Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sexual abuse is less than 10% of all childhood abuses, yet we don't have a online shaming list for those other abusers, why not?


UT - Mistaken sex offender

Original Article

See the full video at the link above, the video below is just an intro.

11/16/2012

The sex offender registry is designed to protect you and your family from sexual predators; it's a valuable tool, keeping you informed. But what happens if you end up on that registry, not because you're a sex offender but by mistake.

For Iftikhar Khan, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, it began with a letter from the state of Utah, and immediately, his jaw dropped. “I've been identified as a sex offender by some outside source.” That outside source is the state of Maine.

In late September, Maine authorities were trying to locate a man who committed a sex crime in Houlton in 1989. A person who needs to register as a sex offender and they thought they've found him in Utah. The problem is, Khan was on active duty in Greece at the time. And though their names and birthdays are similar, they are not a perfect match.

So what happened? According to authorities in both Maine and Utah. Maine investigators had found Iftikhar Khan on-line, pulled details like his social security number from Utah's database then forwarded it back to Utah as their missing sex offender. Utah then put khan on its own registry, No questions asked, and only notified him afterwards.

A spokesperson for the Maine attorney general's office, Brenda Kielty, declined to speak on camera but gave details to News 13. She says after hearing from Khan, Utah agreed to suspend his name from the registry, while Maine asked Khan to send his fingerprints to cross-check with the missing sex offender. Khan did, they didn't match and both Maine and Utah then cleared his name, But only after he'd hired lawyers, and was publicly listed as a sex offender for an agonizing four days.

Maine officials acknowledge their role in this case of mistaken identity but insist the same mistake would not have happened in reverse. They say it's their policy to always notify someone in writing before putting their name on the sex offender registry, giving that person a chance to dispute the claims in advance. And, in fact, Utah just changed its policies to do the same to avoid repeating what they told our Utah affiliate, was a very serious error.

His name was up there wrongly and that's concerning, of course. This is the first time anyone working over there on the sex offender registry has heard about that happening. As for Khan, he's glad to be cleared but still angry, and wondering if he's alone in all of this.

Officials in Maine and Utah insist, this is an isolated case and one, both states say, won't happen again.


MN - Less Restrictive Alternatives Considered for Sex Offenders

Original Article

11/15/2012

By Mark Albert

A court-ordered task force is racing to meet an early December deadline for providing recommendations on less restrictive alternatives for Minnesota's hundreds of committed sex offenders, who are currently held in a secure program (aka Prison) that has yet to fully graduate a single person in its two-decade existence.

"Our recommendation is you get some money allocated for less restrictive alternatives; you get them going. Or the federal court will do something," warned retired Minnesota Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, chairman of the panel.

The 20-member Sex Offender Civil Commitment Task Force was created as part of the settlement talks in a class-action lawsuit filed by some of the state's committed sex offenders. U.S. District Court Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan issue the order in August.

The task force's initial recommendations on less restrictive - and less expensive - alternatives to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program's secure facilities in Moose Lake and St. Peter are due Dec. 3.

Last Friday, Judge Boylan issued a second order creating a five-member MSOP Program Evaluation Team to review the treatment records of committed sex offenders, known as "clients," who have been participating for at least 36 months in a treatment phase but have not advanced beyond their current phase. That evaluation is to be completed by April 15, when findings and recommendations are due.

At issue is the program's nonexistent record of successfully treating sex offenders so that they graduate from the program and are no longer considered a danger to society. The sex offenders' lawsuit has raised questions as to whether a program with its track record and indefinite nature is constitutional.

Only two clients have been provisionally discharged, the most recent earlier this year. But he is still heavily monitored and lives in a metro-area halfway house. The program currently has 669 clients; only 10 are in the last part of treatment prior to provisional discharge, according to the Department of Human Services, which runs the program.

See Also:


PETITION - Stop the residency restriction laws on sex offenders. It does more harm then it was intended.

Sign the petition here

Description:
Residency restrictions (where someone sleeps at night) have no affect on when, where or if an ex-offender will re-offend, it only pushes them a way from family, support, and into homelessness, in some cases. There is no proof what-so-ever that residency laws protect anybody.

There is no studies out there that show residency restrictions prevent crime or protect anybody, they do, force people into homelessness, creating a new sub-class of citizens, and creates penal colonies.

When someone commits a crime, he or she should be sentenced, just like any other criminal. However, when a person is being punished, the lawmakers add more and more unconstitutional ex post facto laws on him or her, then it goes beyond that, into cruel and unusual punishment

Ex Post Facto...here is the link for the definition....


If the laws are made too harsh, it's only a matter of time before people stop reporting, vanishing, or becoming homeless due to the draconian laws. Residency restriction will do nothing to prevent crime or protect anybody, it only turns people into homeless lepers, which potentially puts them in a situation where they will do anything to survive. So these laws put people in potentially more danger, not less.

The recidivism rate for sex offenders in general is lower than any other criminal, except murderers, around 3.5% to 10%, depending on the study. Here is the link to show the statistics....


In summary, Once an offender has served their time, No one shouldn't have to deal with them, otherwise, it's additional punishment, which is unconstitutional.

And because of the residency restrictions, here is a video to show an example of how this is not helping anyone....


Sex-Offender Laws Doomed by Flawed Reasoning

Paul Appelbaum
Original Article

11/16/2012

By Aaron Levin

How to prevent convicted sex offenders from committing further crimes is a policy dilemma that has been met with punishing legal responses.

Laws and policies intended to control sex offenders are ineffective, expensive, unenforceable—and unlikely to be changed.

These laws are preventive and punitive in intent and effect, motivated by a desire to contain but not to treat,” said Paul Appelbaum, M.D., the Dollard professor of psychiatry, medicine, and law and director of the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry at Columbia University. Appelbaum spoke at APA’s 2012 Institute on Psychiatric Services in New York in October.

Sentencing of convicted sex offenders underwent a major change about 30 years ago, he explained. For most of the 20th century, sex offenders were given sentences of indeterminate length in hopes that they would become rehabilitated. With little evidence of efficacy using that approach, courts in the 1980s switched to “determinate sentencing,” with fixed prison terms.

The change went from punishing the offender to punishing the crime,” said Appelbaum.

In addition, “sexually violent predator” statutes were passed in many states, reflecting a state of panic in the 1990s about sex crimes against children. They mandated civil commitmentin a treatment facility” once offenders had completed their prison sentences. Treatment might be offered, but was voluntary. As of 2010, 5,300 sex offenders were committed under these statutes.

The process also shifted a new burden onto mental health systems, filling beds needed for other patients and diverting funds from an already under-funded system.

Detention is expensive. A Minnesota study revealed costs of $120,000 annually per offender. Since none of the offenders in the state had been released since the program’s inception in 1994, costs can only go up.

Still, this system was seen as akin to civil commitment and thus raised fewer constitutional issues,” said Appelbaum. The Supreme Court has upheld the system three times. “But is civil commitment a pretext for preventive detention, and is the mental health system the right place for that?” he asked.

Other Strategies Questioned

Confinement is not the only way that governments have attempted to restrict convicted sex offenders as a means of reducing recidivism.

State and federal laws call for registration of offenders and, as of July 2012, more than 700,000 were registered nationwide.

Community notification laws require that local jurisdictions be alerted to the presence of offenders and the information displayed on a Web site.

Yet many of these laws cover non-contact offenses, or sex by underage teens, or even offenses by young children,” said Appelbaum. “Offenders are often harassed and find it hard to reestablish their lives, find a job, or receive mental health treatment.”

A third approach in 20 states and hundreds of cities restricts residency and workplace options to points at least 1,000 to 2,000 feet from schools, churches, day-care centers, or even bus stops.

This has placed entire towns completely off limits,” said Appelbaum. “And is creating sex-offender ghettos a good idea? Maybe it’s better to not have them around each other.”

A study by Appelbaum and Jacqueline Berenson, M.D., found that 92 percent of registered sex offenders in Buffalo, N.Y., and 100 percent of those in Schenectady, N.Y., lived in restricted locations in those cities.

Clearly, these laws are not being enforced, reflecting a choice by police, said Appelbaum.

The law doesn’t make sense to the police,” he said. “They see it more like jaywalking than homicide.”

Flawed Reasoning Underlies Laws

He listed a number of flaws in the thinking behind registration, notification, and residency laws. They are indiscriminate, based on weak premises, and are likely to be counterproductive, he said.

For one thing, most sex offenses against children are committed by family members and friends, not by strangers,” he said. “and while the premise of such laws is that sex offenders are likely to re-offend, in fact only 13.4 percent do so, compared to 60 percent of felons in general.”

Although the laws are intended to protect children from sexual predators, many of the offenders did not commit crimes against children. There are no data indicating that they target children near where they live or work—and some anecdotal reports indicate that those are the last places they would commit their crimes.

Also disturbing is the dearth of research on the treatment of sex offenders, especially in the United States, Appelbaum noted.

Medications like SSRIs, depoprovera, or lupralide are understudied and underutilized,” he said. “Treatment has been dominated by therapists who favor cognitive-behavioral therapy and resist medication.”

This area is a major challenge for rational policy making, and there is little political support for change,” he said.

Ideally, it might be better not to create a new system but instead keep offenders within the correctional system while beginning treatment soon after they are incarcerated, Appelbaum suggested. A return to indeterminate sentencing might permit many to be released once they had responded adequately to treatment.

An abstract of “A Geospatial Analysis of the Impact of Sex Offender Residency Restrictions in Two New York Counties” by Appelbaum and Berenson in Law and Human Behavior is posted at http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1007/s10979-010-9235-3.