Thursday, June 24, 2010

South Park: Child Abduction is Not Funny

With the media full of school shootings, terrorist threats, and child abductions, the parents of South Park grow excessively concerned about the safety of their children. Tweek is scared the most by the media reports, and his parents serve only to exacerbate his fears by turning their house into a virtual prison and playing cruel intellectual games with him designed by intention to increase his safety. Tweak loses his ability to empathize with others and refuses to assist a cripple on train tracks. After a real child abductor (pretending to be the ghost of human kindness) fails to kidnap Tweek, the parents of South Park are put on high alert.

Taking advantage of expensive technology, and commissioning the owner of City Wok, Mr. Lu Kim to build a huge wall around the city similar to the Great Wall of China. Media reports continue to file in- it first convinces them they should not leave their children alone for a moment, prompting the parents to go with them anywhere they go. A later report convinces them they cannot even trust their own neighbors and family friends, forcing the parents to sever ties with each other. The kids, annoyed and embarrassed by their parents actions, initially blame Tweek for their parents' paranoia, but eventually decide that they'd resort to something this stupid eventually.

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NY - Taxpayers paying for ineffective sex-offender treatment programs

Original Article (Listen)

I agree that the laws are bankrupting this country, do not and will not work, and are ruining millions of lives, but, I do not agree with the statement: "There are no studies that show treatment reduces recidivism." This man apparently did not do much investigating, or he'd see there are a ton of studies out there that show treatment does reduce recidivism, which is already low.

06/24/2010

By CHARLOTTE HSU

Federal and state governments have shelled out billions of dollars on programs to track, treat and punish sex offenders—even as those programs do little or nothing to prevent recidivism, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Charles Patrick Ewing (Contact) told a crowd of about 100 attending his UBThisSummer lecture yesterday in Talbert Hall.

My conclusion is thumbs down,” said Ewing, the Law School’s vice dean for legal skills. “We, the American and New York State taxpayers, are being hosed, to put it bluntly. We’re spending billions of dollars that largely go for cosmetic programs.”

Ewing’s talk, appropriately titled, “Perverted Justice: Sex Offenders and the Law,” focused on four issues: civil commitment laws, which allow states to lock up sex offenders indefinitely; Megan’s laws, which require sex offenders to register their address and other information for use in public databases; sentences for possession of child pornography that are so severe that they are sometimes harsher than sentences for actual molestation; and attitudes driving increasingly harsh punishments for solicitation of sex from minors over the Internet.

Under civil commitment laws, a judge or jury can order “sexually violent predators”—offenders who, in essence, are found likely to commit criminal sexual acts again—to remain in state custody against their will, even after finishing a criminal sentence. These laws allow states to commit offenders indefinitely to hospitals where they can receive treatment if they admit to their crimes, though many already have completed multiple treatment programs. (In California, Ewing said, three quarters of convicts in such facilities refuse treatment.)

The result is a system that is expensive but doesn’t work, Ewing said: “There are no data to establish that this treatment is effective in reducing recidivism.” New York State spends at least $225,000 on each hospitalized individual, more than five times what it costs to keep an inmate in state prison. And civil commitments, which states often apply to convicts sentenced long before those laws went into effect, raise legal questions—with the U.S. Constitution forbidding ex post facto laws and the trying or convicting of a defendant more than once using the same set of facts.

The hospitals involved in civil commitments are “really prisons,” Ewing said. “We have two in New York State now, and they’re more secure than Attica.”

The patients, Ewing said, are really “inmates.” “These are people who are being locked up. They’ve served their time. They’re being locked up. Why? Because, well, we think they’re going to commit future crimes."

We don’t usually lock people up because we think they’ll commit crimes in the future,” Ewing added.

Megan’s laws, another costly regime, enlarge public bureaucracies while doing little to keep the public safe, Ewing said. In some cases where states have gone further and restricted where sex offenders can live, work and travel, recidivism rates have actually risen, Ewing said. Stringent regulations have pushed some sex offenders into the margins of society, with one colony of convicts residing beneath a highway bridge in Miami.
- Define recidivism? If you are thinking the committing of any crime, then of course the recidivism goes up, but if you are referring to the commission of another sex crime, then this is false.

Ewing ended his lecture with a discussion of sentences for possession of child pornography and Internet solicitations of minors, pointing out the irony in the fact that sentences for these two types of crimes often exceed sentences for crimes including actual molestation, statutory rape and even homicide.

The mean federal sentence for possession of child pornography rose 443 percent between 1997 and 2007 to 91.3 months. While child pornography is repulsive, Ewing said, the severity of such sentences doesn’t necessarily make sense. He noted that, “You can kill somebody and get five, 10, 15 years.” Data indicate that consumers of child pornography are, generally, not hands-on offenders, Ewing said.

America has declared war on sex offenders,” Ewing said, and in doing so, “We’ve gone off the deep end.” He explained that he is not against spending money on interventions that work—ones like an FBI operation that targets distributors of child pornography and has rescued more than 100 children who were being sexually abused. What he opposes, he said, is wasting taxpayer dollars on programs that are ineffective.

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UK - Two face 'sex offender' murder case

Original Article (Listen)

06/24/2010

Two teenagers have appeared at the Old Bailey accused of murdering a man who had been suspected of sexual offences.

A 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were told they will face trial at the end of September.

They were remanded in custody to a plea and case management hearing on August 12, when the charge will be put to them.

They are accused of murdering [name withheld], 45, who was found stabbed to death at a property in Ferndale Road, Stockwell, south London, on April 23.


MA - P’town puts condoms in kids’ hands - Schools making them available to everyone - even first-graders

Original Article (Listen)

06/24/2010

By Hillary Chabot and Renee Nadeau Algarin

A new policy in Provincetown to make condoms available to even first-graders is being called “absurd” and a frantic overreaction to sex education.

What’s next? Birth control pills?” asked Kris Mineau, head of the conservative group Massachusetts Family Institute.

It’s totally absurd,” he said, adding the institute will support parents looking to legally challenge the policy.

Yet school leaders in this tiny tourist town on the tip of Cape Cod said the intent is to counsel kids before they hit the hormone-fueled middle and high school years.

They are children. They often act without information - on assumption, things they’ve heard, rumor, myth,” said school Superintendent Beth Singer. “I think information is always important for kids.”

Starting in September, students shopping for a free condom must have a heart-to-heart with a counselor - including a talk on abstinence - in order to be given one.

The school will not honor parents’ requests that their children not receive the prophylactic, Singer said.

The superintendent added only one parent contacted her, and he simply asked to be informed ahead of the policy’s implementation so he can talk to his child about the birds and the bees before the condoms are up for grabs. Singer believes that the lack of parental control is what has drawn a storm of media attention to the policy.

The policy was crafted following the recommendation of the town’s health advisory committee, Singer said. The school board unanimously backed the new rule June 10.

Individual school districts are allowed to make their own policies about the distribution of condoms, said Heidi Guarino of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education yesterday.

Starting early is the key, said school board Chairman Peter Grosso.

The thing is, sexual activity starts younger and younger,” Grosso added. “We don’t know what age that is. So we just said, ‘We’ll make it available to all of them.’ We didn’t want to pick an age, and I really don’t believe we’re going to get first-graders asking for a condom, as a practical matter.”


CA - Legislation Passed To Deter Sex Offenders From Social Websites

Original Article (Listen)

06/24/2010

The California Assembly Safety Committee passed legislation authored by Senator George Runner (Contact) on Tuesday. It would require all registered sex offenders to register their online addresses with state law enforcement. Senate Bill 1204 is this year’s lone remaining bill which seeks to fight sexual predators that prowl social websites for potential victims.

Runner called SB 1204 another tool for law enforcement to use in monitoring some of society’s most dangerous sex offenders. If the offenders don’t comply with new registration requirements, they risk up to six months in jail.

In the past decade it’s become obvious that internet technology is a convenient means for predators to stalk potential victims,” Runner said. “Sex offenders are already required to register their physical addresses with local police; now we will know what web pages, instant messaging names, and email addresses they maintain.”
- Well, according to the huge study done by many state Attorney Generals and various other organizations, hired by the government, the online victimization issue is blown out of proportion, like usual.

Besides registering online addresses, one of the objectives of SB 1204 is to deter sex offenders from joining Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking websites. While on parole, sex offenders may be prohibited form accessing social networking sites. Once parole is completed, however, a sex offender is free to join such sites.

Under current law, a convicted sex offender, like John Albert Gardner III, can open up an online account using a fake name or incorrect age,” said Runner. “By requiring such accounts be registered, SB 1204 creates a database for law enforcement and a tool which can be used to keep sexual predators from abusing social networking sites.”
- Well, since studies have shown, that most sex crimes being committed today, are from those NOT on any registry, nor have they been caught and convicted yet, this is just another "feel good" piece of crap that does not protect anybody, but is another test to remove people's rights to associate, freedom of speech, etc. What about those who have not been caught yet? Also, if someone is a true predator, then if they wanted to, nothing would stop them from doing just like mentioned, creating a fake email (in a matter of seconds), then signing up for one of these sites. But, that is if they chose to do so.

As the bill moves forward, Senator Runner has committed to ensure that onlilne address information collected under SB 1204 may be accessed to permit social networking sites to voluntarily purge registered sex offenders form the sites.
- Purge them, regardless of any crime or suspicion of a crime, of being committed, all without due process of law, and to hell with people's rights. If they are doing something wrong, or appears to be wrong, then why not the sites contact police to investigate it? Then if needed, obtain a search warrant to arrest the person?

California will join New York and Illinois in enacting such a law. New York passed a similar bill in 2008, known as “e-STOP”.

More than 3,500 registered New York sex offenders have been purged from Facebook and Myspace since the bill passed. John Walsh, co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, supports New York e-STOP, “New York sets the gold standard for other states to follow.
- Yeah, and how many were actually doing anything illegal? None! Yet, like usual, they make it sound like all sex offenders are trolling social networks, foaming at the mouth, like a rabid animal, just looking for people to sexually abuse, which does occur, but is very rare. Most were removed, by discrimination, simply based on a label and not evidence of any wrong-doing.

SB 1204 is supported by statewide law enforcement agencies and associations, as well as Facebook. It moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a vote in coming weeks.


GA - Ex-Officer (Jeremy Christopher Potts) Accused Of Child Porn Possession

Original Article (Listen)

06/24/2010

COBB COUNTY - Cobb County police said a former officer was arrested after officials found child pornography on his computer.

According to detectives from the Cobb County Crimes Against Children Unit, they were initially contacted by investigators from the Department of Public Safety Internal Affairs Unit regarding a complaint of a Cobb County police officer having pornography on his personal computer.

Police said after interviewing the officer Wednesday, investigators secured a search warrant for his home and seized “numerous pieces of electronic media.”

Officials said Jeremy Christopher Potts, 24, of Kennesaw, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

Potts resigned his position with Cobb County and is being held at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on $20,000 bond.


Worried about your child? Get one of these - Insignia™ - Little Buddy Child Tracker

Original Article

Keep tabs on your child at all times with this small but sophisticated device that combines GPS and cellular technology to provide you with real-time location updates. The small and lightweight Little Buddy transmitter fits easily into a backpack, lunchbox or other receptacle, making it easy for your child to carry so you can check his or her location at any time using a smartphone or computer. Customizable safety checks allow you to establish specific times and locations where your child is supposed to be — for example, in school — causing the device to alert you with a text message if your child leaves the designated area during that time. Additional real-time alerts let you know when the device's battery is running low so you can take steps to ensure your monitoring isn't interrupted.

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TX - Sealy to crack down on sex offenders

Original Article

06/24/2010

By ASHLEY TOMPKINS

Registered sex offenders living in Sealy will have some new regulations to meet in coming months as city officials move forward with creating an ordinance to keep offenders away from child safety zones.

There are currently six registered sex offenders living in the city, said Sealy Police Chief John Tollett. That number usually averages between three and six, and with growth on the horizon, Sealy City Council members are moving forward with an ordinance that would keep registered sex offenders 2,000 feet away from schools, daycare facilities, parks and libraries.

City staff is still working on the details of the proposed ordinance, which will be presented to the council for action, but all council members were on board earlier this month when discussing the issue.

I think it’s a good idea,” Tollett said. “The city is growing and it’s time to go ahead with this.”

Registered sex offenders must alert the city when moving to Sealy, and must publish a notice in the newspaper listing where they are moving to. Most offenders are restricted to not go within 500 feet of a school or child safety zone, but the city’s proposed ordinance would increase that to 2,000 feet, the equivalent of about half a mile.

Councilman Mark Stolarski suggested also prohibiting registered sex offenders from going to church, a move councilwoman Yvonne Johnson opposed.

I think let’s not keep them from going to church,” she said.

Tollett said the proposed ordinance, if and when adopted, would apply to any sex offender, not just the ones who live in Sealy.

That applies to the sex offender who gets off the bus in our city,” the chief noted.

Still, Tollett said it’s hard to police those who have not registered with the city.

I don’t have a problem with any of it, but I do want council to realize that if you’re a sex offender and you stop in our town and you stop over here (at Levine Park) to eat a sandwich, there’s no way for our police officers to know if you’re a sex offender. This is a great move, but we still have to be careful with our children.”

Sealy City Manager Chris Coffman echoed Tirey’s sentiments, saying it’s the non-registered sex offenders who fly under the radar who present the biggest problem for the city.

We find that most of them are going to register because they’re going back to the (prison) if they don’t,” Tollett noted. “It’s the ones who don’t that are the problem.”

Austin County alerts the city if a registered sex offender is living in Sealy, but there is no way to check others who may have moved to Sealy, but did not register without searching the Texas Department of Public Safety database to determine if someone is a sex offender or not. Tirey suggested running the check when residents set up utility services to catch those who would otherwise not register with the city. Councilman Larry Koy took his recommendation a step further, saying he’d like to see regulation that extended the radius to keep sex offenders entirely out of the City of Sealy. While Coffman appreciated the idea, he noted the city cannot prohibit anyone from living within the community.


OH - Sex Offender Speaks Out After Ruling Takes His, Others' Names Off Registry

Original Article (Listen)

06/23/2010

By Tom Brockman

COLUMBUS - Approximately 2,600 sex offenders in Ohio will soon be taken off the state's sex offender registry due to a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court that invalidated two provisions of the Adam Walsh Act.

NBC 4 interviewed a Central Ohio sex offender who was recently taken off the registry.

"Sex offenders need to be off the streets. They need to be away from children," said "Andrew," the sex offender who asked to remain anonymous.
- Hey "Andrew", not all sex offenders have harmed children, and it's easy for you to say this now that you are off the registry, but I'm sure when you were on it, you thought differently.

"Andrew," by definition, is a sex offender. In fact, he said he spent 13 years on the state's sex offender registry and was just recently removed from the list.

You'd think he'd be happy, but he isn't.

In 1998, he said he was convicted of corruption of a minor after he massaged his pre-teen step-daughter's legs following a soccer game.

"I don't know of a parent that hasn't rubbed their child's leg," he said.

He spent 47 days in jail and was classified as a sexually-oriented offender, so he had to register with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office once a year for ten years.

But when the Adam Walsh Act went into effect in 2008, he was reclassified as a Tier 1 offender.

"My sentence went from ten years of reporting to 15 years," he said.

Recently, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that parts of the Adam Walsh Act were invalid and 26,000 sex offenders like "Andrew" who were sentenced prior to 2008 had to revert back to their previous classifications and sentencing.

The good news for Andrew is that he was recently taken off the registry. The bad news is that he had to register three years longer than his original sentence called for.

"It limited me in any travel I would have wanted. It limited me in my ability to get a job," he said. "When people Googled my name, the first thing that comes up is my ESORN picture."

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray's (Contact) office said that 2,600 registered offenders will be taken off the list in the coming years due to the Ohio Supreme Court's ruling.

"Andrew" said he is considering a civil suit against the Attorney General's office over the decision to make the Adam Walsh Act retroactive, which he said cost him work and a relationship with his family.

"Had he not gone retro, I'd have no issues," he said.

Video Link


South Park: Cartman Joins NAMBLA

Cartman decides he is too mature to be with Stan, Kyle, and Kenny; so he starts to look for older male friends in an Internet chat room. He stumbles upon the topic "Men Who Like Young Boys" and talks to some eager men who Cartman believes want to be friends with him. In reality, they are actually internet predators who are sexually attracted to young boys.

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South Park: The Wacky Molestation Adventure

Cartman has four tickets for a Raging P------ concert and the boys all want to go, but Kyle asks his parents if he can go, and, of course, his parents forbid him from going. When he tries to negotiate, Kyle's mom says (sarcastically) that Kyle can go if he cleans out the garage, shovels all the snow from the driveway and brings democracy to Cuba, all of which Kyle does. Sheila and Gerald are left speechless when they see Kyle being given credit on the news, but still will not let him go to the concert since the task was supposed to be impossible. In his fury, he questions his parents' authority and shouts out his wishes of not having parents as he leaves the house, shocking his parents.

While hanging with the guys at Kenny's house, Kyle tells of his wishes that he did not have any parents to his friends, who agree with him. Cartman suggests that he call the police and tell them that his parents have been "molesting" him, which will make them go away for a while (a trick he played on his mother's ex-boyfriend). Kyle does this and the police take his parents away. Kyle and Ike are left on their own (the authorities believe that his grandmother, who is in fact dead, will look after him). Of course, as the Broflovskis have never molested Kyle in any way, shape or form, they are shocked by the injustice. The boys go to the concert; later, Kyle hosts a house party. After discovering how liberated they are without their parents, all the children soon call the police on their parents and teachers, and the adults in South Park are taken away, including Shelley (Stan's sister, who was about to attack him for taking their parents away); those that weren't arrested leave town. Before long there are only children populating the town.

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NH - Sex offender fighting to attend family church

Original Article (Listen)

06/23/2010

CONCORD - A convicted sex offender is fighting for his right to attend a New Hampshire church.

[name withheld] is fighting for a fresh start, and his battle is playing out in New Hampshire's highest court and in the neighborhood where he wants to attend church.

One woman who lives near the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Manchester-South, where [name withheld] could attend service several times per week, is concerned.

When it comes to just coming to the neighborhood, and I’m sure it puts everyone on edge,” said the woman.

[name withheld] spent seven years behind bars for child pornography possession.

He pled guilty to 61 counts of child pornography, and so we feel it’s an extreme risk,” said New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Cort.

Cort is arguing against [name withheld], saying under his probation, he can’t have any contact with children under the age of 17. The church [name withheld] wants to attend is family-oriented.
- What church isn't family oriented?

Cort believes [name withheld] could be a risk to children in the congregation, saying “if he didn’t (pose a risk), he wouldn’t have received the sentence that he did.”

[name withheld]’s ACLU lawyer argued this client would be supervised by a church elder at all times.

Some agree that [name withheld] is entitled to his religious freedom.

I feel if he’s being supervised at the time he’s in church, it should be OK,” said one man.

Church leaders said they’ve never met [name withheld], while some parents hope they never have to.

Just watch as closely as we can,” said the woman that lives near the church.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court won’t rule on the case until the fall.

Video Link


MN - Multiple Sex Offenders Try To Escape From Moose Lake Facility

Original Article (Listen)
Another Story

06/23/2010

By Melissa Burlaga

Multiple sex offenders tried escaping from a Moose Lake facility last Saturday.

Officials say four clients of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program tried to make a break for it shortly after 6 PM that day.

The state department of human services says their escape was prevented by the quick response of staff and numerous security measures that were in place.

Spokespeople say the sex offenders were unable to bypass the secure perimeter and were quickly apprehended.

Officials say at no time was the public in danger.

The facility was put in a lock-down status and all offenders were accounted for.

The incident remains under investigation.