Monday, September 30, 2013

OR - Sex offenders in Oregon: Commenters debate effectiveness of sex offender registry

Sex offenders in Oregon
Original Article


By Maxine Bernstein

State and federal sex offender laws are clearly a hot-button topic -- already drawing strong opinions from commenters in advance of The Oregonian analysis scheduled to run Tuesday.

The Oregonian told readers that the package of stories was coming this week and that was enough to prompt an outpouring.

A sampling:

Gresham resident Tom Madison, who leads a group called Oregon Action Committee, is a registered sex offender active in a national movement to fight mandatory registration laws.

Madison, 61, argues that the laws are ineffective and unfair and keeps those convicted of sex crimes from being able to "move on with their lives."

He was convicted of prostitution, attempt to compel prostitution and third-degree sexual abuse in Washington County in June 2000 and completed probation five years later. He was ordered not to have contact with female minors and must register annually and with each change of address.

"Let them reintegrate back into society. If someone has paid their debt to society, why would anybody still be accountable to the state?" he asks. "It just smacks of a kind of fascism, a kind of authoritarianism."

He's active in a national group called Reform Sex Offender Laws, seeking to remove at least 90 percent of the people on the registry.

"We've got to get smart about this. Get rid of 90 percent of the registrants right off the bat, so law enforcement doesn't have to waste its time," he said.

Madison lobbied against the new law that Oregon lawmakers adopted last session that allows offenders to petition the state parole board to stop registering after a certain number of years following the end of their parole or probation supervision. He thinks the relief should be automatic, if an offender doesn't get re-arrested after a certain number of years.

A woman who gave her name only as Christine said she lived in Sellwood and had told both Lake Oswego and Portland police about a convicted sex offender out of Nevada who hadn't registered in Oregon and was often visiting her neighbor's apartment.

She said police had few resources to address the matter, and she moved out of Oregon.

"We also need a more efficient system of tracking them because just throwing police officers at it isn't the total solution either,'' she wrote in an email.

Mark McKechnie, executive director of Youth, Rights & Justice in Portland, says sex offender registries would be more useful if they were limited to the highest risk offenders. He contends law enforcement agencies could more effectively monitor and track those at the highest risk to re-offend if the registry weren't so crowded with juvenile and other low-risk offenders.

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Loneranger said...

I just spent the better part of two hours just reading comments on this. Most were good and then there were the usual hate mongers. Look forward to the article that is to be posted some time today. There is no way to tell as of yet if the usual bias will be used. However this journalist has brought many things to light. As the Oregon State Police are two years behind on posting updates. The very updates that dictate if a person is in compliance or not. I thought it kind of unusual when I went in to do my duty as a law abiding citizen and was told to hang on to my copy as they were months behind and it was my only proof. Well I did and have it on me. However if I didn't would I be one of the 100,000 missing offenders? Would I be one of the one's that had not updated and were trying to hide? Well I guess they could make it look like that and that is why I have kept the paper handy.
but this brings to mind a question. If they really have no idea who is current and who isn't what possible good does this do? The idea that Oregon is easy is not true. The fact that we are number two by populous as far as number of sex offenders isn't because we have it so great here and others are flocking here to bask in our easy life. Its because most are on it for life. Even with the new law passed this year that was meant to possibly lessen the number of people on this list. By allowing them to ask to get off it after their formula was satisfied . the formula was set up to be nearly impossible as how it was calculated. Plus they tossed in a few crimes that were still for life. These by the way are crimes that sound like the worst of the worst but really are common charges especially back in the 1990's. So in the end they have done little or nothing. For some reason they want to put more people on the public registry. They can not even keep what they have current so they want to publish more than unreliable information? None of this makes sense and is doing nothing for public safety. So if the registry is meaningless as to accuracy and where someone lives. They have not had a handle on 18,000 people for two years and gee did anyone know or care? If you can not be sure of the information it makes it worthless and the main thing they promote with these laws is I know who to be afraid of and where they live and now I'm safe. What a crock. Are these laws really worthless and expensive as well as destructive?

When they made a point not to update for two years and little or nothing happened as a result. It proves my point that it just doesn't do anything productive to hang on to someone for life or even the better part of their life as they tend to split hairs as if it is really life or not. Now for the State Police to go back and try to figure out their mess its going to cost a bundle. Or we could call this a failed experiment.

This article that is going to be published sometime today may or may not so much bash offenders but point out how screwed up this system really is. How they supposedly track and supervise with the registry all 18,000 offenders and collect money from various places to do so. However the only ones in compliance with this are the offenders from what i can see. So either this is the be all end all to stopping sex crimes or a failed system that has been proven by the ones responsible for enforcing as they have created the lack of current information as it really didn't do anything in the first place.

So we will see what will come next in this continuing saga. Will this be to promote yet another new law? Will it be to shame our government for doing such a poor job? Will it be to show how useless and ineffective not to mention damaging these laws are?

Tune in for a follow up.

F.A. Leonetti said...

Madison and some of his good fellows have some good points.

And frankly, I can see how some people view the registration as a good thing and some evil.


Follow the money and it WILL lead to RSO's registration.

It will be a far reach when states get rid of such a high profit money making endeavor..

Read the laws and real case studies and come to realize the huge amount of bucks thrown at the base of this state made god and you will come to know, that states have a big stake in sex offender registration.
And regardless of all the hard core facts based on years of study and documented numbers...........IT IS THE STATES THAT ARE IN DENIAL.

Registration is way less costly than prison......But the net profit in tax revenues is much much higher.

If only 1/100th of all registered sex offenders decided to actually do something about the registration and other punitive laws and rules......CHANGE WOULD OCCUR.

Follow the money......IT STINKS ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP.

Good Luck
Best Regards
F.A. Leonetti

Lonereanger said...

You are correct

Loneranger said...

And now the rest of the story. I mentioned I would give an update after the article was posted. After spending a day posting comments along with Madison as well as others. I realized that we were mostly the only ones there. The article contained many pictures and explanations of how the police do checks and went in to detail on mostly ever other part of this but never once mentioned the damage to families. It pointed to how out of date this is and I'm still not sure where it was really going. They did say at one point in a post back that they wanted to hear from the families as they wanted to write another article. What i did notice is that it was not one of their most popular and most read stories. It was done in a very sensationalized way but still it appeared as if few really cared about it. This makes me wonder as if this is not the be all end all and every mother is checking daily to see if she needs to worry about the neighbor three blocks over. Not that she could anyway unless they were listed as predator and really isn't this why we do this? To know who the stranger danger might be.