Tuesday, November 13, 2012

CA - Santa Ana RSO's jailed all day while registering

Sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission.

By John Smith:
I am a registered sex offender. John Smith is not my real name, but I'm using it here. I'm on the registry for a child porn conviction in 2003 for life, and I live in the city of Santa Ana California. I wanted to tell you how Santa Ana runs their registration process, and wondered if we could get some sort of relief.

I give you COMPLETE PERMISSION to print this letter.

Santa Ana requires offenders to come in at a designated point of time in a group to register. Usually, there are about 20 of us. We are required to arrive before 8:00 AM. Once we are all there, they take us to a booking room where they completely frisk us as one would be frisked after being arrested. Afterwards, they take us to another room where we are required to change to a jail uniform and slippers, and our street clothes are actually sorted in an open area. We have to remove our ID's out of our wallet. I haven't been in a process where someone was missing an ID, but I was told that if that happened, the sex offender would be subject to arrest.

After we are put in a jail uniform, we are frisked again to make sure we aren't taking anything like a pen or watch, then we are taken down the corridor through the jail to a cell that is in sight of the other prisoners. They all know that we are RSO's, so they hoot and holler; it seems to be the high point of their week. In the cell, we have to remain while they process us 2 at a time.

During the registration process, two relatively hostile investigators ask questions about what we are doing. They confirm employment and business information. The past couple of years, they have actually called my place of residence as well as my employer while we were sitting there. If we are out of compliance as far as address or employment, then the immediate registration process is terminated and a case is opened to investigate a registration violation. The RSO is then taken to a holding cell to be booked for suspicion of a registration violation.

Now, I know that there is no requirement for those off parole to answer questions. But the overwhelming intimidation factor discourages such actions and we end up telling them about our daily activities, our Internet activities, and they ask us if we ever entered schools (and now parks). I would imagine if we answer yes, they would immediately arrest us.

Once the questions are answered, they go over our registration point by point and make sure we understand each point before making us initial them. They do not allow us to read it beforehand, but make us follow the inquisitive protocol.

Finally, they lead us to the sex offender picture area and take our picture. Keep in mind that we are in our jail uniform, so it looks as if we are active prisoners. We then have to go to the process area and await some administrative tasks (or perhaps they are doing further investigations; I don't know), and finally they make us review all the paperwork before they are finished.

Once we are finished here, we are returned to the jail cell, and the next couple of registrants are taken. At no point are we allowed to leave, and of course the jail has a toilet. The rest of the prisoners get meals; and when they get lunch they taunt us a lot more.

Now keep in mind, we have to sit in a cell with no TV, with no reading material, and no way to communicate with the outside world. Finally, late in the afternoon we are let out of our cell, marched down the corridor past the screaming banshee prisoners, and allowed to get back in our street clothes. Now, I've placed cards in special places in my wallet and also placed a small paper in my money area so if the money were removed, the paper is dislodged. In every case, I found that my wallet had been looked through. (I've since stopped bringing my cell phone because I would bet that they would look through the listings and the history.)

So to recap: at 8:00 we are taken to a booking room, get frisked, have to change to a jail uniform, march us past hardened jail prisoners who know we are RSO's with the ensuing catcalls, locked into a cell with no TV, reading or writing material, led to an interrogation room where they question us about our activities and even call our employers and landlords, take about half an hour to fill out about 10 minutes worth of paperwork, parade us past more prisoners to the photograph area, take our pictures in prison garb, march us back the prisoners, and lock us back in the cell until everyone is processed, released anywhere from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM from the cell, march by the prisoners one more time, change back into our street clothes, and finally released with our paperwork.

Now, I'm off parole. How many constitutional violations has the state committed against me? I can think of several: Illegal search, both of person and of items, illegal incarceration, illegal questioning without benefit of a lawyer, and finally, slander of my character, by posting me in a jail uniform as my registration picture. Don't believe me? Filter the Megans Law list for Santa Ana. Note that most, if not all, registrants are wearing the same jail uniform top, even those who've not been arrested for decades. Call the registrants in Santa Ana.

Unfortunately, I don't have any money to fight this. I've told two lawyers but they wanted several thousand dollars, and the ACLU has not responded to me. And it seems like they are getting more and more bold. It would not surprise me if one day we had to stay the night, which would screw me as I work nights doing inventory, and would hate to lose increasingly hard to get jobs.

Thanks for listening to me. You do understand why I can't give my name, but it should be easy to confirm what I said simply by looking at the Megan's Law site for RSO's in Santa Ana (nearly all are in prison garb), as well as maybe contacting a couple more RSO's to confirm this. I doubt Santa Ana PD will cooperate. Please tell anyone who can help us if you can, and publicize it as well, though I fear that people would LOVE this to happen everywhere.

See Also:

California Sex Offender Registry
Verified, all from this county are wearing the blue or orange jail uniforms


Guest said...

If you actually listen to Doe vs. Smith you can hear John G. Roberts (now Chief Supreme Court Justice) argue that the registry is not punishment because it amounts to the same inconvenience as filling out a Price Club Application and mailing it in once per year. Mind you that 3 of the 9 judges found even the "Price Club Application for the rest of your life" analogy to be punitive in nature.

This description above seems slightly different from the scenario presented in oral argument before the SCOTUS. I have noticed the appearance of Santa Ana registrants (for a second was confused by the number of medical professionals in scrubs in Santa Ana :)

Doe vs Smith is the granddaddy of registration cases and still is cited to establish the regulatory vs punitive character of the registration scheme. Do google it and spend a half hour listening to it.

This was less than 10 years ago. Hard to believe.

There are 250 registrants on the public web site for Santa Ana, meaning there are probably 400 registrants in the city total. I find it hard to believe that these individuals would not pitch in a few, 10, 50, 100 bucks (less than one would lose not working by being illegally confined one day per year) each to challenge this obvious abuse.

F.A. Leonetti said...

CA - Santa..........
There is absolutely no question of your human rights, your legal rights being completely violated. The entire RSO process actually VICTIMIZES human beings from the victims it creates.........AND GOES ON THOUSANDS OF TIMES DAILY.

The current system is a witch hunt by design, draconian based in its nature and using totally out of dated methods, which do not employ any reasoning or up to date facts to base its decisions on to its end primary purpose of making money through fear and excessive taxes.

I have said for years, S.O.I.'s is a great information site bring to the public a wealth of information otherwise would be completely over looked. But it is completely up to the readers to do something with the information.

If this personal attack on human rights and violations of legal rights is to EVER to stop, the best action is a well organized, well funded group of RSO's and their affiliates, lobbying to help make and influence new laws or get the old garbage out and to .....ACTUALLY GET RESULTS........ and to truly AFFECT change.

Until a frontal head on approach, making a 100% commitment to correcting this problem on a nation wide premiss, there will not be enough paper or blog space available to print all the violations made at any one time and letters like the one in this topic will just be swept under the carpet.

Isn't it about time for some LEGAL house cleaning?

Good Luck.

Best Regards
Hope that this site stays on line for the support and information needed to stay alert.
F.A. Leonetti

SOIssues said...

Mr. Smith, try sending your story to OC Weekly: http://www.ocweekly.com/about/index/

eAdvocate said...

Anyone not on parole or probation needs to file a Internal Affairs complaint to stop this clearly illegal process (being forced to disrobe and get into jail garb, and other points). Then when it is denied, which is highly likely take it to federal court on a 1983 action asking for a court appointed lawyer.

If folks do nothing, then they must suck it up and suffer the humiliation which they should not have to do. Violations so blatant need to be brought out into the open, that is the only way to effect change.

Michael said...

I would recommend contacting a lawyer and asking him/her to send letters to all registrants in Santa Ana to ask them to contribute to fighting this case. No matter what you decide to do, I strongly recommend that you move out of Orange County. This county has been one of the worst violators of Constitutional and human rights for RSOs for many years. Now matter how hard you try to live in compliance to the law, the cops and courts in Orange County will employ every Nazi tactic imaginable to try to get you back behind bars. There are much better places in California to live as an RSO, including nearby LA. There is a time to stand and fight, and there is a time to retreat.

NJ45143112 said...

Mr. Smith,

I have 2 questions:

1. What level sex offender are you? You said you had a child porn conviction but did they label you high or low risk?

2. Was your conviction processed in Federal or State court? It occurs to me that such violations may not be allowable for those of us under Federal jurisdiction. I wouldn't be surprised if they were but it seemed prudent to ask...

I visit Santa Ana regularly to visit my girlfriend so this story hits pretty close to home. And, when asked if I needed to register my girlfriends home as a secondary residence, the Santa Ana PD said it wasn't necessary. An act I find contradictory to your circumstance.

That said, every day in Santa Ana is a little darker knowing that idiots like Tony Rackaukus are allowed to run around free and spout vigilante justice practices against sex offenders. As I see it, the Nazism that has infected SA is directly attributable to him. The sooner he is ousted from office, the sooner we can start correcting the damage he has done...

Lastly, and you aren't going to like this, it seems clear that all of what you have endured are gross violations of the protections built into the Constitution (both Federal and State). If you or your group (20 of you) were to say "No" when instructed to change, the chances are strong that they wouldn't know what to do. Further, if they persisted in trying to intimidate you and you still held your ground, they would have no choice but to either release you or arrest you. Now, I may not be a lawyer, but I do know that they can't hold you without a charge (beyond a certain time limit). But I am quite certain that they will NOT want this to go before a judge. This is where a group action is very important. The old adage, "there is strength in numbers" applies very strongly here. The police would have to answer for their violations and the state may be held accountable and forced to award damages.

The sad part about this is that it requires sacrifice. Sacrifice of time, liberty, anonymity and a whole host of repercussions that they could use against you (all of which will be further violations of the law and human rights)...

Point blank, as long as you take the path of least resistance, things will just get worse. I've been incarcerated once and am still suffering from the trauma. If I was expected to go through the process again just to serve some cops' sick power trip, I would simply not agree to comply. Further, I would try and get a look at the policies for the department and check the wording. Just like the registry, they may have worded the policy to sound like a necessity for the good of society instead of a punitive action. Still, I doubt they would be all that happy to have it see the light of reality...

I'm done...

Guest2 said...

California does not classify sex registrants according to their level of risk. All sex offenders that are not on parole or probation are treated the same in the eyes of the law.

The good news is, if your only sex offense is kiddie porn, you can apply for and receive a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

With this you will not have to register AT ALL - again, if your only registerable offense is child porn.

Pete Carey said...

Thanks for taking the courage to share. More people need to...

Luman Wright said...

since you are togather with other RSO can you gang togather and hire a lawyer and maybe split a fee and have this lawyer come with you to "protect" your right ?

Guest3 said...

You may APPLY for a Certificate of Rehabilitation after MINIMUM 10 years of next to saintly living. Yes, that is ten years of not having a DUI and certainly no forgetting to ever register, or even forget to renew your drivers license. Then you MAY apply - with all kinds of requirements and certainly major expense for a psychologist and /or an attorney who knows what they are doing.

Best of luck with that!

hatingthis said...

im a female offender and i just recently registered in Santa ana its not as bad anymore but they still treat u like ur getting arrested and pat u down now u just sit in thwarting jail were they put u when u first get booked and they put the men and women together it took hours because u have to wait till they wanna bring u back...it was horrible I've registered in la county and anahiem and they were quick and nothing like that experience

TJ said...

General News / for Santa Ana registrants


For "John Smith"