Monday, May 24, 2010

CA - Proposed laws from Amber's father to be unveiled

Original Article (Listen)

So tell me Mr. Dubois, how would exacting your hate and vengeance on all sex offenders, prevent what happened to your daughter? It won't, it's just another "feel good" law, that makes you feel good, temporarily! You are exacting vengeance on hundreds of thousands of people who had nothing to do with your daughters murder.


By Michael Gardner

Moe Dubois wants sex offender driver's licenses to be branded

The father of slain Escondido teenager Amber Dubois recognizes that legislation he plans to unveil Tuesday could receive a hostile reception in some Capitol corners.

Nevertheless, Moe Dubois is convinced that requiring convicted sex offenders to always carry a distinctive driver’s license or state-issued identification card will help police and businesses better protect children from predators.

Do I think it’s going to pass through smoothly? No,” Dubois said in a telephone interview.

If it stalls, Dubois vows to bypass lawmakers by appealing directly to voters.

I have a feeling it will get stopped in one of the committees. Then we’ll pursue it via an initiative,” he said. “There are many more people who want protection for their children from predators.”

Assemblymen Paul Cook (Contact), R-Yucca Valley, and Pedro Nava (Contact), D-Santa Barbara, have signed on to jointly carry the driver’s license measure as part of a four-bill package aimed at sex offenders.

Those proposals are designed to help law enforcement authorities more quickly respond when children are taken, including the formation of a state rapid response team of experts to assist local authorities responding to abductions.
- All this information is already available in their patrol cars!

Amber, 14, disappeared while on her way to school on Feb. 13, 2009. Her body was not found until a year later. John Albert Gardner III, 31, a convicted sex offender who had been released from parole supervision, earlier this month pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Amber and 17-year-old Chelsea King, 17, of Poway. He is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Chelsea’s parents, Kelly and Brent King, have been active in the campaign to pass “Chelsea’s Law” that increases penalties for violent sexual crimes. Assembly Bill 1844 goes before the Assembly Appropriations Committee Friday.

Dubois and supporters plan to release his proposals Tuesday because May 25 is National Missing Children’s Day, first proclaimed by President Reagan in 1983.

Under Assembly Bill 589, all registered sex offenders would be issued special driver’s licenses that would identify them as such. If they do not drive, they must obtain a state-issued identification card, also with a distinctive mark.

The licenses or identification cards would have to be carried “at all times, outside of his or her place of residence,” the bill states.

Supporters say that will help police quickly identify sex offenders and scrutinize circumstances such as a child as a passenger or a toy in the back seat.

The second they walk up to a vehicle they should know who they’re dealing with,” Dubois said.
- Well, not all sex offenders have harmed kids, and some have not even committed a sex crime.

Also, businesses could voluntarily require identification at events catering to children to ensure that sex offenders are not scouting for their next victim, supporters say.

Nava and Cook agreed with Dubois that the measure will face stiff resistance from civil libertarians and others who argue that tighter restrictions will not necessarily make the streets safer. Opposition has yet to emerge, given the newness of the proposals. Cost estimates have not been prepared. Sen. Mark Leno (Contact), D-San Francisco, a frequent critic of crime crackdowns, said he had not seen the legislation.

It’s going to be tough,” said Cook, adding law enforcement authorities he has talked to welcome the license. “They really like it. It gives them a chance to react quickly. It could make a big difference.”

Said Nava, “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Legislature objects to the reasonable approach. Then the citizens of this state will take it upon themselves to get the results.”

Some states are ahead of California . Delaware, for example includes the letter “Y” on sex offender licenses. In Louisiana, it’s “SEX OFFENDER” in all-capital orange letters.
- Why not make it a bullseye? Might as well!

Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said his organization has not taken a position on marking driver’s licenses.

We haven’t analyzed the effect ... We’d have to know a lot more about how it would help,” he said in a telephone interview.
- That didn't stop you for enacting and getting behind other laws!

But Allen is enthusiastic about other proposals to speed up responses.

Time is the enemy in searching for a missing child,” Allen said.

Less controversial, but far from a guaranteed signature by the governor, are three other measures:

  • Assembly Bill 1022 would establish within the Department of Justice the “California Missing Children Rapid Response Team” that would be available to help local police when children disappear. The team would also assist local officials with protocols, programs and technologies related to abductions.
  • Assembly Bill 34 would require the state to file within two hours information about a reported missing child under the age of 16 to the Violent Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center. The current requirement is four hours.
  • Assembly Bill 33 would require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to develop specialized guidelines and courses for law enforcement related to investigating missing children cases. That measure also seeks to make it easier for law enforcement to target sex offenders who live within five miles of the scene of a crime.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Contact), who supports Chelsea’s Law, has not reviewed the new measures and does not have a position, said a spokeswoman.

Dubois has come up with a new proposal, which is much earlier in the formative stages. He wants to prevent impact statements from being released before victim families get to read them in court at sentencing. Dubois’ statement was released before Gardner was sentenced on May 14.

I truly felt victimized,” Dubois said. “I want a law so that doesn’t happen to a victim’s family again.”


US Gov't Wants Your DNA

Why not take blood at birth, then they'd have everyone's DNA on file. So then, when a crime is committed, they can go directly to the person and arrest them. If it's good enough for some criminals, then it's good enough for everyone else, IMO.

Video Link

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NJ - Agents Raid home of Census Worker Sex Offender

My question is, why does Homeland Security need to be involved in this? Why can't the local police do their job themselves? Arrest the man for breaking the law, but why the show? Come on, this is overkill, IMO!

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OH - Retired officer (Jerry Dembski) sentenced in teen sex crime, ruling protested

Original Article (Listen)

So, is he going to be forced to be on the sex offender registry?


By Matt Natali

SIDNEY - A retired Sidney police officer was sentenced in Shelby County Commons Pleas Court on Monday, May 24, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old student.

Jerry Dembski, 52, was sentenced by visiting Judge Jonathon Hein to 45 days in the county jail and five years probation on charges of obstructing official business and three counts of child enticement.

Prior to sentencing, Dembski apologized to his family and the victim's family.

Dembski, who was working as a study hall monitor at Sidney Middle School when he was arrested, was originally charged with four counts of gross sexual imposition, five counts of child enticement and one count each of intimidating a witness, tampering with evidence and importuning.

Outside the courthouse, dozens of picketers protested the sentencing and believe Dembski was given special treatment as a former officer. The protesters encouraged motorists to honk their horns, which were heard inside the courthouse.

Extra security was provided by Sidney police and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. Deputies escorted Dembski's family out of the courthouse to a waiting vehicle.

Dembski was taken into custody and taken to the Shelby County Jail.

UK - Jurors in tears as they clear student of rape - then discover another man falsely accused by same 'victim' had killed himself

Original Article (Listen)

You will notice, they name the accused, who was the victim here, but not the accuser. This lady should be in prison for a very long time, IMO.


By Chris Brooke

A 21-year-old woman drove a man to suicide by crying rape and forced a second innocent man to consider taking his own life after falsely accusing him of a similar sex attack.
- Isn't that involuntary manslaughter?

Despite being exposed in court as a serial liar, the law means the woman cannot be identified and can hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

A jury took just 45 minutes to clear medical student _____, 27, of rape and several jurors at Sheffield Crown Court broke down in tears when the judge then revealed the 'victim's' history of crying rape.

Judge Patrick Robertshaw launched an astonishing attack on Crown Prosecution Service lawyers for making _____ stand trial, simply to abide by the woman's wishes.

He said: 'The evidence did not, and was never going to, prove rape. The prime overriding consideration in the CPS's decision had been merely that the complainant wished the case to go ahead."

'It was little short of a craven abdication of responsibility for making an independent and fair minded assessment of the case."

'It is quite astonishing these decisions are made by those who simply do not have experience of what happens in Crown Court because they never come into Crown Court. They sit behind desks and make decisions that result in this sort of trial taking place.'

The judge revealed how 18 months earlier the same woman had made an allegation of rape against a young man who ended up committing suicide. He said the case never reached court because it was 'lacking in credibility', but the man killed himself 'when facing that allegation.'

After failing to have this first 'rapist' brought to court, the woman set about framing _____, a stranger she met and seduced in a nightclub.

The woman claimed _____ attacked her in a house he shared with other students in Walkley, Sheffield, after she met him while 'tipsy' in a city centre nightspot last October.

But one of her friends, who was also with her that evening, told the court the woman danced and kissed _____ boasting: 'I'm going to have his body tonight.'

The woman later told her friend she was planning to accuse _____ of rape and bragged: 'He is not going to get away with it, I've got evidence this time.'
- Clearly a psycho.  How do you have "evidence" of something that never occurred?

_____ told the jury the woman had agreed to sex willingly. He said: 'She came into the bedroom, held me and kissed me.'

'Sex took place, she never told me to stop and neither did she resist. I did not force myself on her in any way. Afterwards we held each other and looked into each other's eyes.'

_____ moved to the UK from Nigeria in 2007 after studying medicine in his home country. He was doing a biomedical sciences course at the University of East London and the incident took place when he went to Sheffield to do a 10-week music production course during a study break.

He had only been in Sheffield four days when he went out with friends. After the case he recalled how he was drinking a glass of champagne at a club when the woman propositioned him.

'I was on my own by the side of the bar when this particular girl came up to me, and bumped another girl out of the way. She told me she liked me, and liked my perfume. We were exchanging pleasantries, and exchanging numbers, and she said she wouldn't mind having me that night.'

He said they took a taxi to her house and when he promised to call her tomorrow, she said: 'So you're going to leave me now?'

They returned to his house and she went to the bedroom after turning down the offer of 'chicken wings and a fizzy drink.'

They began kissing and had sex. _____ said: 'Afterwards we were lying on the bed and she received several phone calls. During those phone calls I sensed maybe there was a plan between her and her friend.'

He gave her £8 for a taxi and she left. _____ said he discovered the mobile number she had given him was fake.

He said he went out to buy food at 6am and police were waiting for him on his return. The student denied any wrongdoing but was arrested the next day on suspicion of rape.

Speaking about his ordeal _____ said: 'My life has been hell for the last seven months. I thought about taking my own life.'

'I've not been able to sleep properly since all this happened. Some of my friends shunned me and my parents in Nigeria were heartbroken and scared of what might happen to me. After the trial I slept properly for the first time, Now I am starting my life all over again.'

He said his accuser needed 'proper counselling,' adding: 'This kind of allegation could drive other young men to suicide.'

The law currently allows defendants accused of rape to be named. The coalition government intends to re-introduce anonymity for alleged rapists until conviction, but some campaigners argue that a fairer change would be to allow the identification of victims making an allegation.

Naheed Hussain, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South Yorkshire said: 'The decision to prosecute this case was taken by a senior lawyer who is a specialist in prosecuting rape cases.'

'We were satisfied there was sufficient evidence for the case to go to court not only from the account given by the complainant but from another witness whose evidence supported that of the complainant.'

'At no time did the judge stop the case from going ahead nor did the defence apply for the case to be dismissed. After hearing all of the evidence from both the prosecution and the defence, the jury took the decision to acquit the defendant.'

'Rape cases are among the most difficult we have to prosecute and the decision to go ahead is only taken after very careful consideration. However, given the comments made by the Judge I have already started to review the case to see if any lessons can be learnt. I will of course write to the judge at the end of that process.'

Even sex offenders have rights in need of protection

Original Article (Listen)


At first glance, the Supreme Court ruling on Monday allowing dangerous sexual offenders in psychiatric units to be locked up after they've completed their prison sentences until they are considered safe seems logical.

After all, if they are deemed a danger to society, they must be kept away from society. That's simple to understand. Many states use what is called civil commitment to hold dangerous sexual offenders after their prison terms have expired.

But considered further, the ruling is troubling as it dangerously blurs the line between the criminal justice system and the mental health system.

If a sex offender is in prison for a sex crime, he is being punished for his crime.

If a sex offender is in a psychiatric unit following his prison sentence, then the implication is that he should have qualified for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. A prisoner does not become mentally ill the moment he leaves prison.

The mental state of the offender should be established at the onset. If it is determined that he is a threat to the public and will continue to pose a threat by virtue of his mental state, then civil commitment should be used.

The ruling underscores the vexing problem of how we as a society need to reevaluate the categorization and treatment of sex offenders. It is enduringly difficult finding the balance between the safety of society as a whole versus the rights of an individual, especially if that individual has paid his debt to society.

"The fact that the federal government has the authority to imprison a person for the purpose of punishing him for a federal crime — sex-related or otherwise — does not provide the government with the additional power to exercise indefinite civil control over that person," said Justice Clarence Thomas in the dissenting opinion.

While it is tempting to say to the federal government "go for it" when it comes to the open-ended confinement of sexual offenders by any means, we must be wary of a government overstepping its boundaries when it comes to removing the rights of select groups of citizens.
- Yes, because next they will be coming for you!

There is a recent — and glaring — history of a state using the mental health system to impose its will on the public. In the Soviet Union, psychiatric hospitals were de facto prisons used to punish political and religious dissenters.
- And the Nazi's had extermination camps, the US had concentration camps for captured Japanese soldiers during the war.

Let's keep our society safe, yes, but not at any cost.

TN - Judge Says "John Doe" Must Register As Sex Offender

Original Article (Listen)

This is complete BS! Imagine if you are told today, due to a recent law being passed, you must be on an online registry for everyone to see, for a crime you committed over 20 years ago, which you have paid your debt for. Yes, you would be angry as hell as well. This is unconstitutional, I do not care what the corrupt government thinks. It's punishment, pure and simple! You people passing these laws, live with the label for a couple years, then tell me it's not punishment!


Chancellor Frank Brown has ruled that a Chattanooga businessman must register as a sex offender, though his attorney said he has not been in trouble since moving here in 1989.

The ruling in the 32-page opinion said the man identified thus far only as "John Doe" must register as a sex offender within 15 days unless an appeal was filed.

His attorney, Jerry Summers, did file the appeal to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

The opinion says the man was convicted of gross sexual imposition in 1983 and served three years in prison in Ohio.

At the time he moved to Chattanooga, there was no requirement that he register as a sex offender.

The opinion says, "Since 1989, Mr. Doe has not been charged with or committed any sexual offense. He has established a business and been a productive member of society."

However, he received a letter from county detective Jimmy Clift at the end of March directing him to sign up on the sexual offender registry.

The opinion says the defendant "looks at the sexual registry as punitive and claims that one cannot be punished now in a new manner for something that was not punishable in that matter when the crime was committed."

It says two states have upheld that argument, but Tennessee has not.

Chancellor Brown said, "This court of equity must follow the law. Despite understanding and acknowledging Mr. Doe's angst that he faces registration and would be required to perform certain activities now that were not required in 1983, this trial court must follow the law."

"There is a presumption that laws enacted by the General Assembly are constitutional. The appellate authority cited above is that the Act and Amendments to the Act are constitutional. The Act is regulatory and not punitive. The Act is based upon public policy and safety of the public."

He added, "The Tennessee appellate decisions have upheld the registration requirements. Thus, it certainly appears that Mr. Doe must register as an offender. At least, he must go through the TBI to determine if he must register. If he fails to do so, then his failure to register can be a separate criminal offense."

Facts and Fiction about Sex Offenders (Once again, a ton of proof that recidivism is low)

Original Article

The question is: "Why does the media and politicians continue to ignore these facts?" Maybe so they can exploit the issues on disinformation, to help them "look good" and get elected? There is BIG money to be made in the sex offender witch hunt!


By Chris Dornin

"The political outlash against sex offenders is immense, irrational, and hard for legislators to reverse." - Sarah Agudo in the Northwestern University Law Review, 2008

Myth: Sex offenders are dirty old strangers who steal kids from playgrounds

An Ohio prison intake report on sex offenders imprisoned in 1992 revealed that 2.2 percent of child molesters were strangers to their victims, and 89 percent of perpetrators had never been convicted before.

In their 1993 textbook, The Juvenile Sex Offender, Howard Barbaree and colleagues estimated that teenagers perpetrated 20 percent of all rapes and half of all child molestations.

A 2006 report for the Ohio Sentencing Commission said 93 percent of molestation victims were well known to their perpetrators, over half the offenders victimized close relatives, and 93 percent of molesters had never been arrested for a previous sex crime.

A December 2009 study by David Finkelhor of UNH and colleagues for the US Justice Department analyzed national sex crime data from 2004. That year the estimated population of underage sex offenders was 89,000, and they had committed 35.8 percent of all sex crimes reported to police. One in eight juvenile sex offenders was under age 12. The study said that between 85 and 95 percent of young offenders would never face another sex charge.

Myth: Residency restrictions are harmless to sex offenders and protect kids

A 2005 survey of 135 Florida sex offenders by researchers Jill Levenson and Leo Cotter found that residency restrictions had forced 22 percent of this group to move out of homes they already owned. 25 percent were unable to return to their homes after release from prison. Respondents agreed in varying degrees with these statements about the impact of residency restrictions on their lives:
  • I cannot live with supportive family members. 30%
  • I find it difficult to find affordable housing. 57%
  • I have suffered financially. 48%
  • I have suffered emotionally. 60%
  • I have had to move out of an apartment that I rented. 28%

The Iowa County Attorneys Association issued a position paper in 2006 opposing a 2,000 foot residency restriction against sex offenders from places where kids congregate. Among many criticisms, the prosecutors said, “Law enforcement has observed that the residency restriction is causing offenders to become homeless, to change residences without notifying authorities of their new locations, to register false addresses or to simply disappear. If they do not register, law enforcement and the public do not know where they are living. The resulting damage to the reliability of the sex offender registry does not serve the interests of public safety.”

A 2007 report by the Minnesota Department of Corrections tracked 224 sex offenders released from prison between 1999 and 2002 who committed new sex crimes prior to 2006. The first contact between victim and offender never happened near a school, daycare center or other place where children congregate. The report concluded, “Not one of the 224 sex offenses would likely have been deterred by a residency restrictions law.” The study warned that these laws isolate offenders in rural areas with little social and treatment support, with poor transportation access and with few job opportunities. The resulting increase in homelessness makes them harder to track and supervise. “Rather than lowering sexual recidivism,” the report said, “housing restrictions may work against this goal by fostering conditions that exacerbate sex offenders’ reintegration into society.”

A position paper on the current website of the Iowa Association of Social Workers says that concentrations of Iowa sex offenders are living in motels, trailer parks, interstate highway rest stops, parking lots and tents. The site notes many other unintended consequences:
  • Families of offenders who attempt to remain together are effectively subjected to the same restrictions, meaning that they too are forced to move, and may have to leave jobs, de-link from community ties, and remove their children from schools and friends.
  • Physically or mentally impaired offenders who depend on family for regular support are prevented from living with those on whom they rely for help.
  • Threat of family disruption may leave victims of familial sexual abuse reluctant to report the abuse to authorities, thereby undermining the intention of the law.
  • Threat of being subjected to the residency restriction has led to a significant decrease in the number of offenders who, as part of the trial process, disclose their sexual offenses; consequently, fewer offenders are being held accountable for their actions.
  • Loss of residential stability, disconnection from family, and social isolation run contrary to the “best practice” approaches for treatment of sex offenders and thus put offenders at higher risk of re-offense.
  • No distinction is made between those offenders who pose a real risk to children and those who pose no known threat.

Myth: Treatment is a waste of money on sex offenders

The New Hampshire Prison sex offender treatment program compiled recidivism data in 1999 for a national survey by the Colorado Department of Corrections. Lance Messenger, the New Hampshire program director at the time, reported a 6.2% sex crime re-arrest rate after an average of 4.8 years on parole for 204 men who completed the Intensive Sex Offender Treatment Program. The recidivism rate was 12.4% for 435 sex offenders who received no treatment and had spent an average of 8.6 years in the community. Messenger is now in private practice and recently told this writer his report did not constitute a rigorous scientific study.

A study in 2000 by the Vermont Corrections Department tracked 190 sex offenders released a decade earlier. The arrest rate over 10 years for new sex offenses was 3.8 percent for people who had completed the sex offender treatment program. It was 22.4 percent for those who started the program, but dropped out or got kicked out. Those who never attended had a 27 percent recidivism rate.

A 2003 New Zealand study led by Ian Labie entitled, “Paedophile programmes work,” found that 175 offenders who completed treatment while on parole had an average sexual recidivism rate of 5 per cent over four years. Two control groups without treatment attained rates of 21 and 25 percent.

A Colorado recidivism study in 2003 led by Kerry Lowden tracked 3338 sex offenders released from prison between 1993 and 2002. After three years in the community, 5.3 percent had been arrested for a new sex crime. Each month an inmate took part in the intensive therapeutic community for sex offenders behind the walls reduced by 1 percent his risk of committing a later sex crime. The report said these treatment programs “profoundly improve public safety as measured by officially recorded recidivism.”

Vermont corrections personnel tracked 195 adult male sex offenders over a six-year period ending in 2006. Those who completed sex offender treatment had a sex-offense recidivism rate of 5.4 percent, compared with 30 percent for people who never took that treatment.

Lorraine R. Reitzel and Joyce L. Carbonell published a meta-analysis in 2006 of nine studies of recidivism among juvenile sex offenders with a combined sample of 2,986 kids. The sex crime recidivism rate was 12.5 percent for young offenders tracked for an average of 59 months. The rate was 7.37 percent for kids who had taken a sex offender treatment program and 18.9 percent for those who had not.

A 2009 report by Robin Goldman of the Minnesota Department of Corrections compared two samples of 1,020 sex offenders released between 1999 and 2003. One group had taken an intensive sex offender treatment program and the other had not. The treated group had a 27 percent lower sex crime recidivism rate. The report concluded, “These findings are consistent with the growing body of research supporting the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral treatment for sex offenders.”

Myth: Sex offenders have a 94 percent recidivism rate

Proponents of tough sanctions against sex offenders often cite a Canadian study published in 2004, “Lifetime Sex Offender Recidivism: A 25 year Follow-Up Study,” led by Canadian researcher Ron Langevin. The authors looked at 320 Canadian sex offenders referred to a single clinic for psychiatric evaluations between 1966 and 1974, when treatment programs for this group were uncommon. The report used an unusual definition of a recidivist as someone who had committed two or more sex crimes in their lifetime, even crimes they did before researchers began to follow them.

Langevin reported a 61.1 percent sex crime recidivism rate, including 51.1 percent for incest. The researchers also tabulated confessions the offenders made during counseling and new arrests that failed to bring convictions. Adding those presumed crimes to actual convictions increased the overall sexual recidivism rate to 88.3 percent, including 84.2 percent for incest. Measured this way, molesters of young children outside their own family had an even higher rate, 94.1 sex crime recidivism over 25 years. To this writer’s knowledge, that is the highest reported rate in any of the hundreds of existing recidivism studies. It underlies much of the widespread belief that all sex offenders are incurable and unrepentant.

Critics of Langevin claim his cohort was the worst of the worst offenders. Canadian researcher Karl Hanson has called it a nonrandom sample chosen for evaluations in connection with major prosecutions, civil commitment proceedings or insanity defense cases. This group also came under scrutiny in a different era when sex offender treatment programs were rare and experimental. The ensuing revolution in child protection and sex abuse prosecution over half a century has swollen American prison populations of sex offenders by fifty- and a hundred-fold. The group in prison now is arguably less prone to recidivism than members of the Langevin study.

Canadian researcher Cheryl Webster and colleagues have called the Langevin study so flawed it lacks any scientific integrity. In a rebuttal entitled “Results by Design: The Artefactual Construction of High Recidivism Rates for Sex Offenders,” Webster said more than half the individuals in the sample were already recidivists by Langevin’s definition at the time of their evaluations, thus ensuring at least a 50 percent recidivism rate. In the rest of the literature on criminology and in the popular press, recidivism generally means a new crime committed after release from prison.

Webster noted the Langevin sample was much larger at first. His team removed any people from the study whose criminal records had been lost or purged from the justice system after 15 years for lack of new crimes or charges. In effect, the scientists deleted most of the non-recidivists and thereby skewed the recidivism rate. In a reply to his critics, Langevin cautioned against making claims about all sex offenders based on this sample. He defended his definition of recidivism as one of many legitimate ways to measure it.

Those promoting tough sex offender laws rely as well on a 1997 study led by Robert Prentky. His group looked at 136 rapists and 115 child molesters released from the Bridgewater sex offender civil commitment center in Massachusetts between 1959 and 1986. The sexual recidivism rates based on new sexual charges were 32 percent for molesters and 25 percent for rapists. But the length of time the men were free in the community varied widely. If all had been at large the full 25 years covered in the study, the authors estimated the sexual recidivism rates would have been 52 percent for molesters and 39 percent for rapists.

This research dates from the same period as the Langevin findings and looked at a narrow sample of men already adjudicated to be an acute risk to reoffend. The average rapist had 2.5 sex crimes on his record before the crime that sent him to Bridgewater. The child molesters averaged 3.6 sex offenses prior to the crime that triggered civil commitment. Using Lengevin’s method, the recidivism rates for both groups would have been nearly 100 percent. The Prentky researchers concluded, “The obvious, marked heterogeneity of sexual offenders precludes automatic generalization of the rates reported here to other samples.”

Fact: Most types of sex offenders have low sex-crime recidivism

A report to the Ohio Sentencing Commission in 1989 said 8 percent of sex offenders were convicted of a new sex crime within a decade. The 10-year Ohio recidivism rate for incest was 7.4 percent.

A 1998 Canadian Government study by Karl Hanson and Monique Bussiere, entitled “Predicting Relapse: A meta-Analysis of Sexual Offender Recidivism Studies,” examined 61 research efforts between 1943 and 1995 with a combined sample of 28,972 sex offenders. The overall recidivism rate for new sex offenses was 13.4 percent during the average follow-up period of four to five years. Of the 9,603 child molesters in the combined cohort, the rate was 12.7 percent. Some of these studies dated back to the period when only stereotype serial sex offenders went to prison, thus weighting the results toward greater recidivism.

Roger Hood and three British colleagues followed 162 released sex offenders for four years and tracked 62 others for six years. Their report in 2002, entitled “Sex offenders emerging from long-term imprisonment; A Study of Their Long-term Reconviction Rates and of Parole Board Members' Judgements of Their Risk,” found 1.2 percent were re-imprisoned for a new sex crime after two years. The report concluded, “These facts need to be more widely recognized and disseminated if there is to be rational debate on this emotive subject.”

A 2000 Iowa Corrections study tracked 233 sex offenders released in 1995 and 1996 under a new sex offender registry law. That group had a 3 percent sex crime recidivism rate after 4.3 years in the community. A similar control group of 201 sex offenders released before the registry law took effect had a 3.5 percent sex recidivism rate in the same length of time. The group supervised under the registry had a somewhat lower average recidivism risk score to begin with, and it had a higher proportion of people on probation as opposed to parole. The difference in recidivism rates was statistically insignificant.

A U.S. Justice Department report in 2003 tracked 9,691 sex offenders released from prisons in New York, California, Ohio and 12 other large states in 1994. Their recidivism rate for new sex arrests and convictions after three years on parole was 5.3 percent. 7.3 percent of child molesters with two or more prior arrests for that crime were charged anew for molesting. That compares with a 2.4 percent sexual recidivism rate for child molesters with only one prior arrest for that crime.

Karl Hanson and Andrew Harris published a 2004 report on 4,724 sex offenders in 10 Canadian and American samples ranging from 191 to 1,138 subjects. The average follow-up period was seven years after release. The overall sexual recidivism rates were 14 percent after five years, 20 percent after 10 years and 24 percent after 15 years. Incest offenders had corresponding rates of 6, 9 and 13 percent. Recidivism was defined as a new sex crime arrest or a new conviction. Counting only new convictions, the recidivism rates were generally half as high.

Karl Hanson and Morton-Bourgon published a similar meta-analysis in 2005 of 73 recidivism studies with a combined cohort of 19,267 sex offenders. After an average of nearly six years in the community they had a new sex crimes recidivism rate of 14.3 percent.

A 2005 report by Robert Barnoski of the Washington State Institute for Public Policy tracked the five-year sexual recidivism rates for 8,359 sex offenders released from Washington prisons between 1986 and 1999. Here are the results by year of release, showing the rate decreased over time.

A 2006 New York study analyzed the recidivism patterns for 19,827 sex offenders. The rate for new sex offenses after one year in the community was 2 percent. The cumulative rate increased to 3 percent after two years, 6 percent after five years, and 8 percent after 8 years.

A 2006 California study followed 93 adjudicated high-risk sexually violent predators released from civil commitment at the Atascadero State Hospital. Only 4.3 percent of these worst-of-the-worst offenders had committed new sex offenses after six years on the street.

A 2007 study by the Missouri Department of Corrections tracked 3,166 sex offenders released between 1990 and 2002. Twelve percent had been re-arrested for a new sex crime in those 12 years, and 10 percent had been reconvicted. The report also looked at sex offenders released in 2002. In the first three years on parole their sex crime recidivism rate was 3 percent. The report concluded, “Due to the dramatic decrease in sexual recidivism since the early 1990s, recent sexual re-offense rates have been very low, thus significantly limiting the extent to which sexual reoffending can be further reduced.”

An Alaska Judicial Council report in 2007 said 3 percent of sex offenders had committed a new sex crime in their first three years after release from prison.

A 2007 report by the Tennessee Department of Safety found that 4.7 percent of 504 sex offenders released from prison in 2001 were arrested for a new sex offense after three years. The sex crime recidivism rate was zero for offenders whose original crime was incest.

A 2007 Minnesota Department of Corrections study tracked 3,166 sex offenders released from Minnesota prisons between 1990 and 2002. After an average of 8.4 years in the community, 10 percent had been convicted of a new sex offense. Those released in the beginning of the study period were much more likely to reoffend within three years than those released later -- 17 percent in 1990 as opposed to 3 percent in 2002.

A 2007 report by Jared Bauer of the West Virginia Division of Corrections tracked 325 sex offenders for three years after release from prison in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The recidivism rate for any return to prison, not just for sex crimes, was 9.5 percent. Only six parolees returned for new sex related crimes, including three for failing to properly register as a sex offender. The sex crime recidivism rate was slightly less than 2 percent. Only 1 percent had an actual sex crime victim.

A 2008 report by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tracked 4,280 sex offenders paroled in 2003. In the first year 2.43 percent had been arrested for new sex crimes. The cumulative totals were 3.27 percent at the end of the second year and 3.55 percent after three years.

A 2008 study by California's Sex Offender Management Board reported on 4,204 sex offenders released in 1997 and 1998. 3.38 percent were convicted of new sex offenses in the next decade.

Utah criminologist Larry Bench tracked 389 Utah sex offenders for up to 25 years after release. His 2008 report disclosed that 7.2 percent had been arrested for a new sex crime.

An Indiana Corrections report in the spring of 2009 found that sex offenders released in 2005 had compiled a 1.05 percent sex crime re-conviction rate in three years. The study said this rate was “extremely low” and showed “a great deal of promise.”

Stan Orchowsky and Janice Iwama authored a 2009 study for the U.S. Justice Research and Statistics Association which showed similar low sex crime re-arrest rates after three years for sex offenders released from prison in 2001. The rates by state were as follows: Alaska 3.4%, Arizona 2.3%, Delaware 3.8%, Illinois 2.4%, Iowa 3.9%, New Mexico 1.8%, South Carolina 4.0%, and Utah 9.0%. The comparison three-year national rate was 5.3 percent noted previously for inmates released in 1994.

Chris Dornin is a retired newspaper journalist and volunteer into NH Prison who watched the New Hampshire legislature enact its recent sex offender laws. He can be reached at 603-228-9610 or .

KS - Veteran Denied Job After Company Makes Background Check Mistake (And, it could happen to you as well!)

Original Article


By Stephanie Hockridge

KANSAS CITY - A metro veteran needed a job to help pay some bills and get back on his feet, but he says the opportunity to work at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas, was taken away from him after he was falsely accused of being a sex offender.

Christopher Michael Reynolds says that he was supposed to start at the water park on May 4th, but when he showed up, officials told him to leave after he was informed that he was a registered sex offender.

"My jaw just dropped, I mean, no way," said Reynolds. "I was like, this is so untrue."

According to ADP, the company that conducts background checks for Schlitterbahn, Christopher Reynolds was convicted of sexual battery in Bexar, Indiana, on March 11, 2007.

But there is a big problem with the company's background check.

"When this happened, I was in Iraq, serving in the Army National Guard," said Reynolds.

Reynolds has a solid alibi with his military records, and the more he investigated, the more Reynolds learned about ADP's investigation.

"His eye color, his height, the weight, the fact that I've never been to Indiana," said Reynolds, who says that he even found a picture of the other Christopher Reynolds, the sex offender, who also has a different middle name.

It was a silly mistake, but one that Reynolds says has some serious implications.

"I was really relying on this job to get some stuff paid off, to get back on my feet," said Reynolds, who has been out of work for months and is now living at a homeless shelter. "I came home for medical issues for PTSD and depression and have been seeing a doctor for that. When I found out I had this job, I was excited, and when I found out I lost it, I was kind of down again."

Schlitterbahn spokesperson Jeffrey Siebert says that this wasn't the first time that ADP has gotten a background investigation wrong.

"If there is, for whatever reason, uncertainty, we just want to make sure that that is cleared up," said Siebert, who says that Reynolds will be allowed to continue the application process.

But Reynolds says no thanks, saying that he doesn't want the job because he's afraid that potential coworkers would have heard only the wrong half of the story.

The Jim Crows are Back

The Stand I Take

In a time when many people, including government officials, are calling for more stringent sex offender laws, why would anyone stand up for these people? This is a question that you may be asking yourself… if you are not a sex offender or not related to one. Since the studies and mounting proof from experts in the field of sex offender management have been ignored, I will present my explanation in another way.

My answer will likely fall on deaf ears if you are a vigilante, xenophobic, or a victim for profit. However if you have an open mind let me tell you why I feel the way I do.

If in defense of my stand I told you that tougher laws will only cause more victims, would you believe it?

A fact of the registry is that it is growing at an annual rate of about 8%. Another fact is that 94.7% of all registered sex offenders will not reoffend. So while you are trying to figure out who is a danger, the real bad guy is killing someone. This could be avoided to a great extent if those not likely to reoffended were removed from the public view so that you could find the truly dangerous offenders in your neighborhood.

As it stands now, most people do not trust the information of the registry since there is a dilution roughly 5% to 95% of those who pose a threat and those who do not. But the public is not trained to differentiate who is a danger and who is not.

Another argument against the registry as a protection is that of stress. According to experts in the field, many of the laws related to the registry cause an inordinate amount of stress. If you ever watch TV shows like Criminal Minds, they often talk about what stressor it was that made the person snap. Yes, stressors are a real fact in many forms of criminal behavior. So when we think of laws such as residency restrictions, which place human beings out on the streets, as homeless vagabonds, this is a big stressor.

You may be interested to know that today’s residency restrictions have a distant cousin, Jim Crow Laws. In the sections in yellow to follow I challenge you to replace the word negro with sex offender and see how well it fits in today’s laws code. The only difference is that sex offenders are treated far worse since they do not get separate but equal protection under the law.

Jim Crow Laws - Housing
  1. There shall be separate buildings, not nearer than one fourth mile to each other, one for white boys and one for negro boys. White boys and negro boys shall not, in any manner, be associated together or worked together. Florida
  2. The children of white and colored races committed to the houses of reform shall be kept entirely separate from each other. Kentucky
  3. Any person...who shall rent any part of any such building to a negro person or a negro family when such building is already in whole or in part in occupancy by a white person or white family, or vice versa when the building is in occupancy by a negro person or negro family, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five ($25.00) nor more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars or be imprisoned not less than 10, or more than 60 days, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. Louisiana

Another stressor for former sex offenders is that of finding employment. Many of us know how great the stress of being unemployed can be. But think of this. If you had a family, a wife, kids, and a dog and you did find a place to hire you, but then they learn that their address must be listed on the public registry, how great a stressor would it be for you to lose the only chance you have to feed your family because of a law that protects no one? How much would this hurt your family?

Jim Crow Law - Labor
  1. No colored barber shall serve as a barber [to] white women or girls. Georgia
  2. All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license. Georgia
  3. All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine...shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room at any time. Georgia

Surely we would want former sex offenders to get an education so that they can become more productive, trustworthy citizens, right? In many states schools and libraries are off limits to sex offenders. Even if they are allowed on school property they must register and this registration becomes public. At that point, many times, vigilantes step in and harass the registered offender until they quit. In earlier times these vigilantes were known as the KKK. I have a question for you, would you have been one of the courageous to stand up for black people when standing up for black people was looked down upon or would you dawn the robe?

Jim Crow Law – Education/Libraries
  1. [The County Board of Education] shall provide schools of two kinds; those for white children and those for colored children. Texas
  2. Separate schools shall be maintained for the children of the white and colored races. Mississippi
  3. The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately. Florida
  4. The board of trustees shall...maintain a separate building...on separate ground for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black race. Louisiana
  5. Separate free schools shall be established for the education of children of African descent; and it shall be unlawful for any colored child to attend any white school, or any white child to attend a colored school. Missouri
  6. Separate rooms [shall] be provided for the teaching of pupils of African descent, and [when] said rooms are so provided, such pupils may not be admitted to the school rooms occupied and used by pupils of Caucasian or other descent. New Mexico
  7. Textbooks: Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall continue to be used by the race first using them. North Carolina
  8. Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where members of the white and colored race are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for each offense. Oklahoma
  9. Libraries: The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals. North Carolina
  10. Any white person of such county may use the county free library under the rules and regulations prescribed by the commissioners court and may be entitled to all the privileges thereof. Said court shall make proper provision for the negroes of said county to be served through a separate branch or branches of the county free library, which shall be administered by [a] custodian of the negro race under the supervision of the county librarian. Texas

If this is not enough, what about restricting sex offenders from parks. This must be a new thing…right?

Jim Crow Law - Parks
  1. It shall be unlawful for colored people to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the benefit, use and enjoyment of white persons...and unlawful for any white person to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the use and benefit of colored persons. Georgia
  2. It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play baseball in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race. Georgia

A few states allow probation officers to tell a registered offender, on probation or parole, who can live in their home with them, such as a wife or girlfriend. Some states even allow probation officers to forbid a registered offender under their supervision from marrying. Again this is not new but is a civil and human rights violation.

Jim Crow Law – Cohabitation/Marriage
  1. Any negro man and white woman, or any white man and negro woman, who are not married to each other, who shall habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding twelve (12) months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred ($500.00) dollars. Florida
  2. All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent to the fourth generation inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited. Florida
  3. The marriage of a person of Caucasian blood with a Negro, Mongolian, Malay, or Hindu shall be null and void. Arizona
  4. The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or person who shall have one-eighth or more of negro blood, shall be unlawful and void. Mississippi
  5. It shall be unlawful for a white person to marry anyone except a white person. Any marriage in violation of this section shall be void. Georgia
  6. All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, or between a white person and a member of the Malay race; or between the negro and a member of the Malay race; or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race, are forever prohibited, and shall be void. Maryland
  7. All marriages between...white persons and negroes or white persons and Mongolians...are prohibited and declared absolutely void...No person having one-eighth part or more of negro blood shall be permitted to marry any white person, nor shall any white person be permitted to marry any negro or person having one-eighth part or more of negro blood. Missouri
  8. All marriages of white persons with Negroes, Mulattos, Mongolians, or Malaya hereafter contracted in the State of Wyoming are and shall be illegal and void. Wyoming

What about the stress of travel restrictions. What if your wife had dreamed of going on a special vacation with you. You saved for years to take her on that trip and then one day, many years after your crime and release from prison, a new law is enacted and you can no longer travel abroad without jumping through hoops. What if the law was designed in a way that the foreign country would refuse your entry, even if you are no danger at all. How much stress would this cause you? How much would it hurt your wife?

Jim Crow Laws – Travel Restrictions
  1. The conductor must tell each passenger where to sit, that is, in the car or section of the car indicated for his race. If a passenger does not comply, he will be ejected from the train and the railroad will not be liable to damage claims resulting from the ejection. (This law is not operative in the case of passengers of either race who enter the State on a trip from another State which has no such law.) Alabama
  2. Unlawful to willfully refuse or fail to comply with any reasonable rule, regulation or directive; penalty is $500 maximum.
  3. When a passenger has been assigned an accommodation, he must stay there. The conductor and others of the train crew have the power to eject passengers. Georgia
  4. This separation must be maintained on sleeping cars also. Car officials have the power to require and maintain this separation and have the power to punish if the public does not maintain it. Georgia
  5. If a passenger refuses an assignment made by a company, he faces a fine of $25 or 30 days. Louisiana
  6. A passenger may be ejected from a station for refusal to go to the place assigned him. Louisiana
  7. If the driver does not assign passengers to accommodations in this way he may be fined from $100 to $500. Louisiana
  8. No passenger may enter any part of the train if the conductor has told him not to. To do so, constitutes a misdemeanor for which a fine of $10 may be imposed. North Carolina
  9. Whites must take seats from the front and colored from the rear. If a passenger is told to move in order to maintain this pattern of seating, he must do it or face a misdemeanor charge for which he may be fined $50 or 30 days. Company officials have police powers to carry out the provisions of this act. North Carolina
  10. A company employee or agent may reapportion the seating, if necessary, compelling passengers to move as often as may be necessary. Provided, however, that no white and colored persons shall occupy contiguous seats. A company agent failing to carry out these provisions may be fined $5 to $25. A passenger who refuses to act in accordance with these regulations, after having been told of his violation of the law, is guilty of a misdemeanor for which he may be fined $5 to $25. Furthermore, the passenger may be ejected, and may secure no part of his fare in return. VIRGINIA

You see, laws like these are not new. The only difference is the target. Today it is fashionable to hate sex offenders. It is the, "In thing". It also shows that we have not evolved as a people. We like to hate someone. We like to feel power over them to elevate ourselves above them. We are small minded individuals.

Yes, I know, some of you would say that sex offenders are different, that they are dangerous and that blacks were not. The truth is, that was the exact argument that was used against black people. Black men were said to be such a danger to white women and children that they could not even go to the same parks, schools or libraries as white women and children. True, there were a few incidences where black men did rape and kill white women, however was it sound reasoning to punish the whole race for the crimes of just a few. We know the answer to that but we still continue down that same path today. Prejudice is based on hate, fear and ignorance.

This same prejudice is at work again today. Studies show that 94.7% of former sex offenders are no danger to you or anyone and yet the public and politicians call for more laws against this entire class, even those who have reformed and been crime free for decades. We prefer to think that they cannot change. The same was said of the black man, “It is in his nature.” The lies of fearful uninformed people.

No matter how you slice it targeting sex offenders as a class is prejudice and prejudice comes in many forms. The measure of a person is if they can lift themselves above the prejudice or if they succumb to their base emotions, their ego, their hate.

After reading this, if you are still convinced that more restrictions on former sex offenders are just and due, then it is likely that you would have fit in well during the times of the Jim Crow Laws, laws that unjustly targeted a whole class of American citizens.

I however would have fared no better during those dark ages of American history than I do today when the new niggers (not meant offensively) in town are the sex offenders.

Each of us has a choice. We can learn the facts and listen to the experts or we can succumb to hate and fear.

The choice is yours, robe or no robe…

R. English, rode free.

(R. English is a cartoonist/artist/author, an activist, a husband and a father. But most of all he is an ardent fighter for the underdog and for civil and human rights.)

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