Friday, April 26, 2013

CANADA - House Statement - Child Sexual Abuse Protocol


Video Description:
Minister of Community Services and Seniors Valerie Docherty addresses the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island on the Child Sexual Abuse Protocol for the Island. The protocol provides guidelines and procedures for a coordinated response to child sexual abuse in Prince Edward Island.

View the protocol at http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/CSA_PROT_2013.pdf


CA - Many sex offenders end up on the streets

Original Article

04/25/2013

By Keli Moore

Close to two weeks after [name withheld], a sexually violent predator, was released from prison as a transient into Santa Barbara County, numerous questions have surfaced surrounding safety issues at homeless services.

There are screening processes to stay at overnight shelters in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, but anyone can go to Prado Day Center in San Luis Obispo to get a hot meal.

"If you apply for a place to live you have to tell them that you're a registered sex offender. It makes it really difficult," said a local man who wants to remain anonymous. He has been out of prison for almost two years and since then, the streets of San Luis Obispo have been his home.

"We can get help through the county health as far as just getting some medical help and stuff like that, but as far as food, shelter, clothing, you have to pretty much find it on your own," he said.

What he doesn't realize is there are some options.

"During the lunch time at Prado for the People's Kitchen, they are allowed to just get in the lunch line, eat their plate of food, and leave the facility with no questions asked," said Dee Torres, who is the homeless services coordinator for CAPSLO.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, there are 470 registered sex offenders in the county and 52 of them are transients. This raises concern for families with kids who use local homeless services.

"There's a six to eight page intake form that we complete with each individual and some other basic questions that we ask right when they come through the door," said Torres.

But the screening process is not fool proof.

"There have been a few cases where we have found out after the fact that somebody wasn't registered on the database and they didn't disclose," said Torres.

Although there are screening processes in place, a kid could still be exposed to a sex offender.

Transients who are registered sex offenders are required by law to check in with the closest law enforcement agency every 30 days, and if they are still on parole, they are required to wear a GPS device.


FL - 9 Investigates crackdown on sex offenders inside Disney World

Original Article

Just because someone wears the "sex offender" label doesn't mean they are visiting the park to find kids to molest, that is just absurd, and this is a violation of their rights.

04/25/2013

ORANGE COUNTY - A six-month-long Eyewitness News investigation has uncovered sweeping background checks at Disney parks in central Florida -- checks targeting registered sex offenders.

Investigative reporter Christopher Heath dug through hundreds of pages of Orange County Sheriff’s Office trespass reports, and they show a consistent pattern of documented sex offenders getting kicked off of Disney properties.

During the last few weeks, Heath spoke to many of the sex offenders trespassed from Disney, including a man named Mike, who is married with two adult children.

Mike, who agreed to talk on the condition that he not be fully identified, said Disney officials clearly told him, “We don’t want you at our park.”

"I didn't realize anything was happening until they wanted to talk to me in private," he said.

Mike's narrative of what happened is the same as those of more than 20 other convicted sex offenders Heath interviewed. All of them were recently trespassed from Disney properties.

Mike and his wife had season passes. They went to retrieve their passes, and she swiped her ID and got her pass. He swiped his and was told a there was a problem.
- So is Disney going to refund their money for the season passes?

"Then, they pull us off,” Mike explained, adding that he was then told, “OK, you're not allowed to be here."

Mike was officially issued a "trespass warning” from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. The warning serves notice that he is never allowed on any Disney property again.

But he’s not alone. 9 Investigates discovered at least 75 other warnings were issued since August, all to registered sex offenders.

"They just said, ‘Look, you can't come here,’" Mike said.

Some of the trespass reports Heath reviewed plainly indicate the individual kicked out is a “registered sex offender” or “on the sexual offender list.”

Others cite the individuals for “conduct not welcome” at Disney or “behaviors not meeting Walt Disney’s standards.”

But all 76 of those trespassed were registered in the’s Florida Department of Law Enforcement sex offender database or in registries outside the state.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the resort is well within its right to run guest names against the sex offender registries and to remove guests with convictions.

"Legally, private businesses have the right and the obligation to take every legal step to protect their patrons," Sheaffer said.
- So I guess it's "legal" for Wal-Mart or Kroger to check everyone coming in the door if they have a criminal record, like stealing, and deny them from buying food to live on (here and here)?

Of the records obtained by Eyewitness News, most of the warnings were issued to people convicted of crimes involving children.

Some, like [name withheld] and [name withheld], are classified by the state as predators.

[name withheld] was removed from Epcot on Dec. 24. [name withheld] was removed from Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 7.

"Who are the main patrons? Families with children," said one Disney guest Heath interviewed about the sex offenders being trespassed. "As a parent, I wouldn't want a sex offender near my kids. No way.”

Noel Hernandez planned to spend 10 days at the parks with his wife and daughter. He said he doesn't mind if a few people are turned away.

"I think it's a good idea, yeah,” said another Disney guest. “It's a children's park. Kids go there. Yeah, it's a good thing. You want to be at a safe place, you want to feel safe."
- So if you are being a parent, not letting your kid just roam around at will, then what is the problem?

And if that means people like Mike can never return, he said he understands.

"I do understand that they have a public to take care of," said Mike.

Disney officials declined an interview but issued a statement that said, "While we do not share specific details of our security procedures, we are constantly strengthening our efforts so we can promote a safe environment for all our guests."

Heath reached out to the other major theme parks in central Florida about their policies regarding known sex offenders. He had not yet heard back from those parks Thursday afternoon.


FL - Pocket parks aren't made for children: they're designed for sex offenders

Original Article

Take the poll at the link above.

04/25/2013

By Anne Schindler

Twenty-four years ago, Donavon Lace was charged with committing a lewd and lascivious act on a 16-year-old girl. As he describes it, "It was a consensual sex act at a party."

He was 18 at the time, and the judge in the case withheld adjudication; Lace was given a sentence of probation. But after a marriage, and some time living in Colorado, he was contacted by Florida corrections officials.

"Then 2006 comes and they tell me I need to register," he recalls. "'What are you talking about?'"
- And that is ex post facto, unconstitutional, additional punishment.

Since then, Lace -- not his real name-- has been a registered sex offender. And the impact has been profound.

"So now I'm ostracized from my neighborhood."

Not just his own. In the state of Florida, sex offenders are required to live at least 1,000 feet from schools and day cares. Cities like Jacksonville and Miami required a more restrictive 2,500 feet.

"They drive these people out with things called pocket parks."

So-called Pocket Parks are the latest tool used to keep sex offenders at bay.

"It could be one swing," said Maria Kayanan, associate legal director of the of the ACLU of Florida. "It could be one rocking horse."

That's all that's been built at the Pocket Park in the Shorecrest neighborhood of Miami. Built on tiny lots in a residential neighborhood, the playground was designed to invoke setbacks that limit the footprint where sex offenders can find housing.

"You get clusters of sex offenders," said Kayanan, "and that causes the public outcry."
- You get clusters due to stupid ideas like this and the residency laws.  If you don't like it, repeal the residency laws.

That's exactly what happened in one Jacksonville neighborhood. In October, First Coast News' Heather Crawford profiled the Fairfield area north of downtown, where clustering has become a serious issue.

In just a 1-mile radius around John Love Elementary, there are more than 108 registered sex offenders and predators.

Putting in a pocket park would not affect sex offenders who already live in an area. But it would prevent new offenders from moving in. But that can create a whole new set of problems.

"When you make it impossible for anyone -- sex offender, sexual predator -- to have a stable residence, to have regular monitoring, they tend to go underground. They tend to abscond, they tend to re-offend."

The numbers may attest to that. There are currently 83 homeless sex offenders in Duval County and 1,200 in the state of Florida.

"You can't track a transient resident," Lace said. "That's the meaning of transient. 'Where do you live?' 'Nowhere!'"

For years, Miami was known for a massive homeless encampment under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which became one of the few places sex offenders could legally live.

After that encampment was disbanded in 2010 (Video), many relocated to a vacant street corner lot in Shorecrest.

"At night it would become tent village," said Ken Jett, president of the Shorecrest Homeowners Association.

"Some had nothing but sleeping bags, some had tents. Sometimes even just a chair." said Mina Kuhn, Shorecrest HOA member.

Since the pocket park went in nearby, sex offenders no longer sleep at the corner. But they have not left Shorecrest. A Florida Department of Law Enforcement map shows the offenders are still living here, and still listed as local transients.

For Shorecrest residents, the pocket park served its purpose. But it didn't solve the problem.
- Of course it didn't solve anything! It just forces them to move from one place to another.  Are they going to continue to open these stupid pocket parks until there is nowhere to live at all?  We are sure that is what they will do.

"It's displacing the issue," said Jett.

While Lace hates what the registry has done to him, he supports them -- and residency setbacks -- in the case of child sexual predators. He was himself a victim of childhood rape.
- We do not support online registries of any kind, they need to be taken offline and used by police only to prevent vigilantism, which is a rising problem across the world where a registry is online.

"I have no love for anyone would ever harm a child," he said. "I don't want anyone to experience what I experienced."

But he insists the sexual assault was nowhere near as traumatic as his years on the registry.

"I am not scarred for life from that incident. What scarred me for life is the Adam Walsh act. If you want to talk about scars."