Thursday, September 10, 2009

FL - Under the Bridge (Sorry folks, I don't speak this language!)

Video Link



"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


WI - Local woman sentenced for having sex with teen

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And more double standards. Another woman, another slap on the wrist, compared to what a man in the same situation would receive.

09/10/2009

Eau Claire (WQOW) - A local woman is sentenced to jail time and community service, for having sex with a teenager.

_____, 28, of Eau Claire, was sentenced to three months in jail. She must also complete 480 hours of community service, and register as a sex offender.

Officers say she admitted having sex about a dozen times with a 15-year-old boy.


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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


UK - Woman's false rape claims

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09/10/2009

A WOMAN who cried rape has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Beverley Stephenson told police she was attacked by three men who burst into her home, Durham Crown Court heard.

Three men were arrested and each spent several hours in police cells before detectives concluded Stephenson was not telling the truth.

She was spoken to again and this time said she had been attacked by a man she met over the internet.

Prosecuting, Amanda Rippon told the court: "Her second account was that she had invited the man she met on the internet to her house."

"They had coffee together and she claimed he then became overly-familiar."

"The prosecution simply cannot accept this woman has been raped, although it may be she will have to be sentenced on the basis she lied about the circumstances."

Stephenson, 42, of Eighth Street, Horden, admitted perverting the course of justice between April 5 and May 14 last year.

Alexia Zimbler, defending, applied for a pre-sentence report.

"That could normally be done in about three weeks, but Ms Stephenson's mother is seriously ill and the prognosis is not good."

"She lives in America and Ms Stephenson would like to fly out in the next few days to be with her."

Judge Peter Armstrong bailed Stephenson on condition she returns to court to be sentenced on October 26.

The judge banned the publication of the names of the men falsely accused of rape.


"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


CA - Judge supports probation for woman who had sex with teens

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And so the double standards continue. If this were a man, do you think he'd get the same sentence? I highly doubt it!

09/10/2009

A Shasta County Superior Court judge said today that he supports probation and a possible one-year jail sentence for a 30-year-old Anderson woman who pleaded guilty in July to having had sex or intimate encounters with four teenage boys.

Judge Wilson Curle, who said that he believed probation was “appropriate” for _____, flatly rejected a probation report recommending an eight-year-prison sentence.

He directed probation officers to develop a list of probationary terms and conditions for her, which are to be presented on Thursday before sentencing.

_____’s husband, _____, 38, said following court today that he believes Curle’s tentative decision is a fair one.

I don’t believe prison was necessary,” he said. “She needs treatment and guidance.”

And _____ said, he believes his 15-year marriage, as well as his family, will be able to survive their ordeal.

It’s been rough, but I think we can handle it,” he said.

Curle, who leaned heavily on the findings of a psychological evaluation of _____, said he found the recommended eight-year prison sentence “astonishing,” noting that he recently sentenced a man with a prior “strike” to seven years in prison for a violent assault.

Curle could decide Thursday to impose an eight-year suspended sentence for _____ with probation and the one-year jail sentence, thereby keeping alive the threat of a possible prison term should she violate conditions of her probation, attorneys said.

Before issuing his order Curle said that he has spent countless hours analyzing numerous psychological evaluation of defendants over the years and that he had devoted more time reviewing this case than any other within the past five or six years.

It was clear that he was impressed with the independent psychological evaluation of _____.

That evaluation conducted by clinical psychologist Robert Boyle of Redding found , that _____, a mother of three with no prior criminal record and a troubled youth, was a good candidate for probation with a low risk of re-offending if she undergoes an extensive treatment program.

That report was diametrically opposed to the probation report, which Curle criticized for being biased.

The probation report is slanted in a manner that I’m not happy with,” he said.

Although Curle said that some in the community, presumably men, might consider an older woman having sex with teenage boys a “rite of passage,” he stressed that he did not share that sentiment. He said that at least two of _____’s victims are having emotional difficulties.

She (_____) is the adult (and) is the one responsible,” he said.

Deputy District Attorney Ben Hanna, who urged a prison sentence for _____, argued that she merited it, saying she clearly engaged in predatory sexual behavior with boys half her age.

She knew what she was doing,” he said. “And she knew it was wrong.”

But _____’s attorney, deputy public defender Ted Loos, argued that Boyle’s psychological evaluation determined that she was not a sexual predator, that she was remorseful and accepted full responsibility for her conduct.

She understands what she did was wrong and accepts responsibility,” Loos said after today’s court proceeding.

_____, who was facing a maximum 12-year-prison sentence, pleaded guilty in July to 11 felony counts, including two counts of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and one count of having oral sex with a child under the age of 16. She also pleaded guilty to six counts of lewd acts upon a child and two counts of arranging a meeting with a minor for a lewd purpose.

The boys with whom _____ admitted to having had sex or intimate encounters were 15 and 16 years old, police and prosecutors have said

An Anderson police report said that _____ admitted enjoying the attention she received from the boys and that she had set her sights on them to try to protect her teenage daughter from their affections.


"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


ME - State law set to change city's sex offender ordinance

View the article here

09/10/2009

By Leslie Bridgers

Westbrook police Detective Dan Violette says there's a reason the number of sex offenders living and working in the city hasn't changed much in the past two years.

Since the City Council adopted one of the strictest ordinances in the state prohibiting registered sex offenders from living or working in most of the city, Violette has had to force people out of their new apartments and make them quit their jobs.

According to the detective, who said he spends about 25 percent of his work week keeping track of sex offenders in the city, about 37 registered sex offenders live in Westbrook and an additional 16 work there.

"The number hasn't fluctuated very much," Violette said.

But that could change when a new state law goes into effect Saturday, nullifying Westbrook's ordinance.

The City Council will vote Monday on whether to adopt the state's new maximum allowable restrictions on where sex offenders can live. If passed, the 2,500-foot buffer zones around all places children frequent will be replaced with 750-foot restricted areas just around schools. And that only covers residency. The state law says that towns and cities cannot restrict where sex offenders can work.

In a gesture showing their disapproval of the state law, Gorham town councilors last week refused to change the town's restrictive ordinance in order to comply. However, it's still in question what the town's police department will be able to enforce once the law goes into effect.

Though Violette said he'll still spend the same amount of time monitoring sex offenders in the city and notifying neighbors and employers of their whereabouts, the state law takes away some of his authority over sex offenders and a safeguard for Westbrook children.

"It's given me more tools to help make sure sex offenders were in compliance," he said about the old law.

DRAWN TO WESTBROOK

There are no demographics that encompass all sex offenders, Violette said, but because a lot of employers don't want to hire registered sex offenders, many, regardless of their backgrounds and skills, don't have steady sources of income.

"You're a convicted felon. That makes you ineligible to work in a lot of places," Violette said.

Because of that, he believes the amount of low-income housing in Westbrook draws more sex offenders. Though Portland is probably the most attractive city in the area for jobless sex offenders because of its shelters and support services, he said, "we're ripe for the picking as far as increasing our numbers."

However, some say that keeping people out of jobs and homes because of their sex offender status is unconstitutional.

Jane Cantral, who runs Maine Citizens for Change - a local affiliate of the national group Reform Sex Offender Laws - said she and her boyfriend _____, a registered sex offender, didn't have an easy time finding a home in this area of the state.

"We're trying to buy a house and we're looking at maps," said Cantral, a Bridgton resident who was herself the victim of a sex offender.

"It sounds good as a knee-jerk reaction, but if you really thought about it, how much sense does it make?" Cantral said.

She pointed to the fact that students are not in school at night, when most sex offenders are in their homes. She also noted that kids are better looked after in schools and day cares than they are the rest of the day.

"I don't think residency restrictions are needed at all," she said.

Cantral hopes that more efforts will be made on educating parents and children and treating sex offenders rather than on making local or state laws that she believes are ineffective.

IS LESS MORE?

But success is measured in different ways when it comes to sex offender laws.

Violette said he scans the state's sex offender registry about once a week to see if there are any new registered sex offenders living or working in Westbrook. During the past two years, he said, he's had to ask about a dozen people to leave their jobs, usually because of their proximity to day cares. Though he's gotten mixed reactions from employers - some thank Violette for making them aware of the charges, others would rather to keep the workers regardless of them - the sex offenders themselves tend to comply quickly.

"Almost every time, they quit right way," he said.

Other than the case of one registered sex offender Violette had to repeatedly chase out of a Spring Street apartment, he said the same willingness to obey the ordinance was true of sex offenders trying to move to the city. He said he's had to turn down about five or six sex offenders who tried to move into restricted areas of the city from out of town and another half-dozen who wanted to move within Westbrook.

Overall, Violette estimated that about 20 additional sex offenders would be living or working in the city today if it weren't for the ordinance.

"It was working," he said.

PEACE OF MIND

One woman who was an outspoken advocate of the Westbrook ordinance when it was adopted said she plans to speak up again at the council meeting Monday.

Jen Wescott, who has two family members that were sex crime victims, said even with the ordinance in place, as a mother and a day care owner, she's on constant alert, keeping an eye on who's around. The city's law offered extra protection.

"It gives you a little more sense of security," Wescott said.

But creating a false sense of security is one of the arguments opponents have against residency restrictions.

"They have a tendency to drive offenders underground," Sen. Anne Haskell, D-Portland, who sponsored the bill, said in June, when the law was passed. "Then you don't know where they are, which is a more dangerous situation."

Those who support less-stringent residency resrictions say the vast majority of sex crimes are committed by people known to the victims - which was the case with Wescott's family members and with Cantral, as well.

While Cantral argues that over-reaching restrictions violate the rights of former criminals who have paid their debts to society, Wescott and Violette both believe that additional protection against sex offenders can only help to keep kids safer.

"Any buffer you put between a sex offender and our vulnerable children, I think that's a good thing," Violette said.


"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 - DOC crackdown on sex offenders ruining mission

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09/09/2009

By Fred Grimm

You'd think that the supervision and discipline and therapy and strict curfews and drug testing and spiritual guidance and actual beds offered by the St. Francis Mission might be preferable to having jobless, homeless sex offenders prowl the streets and sleep under bridges.

Apparently not.

The Florida Department of Corrections has warned the last 10 sex offenders enrolled in the treatment program that they must be gone in six weeks.

Stripped of those clients, the mission will almost certainly fall into bankruptcy. St. Francis has become collateral damage, ruined by uncompromising laws limiting where sex offenders can reside.

DECADES OF SERVICE

The mission, located in Fort Lauderdale a few blocks south of the Broward County Courthouse, has been salvaging outcasts since 1969.

For the first 35 years, St. Francis, in a converted house with an Alamo facade under a mission bell, provided treatment and shelter for alcoholics and drug addicts. Five years ago, the Florida Department of Corrections approached St. Francis and asked the mission to take on another kind of client.

Ultimately, the DOC request would prove both ironic and probably fatal to the mission. St. Francis agreed to provide beds for sex offenders.

The killer blow came Jan. 10, when the city opened a kiddie playground several blocks away but close enough to trigger the residency ban. The DOC, the very agency that referred their parolees to St. Francis, now said they had to go. Or face parole violations and prison. (DOC gave the mission residents a list of possible residences, all hundreds of miles north of Fort Lauderdale.)

OUT OF TIME

Chris Mancini, the Fort Lauderdale attorney who has taken on the money-losing proposition of representing the mission, went to court and asked for an injunction.

DOC agreed to give the parolees another 60 days before enforcing the evictions. The reprieve ends Oct. 21.

Mancini thinks he could eventually prevail in the courts, challenging the evictions on constitutional grounds. But the trial and the appeals would take years to resolve. St. Francis is down to its last few weeks.

The mission, staffed by volunteers, takes no government money and gets by on charitable donations and the $200 weekly fees paid by each client. St. Francis needs at least 14 of its 20 beds filled with paying clients just to break even. It's already losing money. And with 10 clients forced to evacuate before the end of next month, St. Francis is facing a fiscal disaster. The mission just doesn't have the money and the time it would need to revert back to treating alcoholics and drug addicts.

AN ILLUSION

Bad enough that our politicians passed state, county and city laws banning sex offenders without contemplating that offenders would be forced into homelessness, but no one thought to include an exception for supervised treatment programs like St. Francis.

Residency bans create the illusion of protecting children. St. Francis provides actual protection, keeping the men employed, supervised, in therapy, drug- and alcohol- free and away from kids.

But we'd rather have that illusion. Just toss the men into the street.

Meanwhile, St. Francis, after so many years of good work, probably won't survive to celebrate next month's 40th anniversary. Just collateral damage.


"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


Ex-Con Says Judge Judy Is Out Of Touch With Reality

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See this video and transcript

09/09/2009

Former inmate, now president of the nation's only woman-run prison coaching business, says Judge Judy has no idea what she's talking about, and should be ashamed of her lack of criminal knowledge

Judge Judy Sheindlin, host of TV's "Judge Judy ," appeared on Larry King Live September 8, 2009. She is living proof that our criminal justice system is out of touch. Her salacious comments regarding prison programs, prison re-entry and incarceration in general are outrageous. She fails to distinguish between different types of offenders, while quoting the high rates of recidivism.

Is Bernie Madoff so much better than a violent offender?

More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. While the rates of recidivism are high, the rates for inmates who participate in programs are considerably lower. For example, the number of people in prison with substance abuse and other mental health issues is over 75%. There is a real case for rehabilitation and treatment in these cases. The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.3 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years. This despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not the most effective means of achieving public safety. Something is just not working. Judge Judy also claims that our criminal justice system is based on punishment. This is not true and as a former family court judge she knows better. Even different states have the idea. In California the system is called the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Judge Judy says some people are “just wired wrong.” This may be true and some people do not deserve to be free. But, these are the worst of the worst, not the norm. There are a number of programs, even for violent offenders that have success. The RSVP-project in San Francisco is a prime example. Judge Judy also claims that sex offenders and others are not living in good neighborhoods. How untrue. They are unfortunately everywhere.

So, what to do? First, we must distinguish between different types of offenders. Madoff too has victims. The term victim is relative and we must be careful how we lump all offenders together. Then, we must evaluate and treat the mental health issues. Our prison system is now the largest mental health facility in the United States. This was not the intention of our system, but is now the reality.

Judge Judy has many buzzwords and anger provoking comments, but no solutions. Yes, some people may be wired wrong and many deserve to be in prison for life. There is no debate needed. But, Judge Judy-look at the facts- almost anybody sentenced to prison will be released, most in less than five years. My challenge to Judge Judy and others is to GET A CLUE and honestly address the many issues facing us in hopes of lowering the rates of crime and the collateral consequences. Let’s stop pointing fingers and using infamous cases to promote our own agenda.

-- Wendy Feldman

Wendy Feldman is president of Custodial Coaching, the only woman-run Prison Coaching organization in the United States. Feldman served 18 months in Federal prison for financial crimes. She is available for media interviews, and offers insight into the Federal Prison, the Bureau of Prisons, life behind bars, and how to best return to a normal life after incarceration. Custodial Coaching is the leading prison preparation and advising service in the United States.

Wendy Feldman is available for media interviews and insight into the Bureau of Prisons. Please telephone Wendy Feldman at 310-740-4932. Email Wendy@CustodialCoaching.com. Online: www.CustodialCoaching.com.


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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


Ninth Circuit panel finds retroactive part of SORNA unconstitutional (for juveniles)

NOTE: This is as it pertains to juveniles only, which doesn't make much sense. If the law is ex post facto and unconstitutional, then it should be unconstitutional for everyone, period.

Click the image to view the article (PDF)



"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


CA - Assemblyman Mike Duvall resigns after his sex comments are broadcast

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Listen to the audio below.

09/09/2009

By Shane Goldmacher and Patrick McGreevy

KCAL-TV in Los Angeles played a tape of the married Yorba Linda Republican speaking about sex with two women. He apparently did not realize a microphone was on during a legislative hearing.

Reporting from Sacramento - An Orange County lawmaker who inadvertently broadcast explicit remarks about his sexual conquests over an open microphone abruptly resigned from office Wednesday after legislative leaders stripped him of his committee posts and launched an ethics probe of his actions.

Assemblyman Michael Duvall (R-Yorba Linda), whose remarks were videotaped in July during a lull in a Sacramento hearing, stepped down less than 24 hours after the tape spread online Tuesday night.

In the video, the married family-values crusader from Yorba Linda talks in graphic detail about women he said he slept with -- at least one of whom appeared to be a lobbyist with business before the utilities committee on which Duvall sat as vice chairman.

"I am deeply saddened that my inappropriate comments have become a major distraction for my colleagues in the Assembly," Duvall said in a written statement Wednesday afternoon. "It would not be fair to my family, my constituents or to my friends on both sides of the aisle to remain in office. Therefore, I have decided to resign."

The sudden scandal was one more bruise for Sacramento as it lurches toward Friday, the end of a particularly unproductive legislative year, with unfinished work on such major issues as the prison crisis and the state's wobbly water infrastructure.

And the speed with which Duvall was pushed out the door was small comfort to Capitol-watchers who say the case shows the persistence of anything-goes behavior in the Legislature.

"The use of sexual favors is just one more example of the tactics that energy companies and lobbyists have used to win favorable laws from lawmakers," said Kathay Feng, president of California Common Cause.

As TV camera crews chased lawmakers through Capitol corridors for comment on the scandal Wednesday, the place was abuzz with gossip: other lawmakers with lobbyist mistresses, inappropriate invitations to romantic dinners, married legislators and industry officials canoodling at fundraisers and after-hours mixers.

Duvall, some said, just happened to get caught.

His remarks were videotaped during a July hearing of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and aired on a KCAL television news program Tuesday night. In the video, the socially conservative Duvall tells fellow Assemblyman Jeff Miller (R-Corona) in uninhibited detail about trysts with two women, neither his wife.

The KCAL report says one of the women is a lobbyist for a major utility with business before Duvall's committee. In the video, Duvall says her birthday is July 6. That matches the birth date of a Sacramento lobbyist for the San Diego-based energy firm Sempra.

Sempra issued a written statement saying that it is investigating the matter, but that its "employee has denied the speculative media reports."

On the tape, Duvall describes the "little eye-patch underwear" worn by one of the women. He refers to the age gap between her and him, after a recent birthday made them 18 years apart. "Now, you're getting old, man, I am going to have to trade you in," he said he told her.

And he mentions a second woman, in less detail.

"Cher, Shar, Shar -- oh, she is hot. I talked to her yesterday. She goes, 'So are we finished?' " Duvall says, adding that he replied no. He continues: "And I go, 'You know about the other one, but the other one doesn't know about you.' "

The Capitol Resource Institute, a conservative, self-described "pro-family" advocacy organization that had given Duvall a 100% score for his voting record on issues of concern to the group, denounced the lawmaker in a statement.

"It is always disappointing when a champion of traditional values does not practice the same in his private life," said Karen England, executive director of the institute.

Some GOP leaders were relieved by the resignation.

"Sticking around for a while would have just prolonged the agony, and he would have had the same result," said Scott Baugh, Orange County Republican Party chairman.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now has 14 days to call a special election to fill Duvall's seat, which could be held as soon as the first week in November. Orange County officials say that election will cost taxpayers between $330,000 and $440,000.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) said the Legislature plans to aggressively investigate Duvall and any conflicts of interest that may have resulted from affairs he boasted about. One member of the legislative ethics panel that will oversee the inquiry said privately that there may be efforts to broaden it to include other lawmakers alleged to have intimate relations with lobbyists.

California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown declined to comment on calls from consumer advocates that he launch a criminal investigation. Duvall's "votes on utility issues should be investigated to determine whether they were compromised," said Doug Heller, executive director of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica.

Duvall joined other Republicans in voting several times this year against renewable energy measures opposed by Sempra Energy. The measures would require utilities to derive significantly more electricity from solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources by 2020.

In Orange County on Wednesday, Duvall's constituents expressed shock.

Placentia Councilwoman Constance Underhill said Duvall's behavior was outrageous, especially if his dalliances were with lobbyists who had business with his committee. "If that's true," she said, "he sold out for sex."

Bob Bowdish, 62, who said he was once Duvall's letter carrier and has for years crossed party lines to vote for the assemblyman, said, "The public deserves more. . . . The fact of the matter is, what he did was wrong. This will ruin more than his political career."

At least one resident saw opportunity in the mess, however. "He did the right thing under the circumstances," said Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby. "He did it quickly. And I'm going to do the right thing. I will be seeking the seat."




"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


Stop Acting Like A Christian And Be One!

View the article here

This is a young lady that was sexual abused for over 12 years by 4 different men. You really should watch her, she is very good. Click the link above, or the photo to view the video.

Start doing the right things and stop doing the wrong things—that’s what it means to follow Jesus, right? Or what if we have it all turned around? Special guest Christine Caine shares the freedom and passion that comes from a genuine relationship with God. Join us for our next series as we learn to Stop Acting Like a Christian and Just Be One.


"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


CA - 'Smart on crime' is a better tactic

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09/09/2009

By Bill McEwen

I wonder if anyone running for office in California next year will have the courage to cast aside the three easiest words in politics: tough on crime.
- I don't know, you are asking too much.  They don't want to obey their oath of office and look soft on crime!

We've been cracking down on crime, throwing away the key and blowing through piles of tax dollars since the 1970s and, really, does anyone feel safer?

California's prison system might be the worst in the nation with its sky-high recidivism rate and annual cost of $49,000 an inmate. Almost without exception, the only education prisoners receive are Ph.Ds in criminal and gang activity.
- We are talking about sex offenders, so is that sky-high recidivism rate about prisoners in general?  I'm sure it is, because many studies show sex offenders have the LOWEST recidivism rate of any other criminal, except murderers.

Clearly, it's time for something that protects law-abiding citizens and the public treasury, too. But are any politicians brave enough to drop the tough-on-crime charade and replace it with a new approach?
- I doubt it, and nobody can protect you, except yourself.

If there is, here's a suggested catch phrase: smart on crime. That means allowing sentences that are more creative than simply locking up all lawbreakers.

I'll be the first to admit that running a prison is difficult (How would you know?), as is finding the proper balance between punishment and rehabilitation. But it's impossible to defend a system that has twice as many inmates (167,000) as its intended capacity and has been so poorly run that inmate health care is overseen by federal courts.

Meanwhile, even with two wheels in the ditch, the tough-on-crime bandwagon rolls on -- politicians defending long prison terms, opposing early releases for nonviolent offenders and offering no way to pay for new prisons, much less additional correctional officers, doctors, teachers and administrators who staff them.

The situation is hardly better at our local county jails. A federal court order dictates the capacity of the Fresno County Jail, Sheriff Margaret Mims laid off correctional officers because of a budget deficit and the county's successful juvenile boot camp was closed -- also because of cost cutting. Tulare County is looking at adding 1,100 beds over the next decade and will need $1.27 billion to house inmates over the next 20 years.

Here too, the tough-on-crime bandwagon rolls on, with local candidates -- much like their state counterparts -- afraid to be labeled as soft on crime.

I don't expect the smart-on-crime approach to catch on quickly, not with the heinous acts of parolee and registered sex offender Phillip Garrido disgusting people coast to coast. But California's leaders should find out what other states are doing to lower costs and to stop their prisons from being incubators for more crime. They should consider the merits of halfway houses, drug treatment, mental-illness treatment and educational/vocational schools for inmates. They should give judges greater latitude to decide sentences case by case. And, yes, they should lobby federal officials for immigration enforcement that keeps foreign law-breakers out of our state.

Maybe we should even think about whether big fines, instead of prison, make sense for some crimes. For example, a convicted burglar could go to vocational school and pay off the fine, as well as program costs, over 10 years -- same as a college student pays off federal loans.

Finally, if our leaders believe that the tough-on-crime measures enacted over the past 30 years are still the way to go, voters should demand that they explain how California and its counties will pay the ever-mounting tab for keeping hundreds of thousands of inmates locked up.

Saying that you're tough on crime is easy. Demonstrating that you're smart on crime is difficult.


"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


MD - Former county policeman sentenced for child porn

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09/10/2009

By Daniel Valentine

Receives 51-month prison sentence

A former Prince George's County police officer was sentenced Aug. 31 on charges of child pornography possession, federal prosecutors said.

David John Larose, 35, of Lusby, who was a patrol officer for the county for more than 10 years, was sentenced to 51 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Alexander Williams Jr., according to a statement from federal prosecutors. After jail, he will be on supervised release for three years and must register as a sex offender.

According to the plea agreement Larose signed, the former officer used a personal e-mail account to purchase at least five child pornography images several times between October 2006 and April 2007, said Department of Justice spokeswoman Vickie LeDuc.

His arrest came in March 2008, when investigators allegedly found up to 150 images of child pornography on his home computer.

A county police spokesman said Larose last worked in the Oxon Hill police district and was dismissed from the department in May. Larose's attorney could not be reached for comment by press time.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Post Office Inspection Service, Calvert County Sheriff's Office and Prince George's County Police Department all assisted in the investigation, according to prosecutors.

Larose's attorney, Timothy Sullivan of Brennan Sullivan & McKenna LLP in Greenbelt, was unavailable for comment.


"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


Sex Offender Registries: Fear Without Function?



University of Chicago - Department of Economics

December 2008

Abstract:
I use three separate datasets and designs to determine whether sex offender registries are effective. First, state-level panel data is used to determine whether sex offender registries or public access to them decreases the rate of rape and other sexual abuse. Second, a dataset which contains information on the subsequent arrests of sex offenders released from prison in 1994 in 15 states is used to determine if registries reduce the recidivism rate of offenders required to register compared with those who do not. Finally, I combine data on locations of crimes in Washington, D.C. with data on locations of registered sex offenders to determine whether knowing the location of sex offenders in a region help predict the locations of sexual abuse. The results from all three datasets do not support the hypothesis that sex offender registries are effective tools for increasing public safety.


"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