Monday, June 21, 2010

IN - Efforts are under way to make sure sex offenders in Marion and six surrounding counties are on the Sex Offender Registry List

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OH - Ohio Court Rules on Sex Offender Classification

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06/21/2010

Ohio Supreme Court has ruled in a decision to require the Ohio Attorney General's Office (Contact) to contact sex offenders and update them of their classification status.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office has begun to remove individuals from the sex offender registry who no longer have to register as sex offenders as directed by the Ohio Supreme Court.

According to a news release by the Gallia County Sheriff's Office, the Attorney General's Office is responsible for contacting the offenders as they are removed from the registry.

Over the next several weeks, the Attorney General's Office will then contact offenders who remain on the registry that will have new classifications as a result of the Supreme Court's decision.

It is the recommendation of the Gallia County Sheriff's Department that offenders continue reporting until their status has been finally determined.


FL - Ex-Cop (Rene Guillen) Accepts Plea Deal On Child Sex Charges

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06/21/2010

BAL HARBOUR (CBS4) - The Bal Harbour police officer accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old child has accepted a plea deal, which would include five years in state prison followed by 10 years probation. The officer – Rene Guillen – would also be labeled a sexual predator.

Guillen was arrested more than a year ago with sexual battery charges committed against a minor under the age of 12.

A statement by police revealed the victim was seven-years-old and that Guillen had sexually assaulted the victim while she visited Guillen's residence on April 25, 2009, at approximately 8:00 p.m.

The former police officer was suspended without pay soon after the department became aware of Guillen's crime.


MN - Sexual predator treatment squeezes state budgets

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06/21/2010

By MARTIGA LOHN

MOOSE LAKE - Just off the highway leading to this woodsy Minnesota town, more than 400 men live behind tall fences topped with razor wire. They spend their days shuffling between meals, group therapy sessions and activities such as painting state park signs.
- This doesn't sound like civil commitment, but prison, and forced slave labor.

The men are sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences. But because they are still considered dangerous, they have been locked away indefinitely - part of a national trend that began when states were flush with cash.

Now these "civil commitment" programs are costing states hundreds of millions of dollars more than anyone envisioned, and they've created a political quandary for lawmakers who need to cut spending but don't want to be seen as soft on rapists and child molesters.

A nationwide Associated Press analysis found that the 20 states with civil commitment laws will spend nearly $500 million this year alone to lock up and treat 5,200 offenders.

The annual costs per offender topped out at $175,000 in New York and $173,000 in California, and averaged $96,000 a year, about double what it would cost to send them to an Ivy League university. In some states, like Minnesota, sex offender treatment costs more than five times more than keeping offenders in prison. And those estimates do not include the considerable legal expenses necessary to commit someone.
- Because most prisons do not "treat" people, and do not have the staff to do so, so of course it's going to cost less.

In many places, treatment costs are up sharply since 2005, raising doubts about whether the system is still worthwhile in an era of ruthless budget cuts brought on by the recession.

"I've heard people in a lot of the states quietly say, 'Oh, my God, I wish we'd never gotten this law,'" said W. Lawrence Fitch, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. "No one would ever dare offer repeal because it's just untenable."
- It's all a PR nightmare.  They've slid down the slippery slope, and cannot come back now, or else, like said, they'd look "soft" on crime, and that could cost them their jobs.

The laws target sex offenders who are considered likely to strike again. When one of them is close to finishing a prison sentence, prosecutors file a civil case to prove that person still threatens the public and needs treatment. If the court agrees, the prisoner is committed in much the same way that someone with a serious mental illness would be sent to an institution.

The heavy financial burden of treating confined sex offenders has left lawmakers with less money as they make agonizing cuts to areas like education and health care. Politicians who spent years cracking down on sex crimes now struggle to pay for their tougher laws.
- The tax payers wanted all this, so why not raise taxes and make them pay for it?

"It's easy to say, 'Lock everybody up and throw away the key,'" said state Rep. Michael Paymar (Email), a St. Paul Democrat who heads a public safety budget panel. "But it's just not practical."
- Like I said, when you are not having to fork over your hard earned money for something you wanted, then yeah, it's easy to want it, that is why I said they should raise taxes and make the public who wanted it, pay for it. Then I'm sure they'd rethink what they wanted!

The laws have withstood legal challenges all the way to the Supreme Court. They are considered constitutional as long as their purpose is treatment, not detention. But living up to that standard can cost far more than traditional prison. And the costs persist for years because most inmates will never be released.
- So how many have been released? When is a study going to be done to show it's about detention and not treatment? If it was about treatment, then why have none been released yet?

The programs have given rise to new and bigger treatment centers: California opened a 1,500-bed facility for sexual predators in 2005. Minnesota opened a 400-bed building last year and plans another expansion at Moose Lake, 110 miles north of the Twin Cities.


Truth of Residency Restrictions

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