The sex offender registry doesn't prevent crime or "protect" anybody, it only opens ex-offenders, their families and children up to harassment, bullying or worse. And now more will be victims of vigilantism!
By Samantha Allen
WESTFORD - State Rep. James Arciero was recently recognized by the group Community VOICES for legislative efforts to the change the state Sex Offender Registry law.
Arciero, D-Westford, was awarded the "spirit of compassion" award at the Statehouse along with state Reps. Brian S. Dempsey, of Haverhill, and Eugene O'Flaherty, of Chelsea. According to Laurie Myers, president of Community VOICES, these legislators were pivotal in ultimately changing Massachusetts law regarding Level 2 sex offenders and their criminal information.
"Allowing citizens practical access to tools (parents) can use to keep themselves and their children safe is in the best interest of public safety," Myers said. "We appreciate the leadership shown by these three representatives, and we are grateful for the compassion they have shown the victims and survivors who were involved in advocating for this law."
Myers is a longtime victim's-rights advocate and founder of Community VOICES who has also been working on this issue for many years. The organization is a citizens group, founded in 2004 to support, advocate and represent victims and survivors of crime with particular emphasis on issues of sexual assault and internet safety.
The information regarding the crimes of Level 2 sex offenders has always been public information, according to the group, but in order for interested citizens to access it, they were required to go to their local police stations. Arciero filed legislation in the last two legislative sessions to affect change in the accessibility of that information. Level 2 offenders have in the past been convicted of such crimes as the rape of a child with force, indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 and other crimes against children.
Success finally came, according to Community VOICES, when Gov. Deval Patrick signed the state budget containing necessary language to allow for the posting of the information online by the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry.
"Whatever we can do to make our neighborhoods safer for children and families is important," Arciero said. "This simple change allows individuals to instantaneously know who is living and working in their communities without the need to fill out paperwork at their local police stations."
"I believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of Massachusetts to have the right to see all the information available on these offenders in order to make their own determinations as to what steps to take to keep themselves, their families and their neighborhoods safe," Arciero added.
Before the awards were handed off to the representatives, Wena, a specially-trained service dog for victims of crime, walked them over and shook Arciero's hand.
Monday, February 3, 2014
MA - State Rep. James Arciero gets an award for eradicating peoples rights?