - Sex Offender Takes Concerns About New Law To Legislator

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View the video and take the poll at the site above.

09/02/2009

By Ken Lemon

GASTONIA - A knock with no response at a legislator’s door was not enough for _____ on Wednesday.

_____ is a sex offender who was told this week that she would be arrested if she returned to Wilkes Community College. A new addition to the Jessica Lunsford Act makes it illegal for sex offenders to go the college where high school students take some classes.

If I were a murderer or rapist, I could go to college. But people like me can't go to college,” she said.

Three years ago, _____ pleaded no contest to misdemeanor sexual battery of 14-year-old. She then made headlines as one of the Conover Domino's workers who did strange thing with pizza dough and posted video of it online.

She said she has changed, and now she is the victim of bad legislation.

My civil rights are broken so someone is going to have to pay for that,” she said. “I have to provide a future for a baby.”

So Wednesday she grabbed her daughter and left her Taylorsville home to head to the Gastonia office of Senator David Hoyle (Email), the sponsor of Jessica’s Law.

When she got no answer at the office, she called his cell phone.

Only thing I can tell you to do is get a lawyer,” Hoyle said.

He's telling me I should sue the school because of a law he made. I don't think that's right,” Hammonds responded.

Eyewitness News also called Hoyle. He said the law wasn't intended to keep people like Hammonds out of school.

Any law was pass, none of them are perfect,” he said.

He said he is only responsible for passing the law, not enforcing it.

If it's justifiable it needs to be changed, yes sir we'll change it,” Hoyle said.

The General Assembly won't meet until May, however.

Eyewitness News has asked a lot of questions about the new law and how other colleges are handling it in the Charlotte area. Central Piedmont Community College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte responded Wednesday and said neither is actively enforcing the law.

A spokesperson at Central Piedmont said the school does not ask about criminal history and doesn't know if they have sex offenders on campus. The representative said it's up to the sex offender to come forward and take himself or herself out of any situation where minors are present.

Eleventh and 12th-grade high school students are on campus regularly in dual-enrollment programs.

A spokesperson for UNCC said the school is not removing sex offenders from campus, either, but they do ask students to divulge their criminal history. Students are not obligated to do so, however.

Attorneys at the school said they still have questions about the law.

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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


Experts: Monitoring tools failed to unearth Garrido's secret

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This shows the shear stupidity of the so called "experts!" No, the monitoring tools did not fail, the police and probation failed. Just goes to show you how news outlets skew the subject of articles. No registry, residency restriction or GPS will prevent a crime. People seem to think that GPS is monitoring folks 24/7 and will magically alert someone when an offender gets near a child. That is just pure stupidity. Like this article says, this man was on the registry, obeying all laws, and wearing GPS, and NOTHING prevented him from keeping this victim(s) in his backyard. And nothing about these laws will ever prevent this, but everyone can continue to live in fantasy land and believe it will work, but until we deal with the facts and reality, crimes will continue. We need to work on rehabilitation and prevention, and stop the BS fear-mongering and spreading of lies.

09/01/2009

By Eliott C. McLaughlin

(CNN) -- Phillip Garrido was registered as a sex offender, regularly visited by parole officers and fitted with an ankle bracelet to track his movements -- but nothing prevented him from being around children, according to a victims' advocacy group.
- So did the judge say he cannot be around children?  Not all sex offenders are forbidden to be around kids, and not all sex offenders are child molesters.

Garrido is charged with kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991, when she was 11, and raping her over the course of years.

Police say Dugard lived in a huddle of tents and outbuildings hidden behind Garrido's home, and gave birth to two daughters, now 11 and 15, fathered by Garrido.

Garrido and his wife Nancy were arrested last week. Both have pleaded not guilty.

"Here we have a guy who is essentially under every kind of supervision we allow. Law enforcement had every tool available to them, and [the tools] failed," said Robert Coombs, spokesman for the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
- You seem to think that all the tools are a magic bullet that will solve everything, or so you thought.  And put the blame where it belongs, to idiotic politicians passing laws that don't work, for their own purposes and to look good, and the police and probation departments, not doing their jobs.  No matter how many laws you have on the books, it will not prevent this from occurring again.  If you believe it will, then you are living on Fantasy Island.

Gordon Hinkle, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said a parole officer visited Garrido at his home, sometimes unannounced, twice a month. Garrido was also required to go to the agent's office once or twice a month, Hinkle said.

Garrido wore a GPS anklet, and his movements were tracked passively, Hinkle said, meaning parole officers checked his location after the fact, as opposed to active monitoring, which involves watching parolees' comings and goings in real time.
- Even active monitoring is not going to tell you if the offender is with a child or is committing a crime.

Despite the tight supervision, Garrido "was technically allowed to be around minors," Coombs said, because his parole stemmed from the November 1976 rape of Katie Callaway Hall, who was 25 at the time of the assault.

He was sentenced in 1977 to 50 years at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, for kidnapping, because he abducted Hall in California and transported her across the state line to Reno, Nevada, where he raped her in a warehouse, according to court documents. A Nevada court separately sentenced him to five years to life for the rape conviction, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

While in prison in 1978, Garrido sent a handwritten letter to Judge Bruce R. Thompson, saying he was recovering from seven years of LSD use and progressing well.

"I am so ashamed of my past. But my future is now in controle [sic]," he wrote.

Court documents show Garrido requested that his 50-year sentence be reduced to 25, making him eligible for parole in eight years, "where he could be released to the state of Nevada as an educated person and being a rehabilitated person."

According to a 1978 court transcript, attorney Willard Van Hazel Jr. told a judge, "Without the influence of any of this drug involvement, I think Mr. Garrido would pause before carrying out sexual fantasies."

After more than a decade at Leavenworth, Garrido received a federal parole but was sent to Carson City, Nevada, in January 1988 to serve his rape sentence. However, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal, he was automatically eligible for state parole because of the time served in federal prison.

The Nevada Offender Tracking Information System indicates he appeared four times before the parole board, which granted his request in August 1988, about 11 years after he was incarcerated.

He moved to Antioch, California. Three years later, 11-year-old Dugard was abducted from her home in South Lake Tahoe, California, about 100 miles northeast.

"He served about 20 percent of his sentence, and it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out if he served only one-third of his sentence, Jaycee Dugard doesn't end up in the predicament that she's in," said Andy Kahan, a crime victims' advocate in Houston, Texas.

Citing revised federal sentencing guidelines, Kahan and Illinois defense attorney Stephen Komie concur that this is not something that could happen today.

"If he got 50 years, say, he would have 600 months. He would only get 50 months off. He would do 550 months," Komie said. "So this would not be repeated in the federal system again."

Added Kahan, "You're going to have to do at least a minimum of half of your term without any good time credits before you can even see the light of day or say hello to a parole board member."

In 1993, five years after his release from a Nevada prison, Garrido was jailed on a parole violation, but it's unclear what that offense was. Tom Hutchinson, spokesman for the U.S. Parole Commission, said documents have been requested and should be available later this week.

Garrido was released later that year. California took over his parole supervision in 1999, Hinkle said, but regular visits did nothing to unearth Dugard's abduction or Garrido's backyard secrets.

Another visit by law enforcement was the direct result of a 2006 call a neighbor made to 911, reporting that women and children were living in tents behind Garrido's house.
- And this the police failed!

Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren E. Rupf said he didn't think the deputy who responded knew at the time that Garrido was a sex offender and the deputy spoke to Garrido in the home's front yard.
- It doesn't matter if he was or wasn't.  Since when is it okay for women and children to live in a backyard in tents?  It seems that would've sent up red flags to almost anybody!  But, without a search warrant, the police cannot just trample into someone's home or yard on accusations alone!  But, if he was on probation or parole, then they could've done this without any warrant (I believe).

"We should have been more inquisitive, more curious and turned over a rock or two," the sheriff said. "We missed an opportunity to bring earlier closure to this situation."

Hinkle acknowledged that neighbors called police again with a similar complaint in 2008.

To his knowledge, Hinkle said, the deputy didn't contact Garrido's parole officer in either instance. Even if the deputy had made contact, there is no guarantee the parole officer would have found the compound. It was that well-hidden, Hinkle said.

"If you were to walk in the backyard, you would see a fence that ran from one end to the other," Hinkle said, describing how the fence created the illusion of a "false backyard."

"It would not be immediately apparent that [the tents and outbuildings were] back there," he said.

Kahan partially blames the economics of the criminal justice system -- not just in California, but nationwide -- and said Garrido likely became less of a priority as the time since his crimes passed.

Despite the heinous nature of Garrido's 1976 crime, it paled in comparison to allegedly holding a young girl hostage and raping her for 18 years, Coombs said.

"Nothing in this guy's case history indicated he was capable of such evil, if you will," he said. "It was so far out of the picture, they didn't even look for it."

Rather than there not being enough money to fund the proper supervision of parolees, it's more a matter of priorities, Coombs said, citing the GPS device Garrido wore on his ankle.

Although CALCASA has no official tally, it estimates California has spent roughly $500 million on GPS devices for 6,600 of the state's sex offenders. Garrido was fitted with a device after 2006 when voters OK'd a law requiring felony sex offenders to wear tracking devices for life.
- And that is $500 million that could've been put to better use.  GPS is not a deterrent, nor prevents anything!

"We know where this guy is, so we think we're safe," he said, "but the place where we knew he was was the place where he was offending. GPS just tells you where they are. It doesn't tell you what they're doing."

Each dollar spent on GPS equipment "is one dollar you're not spending on real, traditional parole techniques, like talking to collateral contacts and neighbors," he said.

Coombs also criticized the lack of communication across jurisdictions. Had Garrido's parole officer received a call from police and spoken to the neighbor who made the 911 call in 2006, authorities might have found Dugard three years earlier, Coombs said.

Hinkle said the officer who flushed out Garrido's alleged crimes had only been supervising him since December. When the officer learned from campus police that Garrido had 11- and 15-year-old girls in tow while proselytizing at the University of California-Berkeley, he called Garrido in for a meeting.

Garrido arrived with his wife, Dugard and the two girls. Hinkle would not provide details of the conversation -- it could affect the investigation and prosecution, he said -- but he did say Garrido and his wife were not forthcoming about Dugard's and the girls' identities.

It was the parole officer's diligence that ultimately yielded the Garridos' arrest and Dugard and her daughters' freedom.

Said Hinkle, "They were coming in being elusive and deceptive about their identities, and the agent would not let go."


"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


GA - Challenge to Georgia new sex law

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09/02/2009

By Jim Wallace

ALBANY (WALB) - A new Georgia law forces sex offenders to hand over their Internet passwords to law enforcement. No other state has such a law. And one sex offender is challenging it in court.

Some attorneys say Georgia's sex offender laws are too broad and unconstitutional and legislators need to straighten them out to truly protect children from predators.

A few other states track sex offenders Internet addresses, but Georgia is the first to force its 16,000 convicted sex offenders to turn in Internet passwords as well as screen names and e-mail addresses. Once again attorney's say state legislators are trying to attract votes, but writing bad laws.

Attorney Pete Donaldson said "It's popular to be tough on crime, law and order."

Pete Donaldson has defended sex offenders in the past, and says Georgia legislators need to stop writing laws treating all sex offenders like dangerous sexual predators, and says this Internet law is just as unjust as laws saying sexual offenders can't work within one thousand feet of school bus stops.

Donaldson said "You've driven them away from legitimate use of Internet. They'll get branded. And theoretically if you are going to turn people loose and out of prison, you need to give them an opportunity to support themselves and become productive."

Donaldson says dangerous sexual predators need to be monitored at all times, including their Internet and social networking, but says legislators trying to get votes need to work smarter.

Donaldson said "They are just tough on sex offenders. They are not smart on sex crimes. They are identifying too many people who are not predators."

State attorneys argue that the new Internet requirements give authorities another tool to keep registered sex offenders from striking again. Judges will decide whether the new law is constitutional.
- But that is a deception, it doesn't prevent anything, it just eradicates rights!

A federal judge heard arguments last week in the legal challenge to the new law. No word yet on when he may rule in the case.

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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


The Consequences of Labeling, Processing and Sorting Sex Offenders

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09/02/2009

By SocProf

About 50% of sex offenders do recidivate, but by committing a NON-sex offense. That’s roughly the same rate as non-sex offenders, post-incarceration, depending on age and other factors (# times incarcerated, probation conditions, treatment received, etc).

The majority, in fact a quite high majority, of studies on sex offenders and sex offense recidivism shows that those who receive treatment generally do NOT recidivate via a subsequent sex offense. The recidivism rates tend to be in the 5%-15% range for a subsequent sex offense if treatment is received. That holds true for both adults and minors. The key is to provide offenders with quality treatment early after the offender is caught.

So when you watch “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and Olivia says something like, “Sex offenders can’t be treated; 90% of all sex offenders end up committing another sex offense…”, well, that’s basically a lie that contributes to unwarranted public fear and the creation of unhelpful public policies.

Those types of pop culture statements are based off the fact that a majority of all incarcerated sex offenders say they committed a sex offense before committing the one for which they were caught and incarcerated. But that’s obviously totally different from a sample of offenders who have successfully completed a treatment program.



And the laws that keep sex offenders a certain distance from schools have all kinds of bad, unintended consequences. In addition to the offenders not having access to treatment, they often can’t stay with family (bye bye social support), have less access to jobs (unemployment contributes to crime), and have trouble checking in with probation officers (in many states, one slip on probation check–>back to jail). If our society is gonna make these “get tough on crime” laws, at least have the infrastructure established to make them work long term; have rehabilitation centers in the area and other institutions that help with reintegration and subsequent prevention.


Here’s some more on labeling/deviance theory, put glaringly into law and then leveraged with monetary penalties. First some background.

SORNA is the acronym for the “Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act,” which requires convicted sex offenders to be placed on a public registry. SORNA is also part of the Adam Walsh Act (2006). Adam Walsh was a young boy from Florida who was kidnapped and brutally murdered; his tragedy led to the development of the act, named in his honor. Not to take anything away from Walsh’s tragic death, but this is yet another example of America being persuaded through the emotion of one vicious crime to enact broad public policies, which then have corrosive unintended consequences.

Back to SORNA and how the feds bully states into implementing it. Recently, SORNA “established a new baseline sex offender registry standard for the jurisdictions to achieve, but they are free to enact more stringent requirements. Failure to come into “substantial compliance” with SORNA’s requirements in a timely manner will result in an annual 10% reduction the jurisdiction receives through Byrne Grants."
- Sounds like extortion and bribery to me, which is illegal!

In other words, to avoid the loss of that money, every jurisdiction may have to overhaul its sex offender registration statutory and/or regulatory scheme so that it meets SORNA’s minimum requirements. These revisions must be accomplished no later than July 27, 2009” (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/pdfs/practitioner_guide_awa.pdf).
- And here as well.

Now on to what I see as the most backwards part of the act — it applies to juveniles. From the same document cited above, pages 2 and 3: “SORNA does require that certain juveniles register as sex offenders. This requirement applies to juveniles convicted as adults and juveniles adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court, so long as the juvenile is 14 years of age or older and is convicted of an offense similar to or more serious than the federal aggravated sexual assault statute, 18 U.S.C. §2241. In addition to offenses such as forcible ra–, this statute covers any offense involving a sex act with a victim under the age of 12.”

Now this is not to defend a juvenile who commits a felony sexual assault upon someone else. However, to publicly label him (I’m just going to use “him”) a sex offender is hardly constructive for the perpetrator, the victim, or society at large. As I noted in my previous response, the majority of juveniles who receive quality treatment following the perpetration of a sex offense do not recidivate through the commission of a subsequent sex offense. Despite what’s propagated in popular culture, treatment for sex offending generally works. Labeling a child a sex offender will only further ostracize him from his family, peers, school, church — from the institutions that could and should assist in his rehabilitation. And the whole premise/foundation of the Family Court is to rehabilitate juveniles, not simply punish them.

Secondly, sex offenses (especially among juveniles) tend to happen within families or very close to the offender’s home (e.g., babysitting). So by publicly labeling a juvenile sex offender through an online registry, people can take pretty accurate guesses as to who the victim is. This certainly does not help in his/her recovery.

Finally, as noted in SocProf’s original blog entry, these types of laws make society more at-risk. If sex offenders, irrespective of their age, have less access to rehabilitation, are more ostracized from social support groups, and are more demonized (through online registries or being forced to live in communities under bridges), they are more likely to turn back to crime. And to top it off, research shows that public registries don’t even make a difference. Online sex offender registries make communities feel safer, but they make literally no difference in the rates of sex offending within communities.

So there ya go. Government and moral panics at their finest. Sorry, I don’t have references on hand right now, and I don’t have a “bazillion” of them. But I’ve got a handful back at the office if anyone wants them tomorrow.


"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


GA - Message for Persons Who Rent Their Homes

View the article here

09/02/2009

Dear Friends,

Please find attached a Stipulation entered into by Georgia sheriffs and the Plaintiffs in the Whitaker case. The Stipulation (which is a written understanding between these parties) states that a person on the registry who has a rental lease in a residence shall not be required to move from his/her residence as required by O.C.G.A. § 42-1-15(b) for the duration of his or her lease if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • the person’s lease is valid and the residence was in compliance with Georgia’s sex offender residence law (O.C.G.A. § 42-1-15) at the time of entry into the lease; and
  • a child care facility, church, school, or area where minors congregate subsequently moved or was established within 1,000 feet of the rented residence.

In other words, if you rent your home, you were in compliance with the residence law when you entered the lease, and a prohibited location later moves in within 1,000 feet of your residence, no Georgia sheriff will require you to leave your home for the duration of the lease.

Once the lease is over, as the law currently stands, you may be required to leave the residence.

We do not have information about exactly how each county sheriff will interpret this Stipulation.

We realize that this is only a partial and temporary solution to one of the many problems faced by persons on the registry. We are working hard on our larger challenge to Georgia’s sex offender law. Our legal briefs are due to the court on September 30, 2009. We do not know when a ruling will be made, but please be assured that we will keep you posted.

All the best,

Sarah, Sara, Gerry and Mica



Mica Doctoroff
Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar St.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 688-1202 -phone
(404) 688-9440- fax
mdoctoroff@schr.org
www.schr.org


"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 - New sex offenders move under bridge, as older ones are re-located

View the article here

09/01/2009

MIAMI (WSVN) -- Several convicted sex offenders who lived under the Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge may have found new homes, but now new convicted offenders are being forced to move under the bridge.

Director of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, Ron Book successfully found homes for 18 of the offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. "I believe that we are on our way to closing the Julia Tuttle Causeway," he said. "We have served up very clear notice to the people living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway that the end is coming, and it is coming sooner than later."
- Ron Book show me the list?  I do not believe you.  Are you, like Bush, declaring "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" before it's actually over?  Do you really think those living under the bridge are wanting to live there?  I'm sure they'd be willing to leave, if you repealed the draconian 2,500 foot law, and stuck with the states 1,000 foot law, but we know your ego will not allow you to do that.

The Department of Corrections, however has reassigned more convicted offenders to live under the bridge.

County officials are hoping to find a way to close the encampment down by the end of this month.
- They've been saying this for a long time now.


"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


ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL (09/01/2009)

View the article here

Details of Kidnap Suspects Violent Past Revealed

Aired September 1, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, horror, shock and relief. Katie Hall has thought about Phillip Garrido every day since 1976. That`s when Garrido asked her for a ride before handcuffing her and taking her to his storage warehouse, where he raped her for hours. Garrido, Jaycee Dugard`s abductor, was sentenced to half a century but served just ten years. Why was he paroled 40 years early?

And Katie isn`t the only former victim speaking out. We`re getting to the bottom of Phillip Garrido`s ultra violent past.
- He has several convictions from ONE case.  So I don't think this "ulta violent past" statement is true.  Yes, the man should be in prison for a very long time, but come on, report the facts instead of sensationalized BS!  I have reviewed his record, and he doesn't have a "history" of crimes, just the one case he was arrested for and thus sentenced.  Just Jane blowing crap out of proportion, as usual!  The man is clearly insane, IMO, but report the facts!

Then did cops botch Michael Jackson`s homicide case? The Los Angeles D.A.`s office says key evidence may be tainted, and Jackson`s own family members may have taken items from his house. Does this have anything to do with the fact that Jackson`s mansion was not secured as a crime scene? Is that not the craziest thing you`ve ever heard? Who dropped the ball? Will cops ever name a suspect? We`ll debate it.

Plus, has America`s prescription drug abuse turned into an epidemic with no end in sight. DJ AM, the latest celebrity to die from an apparent drug overdose, but it`s not just celebrities like Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. Twenty thousand of us die every year. When will America hit bottom on pill popping? We`ll debate the epidemic. It`s a story you`ll only get on ISSUES.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, inside the violent mind of Jaycee Dugard`s alleged abductor, Phillip Garrido. You will not believe the latest revelations about the man accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee, holding her captive, raping her repeatedly, and forcing her to live a lie for 18 long years.

Jaycee Dugard was not Phillip Garrido`s first victim. In 1976, Katherine Hall offered him a ride at a Lake Tahoe parking lot. Once in her car, Garrido turned on her. He bound and gagged her and drove to a Reno storage locker, where he raped her for eight hours.
- And this is the case which he was convicted for, and why he is on the sex offender registry.

A courageous Katherine Hall spoke to Larry King about her ordeal last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHERINE CALLAWAY HALL, VICTIM OF PHILLIP GARRIDO: I went crashing through over, under the boxes right out into the parking area where the prison was. Completely naked.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KIND LIVE": Whoa.

HALL: The policeman could not have come back soon. Out of his sight I thought, oh, my God, he`s going to take me hostage. And he -- he came back to beg me not to turn him in. He said, "Please, please don`t turn me in."

And I stayed out of his reach. I said, :OK, OK. I won`t." And ran back out, half naked.

KING: Turned him in.

HALL: Yes, and turned him in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That woman is a hero! Phillip Garrido was sentenced to half a century for that horrific crime, but he only served ten years. Why on earth was he paroled 40 years early?

Meanwhile, just days before his arrest last week, Phillip Garrido delivered a two-part manifesto to the San Francisco FBI office. Among the ramblings proclaimed he was schizophrenic and had ADD and was no longer the man who could commit that rape. Why didn`t the FBI check Garrido out when he delivered that sicko letter?

But the biggest question remains, why was this convicted kidnapper and rapist out on the streets 40 years before his sentence was up?

Straight out to my outstanding expert panel: David Schwartz, criminal defense attorney and former New York prosecutor; Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist; Michael Cardoza, noted criminal defense attorney; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; and CNN correspondent Kara Finnstrom.

Kara, you`re in Antioch, California, outside Garrido`s house. Dare we ask, what is the very latest?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the big news out here today is that the investigation continues to unfold and to expand, with investigators now looking at whether Garrido may have been involved in other unsolved kidnappings and crimes.

What they have done is they`ve wrapped up their search of the property behind me, Garrido`s home, and also that neighboring property. Garrido actually served as a caretaker for that property for a while. He had complete access to it. So when they brought in their cadaver dogs and did this extensive search over about four days, they searched both properties. We could actually hear chainsaws and power tools from the roads. It was quite a search.

What they did turn up and what they have shared is that they found a bone fragment. Not clear at this point whether that is the bone of a human or an animal. It has been sent off for testing. And their investigation continues tonight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the big question, one of the many is Jaycee Dugard the only girl Garrido allegedly ever kidnapped? Her case has several striking similarities to the abductions of two other girls: Ilene Misheloff and Michaela Garecht. Eileen was 13 when she was kidnapped. Michaela was 9. Her mom described what went through her mind when she heard Phillip Garrido was caught with a female hostage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARON MURCH, MOTHER OF MISSING GIRL: It was absolute elation. My husband told me at 5 a.m. in the morning. He woke me up and told me he heard it about the news. And I leaped up yelling, "Oh, my God." I was, of course joyful for Jaycee herself, but my first thought was, "Please, God, let Michaela be with her."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Gail Saltz, given this sicko`s history, is he capable of other abductions? Is it likely that he committed some other abductions?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Absolutely. I mean, this is a man with a long violent history who is clearly psychotic, at least at this point. It sounds like he has been for quite some time.
- Long history?  Show me this so called "long history!"  From reading his blog, and listening to the videos, yes, he's clearly creepy, but has an expert deemed him psychotic?  No, this is just your personal opinion!

He has been involved with serious drugs for much of his life, and he himself says that these drugs made him very aggressive, which is not unusual. And that these sexually deviant thoughts that he`s had, he`s had for a very long time. They`re intense urges. And that he really felt no remorse about acting them out. So I think it`s all a matter of, did he have opportunity?

But it seems likely that he...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He did have opportunity. And that raises the biggest question of all, Curtis Sliwa. Why was Garrido paroled just ten years into his 50-year sentence for rape, leaving his original victim, Katie Hall, to live in fear and dread all these years, knowing he was somewhere out there. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Have you lived in fear ever since?

HALL: Yes.

KING: How many years ago was that did he get out?

HALL: He got out in `88.

KING: So you`ve been living in fear now?

HALL: Absolutely.

KING: Twenty-one years.

HILL: And especially the first five years I just -- I just knew he was hunting me. I just had -- I just knew he was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were still working in Tahoe, though, when he approached.

HALL: When he got out. I was at the same place doing the same thing under the same name. So I just decided to leave Tahoe and disappear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, California Department of Corrections. Trying to figure out exactly what led to Garrido`s early parole. There is no reasonable explanation of putting this guy back on the streets, when he told detectives he could only get sexual satisfaction from forcible sex, Curtis.

CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Now you could imagine, Jane, that here`s a guy, he`s staring at 50 years in Leavenworth, hard time. And then, all of a sudden, we tell him, "Oh, you can leave after ten years."

And then he`s telling everyone, "No, I have an uncontrolled sex urge to have sex with children." And we keep releasing him out into society. We keep feeding the beast. And he just keeps pushing the envelope more and more.

Neighbors who were aware of his bizarre behavior knew that he was a sexually registered predator. And local law enforcement who visited his compound and never decided to check him out for belly button lint, this an indictment against the neighbors, the system, the police, the parole system, the federal system, and the local state correction system. We had him by the cajones.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Cardoza...

MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have more people in this country in prison than any other country in the entire world.

CARDOZA: Yes, we do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And yet the small percentage of people, like this creep, who is a sexual terrorist, we let him out.
- Sexual terrorist?  That's a new one!

CARDOZA: Yes, OK you want to know why?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why?

CARDOZA: People aren`t going to like this, but here`s why. When I first became a district attorney, district attorneys went into office. And they usually stayed there for their entire career. But now D.A.`s offices have become very political, as have judgeships become very political.

People run against them and say, "Oh, they`re too light on crime." So what D.A.`s do nowadays is, for every crime -- not every crime but almost every crime -- they want state prison. They`ve got the public all riled up. Let`s put everybody in state prison. And that is what`s happening here. We`ve overcrowded our prisons with people that do not belong there. Don`t belong there. And then guys like this are let out because they look at this overpopulated prison system.

Here in California there`s a big deal going on. They`re about to let 3,000 people out, and our legislators came back and said, "Well, we`ll only let 1,500 out." If we`d quit sending people to prison that don`t belong there and stop the people that rabble rouse and say, "Oh, they`re not in prison. We need a tougher D.A. We need a tougher judge."

No, what you need is people with common sense. Jane, know who to put in state prison.
- Yeah, common sense seems to be on short supply these days!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK.

DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`ll tell you what else is overcrowded. I`ll tell you what else is overcrowded. The overcrowded part is the sexual -- who`s labeled as a sexual offender.

We have 600,000 sexual offenders in this country, and they cannot possibly all be monitored properly.

CARDOZA: You know what we should do?

SCHWARTZ: The statistics show only about 10 to 15 percent of them are dangerous. We have to stop monitoring the people that have been convicted for statutory rape.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, this is a...

SCHWARTZ: ... an 17-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is an important debate and I agree with everything that was just said.

More on this shocking story in just a bit. We`re going to continue that debate and take your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Is the evidence in the Michael Jackson death probe tainted? We`ll tell you who says the case could be botched and what role his family might have played in that.

Then, Katie Hall, kidnapped and raped by Phillip Garrido. Twenty years later, she is speaking out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HALL: I started screaming, "Oh my God, oh my God. It`s him. He`s the one who kidnapped me."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HALL: As I came out with the story about my car. Phillip knocked on my window and said, you know, "I can`t seem to get my car to start. It`s cold. Do you think you could give me a ride? You know, which way are you going?" And of course, he was going to go any way -- any which way I was going. And so I did.

KING: Why did you let him in the car?

HALL: I don`t know. It was the worst decision I`ve ever made, I think. It truly was.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A very courageous Katherine Hall, telling Larry King that the worst mistake she ever made was letting Phillip Garrido into her car. Garrido went on to kidnap Katherine and rape her for eight hours in a storage unit outside Reno, Nevada. Truly horrifying.

Through quick thinking, she raced out, completely naked, when a cop came by to investigate, and she saved her own life. This creep now facing 29 felony related charges for the 18-year-long abduction of Jaycee Dugard, who is now safe with her biological mom tonight.

Phone lines lighting up. Pat, Pennsylvania, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, thanks for taking my call. I think I should be sitting on your panel. I have so much to say about this case. When these people put him to jail, they should not be allowed out. If they do get out, the judges or whoever lets them out should be responsible for any other thing they do after this. They should be paying for funerals. They should be paying for these people that have to go for medical treatment. This is an outrage. I am so sick of hearing that these offenders keep repeating. And I don`t want to hear any more (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
- Not all offenders re-offend, and I am sick and tired of the media, politicians and the public believing the BS "statistics" given by the media to sensationalize a story, instead of reporting facts.  Back in the old days, when news was actually news, instead of entertainment, we'd get all sides of the story.  Now it's about what will shock people into watching our show?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Curtis -- thank you, Pat. Pat, I think you make a good point.

Curtis Sliwa, what I`m hearing from Michael Cardoza is we lock -- we do lock up more people than any other country in the entire world. We`re locking up all these non-dangerous criminals. And yet, the truly dangerous ones seem to get lost in the shuffle. And this is an absolutely perfect example of that.

SLIWA: Yes, you see, you can`t all of a sudden blame it on the fact that we`re locking up lower-level offenders who are not a threat to society. We had -- this man signaled us he was an enemy of society by the vicious rape he committed. He got 50 years. You have to say to yourself, "Wait a second. That had nothing to do with low-level marijuana dealers or users getting locked up."

We gave him release after 10 years. We visited his compound; the sheriff`s deputy was there. He never went into the back yard. They had information. If not for the two cops in Berkeley who said, "What are you doing with these two daughters?"
- Well, not all sex offenders are to not have contact with children, especially their own, and if the man was not on probation or parole, then you have no right searching his home or anything else, not without a warrant!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two female cops, I might add.

SLIWA: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I do wonder if there`s a sexist element here, Michael Cardoza, because the additional outrage is this guy was released early. And Katherine Hall was never informed of it. She thought he was going to be incarcerated until 2006, and then she believed that he walked into where she was working. And she had to go into hiding.

CARDOZA: No, that`s God awful. I think victims should be warned when people get out of prison, especially people like this.

I`ll tell you, I want to go on record right now. When you get people like Garrido, I personally feel we should have laws that put them in for life. If they want some sort of castration, we may think of letting them out. But barring that, buddy, you attack one of our children, our most previous commodity, you stay in jail forever.
- Well, castration is not a cure all either.  It may work for some, but not all.  And it's funny how these non-experts think they know everything.

SALTZ: Jane -- Jane?

CARDOZA: But we still get problems -- we still get back -- too many people in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Saltz.

SCHWARTZ: We`ve watered down our resource. We`ve...

SALTZ: To go along with that, I would simply add that people like this, I love to say that everybody`s treatable, of course. But the fact is that people like this really do not respond well to treatment. People who have already said, you know, "I have these sexually intensive, deviant urges. I`m a pedophile." They don`t get better. You know, you`ve got to know that when you`re releasing them, you`re releasing them with the same urges and the same likelihood they`re going to commit a crime.
- Well, by portraying all sex offenders as if they are like this man, is an injustice to everyone else.  Stop the BS!  Not all sex offenders are like this man, John Couey or others.

SCHWARTZ: But here`s a solution to the problem.

CARDOZA: Hey...

SCHWARTZ: Here`s the solution. The solution is you`ve got 600,000 sex offenders. Why are we -- why do we have -- we don`t have the resources to monitor 600,000 people. Why not -- why don`t we have the resources? We should monitor just the top 10 -- 10 to 15 percent who are the most dangerous of our society.
- And if they are truly as dangerous as you believe, do you really think monitoring them is going to prevent a crime?  If they are intent on committing a crime, they will, especially those who are truly insane!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right. No, I mean...

SCHWARTZ: Give all the resources to them, and then let all the low- level offenders -- we`ve watered down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some of these guys are 17-year-olds or 19-year-olds who had sex with their 17-year-old girlfriend. I`m not advising that, but you cannot put it in the same category.

SCHWARTZ: That`s what I`m saying, Jane. That`s my whole point.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we`re asking...

SCHWARTZ: We should stop monitoring those people. We should stop completing monitoring those people and gather all our resources for the most dangerous of our society and stay on those people.
- But, if they are so dangerous, why let them out of prison?  In my opinion, they should be sentenced to a certain amount of time in jail or prison, a evaluation is done on them, then once that is done, they are brought before the court again to determine the rest of their sentence.  If they are deemed dangerous, then lock them up for a long time, otherwise, let them go and be on their way.  If they commit another crime, do the same thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I think we -- I think we`ve covered that. Let me get back to Kara Finnstrom, CNN correspondent. Tell us about the bone that they found.

FINNSTROM: Well, they actually found a bone fragment in the area that is right next door to the house, Garrido`s house. This was a property that he had a lot of access to, because he was actually caretaker for it for a while. Not getting much information about it yet, Jane, just that they`re testing it. It`s not clear at this point whether this is an animal bone or a human bone. But obviously, with all the interest in whether he could be related to some other cases, they want to check this out thoroughly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and now we have a possibility that he is involved with the murders of a whole bunch of prostitutes. And there`s this poor 15-year-old girl, Lisa Morrell, whose body was found in 1998. And we`ve got to be thinking about all this and the huge resources that are spent on all of this and the priceless loss of life. And none of this would even be a consideration, Curtis Sliwa, if this guy hadn`t been released early.

I would like to know what the parole department does in terms of criteria that they could possibly let this guy out, when his original victim said she absolutely knew for a fact he was going to attack other women if he was let out.
- So his victim is a psychic and can predict the future?  You cannot convict someone on personal feelings or opinions.  It is suppose to be based on EVIDENCE and people are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty, now, if you are accused of ANY sex crime, even if you did not do it, you are guilty from the start!

SLIWA: No question. And plus, remember the crime originally committed in Reno, Nevada. He`s living in California. What was the system to oversee it? Who was he answerable to? And most importantly, he went on record saying that he was going to do this again. You would have figured they would have had a bracelet on him, they would have been monitoring.
- Um, he was on GPS.  You need to do a little more homework

But the bottom line is, now that it is all said and done, if in fact, he was guilty of any other crimes, in addition to this -- this horrible crime, I think it`s time for "plop-plop, fizz-fizz, oh what a relief it is." San Quentin, gas chamber and take this guy out so we don`t have to ever worry about him getting out again.
- Man, if we all thought like you, we'd be killing millions of people.  I strongly disagree in the death penalty for anybody.  Life, yes, but death, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kara Finnstrom, quick question. Did he have a GPS monitoring device? Yes or no?

FINNSTROM: Yes, I believe he did. But Jane, I want to make a quick clarification, because we have been reporting all day that he was connected possibly, or they were looking to a possible connection with those prostitute murders in the Pittsburgh area.

Just a few moments ago, we did get a press release from Pittsburgh police. They did search the property, and they are saying now that at this point, there is not evidence to support that link.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More on this shocking story in a moment. Coming up, a new twist in Michael Jackson`s homicide case. We`re going to tell you why cops say the case may be botched.

And then we`re going to get back to this case, Phillip Garrido and his horrific alleged crimes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HALL: Phillip went up to the door, and he came back in, and he said, "It`s the heat. Am I going to have to tie you up, or are you going to be good?"

And I said, "No, I`ve been good. I`ve been good. Don`t tie me up."

And so he went back out with the receipt, and I sat there for a minute, and I thought, "If there`s a policeman out there, I have to try."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Katherine Hall, a woman who was kidnapped and raped by Phillip Garrido, told Larry King last night that Garrido actually begged her not to turn him in. Garrido was sentenced to half a century in jail for that crime, but he was released after only 10 years in the late `80s.

His victim, Katherine, was told his release date would be closer to 2006. She was never told he was released until a man she suspected was him showed up at her work.

Dr. Gail Saltz, you`re a psychiatrist. You`re also a woman. I`m a woman. Something seems sexist about this entire system, that a woman who has been brutally raped is not informed that the guy who raped her is being let out 40 years early.
- Yes, and a woman who rapes and has sex with a child, usually gets a slap on the wrist, yes the system is sexist!

SALTZ: Well, it`s like double the trauma. I mean, this woman is clearly never going to get over what had happened to her, the attack in the first place. But this is like repeating the trauma, like compounding it. That she should now have to be afraid, and has been afraid for decades, about where he is and whether she`s going to get attacked again.
- If she continues to see herself as a victim, and society does as well, then yeah, she will never get over it.  Stop seeing yourself as a victim, and get help, move on.  Otherwise it will harm you and your entire life.

In terms of sexism, you know, I think that it`s -- what you would say is, rather than an aggressive move toward women, it`s a complete and utter lack of sensitivity. It`s a complete and utter lack of putting into the system the fact that this woman was vulnerable and that she deserved, and any human does, man or woman, to be informed when her perpetrator is released.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Cardoza, what is the solution? I have heard, and I actually contemplate this as a position to take, that perhaps the decriminalization of lesser drugs would free up the prison system. It certainly would reduce the level of crime, because a lot of crime is committed by people who are jonesing for a drug and there`s a black market. So they`ve got to go steal something or mug somebody to pay for drugs that would probably cost the same price as a pack of cigarettes, if they weren`t illegal.

CARDOZA: I`ve got to agree with you there. And we have things that are crimes that really shouldn`t be crimes. I mean, look at marijuana. Why do we still fool with that? Why don`t we all just face up to it, make it legal or decriminalize it even more than it has been criminalized? Or decriminalized. Keep it there.

But what we have to do is become smarter in our sentencing of people. Earlier in the show, we talked about the sex offenders and targeting the top 10 percent. I couldn`t see that being ore spot on. Let`s get the people that are more -- most dangerous. Let`s target them. Let`s follow them.

I know probation, parole, they`re all overworked, but let`s be smart. Let`s target the right people.

All that being said now, what about Nancy Garrido? What, did she fall off the map here? I mean, she was Garrido`s wife. She was as much complicit in this. She was an enabler. I`ll tell you what: I think she should go to prison forever, too, because of her role in this. Even though...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis?

CARDOZA: ... she didn`t sexually molest, she is equally guilty.

SLIWA: There`s no question. If you remember, it was a man and a woman who snatched up the young 11-year-old girl from that bus stop. And clearly, it was probably the same woman.

And the two children were brought up to make believe that she, in fact, was her mother, that their real mother was actually just an older sister. So this was all a ruse.

And by the way, this guy had a print shop. This guy literally was selling printing to the community.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Bringing out the gavel. I know. I`d like to talk about it all night.

You can skip the rest, which is about Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson death probe, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did cops botch Michael Jackson`s homicide case? The Los Angeles D.A.`s office says key evidence may be tainted. And Jackson`s own family members may have taken items from his house.

Does this have anything to do with the fact that Jackson`s mansion was not secured as a crime scene. Is that not the craziest thing you`ve ever heard? Who dropped the ball? Will cops ever name a suspect? We`ll debate.

Plus, as America`s prescription drug abuse turned into an epidemic with no end in sight, DJ AM, the latest celebrity to die from an apparent drug overdose. But it`s not just celebrities like Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. One in five Americans have abused prescription drugs; 20,000 die every year. When will America hit bottom on pill-popping? We`ll debate the epidemic.

It`s a story you`ll only get on ISSUES.

Tonight a bizarre intersection of the Michael Jackson death probe and -- get this -- the O.J. Simpson murder case. That`s right, one of O.J.`s key attorneys, Carl Douglas, is now representing two major players in the Jackson investigation.

Douglas told the L.A. Times his clients could provide useful information to police but the cops don`t want to hear what they have to say. Reports claim the LAPD has done nothing more than conduct very brief informal interviews with Jackson`s chief of staff and the crucial witness who called 911.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A gentleman`s here that needs help and he`s not breathing yet. He`s not breathing and we need to -- we`re trying to pump him but he`s not -- he`s not breathing, sir.

911 OPERATOR: Ok. How old is he?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The mystery caller is Jackson security staffer Alberto Alvarez, seen here in a photo on the Web site of the U.K. Mirror. Alvarez was with Dr. Murray that crucial morning as he said that Michael Jackson was not breathing on the morning of June 25th.

Why don`t cops want to hear more from these guys? This mystifying development coincides with another O.J. Simpson theme -- tainted evidence. Well, enforcement sources told NBC News that prosecutors in the Jackson case are worried about, quote, "sloppy police work" for starters.

Jackson`s mansion was not declared a crime scene. What?

Straight out to my fantastic panel: Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; Dr Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist; we`re so delighted to have with us Dr. Drew Pinsky, board-certified addiction specialist and author of, "The Mirror Effect: How celebrity narcissism is seducing America;" and we have Michael Cardoza back, noted criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; and we also have Ken Baker, executive news editor for E!

Ken, you`re all over this huge case. What is the very latest?

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, E!: well, the very latest is basically what you said which was this new information that perhaps the LAPD basically was very shoddy and sloppy and possibly maybe fatally so for the case of prosecutors with how they treated the crime scene, which by the way, it was a crime scene according to what the findings are thus far.

But at the time when they discovered Michael Jackson`s body, the police arrived, they closed it off so people couldn`t get into the house but they didn`t close it off as a crime scene and they allowed family members to go in and out.

Now it`s raising questions as you said, similar to the O.J. Simpson case. Basically that case fell apart for LA prosecutors, because why? Because they planted enough reasonable doubt in the mind of some jurors that the police work was shoddy. That there was somehow some sort of mishandling of evidence that ultimately led enough -- for at least one juror -- to say, "We don`t buy it. We can`t prosecute this. We can`t say they`re guilty."

So this is really blockbuster information and it just reveals that the LAPD is not perfect. We know that. And this only underscores what a lot of people fear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and it reminds me of the old saying that became famous during the O.J. Simpson case, garbage in, garbage out where if the evidence tainted, it doesn`t matter what the prosecution presents because garbage in, garbage out.

The L.A. coroner ruled Michael Jackson died of acute Propofol intoxication with a boost from the cocktail of sedatives that were in his system.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Dr. Conrad Murray told cops he gave Jackson a valium tablet at 1:30 a.m.; then started a drip of anti- anxiety meds at 2:00 a.m.; then at 3:00 a.m. a sleep medication; 5:00 a.m. more of the anti-anxiety drugs; 7:30 a.m. more of the sleep aid; finally at 10:40 a.m. an apparently deadly dose of Propofol along with Lidocaine.

But the "L.A. Times" reports that a manslaughter prosecution is not inevitable. Their law enforcement sources cite Jackson`s own widely know drug use and health problems.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, given the litany that we heard of drugs administered to him allegedly by Dr. Conrad Murray, did he cross the line into, A, either criminality or at least bad medicine?

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, I`m certainly no judge of criminality but bad medicine for sure. I mean, the fact that -- I think he was just over his head with this case. Undoubtedly this is something he`d been exposed to before.

The fact that Michael Jackson could tolerate these massive doses of benzodiazepines, I assure you Jane, you`d be asleep for three days if we gave you the first couple of hours of those medications he received. Parenterally (ph) it was IV, it was massive and he was still awake which means he`s been exposed to these medications for a long time.

The reality is you would never give these medicines outside a hospital without intensive nursing monitoring. And then finally, the coup de grace was the Propofol on top of these incredibly problematic doses of benzodiazepine medications which is probably indeed that combination that did him in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how much trouble is Dr. Conrad Murray really in? In that really bizarre YouTube public address, he had this to say. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON`S PHYSICIAN: (INAUDIBLE) and keep me going. This means the world to me. Please...

I will be fine. I have done all I could do. I told the truth and I have faith the truth will prevail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

Michael Cardoza, the search warrant affidavit until last week raises serious questions about his actions specifically 90 minutes elapsed allegedly between the times Dr. Murray told cops he found Michael Jackson not breathing and until the time 911 was called. During that almost hour and a half, Dr. Murray allegedly made three phone calls. Wouldn`t that alone be enough to nail this physician with some kind of criminal charge?

MICHAEL CARDOZA, FORMER PROSECUTOR: That alone, no. Not that alone at all. We underscore the word allegedly, we don`t know all the facts yet.

The problems I have with this are number one, why do the attorneys let the doctors so much to LAPD? I don`t understand that. It`s the police`s job to prove crimes or at least collect the evidence if there is a crime. Why did they let him fill in some of the blanks for them? Such as those phone calls, if in fact he said that.

Secondly -- and I don`t know the answer to this -- but I have to tell you, O.J., Blake case -- does LAPD have a team like a super-team that just deals with high celebrity cases? When a name like Jackson comes over do they send them out and they know, number one, how to handle the press and to close things down? Or is LAPD just closing their eyes to this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they should have a team like that since it`s Hollywood and there`s really so many celebrity cases.

I have to get to this next thing. I`m sure you`ve seen by now this bizarre video that purports to show a very alive Michael Jackson, hopping out of the back of a coroner`s van. The van in the video appears to have the same license plate as the one that Jackson`s body was in June 25th. Clearly this is a hoax.

Ken Baker, they`re saying something like, "Oh, they did this to show that it`s easy to make up stories." What the heck is this all about?

BAKER: Basically, members of the German media who wanted to prove a point of how far a hoax could go on the Internet these days and they got it to HLN. We`re talking about it, so they proved some sort of point.

But clearly what happens is any time there is a celebrity crime -- any time there`s a celebrity death, there is always the inevitable conspiracy theories that come up. And this has definitely been raised.

But look, let`s be clear here. Like everyone is saying, the fact that there was some shoddy police work, that there`s some questions around that, that only gives sort of more credence to any sort of conspiracy theories that there could have been something there that we don`t know because simply they didn`t seal the crime scene. We don`t know the facts but we do know that it probably could have been executed a lot better.

And also, just one last point, we`ve learned that only two detectives from the LAPD are dedicated exclusively to this case. Two.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? That`s crazy.

BAKER: This is a very complex case. So I think that that alone, the resources -- they perhaps are in over their heads. The eyes of the world are on this case. Now they`re getting a lot of support from the DEA, the California attorney general`s office and some other agencies.

But at the same time the LAPD has a big case ahead of them. They have a lot of evidence to collect and I`m sure that the district attorney, when they are presented this case, they`re going to fight, kick it back and ask for more evidence because they want to make sure they have it solid.

CARDOZA: They`re gun shy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I could tell you that the LAPD has a slight problem when it comes to celebrity cases, I think we all know that.

Thank you outstanding panel.

Coming up, a reality TV family expecting their 19th child; 19 kids in this day and age? How about adopting? What are these people thinking? We`re going to debate it.

Then prescription drug abuse -- did it claim yet another Hollywood star? We`re going to discuss the epidemic plaguing our nation. And we want to hear from you about prescription drug abuse, your experience, your concern. I`ll talk about my experience. 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

People across America are grappling with addiction and I`m one of them. In my new book, "I Want," I reveal details of my own personal battle with alcoholism and how I finally got sober more than 14 years ago.

It`s a recovery memoir due out this fall. You can pre-order your copy right now. Just click on cnn.com/jane and look for the pre-order section.

If you know someone with a substance abuse problem or an eating disorder this book will help you cope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Addiction in America has a new face: prescription drugs. Michael Jackson and DJ AM are the latest apparent victims of a deadly dose of drugs prescribed by doctors. How can we stop this epidemic? All that in a moment.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight:

A big announcement today from the Duggar family: stars of the TLC show, "18 Kids and Counting." The 18 siblings: Jason, Jennifer, Ginger, the J`s just go on and on. They`re expecting a 19th member to their huge family.

Mom and Dad Duggar announced the good news on the "Today Show" this morning. But is it really good news?

Another super-sized family getting even bigger? Plus, just a few months ago, the oldest Duggar announced he and his wife were expecting?

These are resource hogs that are the epitome of self-indulgence and irresponsibility in a world where millions of kids are orphans and are dying of malnutrition. They`re doing all of this in front of the cameras - - let`s hope the viewing public sees this show for what it is. A cautionary tale of what not to do much like the lesson we learned from those other reality show casualties, Jon and Kate Gosselin.

That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."

Celebrity DJ, Adam Goldstein, a.k.a. DJ AM found dead in his Soho apartment. The "L.A. Times" reporting he died just one day after he vowed to head back to rehab. His body was allegedly surrounded by crack cocaine and prescription pill bottles.

TMZ reporting the deejay likely died from a lethal mix of crack cocaine and benzodiazepines. Benzos include Xanax and other anti-anxiety medications -- that`s right -- drugs that were prescribed to the deejay after he survived a devastating plane crash.

Not only could these meds have triggered a relapse of the former addict, they could be what killed him. Sound familiar? Michael, Heath, Anna Nicole -- all victims to deadly prescription drug cocktails.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not responding to anything. He`s not responding to CPR or anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s not breathing and she`s not responsive. She`s actually Anna Nicole Smith...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lethal combination of 6 different painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping medications...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So chilling, there should be a wake up call to America; written on a pad by a doctor does not equal safe. 20,000 Americans die from prescription drug overdoses every year.

Last year prescription drugs replaced heroin and cocaine as the leading cause of deadly overdoses. This is not just happening in Hollywood people, it`s happening right now as we speak in homes across the America.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: delighted to have back Dr. Drew Pinsky, noted addiction specialist and star of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab;" Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; and Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist.

I have to start with you Dr. Drew. This is day one of National Recovery Month, isn`t this a great time for America to say, "Hey, we have an epidemic on our hands and we need to do something about it?"

PINSKY: You have that absolutely right, Jane.

The fact is -- and really we`ve been aware of it in the teenage population for quite some time. That`s where a lot of the attention was sort of directed.

2,500 12 to 17-year-olds will abuse prescription pain medication for the first time today and everyday. And many of them don`t believe these are addictive drugs. That`s one issue.

And you`ve raised obviously the issue of over-prescribing. There`s even a more subtle issue to which my friend DJ AM succumbed which is a lack of appreciation of how addictive drugs, even properly prescribed, can trigger addiction. This is something people cannot seem to get their head around.

AM did not die of a benzodiazepine overdose; this is very difficult to do that. He died after going out furiously, after having been on benzodiazepines for an extended period of time, controlled, properly prescribed but not understanding that that creates momentum of addiction, distorted thoughts and always, always, always -- and I`m telling you I`ve seen this so many times -- it ends in a severe relapse.

And now my friend`s gone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, this is such a tragedy because we`d all looked at him as a great example of recovery.

PINSKY: He was. He absolutely was. But then he -- listen, he went through many stresses in his life while in recovery. Had he not had the biology of his disease, the reward system tickled by the ongoing use of substances that activate the addiction -- had that chemistry not been activated, he would still be alive today. I`m absolutely convinced of that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it would have been better for him to take a bus to his gigs than to take an anti-anxiety pill in order to get on a plane because that`s what reignited, in the long run, the addiction.

PINSKY: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Celebrities are showing us that mixing prescription pills, the pills you may have in your home right now could be just as deadly as shooting up.

Heath Ledger`s shocking death blamed on a mixture of 6 types of painkillers and sedatives. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had lethal levels of an anesthetic in his system -- a drug only supposed to be used in hospitals. Anna Nicole Smith`s boyfriend and doctors charged with pumping the model full of methadone, antidepressants, sleeping pills, Xanax.

Lisa Bloom, you cover so many of these cases, are doctors the new drug dealers?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think they are, in many cases. But it`s not just the doctors. People expect when they go to a doctor that they`re going to get pills.

And I`m here to say that we don`t need all of this stuff. When I personally go to a doctor, the first thing I say to them is, "I don`t want a prescription. I want a non-pharmaceutical way to solve my problem."

And I usually get a great look of relief from the doctor when I say that because they feel that they have to prescribe this stuff to us. And guess what, even when I`ve had surgery, I`ve said, "I don`t want pain medication. Please give me some other suggestions for dealing with pain." And I`ve gotten them and they`ve been very helpful; breathing exercises and so forth.

We don`t need all of this stuff. We are enriching the pharmaceutical companies. A generation ago, people did not take nearly as many pills as we take now.

DR. GAIL SALTZ, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: That`s true.

BLOOM: It`s time for all of us to just say no to the doctors and to tell them we don`t need. We don`t want it. Give us a non-pharmaceutical way to solve our problems and you`re going to be met with happiness from the doctor.

SALTZ: Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

SALTZ: I would say "hear, hear" to that in the sense -- I`m a psychiatrist and I certainly can prescribed but most of my patients I treat with psychotherapy.

Many of these celebrities are struggling with depression. They`re struggling with anxiety but they don`t want to take the long road. They want the quick fix. They want the "give me something so I can feel better in an hour." And they`re not willing to do the work as many people are not willing to do the work.

So for instance a fear of flying could be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy in like 10 sessions. You don`t have to take anti- anxiety pill. There are other ways to treat many of these new problems that a lot of these people suffer and why they accrue so many different medications that they`re taking and then abusing.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I go to the hospital and I see people walking around with these bags and they`re filled with pills. And they give them to doctors and the doctors give them away.

Everyone stay right there.

More on all of this in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said this footage is worth money.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, MODEL: Why? What footage?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This thing you`re looking into.

SMITH: It`s a camera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A clearly drugged out Anna Nicole Smith before her tragic OD. I want to talk a little bit about my book, "I Want." I talk about my addiction to alcohol. I wasn`t a pill addict but I did pop a few.

Here`s a quote from the book, "I was never hooked on them but had on a few cases popped a Valium recreationally with a glass of wine. Bad idea, although so commonplace that the joke was, if someone at a stadium in LA asked if anyone had a valium, everyone in the stands could immediately produce one.

But just because a lot of people were doing it doesn`t make it right. Again, as soon as I gave up drinking, the desire for valium completely disappeared."

You can read more about my experiences in my book, "I Want." It has tons of insight about my struggle to get sober.

Dr. Drew, full disclosure, I didn`t get those valium from a doctor. I friend gave them to me. That`s how it works.

PINSKY: That`s a common way, particularly how young people do it. That`s how it goes. That`s just what`s out there.

Here`s the real problem, there is no threshold to the understanding of the potential harm of these medications. My dad was a family practitioner. When I grew up he was always raising the idea that medications are bad and dangerous. You use them when you have.

And we need to get that message out loud and clear. The medicines we have today are miraculous. They are spectacularly effective. Thank goodness we have these substances. Only because there`s a dark side to this, we have to become less dependent on them and seek them less.

Lisa`s absolutely right.

BLOOM: Hear, hear.

PINSKY: Absolutely right, Lisa. I am so relieved when patients don`t want to take a medication. And they will fight you. Antibiotics -- we`re going end up with bacterial resistance to all antibiotics soon.

BLOOM: And here`s the other important point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Most antibiotics in this country affect the animals, let`s not forget that, Lisa Bloom.

BLOOM: But look, not every problem is a disease. If you`re bored or you`re tired or you`re awake, like Michael Jackson. That`s not a disease requiring a pill. There are so many other ways to deal with things if we would just open our minds to them rather than going for a pill every time. It`s destroying us.

I just think this is such a critical issue Jane. I applaud you for covering it today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I applaud you for weighing in.

Cherry, Ohio, your question or thought ma`am.

CHERRY, OHIO: I just wanted to call and tell you thank you so much for all you do on your show. I love you to death. And I love you Dr. Drew. You contribute to a lot of helping me through my struggle with addiction.

I`ve been on (INAUDIBLE) for the last two years. I have a question for you. A lot of these people are sick and we get a snowball ahead. Kidney stones, I had bad back, I had a lot of issues. I got hooked on these pills, never told what was going to happen to me. And before you knew it, there was a snowball effect; became immune to them, ended up -- now I`m going through the (INAUDIBLE).

My question is what do you think about this? Is there a safe way to get off pills?

PINSKY: Let me answer you quickly. It`s actually a complex. I`m going to just answer it two-fold. One is the predominant patient I`m admitting to hospitals today is a poly-opioid addictive chronic pain patient who comes in with 20 out of ten on a scale of ten pain. We take him off opiates. Two weeks later they say it`s a 4 maximum. The opioids cause the pain. You must get off the opiates.

(INAUDIBLE) is old replacement therapy. It is a safe way to get off opiates. I`m not a fan of sustained replacement therapy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re sadly out of time. Thank you for your wisdom.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.

END


"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)

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