Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Amazing Grace" The Untold Story


PA - Legislation on Child Sexual Abuse

Video Description:
Law to Mandate Colleges that are state supported provide sexual assault awareness and prevention training


Germany urged to end sex offender castration

Original Article

02/22/2012

Europe's top human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has urged Germany to end the practice of surgically castrating sex offenders.

The council's anti-torture committee said such voluntary treatment, albeit rare in Germany, was "degrading".

In Germany no more than five sex offenders a year have been opting for castration, hoping it will lower their sex drives and reduce their jail term.

The committee's recommendations are not binding but have great influence.

The committee's official title is the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

"Surgical castration is a mutilating, irreversible intervention and cannot be considered as a medical necessity in the context of the treatment of sexual offenders", the CPT report said. It was based on an investigation in Germany carried out in November-December 2010.

The BBC's Stephen Evans in Berlin says the German authorities argue that castration is not a punishment but a treatment which enables, as a government statement put it, "suffering tied to an abnormal sex drive… to be cured, or at least alleviated".

Research for the report revealed that of the 104 people operated on between 1970 and 1980, only 3% reoffended, compared with nearly half of those who refused castration or were denied it by the authorities.

But the CPT objected to the practice, saying:
  • The physical effects are irreversible and may have serious physical and mental consequences;
  • Surgical castration does not conform to recognized international standards and is not mentioned in guidelines drawn up by the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders (IATSO)
  • There is no guarantee of a lasting reduction in the sex offender's testosterone level
  • It is "questionable" whether consent to surgical castration "will always be truly free and informed".

In February 2009 the Council of Europe made a similar complaint about the use of surgical castration in the Czech Republic.

Despite the criticism, the Czech Republic still offers prisoners the option of surgical castration.

The CPT says very few European countries still offer the procedure to sex offenders.


Prisons and Profit


KS - PETITION - Place a moratorium on states from placing residency restrictions on registered sex offenders who've finished their time

It is worth noting, you have to have a WhiteHouse.gov account to sign the petition. This petition should be created elsewhere, IMO, if they want to get more signatures.

Click the image to view the petition


TX - Parents Want Sex Offender Law Changed

Original Article

Surely this will be knocked down and not passed.

02/20/2012

Round Rock - Round Rock residents are working to change sex offender laws.

They are electronically signing a petition on the White House website.

They want a federal law that requires registered sex offenders to live at least 3,000 feet away from places like schools, parks and playgrounds.

Recently, Teravista community neighbors were notified of a registered sex offender living near Teravista Elementary School.

The man isn't breaking the law.

In Texas - registered sex offenders who are not on parole can live near places like elementary schools, daycares and playgrounds.

Some parents want to change that nationwide.


NE - Ex-Nebraska Police Chief (William Gage) Convicted of 15-year-old Boy's Sex Abuse

Original Article

02/22/2012

A 72-year-old former police chief of Aurora has made a deal with prosecutors and pleaded no contest to a charge of sexually assaulting a minor.

William Gage, of Aurora, made his plea last week in Hamilton County District Court.

Prosecutors lowered the charge in return for the plea.

Gage is accused of having sexual contact last summer with a boy who was 15.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 5.

Gage was Aurora's police chief for nearly 20 years, retiring in 1998.


OH - Ruling Changes Registration Requirements For Sex Offenders

Original Article

02/21/2012

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that sex offenders who completed their sentences before a sex offender registration law took effect in 1997 do not have to register with law enforcement anymore.

The court ruled that sex offender registration law cannot be retroactive, 10TV News reported.

Before Tuesday’s ruling, all sex offenders had to notify with county sheriffs every 90 days about where they were living.

So, the good news is since 1997, anyone who’s been convicted of a sex offense will be required to properly register, and the community will be notified,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said.

O’Brien said that there would be a number of sex offenders who people would no longer be able to track because the offenders completed their jail time before the enactment of Megan’s Law in 1997 and Ohio’s Adam Walsh Act that replaced it in 2007.

See Also:


IL - When the Only Crime is Having a Common Name

Original Article

02/21/2012

By Lisa Parker

NBC Chicago's Target 5 looks at two cases where innocent men are denied unemployment because someone else with the same name has a criminal background

[name withheld], of the Chicago area, already has it rough it enough when it comes to name recognition.

But comparisons with the same-named famous actor likely sounded wonderful to him after three other [name withheld]s got mixed up into his criminal background report. They're [name withheld]s all convicted of sex offenses; two of whom are currently in prison.

"He had a background check company that ran a background report that was grossly inaccurate. Almost laughably so if it wasn’t so outrageous," said attorney Chris Wilmes, who represented the job-seeking [name withheld] in a lawsuit against the background check company InfoTrack. "He had a background check report that suggested he was a serious, serious sex offender and that he had committed crimes that merited life in prison."

Wilmes said his client has no criminal record. His only fault? Having a common name.

"People with common names -- there is a significant risk that they’re going to get a background check that has nothing to do with them that shows a criminal record that doesn’t exist. And it is going to harm them when they are trying to get employment," according to Paul Strauss of the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, who also worked on the case against InfoTrack.

[name withheld], the job-seeker, is white and was 26 years old when the background report was performed. The three [name withheld]s whose reports were attached to his name were all decades older, African American convicted sex offenders, two of whom were currently in prison. One of them is incarcerated for a rape that occurred when the job-seeking [name withheld] was only four years old.

"He was outraged that a background check company would be that sloppy with something that important," Wilmes said of his client.

InfoTrack did not return calls for comment by publication time, but did settle the lawsuit with the job-seeking [name withheld]. InfoTrack settled for $35,000 and corrected [name withheld]’s record.

But another example has no such happy ending yet in sight.

In Milwaukee, 29-year-old [name 2 withheld] has a 13-page criminal background report, riddled with gun and drug offenses. But [name 2 withheld] has never been arrested and has no criminal record.

"[name 2 withheld] has done nothing wrong. He’s done absolutely, positively nothing wrong," said his lawyer, Jeff Myer of Legal Action of Wisconsin.

So why does [name 2 withheld] have the record of a career criminal? It goes back at least seven years, when a second cousin who was wanted by law enforcement used [name 2 withheld]’ name when stopped by police.

"I didn’t do anything wrong, and that’s what I don’t understand right now today. It’s not me, I’m not a felon," [name 2 withheld] says.

[name 2 withheld], who has a college degree, says the name-based background report delivered to prospective employers by the state of Wisconsin is standing in the way of his employment. He says scores of interviews that seemed promising went nowhere, which didn’t make sense until he says he discovered the misleading records blended with his report.

[name 2 withheld] says he feels like a lifetime of making the right choices is being tossed out with the state’s refusal to disseminate his actual record, which should be "no record."

"I feel like I’m just thrown out. For one, you’ve got to think about: no employer has the time to read 13 pages. So, they probably won’t know to look and say, ‘This is identity theft. Somebody stole his name,'" he explained.

It’s just wrong for the government to be lying about their citizens," said attorney Myer. "There's no question that an African American male of [name 2 withheld]' age who is looking for work, is seriously impacted when a criminal background check comes back and says anything other than "no record," and that's what [name 2 withheld] is entitled to."

[name 2 withheld] is suing the state Department of Justice, asking that it change the way background information is disseminated, especially in the case of identity theft victims.

Wisconsin DoJ did not respond directly to NBC Chicago’s questions, but in court filings has said its system is based on the interests of law enforcement. If a citizen like [name 2 withheld] is impersonated by a criminal, who uses the clean name for an alias, police investigating a case may need to know that. It appears the state does not have a mechanism to produce one report for prospective employers, with a separate one for law enforcement.

In Illinois, an identity theft victim does have a mechanism that severs the thief’s record from his or hers. It is called the Criminal Identification Act.

Wisconsin did offer [name 2 withheld] a letter that confirms his identity is separate from that of his second cousin's, and that he has no criminal record. [name 2 withheld] said he can’t get far enough in an interview process to get much use of the letter.

"[Employers] don’t want to hear that. A lot of employees say, ’Oh , that wasn’t me, somebody used my name.’ They probably hear that all the time.. But with me, it’s the truth," said [name 2 withheld].

Experts say these kind of incidents point to the need for all consumers to read their own background reports. Federal law requires notification if a job-seeker is denied employment based on a negative background report, but industry observers point out it is often impossible to know if that happens as required.

Consumer rights are laid out in the Fair Credit Reporting Act , but many job-seekers have no idea to what they are entitled if a company orders a background report on them.

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse publishes a “Jobseeker’s Guide that lays out frequently asked questions about employment background checks.

An industry group that represents some background check companies also answers frequently asked questions on the topic on its website.