Saturday, June 25, 2011

CA - Medical parole hearing for molester delayed indefinitely

Original Article

06/25/2011

By Jack Dolan

Officials can't find a place to house the semi-paralyzed inmate without violating laws that bar sex offenders from living near schools or parks.
- You see, even the police cannot find a place in compliance, due to idiotic politicians who do not know what the hell they are doing.  They are passing laws basically making it impossible to live anywhere.  I'm surprised some idiot hasn't tried to pass a law to force all sex offenders into concentration camps yet.

The state parole hearing for a semi-paralyzed child molester has been postponed indefinitely because officials can't find a place to house him without violating laws that bar sex offenders from living near schools or parks.

America does use torture!
[name withheld], 58, has been chained to a Marin County hospital bed with a breathing tube in his throat for more than a year. He is incapable of getting up, but taxpayers have spent roughly $800,000 annually to post three guards by his bedside around the clock.

The state has a new medical parole law crafted so inmates like [name withheld], who are judged "permanently medically incapacitated" by prison medical staff, would stay where they are but the guards would go home.

The inmates' medical expenses would be picked up by their families, if they could afford to pay, or by government agencies if they could not. Either way, California taxpayers would be spared the high cost of guarding the inmates, some of whom are in comas.

The hospital [name withheld] is in, which The Times agreed not to name for security reasons, is next to a park. Another bedridden inmate, convicted sex offender [name withheld], occupies a room across the hall. Diaz's medical parole hearing, scheduled for Friday at San Quentin State Prison, was also postponed for the same reason.

Neither hearing will be rescheduled until prison officials can find a hospital willing to take the inmates that would not be in violation of Jessica's Law, which prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of places where children gather.

"It is virtually impossible to find Jessica's Law-compliant housing for sex offenders in the Bay Area," said Nancy Kincaid, spokeswoman for the receiver appointed to oversee California's prison healthcare. Officials are looking elsewhere in the state.

About a dozen permanently incapacitated prisoners are being treated at outside hospitals. The average annual cost for each is more than $1 million.

The medical parole law could also apply to thousands of other inmates being treated behind prison walls. Their release would lower medical costs and help relieve the corrections system's chronic overcrowding.

Opponents of the law argue that any kind of early release deprives victims and their families of justice.

In late May, officials denied medical parole to the first applicant, a 42-year old rapist who was rendered a quadriplegic when a knife-wielding fellow inmate severed his spinal cord. The board ruled that although he can't use his arms or legs, he might still use his voice to order attacks on others.
- Give me a friggin' break!  He cannot use his arms or legs, but they think he will use his voice to order attacks?  Yep, we have totally lost our minds!

Since then three other inmates, including a burglar and a man convicted of a home invasion robbery, have been approved for medical parole. Officials would not describe their medical conditions for fear of violating health privacy statutes.

If any inmate released on medical parole recovers enough to pose a public safety threat, he or she is supposed to be sent back to prison immediately.
- Sent back for what?  Something they "may" do?  Welcome to Nazi America folks!


FL - Evicting sex offenders just moves the problem

Original Article

There is also a lot of the usual ignorant hate comments on the article as well.

06/22/2011

By Fred Grimm

The headline reached out and grabbed you by the shirt collar. Twenty-four sex offenders evicted from the same motel on the same day. Twenty-four. As if the motel had come under control of a perverse cabal.

The Sun-Sentinel reported on its front page Wednesday that 24 residents had been tossed from the Budget Inn in Fort Lauderdale, one of those weary, low-rent anachronisms clinging to an address on North Federal Highway until a big box retail store usurps the space. The owner had ordered the evictions, professing surprise when he was told by reporters that a startling number of his long-term guests happened to be registered sex offenders. Twenty-four sex offenders had been residing in the 50-room motel. It seemed inexplicable.

But clusters of convicted sex offenders were among the unintended consequences of local ordinances in South Florida that restrict where they can live. Last year, 16 were evicted en masse from the Homestead Studio Suites after the corporate bosses learned their hotel had become a refuge for sex offenders.

Overlapping residency laws — banning sex offenders from living within 1,400 feet in Fort Lauderdale (more than 2,000 feet in other cities) from schools, parks, playgrounds, day-care facilities, even school bus stops in some towns, have sent them, like refugees, to the last few places on the South Florida map outside those restrictive circles.

Many of the sex offenders who lived in cars, tents and shacks in the unsanitary mess of a homeless camp under the Julia Tuttle Causeway back in 2007, ‘08 and ‘09, had been sent there by probation officers at a loss to suggest a permissible alternative. When the Tuttle was finally fenced off last year, more because it had become an international embarrassment than a humanitarian disaster, the offenders didn’t quite scatter. I found nine had moved to River Park, a decrepit trailer community just west of the Miami city limits at 2260 NW 27th Ave.

The convicted offenders, banned from South Florida’s better neighborhoods, were able to move into a shabby trailer park populated, for the most part, by very poor immigrant families. The same mad ordinances supposedly conceived to keep sex offenders away from children had funneled nine of them into a trailer park teeming with children. Of course, these were poor children, many of them undocumented, who didn’t matter so much.

I checked the Florida sex offender registry on Wednesday: 43 offenders, 13 of them classified as predators, now reside among the hapless kids at 2260 NW 27th Avenue.

In Broward, several sex offenders still list “under the bridge” as their registry address, though this particular bridge is among the tangle of roads and overpasses at the confluence of Interstate 595 and U.S. 441. Jill Levenson of Lynn University, a clinical social worker and a national expert on sexual violence, worried that a number of the men evicted from the Budget Inn, for want of a legal alternative, will be forced to join the other outcasts consigned to the bowels of the 441 bridge. Levenson already has a client living there and his health has been deteriorating.

She was adamant that separating these offenders from familial support and forcing them into unstable living environments, or outright homelessness, created the very conditions in which they were statistically more likely to re-offend.

These laws don’t protect the community,” said Levenson, a member of the Broward County sex offender task force that reached the same conclusion two years ago. And was ignored. Few politicians dare trying to fix these counter-productive residency laws and have their opponents tag them as “easy on sex offenders.

Still, forcing offenders to cluster in cheap motels or run-down trailer parks or under the 441 bridge hardly represents the worst effect of the Draconian residency laws. The state registry listed 785 sex offenders who, rather than try to abide by Kafkaesque restrictions, just absconded, their addresses now listed as “whereabouts unknown.”

No probation officer monitors their behavior, no clinical social workers treat their problems, no neighbors know their background.

Count them as 785 unintended consequences of ill considered laws.


FL - Do we really want sex offenders to live like wild animals?

Original Article

06/25/2011

By Michael Mayo

Residency restrictions force some to live under bridges, in woods

For more than a year, [name withheld] has lived beneath a bridge overlooking a canal, on a slope peppered with glass shards. For nearly two years, JJ has camped out in the woods, a bucolic setting shattered by the constant roar of traffic from nearby Interstate 595.

"I'm lonely, but I'm at peace out here," JJ said as he gave me a tour of his setup, complete with latrine, tarp-covered kitchen with propane grill and a tent with an army cot and fan.

Welcome to the feral existence of South Florida's registered sex offenders.

They've done their crimes and served their time, but can't re-enter society like other criminals. Instead, they face an oppressive array of residency restrictions upon their release from prison.

After a wave of get-tough local ordinances banning offenders from living within a certain distance of schools, parks, playgrounds, day-care centers and school bus stops, there's virtually no place left for them to go.

"The whole thing is just insanity," said Jill Levenson, a clinical social worker who headed a Broward County task force two years ago examining the issue. "I know some of these people have done bad things, but this is not a sound criminal justice policy. It's a recipe for failure."

Last week, 24 sex offenders got evicted from a Fort Lauderdale motel after the Sun Sentinel inquired about their presence.

Some offenders find rooms or homes outside the restricted areas. Some live in flophouses and cheap motels in commercial zones. A minister in Palm Beach County has set up a group village for offenders known as Miracle Park.

And then there are offenders like [name withheld] and JJ, who have taken up residence beneath bridges and in hidden camps with the approval of their probation officers.

"From a human point of view, can you imagine telling someone their only option is sleeping under a bridge?" Levenson said.

How this makes us safer, I have no idea.

"It's stressing everybody out big time," said [name withheld], 43, whose bridge near State Road 7 in unincorporated Broward is now home to four offenders. [name withheld] spent nearly eight years in prison for a sexual assault on a minor.

"This is like a life sentence," said JJ, 46, who has to wear an ankle bracelet and a GPS monitor on his belt as part of his 35-year probation. He spent three years in prison for a host of charges in 2003 stemming from a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old.

JJ didn't want his full name used because he fears getting attacked or evicted from his makeshift camp. Sex offenders' addresses are posted on the Internet by the state – he lists the closest street.

"In the public's eyes we're monsters, but not all of us are monsters," said JJ, 46, a former computer technician who now makes use of the skills he learned as an Eagle Scout in New Jersey.

JJ has neat piles of firewood at his campsite entrance. He catches fish and crab in a nearby pond with a trap he made from chicken wire. He has planted citronella bushes to repel mosquitoes, and has tried to cultivate a vegetable garden to supplement his $200 monthly food stamps.

The strangest part of the residency restrictions: They only apply between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The rest of the time, offenders are allowed to be out and about. [name withheld] and JJ spend most of their daylight hours at friends' homes, where they shower, watch TV and use computers. JJ also has to spend 10 hours daily recharging his GPS system.

I met [name withheld] and JJ last week when I went looking for another sex offender named [name withheld]. I wrote about him two years ago, when he lived under the same bridge as [name withheld].

At Christmas 2009, [name withheld] told me he was tired of living "like an animal" and was considering willfully violating his probation so that he could go back to prison.

Sure enough, he violated probation one month later. He's now housed at the South Bay Correctional Facility, where he will live at taxpayer expense through September 2014.

So we all pay for a system that seems utterly barbaric. In a civilized society, there has to be a better way.


AUSTRALIA - Sex offender wants access to In vitro fertilisation (IVF)