Monday, September 26, 2011

PA - Event Explores Rationale, Results of Sex-Offender Registries

Original Article


To view video of the panel discussion, click here

The law school on Sept. 21 hosted “Megan’s Law and Beyond,” a lively discussion of the aims and outcomes of sex-offender registration laws.

Moderated by Barry Zakireh, director of the Joseph J. Peters Institute of Adult Outpatient Services, the panel featured:

  • Attorney Karl Baker of the Defender Association of Philadelphia
  • Julia Hall, a sociology professor and coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program at Drexel University
  • Christopher McFillin, supervisor of the Sex Offender Unit of the Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department
  • Diane Moyer, legal director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Zakireh noted that Megan’s Law and the Adam Walsh Act were designed to protect communities from sexual predators by creating registries for monitoring and tracking convicted offenders.

Moyer said Megan’s Law has been successful in raising public awareness of the presence of sexual predators in the community.

But Hall said Megan’s Law created “a false sense of security,” since most sex offenses are never reported, leaving countless predators excluded from scrutiny.
- And most never re-offend, based on the many studies we have.

Registration requirements reflect “myths” that sex offenders have a higher rate of recidivism than other criminals, Baker said, citing a string of studies that found the opposite.

McFillin said that while convicted sex offenders are not necessarily re-arrested, many watch child pornography or engage in other behaviors that heighten the risk they will commit more crimes.
- You cannot say this as if all sex offenders watch child porn, it's pure BS!

Under the federal Adam Walsh Act, the categories of offenders required to register will expand to include juveniles and adults who were juveniles at the time of their crimes.

All of the panelists agreed that requiring juveniles to register as sex offenders will achieve little while incurring significant costs.

The event was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Prison Society, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee, the Earle Mack School of Law and law school chapters of the American Constitution Society, the Criminal Law Society and the National Lawyers Guild.
- So where are the experts who treat sex offenders on a daily basis?

IL - Kane fears cost of new sex offender regulations

Original Article


By Matt Brennan

GENEVA — A state attempt to comply with federal sex offender law could end up a costly measure for Kane County.

Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed two sex offender bills into law. On Monday, the County Board Legislative Committee heard about the potentially damaging effects that a third piece of legislation, Senate Bill 1040 (PDF), would have on court services and the sheriff’s department.

The bill would require a heightened compliance from the county system, but without funding to do the required work. It will create a drastic increase in man-hours and personnel to reach compliance, officials said, so the committee decided not to support the bill in its current form.

Some of the finer details of the implementation need to be looked at,” said Lisa Aust, executive director of Court Services.

Currently sex offender law has two tiers of registration, 10 years and lifetime. Registrations are annual. Under the proposed state Senate legislation to reach national compliance, there would be a three-tier system — lifetime, 25 years and 15 years. Some tiers would require more frequent registrations, requiring more man-hours.

The bill would also require juvenile offenders who were granted court supervision or deferred adjudication to register as sex offenders, which will also increase man-hours for court services and the sheriff’s department.

If offenders fail to register, there will be more court cases in the system, officials said.

This bill comes on the heels of two public acts already signed into law, which are requiring an increased level of registration. Any previously registered sex offender convicted of a felony after July 1, 2011, will again be required to register.

Additionally, a sex offender is now required to register with a public safety or security director at the higher education facility they are employed at or attend. This will also increase the likelihood of creating more failure to register for classes, according to Chris Starkovich, special programs supervisor with Court Services.

Aust said the state is probably in the top third of states in their strictness of sex offender law. There are still some states with very few laws on the books in that area, she said.

Committee Chairman Jesse Vazquez, D-Aurora, wanted to see exact numbers on how the new legislation would effect the man-hours in county departments. He also suggested that the county spend some time looking at all of the unfunded mandates from the state, to see if there’s anywhere they can save money.

Illinois will face a 10 percent reduction in grant funding each year that it is in non-compliance with the federal sex offender guidelines, beginning in the 2012 fiscal year. Senate Bill 1040 would put Illinois in compliance.

All the states have to make their laws match, and that takes awhile,” Aust said.

AZ - Police chief Dennis Grey calling for mass murder?

Original Article

From all public places? I doubt that, and if it's true, then that would mean they cannot come out of their own homes. Is this an intern or someone reporting here?


By Sonu Wasu

HUACHUCA CITY (KOLD) - Huachuca City was cracking down on all registered sex offenders by passing a new law banning them from all public facilities.

This included schools, parks, public pools, and even the library.

It is the first city or town in the state to make such a move.

According to the ordinance, any offender caught in a public facility would be fined $100, and could be charged with criminal trespassing.

"In Huachuca City we're doing something that should have already been done by the federal government," said councilman Ken Taylor.
- Seems he's been in trouble with his peers himself.

The move was spear-headed by police Chief Dennis Grey.

"The sex offenders have been hanging around the pool and schools and we've had a couple of them looking at pornography on the computers at the library," said Grey.

He said the last straw had been when he caught an 80-year old sex offender convicted of child molestation taking pictures of children in their bikinis at the public pool.

"As far as I'm concerned lets just put these child molesters on a deserted island and blow it up," said Grey.
- Heil Hitler Mr. Grey!

KOLD News 13 went to the home of the 80-year old convicted child molester. He said this was the first time he was hearing about this ordinance.

"I thought at the end of the ten years there was a statute of limitations? It's a loss of freedom," said the man.

He agreed to talk to share his opinion with us, if we did not show his face.

We asked him if this ordinance would prevent him from visiting the local pool.

"I don't know. I might challenge it. This is too much to hear. It's too much to believe," said the registered sex offender.

We asked town councilman Ken Taylor and Chief Grey if they worried about the constitutionality of this new law.

"I'm worried about the financial risk, if the ACLU comes after us, and attorney fees, but there should be something in place to protect our children. If somebody is going to go out and abuse and rape little children I don't think they have any constitutional rights," said Taylor.

Chief Grey said he knew of two other towns back in the East that had passed similar ordinances.

"They challenged them back East but they all lost," said Grey.

The wording in the ordinance would allow for certain exceptions.

Sex offenders who were simply picking up or dropping off their own children, voting, or talking to a teacher about their child would be exempt.

The new ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.