Friday, August 13, 2010

Look At It This Way - Sex Offenders R Us

Original Article

By Steve Mason

We make some of our greatest gains when we see old things in new ways

What would you do? Just 10 minutes ago, you dropped your three kids off at the resort’s pool and now you return to find your youngest lying face down on a lounge chair nude but for his swim suit dangling from one leg with a strange man draped across his little body. You run up to confront the miscreant, but he merely stands and after the briefest of moments, and without so much as a word, walks off. I was that man.

My wife and I had just checked out and I went to sit by the pool for a few minutes while she went to the lobby to give her e-mails a final check before we left. It was at that point that this lady deposited her brood and took off…telling the older boy and girl (both around 10) to watch their younger brother who was perhaps five. So naturally the little squirt jumps into the deep end and goes right to the bottom. Who didn't see that one coming?

At this point I should say that although I've spent lots of time on the water and am certified in SCUBA, I’m not an especially good swimmer and the last thing I ever want to do is play Life Guard. The kid came up once just long enough to sputter and then went down again. RATS! Not a soul in sight except for the other two tykes standing saucer-eyed and paralyzed and, of course, me.

To the rescue! I was shocked at how much like a wet towel the kid felt when I fetched his inert body up from 10 feet, threw him down onto the lounge and jumped on top…using enough force to start him chocking up water. He was just about breathing normally and the two other kids were just about regaining control of their bodies when the battle axe returns to the scene and confronts ME…who should be on the local news getting a key to the city! I was about to give her what-for when I saw the faces of the kids. All three united in stony silence. Who was this man who suddenly jumped their little brother - their little brother who was behaving like a saint whilst being watched over by his older siblings? I got my wife and, still soaking wet, jumped into the car and took off.

I could have stuck around and explained my side of the story to the police but what of the three kids who surely would feign ignorance of my life-saving heroics? In this current climate, combine a few “Expert” witnesses and a jury of assorted “Survivors” and I'd soon be basking in the rosy glow of the Concern Citizens crosses burning on my lawn. No…the odds didn't look good.

And when I say “current climate,” keep in mind that almost 30,000 readers (so far) have hit on my “Hi…I’m Your Sex Offender Neighbor” column. Why? It’s certainly not a terrific piece of writing. All I did was copy a couple of letters and stand back. So one wonders what drew the mob? I did a very quick skim of almost 70 comments and tried to get a feel for the group. Approximately 59 percent thought the Sex Offender laws should be changed while 34 percent felt they were just fine as they stood. That left 7 percent I couldn’t figure out. For example: something like “You people make me want to wash my hands” never identified the offending people.

But exactly why this nation should be so hooked on kiddy sex makes one wonder. Was it ever such a cause celebre in other times and other places? The Kinsey Institute reports it’s actually a fairly common occurrence with a quarter of the U.S. population having intercourse by age 15 and almost half by age 17…and this says nothing about various forms of foreplay.

Look At It This Way

My concern is that, unlike all other Innocent-Until-Proven-Guilty situations, the only thing needed here to really ruin someone’s life – perhaps yours – is the charge. It’s why I called this column “Sex Offenders R Us” as in you and I. Once a Witch Trial gets started, nobody is safe. And if at this point, some of you are saying: No Way Not Me! OK…why not you? I'm sure readers would be interested in why you think it could never happen to you? It could oh so easily have happened to me back at that pool.


MA - Community-Based Programs Yield Treatment Success for Sex Offenders

Original Article

08/12/2010

Boston — A recent analysis conducted by the Associated Press revealed that the 20 states with civil commitment laws will spend nearly $500 million in 2010 to incarcerate only 5,000 offenders. According to experts at the Boston-based Institute for Sexual Wellness (ISW), states concerned with how to pay for these programs over the long term should investigate community-based programs. Not only are such programs available at a fraction of the cost of civil commitment, but they are demonstrating high success in preventing recidivism.

The Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) defines treatment as “the delivery of prescribed interventions as a means of managing crime-producing factors and promoting positive and meaningful goal attainment for participants, all in the interest of enhancing public safety.” At ISW, offenders typically receive evidence-based treatment that includes cognitive behavioral therapies focused on relapse prevention.

While the Associated Press article noted ongoing debate questioning the efficacy of psychological treatment in making predators less threatening, current medical research supports that the approach does reduce recidivism. Renee Sorrentino, M.D., medical director of ISW, cites recent studies showing that recidivism rates for treated sexual offenders are indeed lower than those for untreated offenders.

The key step in deciding the most appropriate treatment for an offender is an extensive initial evaluation that clearly identifies the individual’s risk factors. While no two treatment plans are the same, most utilize a mix of psychological and pharmacological aspects. Both are effective means for reducing an offender’s risk of committing further sexual crimes,” said Sara Moore, a psychologist at ISW.

Community-based treatment is usually offered through probation to individuals registered as level 2 and 3 sex offenders. Individuals referred to community clinics such as ISW have outgoing supervision by probation; patients not adhering to the treatment elements prescribed are considered in violation of probation and subsequently re-incarcerated.

Dr. Sorrentino estimates that the total monthly cost of typical treatment provided by ISW is approximately $225, much of which is covered by health insurance. Beyond serving as an effective means for the reduction of offender recidivism, another benefit of community-based programs is an opportunity to reintegrate offenders into the community under extremely close supervision on multiple levels.

A long jail sentence may seem like the best approach to public safety when dealing with sex offenders, but without appropriate, ongoing treatment, the risk of re-offense upon release is significant,” said Dr. Sorrentino.

About ISW

Founded in 2006, the Institute for Sexual Wellness (ISW) provides evidence-based comprehensive assessment, psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment to individuals whose behaviors pose a high risk to themselves and/or others. ISW is led by Renee Sorrentino, M.D., a board-certified forensic psychiatrist and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. ISW’s clinical team is uniquely qualified to address the needs of individuals with sexually abusive and related behaviors to ensure personal well-being and community safety. For more, visit http://www.instituteforsexualwellness.org.

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Contact Information
Anja Mitrovic
Institute for Sexual Wellness
Phone: 617-479-4501
Email: anja@instituteforsexualwellness.org
Visit Website


SC - Candidate Alvin Greene Indicted On Obscenity Charge

Original Article

08/13/2010

Long shot U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene has been indicted on a felony charge of showing pornography to a South Carolina college student.

Court records show that a grand jury in Richland County handed down the indictment Friday for disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity. The Democratic nominee was also indicted on a misdemeanor charge of communicating obscene materials to a person without consent.

Greene was arrested in November after authorities say he approached a student in a University of South Carolina computer lab, showed her obscene photos online, then talked about going to her dorm room.

Greene has not entered a plea and has refused to talk about the accusations in interviews.

He faces Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in the fall.

Greene, as NPR political editor Ken Rudin reported in June, is a 32-year-old unemployed Army veteran who defeated former state legislator Vic Rawl in the Democratic primary with about 59 percent of the vote. Though Greene did no campaigning and had no staff, South Carolina political observers say he may have won in large part because the candidates were listed alphabetically and his name was placed above Rawls in the low-interest contest.

Since South Carolina's June primary, Greene has given a series of awkward interviews to reporters clamoring for more information on the unemployed man, who lives in Manning, S.C., with his ailing father. In one interview, he suggested that the state's economy could be improved by making and selling action figures depicting him in his uniform.

Last month, Greene gave his first public speech, a 6 1/2-minute recitation of his previous comments and commitment to jobs and education. He says he has raised less than $1,000. DeMint has raised more than $3 million.


Female teacher has sex with a 15 year old boy - George Lopez

Video Link


UK - New site to shame sex offenders

Original Article
See Also

Just another person, exploiting sex offenders for personal gain, IMO.

08/12/2010

EXETER anti-paedophile campaigner Chris Wittwer is launching a new dedicated website to identify convicted child sex offenders.

Mr Wittwer, a former landlord who has had death threats and been assaulted in the street since he started his crusade, said he intended the new site to carry the names, photographs and addresses of thousands of convicted paedophiles in the UK.

He said it had been funded by thousands of pounds in donations.

The ex-Army chef and father of two said: "These will be people who have charged, convicted and sentenced, whether it was prison or community service."

The site will also carry a list of missing children in the UK.

He said he expected the new site to attract 250,000 "hits" within days of going on line.

A previous site listing paedophiles was closed down by police when he first started the venture two years ago for Devon — but he was able to start again after showing he was not breaking any laws by presenting information already in the public domain. Mr Wittwer said this time would be different.

"I am using a unique US server which has so far cost over £10,000 to set up," he said.

"The money has come from donations that have been made to the cause after previous stories about me and my work in the Echo and national newspapers."

Mr Wittwer said he had also created a new campaigning group called CHRIS — Children Have Rights in Society — which includes a child abuse awareness video.

Mr Wittwer, 34, who lives in the Exeter area and used to run the Royal Oak pub in Exminster, said he did not think the government did enough to inform the public about sex offenders living in the community.

"I don't condone any violence," he said. "I am not a vigilante."
- Yes you are!

"People can see who is in their area and keep their children away from them."

"There is more justice served by what I am doing than any court or jail can ever do."

"What I am doing is a serious deterrent for people who have done it, are thinking of doing it or re-offending."

He has already set up a database of 6,000 convicted sex offenders and paedophiles on Facebook which he said was the largest photographic gallery in the world after spending hours gathering police mugshots of registered sex offenders.


OH - Man cleared by DNA after rape conviction gets $237,885 for his time

Original Article

08/12/2010

By James Nash

A Columbus man who was released from prison last year after new DNA tests showed that he had been wrongly convicted of rape will get nearly $238,000 from the state.

The Ohio Court of Claims has approved a payment of $237,885 to [name withheld], who was in prison from 1983 through last year for two rapes. [name withheld], 62, was cleared last year of one of the rapes after a new DNA test showed that genetic material on microscope slides from one rape victim's medical exam didn't match [name withheld]'. There were no samples from underwear on the second victim against which to compare [name withheld]' DNA.

[name withheld] had been sentenced to 15 to 75 years for the rapes.

He remains on the state's list of registered sex offenders.

The new DNA tests were ordered after The Dispatch began reviewing cases as part of its "Test of Convictions" series, which examined official resistance to reopening cases to check DNA evidence.

[name withheld] was the eighth Ohio inmate to be cleared of criminal charges on the basis of new DNA tests.

[name withheld] sued the state in March 2009, just weeks after he was freed from prison. Although state officials admitted that he had been wrongfully incarcerated for one of the rapes, they noted that he had not been exonerated of the second, and they resisted a large payout.

In December 2009, Attorney General Richard Cordray's office proposed a $200,000 settlement and [name withheld] agreed to it, but the Ohio Court of Claims rejected the agreement. The court said both sides had failed to substantiate the reasons for the amount.

The $238,000 settlement is less than the typical monetary award for wrongful imprisonment for so many years. In 2008, a Chillicothe man was awarded $600,000 after spending nine years in prison for a murder for which he later was exonerated.

"We are satisfied with the court's decision, which closely resembles that of the settlement we had presented several months ago," Kimberly Kowalski, a spokeswoman for Cordray, said in a statement. "Our goal in these cases is always to find a just resolution in the most efficient way possible."

[name withheld]' attorney, Isabella D. Thomas, could not be reached today.

The settlement still needs the approval of the Ohio Controlling Board, a panel of lawmakers that signs off on major spending requests.


How Crisp Thinking Aims To Catch A Predator, Griefer, Gold Farmer, Cyber-Bully

Original Article

08/12/2010

By Paul Carr

As a Brit in Silicon Valley, I’m always encouraged when I hear about my fellow countrymen making headway amid their Yank counterparts. And it’s particularly heartening when those countrymen are building companies that promise to stamp out spamming, griefing, trolling and even more nefarious behaviour online.

One such man is Peter Maude, CTO of Crisp Thinking, a UK-based start-up that offers social networks as well as brands like Nickelodeon, Sony and Lego a way to detect everything from irritating bullies to dangerous child predators amongst their users.

I spoke to Maude on Skype to ask him how Crisp Thinking’s technology works and what happens after it detects a bad guy lurking in the shadows.