Monday, November 30, 2009

FL - Sex Offender Shuffle (VIDEO)

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© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

UK - Parents vetted to check they're not paedophiles before being allowed to Christmas carol services with their children

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By James Chapman

Parents are being forced to undergo checks to prove they are not paedophiles simply to accompany their children to school Christmas carol events.

Graham McArthur, headmaster of Somersham primary school in Cambridgeshire, said that criminal checks were being carried out on more than 20 parents volunteering to walk his 330 pupils to a carol service at nearby St John's church later this month.

Other primaries have instituted vetting for parents attending Christmas discos on school premises.

Mr McArthur said: 'We rely quite a lot on parental volunteers. It is a community school and parental engagement is very important to being part of the community.'

'For the carol service they will need clearance which is basically something we can do on the day. You need to see details of who they are, where they live and make several phone calls.'

'Parents accept it's about safeguarding the welfare of children. They accept it only has to be done once and it's a necessary chore.'

The case is an example of the confusion sewn by the Government's controversial new Independent Safeguarding Authority.

In October, it emerged any parent regularly volunteering to transport children on behalf of a school or sports club would have to be formally vetted.

Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at Kent University said: 'Once you institutionalise mistrust, you incite people to take these things further and further, finding new areas to implement criminal record checks.'

'It becomes a badge of responsibility and a symbolic ritual. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense.'

A Department for Children, Schools and Families spokesman said: 'There is currently no legal requirement for parents to be checked in this way.'

'We want to take a common sense approach to this and allow headteachers to use their professional judgment and experience in deciding whether a CRB disclosure is necessary.'

'Our guidance recommends that schools obtain a CRB check for parents only when they volunteer at the school on a regular basis. This is defined as three or more times in a 30 day period.'

'It is not now, nor will it ever be, Government policy to vet parents attending carol concerts or nativity plays with their children.'

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

OH - State Sen. Nina Turner proposes changes to Ohio sex offender laws

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Just more "feel good" legislation from someone wanting to make a name for themselves, IMO. It doesn't matter if an offender registered every single day, if they want to commit another crime, they will. And if they are off probation and/or parole, the police cannot just march into someone's home without a warrant. Also, see that cop (Sheriff's Deputy Marty Lutz) peering into someone's private home, thus breaking privacy laws? No cop has the right to do that. The person could be in the house doing something private, and not want to be seen!


By Mark Puente

CLEVELAND  - Ohio’s most serious sex offenders would be forced to register their addresses more often, and deputies would be required to knock on their doors every 90 days if a new state law is passed.

State Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, introduced legislation last week to revamp the way Tier III offenders register their addresses and the way deputies track them. She sponsored Senate Bill 217 (PDF) in the wake of police unearthing 11 decomposing bodies on Anthony Sowell’s property on Imperial Avenue.

Sowell’s neighbors never knew he was a convicted sex offender and questioned why they weren’t notified by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office about the 15 years he served in prison for attempted rape.

They never knew because Sowell moved into the house after getting out of prison in 2005 - three years before a law took effect that required that neighbors be notified about his past.

Turner believes the monitoring system for Tier III offenders is broken.

"The Imperial Avenue slayings on Cleveland’s East Side are a gruesome reminder of the many cracks that still exist within the system of monitoring the sexual predators who reside in our communities," Turner said in a news release.

"Unfortunately, criminals are able to manipulate these cracks every day. Under the current system, a Tier III sex offender can fulfill their monitoring requirements and still remain largely off the radar."

Ohio was one of the first states to enact legislation in January 2008 to comply with the Adam Walsh Act, a set of federal laws that stiffened registration requirements for convicted sex offenders. States were told to increase registration requirements by 2009 or lose some federal funding.

The act mandated that all states uniformly register sex offenders and place them into a national registry by 2009. It was billed as a way to prevent people who commit sex crimes from slipping through the cracks and committing other offenses.

Turner’s legislation deals mostly with Tier III offenders. Tier III is for the most serious crimes, such as rape or kidnapping a minor. A 2008 law forced those offenders to personally register their address every 90 days.

Deputies are required to perform spot checks every year if the address is unchanged. But if an address changes, the law requires deputies to verify it. Notices are then mailed to every address within a 1,000-foot radius of the offender’s home.

Those guidelines would change under the proposed legislation. These are the key elements:
  • Tier III offenders must register their address every 30 days instead of every 90 days. Deputies must confirm the addresses of Tier III offenders every 90 days through face-to-face contact at the offender’s residence and track the outcomes of such visits.
  • Deputies must confirm the person’s address through personal contact at the offender’s residence after a Tier III offender initially registers. Sheriff’s offices must notify the community once a year of a Tier III offender address on the anniversary date of the original registration.
  • All sex offenders must show a proof of residency similar to those used for voter registration under Ohio election laws.

The legislation doesn’t address how sheriff’s would pay for cost of increased monitoring.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid questions how all sheriffs would pay for the added monitoring. He speculated that it might take three or four additional deputies to perform the tasks in Cuyahoga County but conceded that more enforcement is always better.

"It’s well intended, but there are unfunded mandates," Reid said. "This involves a lot of work. Who pays for that?"

The Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association will not comment until its legislative committee meets Dec. 15, its executive director said.

Mike Rowe, a spokesman for Turner, said the senator is aware of the cost and has asked a state committee to complete a cost analysis of the legislation.

"She is willing to work with the sheriffs on cost," Rowe said. "What is the cost of closing the loopholes? The bottom line is: What is the cost of doing nothing."

The bill will be assigned to a committee this week and hearings could be held early next year.

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

CT - Attorney General Sues To Prevent Illegal Land Grab Of Litchfield Charitable Agency's 160-Acre Property

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Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today he is suing to stop a New York group from illegally seizing Litchfield property owned by the Connecticut Junior Republic and possibly transforming it into a facility for youthful sex offenders and severely troubled children.

( - Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (Contact) announced today he is suing to stop a New York group from illegally seizing Litchfield property owned by the Connecticut Junior Republic and possibly transforming it into a facility for youthful sex offenders and severely troubled children.

Connecticut Junior Republic currently uses the property for educational and vocational programs to assist at risk youth academically, socially and emotionally. The charity has served troubled youth since 1904 at the 160-acre site, which includes a working farm, barns, dorms, a school, an administration building and a water treatment facility.

In May, the William George Agency for Children's Services, Inc., of Freeville, N.Y. cited a provision of a 1915 deed to move to confiscate the property. In a letter to the Attorney General's Office, the agency noted that it serves "high risk children," including sex offenders and severely disturbed kids, suggesting that the facility may be used for that purpose. Connecticut Junior Republic now serves less troubled youth and no sex offenders at the property.

As the state official responsible for protecting charity assets, Blumenthal argues that the William George Agency's interpretation of the deed is wrong and asks the court to declare Connecticut Junior Republic the property's rightful owner.

"I will fight this illegal, inexcusable and inexplicable land grab, threatening to cripple Connecticut Junior Republic's critical services," Blumenthal said. "This venerable, vital institution is endangered by this grossly inappropriate attempt to seize the property. The New York group apparently seeks to transform a school for kids needing support and structure into a facility for youthful sex offenders and severely disturbed, high risk youth. The William George Agency is threatening a model public service provider that has assisted thousands of troubled young people for more than a century."

"The William George Agency's unconscionable confiscation cannot stand. Connecticut Junior Republic is the property's rightful owner, and my office will vigorously and aggressively protect its rights."

"The court must teach this New York agency the lessons of good citizenship and respect that Connecticut Junior Republic instills in its children."

The George Junior Republic Association of Freeville N.Y., the William George Agency's predecessor, acquired the Litchfield property in 1900 through a will. The group was part of a national network established to care for unwanted and troubled children.

A separate Connecticut Junior Republic was created in 1904, and in 1915 the George Junior Republic Association of Freeville, N.Y. deeded it the Litchfield property. The deed returns the property to George Junior Republic Association of Freeville, N Y. or its successors if Connecticut Junior Republic fails to use it to assist troubled children.

Since it took over the property in 1915, Connecticut Junior Republic has been entirely separate and independent from the George Junior Republic Association and its successor, the William George Agency.

On May 22, 2009, the William George Agency, without contacting Connecticut Junior Republic, filed on Litchfield land records a claim and notice of forfeiture because Connecticut Junior Republic allegedly violated the 1915 deed. The group claimed that Connecticut Junior Republic's failure to operate a residential facility -- a temporary situation because of state budget cuts -- constituted a violation of the deed and authorized its seizure.

Blumenthal strongly disputes and opposes the New York group's claim and asks the court to declare invalid and ineffective the William George Agency's claim to the property.

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved