Sunday, May 12, 2013

IN - Pence signs into law changes to sex offender registry

Original Article

05/10/2013

Changes are coming to Indiana’s sex offender registry, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Mike Pence Thursday.

HEA 1053 (PDF) requires the Indiana Department of Correction to remove information from the online public portal of the sex offender registry relating to a sex or violent offender who no longer is required to register or is deceased. The new law also adds the vehicle identification number of the vehicle owned or regularly operated by the offender to the information he or she is required to provide for sex offender registration. Driver’s licenses or ID cards must contain the offender’s current address and physical description.

Among other things, the law also merges the offense of criminal deviate conduct into the crime of rape and repeals the criminal deviate conduct statute, effective July 1, 2014.

The introduced version of the bill was prepared by the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee.

Pence also signed HEA 1159 (PDF), which limits the liability of a public school or an accredited nonpublic school that provides community-use physical fitness activities to the general public.

The governor still has dozens of enrolled acts before him with a signing or veto deadline of Saturday, including HEA 1393 (PDF) on judicial technology and automation and HEA 1320 on workers’ compensation.


WV - New West Virginia law pairs youth sexting ban with education efforts, diversion

Original Article

We see nothing wrong with trying to educate kids and keep them off the registry, that is a move in the right direction, for once.

05/12/2013

By Lois M. Collins

West Virginia has new rules that outlaw sexting by youths. But the state is also trying to pair the rules to education and diversion so that young people learn why it's a bad idea to sext and can fix their mistakes without having to register forever as sex offenders.

The Associated Press reported that the law, signed Monday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, makes it illegal for youths to make, possess or distribute photos, videos or other media that show a minor in an inappropriate sexual manner.
- Not all sexting is about sending / taking underage photos of kids, so this law is geared toward a specific issue, not sexting in general, at least that is how we read this.

The charge would be delinquency, but the law directs the state's Supreme Court to create an educational diversion program that, once completed, could lead to having the delinquency charge dropped.

"That program would show offenders the consequences of sexting, including the potential long-term harm on relationships and school and job opportunities," the AP story said.

Unlike some states, youths caught sexting would not be required to register as sex offenders.

That's important to Maureen Kanka, whose 7-year-old daughter Megan was abducted, assaulted and murdered by a neighbor who had previously been convicted of assaulting young girls. Her efforts helped lead to the crafting and passage of New Jersey's Megan's Law in 1994. It forces sex offenders to register when they move into a community. It was never meant to target juveniles who sext, she said, but it does and that's one of the changes she's pushing for in amendments, including providing more support for parole officers.

We wanted to make sure that wouldn’t happen under any circumstances,” Kanka told the New Jersey Independent Press, referring to making teens register for sexting.

A state senator sponsoring amendments agreed. “No one is trying to defend sexting, but the intention here is to not have them live with the lifelong designation of ‘sex offender,’” said Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro). “With younger people, you still have the concept of rehabilitation. You don’t want them to make a mistake and live with it for the rest of their lives.”
- We are so sick and tired of hearing this!  Adults can also be rehabilitated, if you give them a chance.  Not all want to be, but most can.  So stop pretending that all adults are beyond repair.

Sexting charges vary from state to state. The Washington Post carried a story about one case this week from nearby Virginia, where three local teens took videos "of drunken sex acts with fellow teens" and shared them with each other. They each will be tried on charges of child pornography.

"In Virginia, Maryland and many other states, the law has not caught up with the combustible mix of teens, technology and sex that has made sexting an issue. Prosecutors must rely on a patchwork of laws created before the rise of smart­phones to handle such cases," wrote the Post's Justin Jouvenal.

"Some parents and rights groups are calling for a new law that would distinguish sexting from child pornography, create lesser punishments and focus on educating teenagers, not punishing them. But they also acknowledge that young victims can be devastated when embarrassing photos or videos are spread among their peers," the article said.


AUSTRALIA - New technology to monitor sex offenders, arsonists and boozers 24/7

Original Article

05/13/2013

By Matt Johnston

Victoria's worst sex fiends offenders will be tracked using cutting-edge satellite technology from July.

And in an Australian-first, judges will be able to order serious offenders on booze bans to wear ankle bracelets that monitor their blood-alcohol content through sweat molecules.

The introduction of bracelets with GPS monitoring also gives courts the power to have arsonists tracked during bushfire seasons - a key Coalition election promise.

See Also:


Beyond the Myth - Prison / Jail propaganda video



Video Description:
Are jails and prisons one and the same, and what exactly is "community corrections?" With an emphasis on the role of jails in local communities, this video will answer those questions and more. It goes "beyond the myth" to reveal what corrections really is, what it is not, and the important role it plays in promoting public safety. The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons. It's mission is to provide training, information, and technical assistance to the nation's jails, prisons, and community corrections facilities.

Our Comments:
Don't you just love how they sugar coat it and make it look like it's some nice retreat or something?

This is NOTHING like real jails or prisons, it's merely propaganda! They'd never show you the reality!

And jails / prisons are not about corrections, rehabilitation or public "safety," they are about caging people and making a profit from those they lock up.


FL - Jacksonville man mistakenly labeled sex offender on Florida ID

Original Article

05/09/2013

By Vic Micolucci

Man says mistake was devastating, humiliating

JACKSONVILLE - Andrew Flaherty recently moved to Jacksonville last year from out of state. He’s legally blind and can’t drive, but did as the law requires and got a Florida Identification Card.

But as he visited banks, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, he noticed things didn't seem right and Floridians weren’t showing the southern hospitality he had heard so much about.

"Even when my brother from Hawaii came to visit me, he said, 'You got a dark cloud over you for some reason,'" said Flaherty.

This past March, it became clear, when Flaherty and his brother tried to get onto the base at NAS Jacksonville.
- So even if the man was a sex offender, what does that have to do with him trying to enter a Navy base?

When we gave the ID they told us to pull over and about 30 minutes later, an officer approached our vehicle and said there’s a Florida statute on my ID that said I’m a sexual offender,” explained Flaherty.

It’s a crime for sex offender to try and get on military bases.
- It is?  Really?  Why?

Wow, I was completely floored,” explained Flaherty. “I’ve never been accused, much less convicted of something that horrible.”

We checked and Flaherty’s background is clean. The problem was his Florida ID card. In the bottom right corner it says 943.0435 FS. It’s a statute that means the person on the ID is a convicted sexual offender.

Who has formed this opinion of me, that I am a sexual offender?” asked Flaherty.

Flaherty believes it was a simple mistake, with terrible damage. He has hired Jacksonville attorney John Phillips to look over what happened.

Here’s a man that did nothing wrong, lives on the absolute right side of life and all of a sudden has been called the worst of the worst,” said Phillips.
- So now, because of a typo, he has to use his own money to pay a lawyer to fix this?  I sure hope he gets compensated for the states error?

Channel 4 did its own investigating and looked for answers, taking Flaherty’s situation to the people who gave him the ID in the first place: the Duval County Tax Collector’s Office.

It was not an intentional thing. It was a mistake, absolutely. Human error,” explained Sherry Hall, Duval County deputy tax collector.

Hall says one of the clerks accidentally clicked the wrong box when creating Flaherty’s ID. They use a state computer program to make the cards and there are a series of boxes to click, which classify people as organ donors, insulin dependent and sex offenders.
- And apparently they do not double check the information either.

Once we brought Flaherty's problem to their attention, the Tax Collector's Office took action. Hall says they let their employees know what happened and will train them on ways to avoid it. They also are working with the state to possibly make the program a little more fail-safe, so this doesn’t happen again. And now Flaherty's new ID is clean, just like his record.

We absolutely apologize that this error caused him any issues at all. We have corrected this issue since it occurred. We are certainly very sorry he was the recipient of this mistake,” said Hall.
- So did you pay his lawyer fees and such for your mistake?

Hall adds that this is the first time a mistake like this has ever happened in her office, but she says the markings on the IDs and licenses are important.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson says police need to know who they’re dealing with and having the statute clearly labeled certainly helps.

Flaherty says he couldn't agree more, but thinks clerks need to be more careful so no one else is wrongly accused.

I hope that this lets everyone know that this is possible. And if it happened to you, you need to go and get this changed,” said Flaherty.