Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sex Offender Registration Requirements to be Challenged


RSOL, Post Office Box 36123 

Albuquerque, NM 87176

www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org

 

December 20, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Larry Neely
RSOL Legal Committee
202-709-3890.
 
Reform Sex Offender Laws Inc. (RSOL) plans to soon challenge sections of Senate Bill 1183 (Pennsylvania’s new sex offender registration requirements) on multiple constitutional grounds.

Today marks the beginning of enforcement of a controversial new state law that purports to protect citizens from registered sex offenders. RSOL’s executive director Brenda Jones stated, “It is disappointing that Pennsylvania’s lawmakers chose to ignore the lessons learned when Ohio proceeded down this same disastrous path more than five years ago.” Ohio was the first state to be deemed AWA complaint, but the courts subsequently have found several aspects of Ohio’s new law unconstitutional. After expending millions of taxpayer dollars defending an unconstitutional law, Ohio was forced  to revert back to the old registration system for those sentenced prior to the new law’s enactment.

Jones stated that provisions of Pennsylvania’s new law “transform what is supposed to be a non-punitive, civil regulatory measure into a form of lifetime probationary supervision for most persons on the registry,” which RSOL believes to be blatantly unconstitutional. “And further,” she continues, “all individuals on Pennsylvania’s registry will see their registration periods dramatically increase, with the majority becoming life-timers. This,” she emphasized, “is a violation of the ex post facto clause.”

Jones stated that although the new law was touted by its supporters as necessary to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act (AWA), “It does little if anything to improve public safety, and any marginal benefit achieved is at the expense of trampling over our most cherished constitutional protections.”

Jones concluded her remarks by saying, “It is most unfortunate that RSOL must undertake such a challenge, but make no mistake about it; we cannot and will not stand by while public policymakers shred the constitution and disregard their oaths of office.”


RSOL promotes the elimination of sexual abuse and the preservation of civil rights for all individuals through the use of effective legislation based on empirical research. We envision sexual offense laws based on equal justice and respect for the dignity of all people, protection from retroactively applied punishment, and the establishment of fact-based laws and policies which protect our communities.
 
-30-

Friday, December 14, 2012

Certain Sex Offenders -and- Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF)

QUESTION:

QUESTION: What is meant by the references to "Sex Offender" in the GAO document "SMALL BUSINESS LENDING: Opportunities Exist to Improve Performance Reporting of Treasury’s Programs" released Dec 2012? Page-10 of this document says:
As mandated by the act, Treasury requires each SBLF participant to submit two annual certifications:
(1) Any businesses receiving a loan from an SBLF participant using SBLF funds must certify to the institution that the principals of the business have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor. Under the Securities Purchase Agreement, annually until redemption, the SBLF participant is required to provide the certifications to Treasury that businesses receiving loans from the bank have certified that their principals have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor.

(2) Each SBLF participant must certify that it is in compliance with the requirements of the Customer Identification Program, which is intended to enable the bank to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of each customer.

ANSWER: When a Small Business applies for a SBA Loan at a local bank, they must complete certain application forms. One of those forms now is a form to certify that, none of the PRINCIPALS (Owners) of that business has been previously convicted of a sex offense against a minor as defined in the Adam Walsh Act (42 USC 16911). In addition, those owners, until the loan is paid back, must ANNUALLY sign that form, to prove no sex offense against a minor has occurred in the past year.

In the last Congress (111th) they passed a bill which added that requirement to Small Business Loans. If you want to read more about what happened BACK then use these two links: HERE and HERE you should be able to get the gist of what Congress did back then.

Definitions:
Minor in AWA: A person under 18;

Read 42 USC 16911 HERE it is quite long.

Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF)



New website for Self Employment Assistance Center


Saturday, December 8, 2012

New app checks friend requests for registered sex offenders. Really?

QUESTION:

12-7: The only way this App can check w/the NASOR Registry is if they has a contract w/the US DOJ. See the Kids Act. Do they?

UPDATE 12-8: They are NOT checking to NASOR as they claim.

See their FAQ: "How Current is Your Data? The data hosted on our site is compiled from many thousands of different public record sources. From government agencies to local and state offices & court houses, opt-in databases, and other public data. Due to the large scope of sources, we are limited to when those entities release updates. However because they do not release updates all at the same time, we are constantly updating our databases individually." This immediately brings into question those "thousands of different public record sources.

AND they charge for searches: "Is there any membership or monthly fees? No, none! You are only charged for the searches you run.

How can I pay for your searches?
We offer two options when it comes to paying for your searches. You can pay as you go, and only pay for a search when you do a search, or you can purchase credits.

Why would I decide to purchase credits?
We have created a credit system so that users who intend to do multiple searches can pre-purchase credits at a discounted rate and to streamline your user experience.


12-7-2012 National:

Who’s asking to be your friend on Facebook?

It’s a concern for many people who use the popular social media website. It’s a bigger fear for parents whose children communicate online.

The wide spread concern struck a chord for New York resident Joe Penora. He launched an Android app and mobile website in March called Friend Verifier.

The app allows Facebook users to cross check friend requests against the national sex offender registry.

The app is accessible on mobile phones, tablets and the XBOX 360.

While the app has received good reviews, it’s also been criticized for accuracy. Until recently, the app could only crosscheck names on the sex offender registry, which resulted in several false identifications.

This week, the app was re-launched with a color coded system, that uses birth dates and locations to verify accuracy.

“You just click on that person’s name and you can see their sex offender information,” Penora says.

Ross Garrett, co-founder of Mobelux.com, a Richmond based company that creates apps, says users should still use caution.

“You could get accurate information, you might not get accurate information, that’s the gamble you take.” Garrett says.

Garrett says Apple is more selective than Android when approving apps. He recommends that users confirm their findings by checking government websites or individual state sex offender registries.

“Do research yourself,” Garrett advises.

Penora says 98% of the feedback he’s received from Friend Verifier users has been positive

A request to Apple, so users can download the app on their iPhones, is currently being reviewed by the company. Apple receives 26,000 app submissions weekly.

Penora says he’s confident the app can provide families with an extra safeguard when it comes to accepting friends online. ..Source.. by WTVR.com

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The 111th Congress, Bills Affecting Sex Offenders, and Congressional Gremilins!

DOCUMENTING HISTORY: Bills Affecting Sex Offenders

During the 111th Congress three bills, in particular, worked their way through Congress. During that period some strange things happened, in the U.S. House, for which there is still no explanation. So, with that in mind its time to simply make a record of the outcome of the bills in question, and research done back then. Readers who want to delve into the strange happenings will have to filter through the research, all documented below. Congressional Gremlins were certainly working Behind Closed Doors back then!

The bills and their outcome were:

HR-5072 FHA Reform Act of 2010 (BAD BILL)
DID NOT become law. Died in the Senate
6/10/2010 2:39pm:
On passage Passed by recorded vote: 406 - 4 (Roll no. 353).
6/10/2010 2:39pm:
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
6/10/2010 2:48pm:
The Clerk was authorized to correct section numbers, punctuation, and cross references, and to make other necessary technical and conforming corrections in the engrossment of H.R. 5072.
6/10/2010:
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

HR-5618 Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010 (BAD BILL)
DID NOT become law. Died in the Senate:
7/1/2010 3:27pm:
On passage Passed by recorded vote: 270 - 153 (Roll no. 423). (text: CR H5321)
7/1/2010 3:27pm:
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
7/1/2010 3:27pm:
Under clause 10(c)(3) of rule XXI, the Chair announced that the presiding officer was supposed to have put the question of consideration on H.R. 5618 but omitted to do so. That omission has been overtaken by the subsequent actions on the bill.
7/13/2010:
Received in the Senate. Read the first time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under Read the First Time.
7/14/2010:
Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 459.

HR-4213 Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 (GOOD BILL)
BECAME LAW in place of HR-5618 which denied sex certain sex offenders. Thank Heavens!
7/22/2010 2:12pm:
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
7/22/2010:
Cleared for White House.
7/22/2010:
Presented to President.
7/22/2010:
Signed by President.
7/22/2010:
Became Public Law No: 111-205.

HR-5297 Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 (BAD BILL)
BECAME LAW, see the following:
9/23/2010 3:03pm:
On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 237 - 187 (Roll no. 539). (text as House agreed to Senate amendment: CR H6905-6930)
9/23/2010 3:03pm:
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
9/23/2010:
Cleared for White House.
9/23/2010:
Presented to President.
9/27/2010:
Signed by President.
9/27/2010:
Became Public Law No: 111-240.
HR-5297 will deny certain registered sex offenders access to small business loans!

12 USC 5710: SEC. 3011. OVERSIGHT AND AUDITS.
(c) REQUIRED CERTIFICATION.—
(2) SEX OFFENSE CERTIFICATION.—With respect to funds received by a participating State under the Program, any private entity that receives a loan, a loan guarantee, or other financial assistance using such funds after the date of the enactment of this Act shall certify to the participating State that the principals of such entity have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor (as such terms are defined in section 111 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16911)).

SEC. 4107. OVERSIGHT AND AUDITS.
(d) REQUIRED CERTIFICATIONS.—
(2) LOAN RECIPIENTS.—With respect to funds received by an eligible institution under the Program, any business receiving a loan from the eligible institution using such funds after the date of the enactment of this Act shall certify to such eligible institution that the principals of such business have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor (as such terms are defined in section 111 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16911)).



History behind bills (eAdvocate research in 2010):

6-14-2010: ACTION ALERT: Sex Offenders and the FHA Reform Act of 2010 (Housing Issues)

7-6-2010: UPDATE: Sex Offenders and the FHA Reform Act of 2010 (Housing Issues)

7-16-2010: ACTION ALERT: More on denying certain sex offenders, mortgages..

7-15-2010: Who is pushing the agenda to deny certain former sex offenders, federal benefits?

7-15-2010: ACTION ALERT: A AP Reporter Would Like to Talk to "Certain Sex Offenders" about "Federal Bills" that Would Deny Benefits.

7-20-2010: ACTION ALERT: The Senate will be voting on HR 5618 "Unemployment Benefits" bill this afternoon

7-21-2010: Jobless benefits extension passes Senate (GOOD BILL HR-4213)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Where are the Results? New Mexico Sentencing Commission Study Fails to Deliver

OPINION: Press Release

Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc., Calls N.M. Sentencing Commission Report a Sham

In September, 2012, after a six-year wait, the New Mexico Sentencing Commission published and distributed a study of sex offender recidivism in New Mexico. (1) At least, RSOL thinks that's what it is about.

“Where are the charts?” asks Lloyd Swartz, president of the N.M. affiliate of RSOL. “Where are the graphs? Where are the percentages? How is anyone supposed to understand what this is saying? Most of it has nothing to do with New Mexico.” Indeed, more than three pages of the four-page report do not. They instead provide information on various other studies around the country and even in Canada. Its only chart does NOT include New Mexico.

“I’ve never seen a recidivism report that didn’t use percentages,” comments Swartz. “You have to wade through all that stuff that has nothing to do with New Mexico, then wade through the paragraphs about the New Mexico study until you get to some numbers, and then you have to do the math to know what you have.”

Paralegal Larry Neely did the math. “Seven out of 126 from the prison cohort were returned to prison for a repeat sexual offense; that’s 5.5%. Of the 79 in the probation cohort, only one out of the 79 total had committed a new sexual offense. That is a fraction over 1%.” (1, pp. 2,3)

“This is outrageous,” Neely continues. “Our sex offender recidivism is low, very much in line with that found in other studies in other states. The Sentencing Commission obscures that fact by deliberately focusing on all these other studies, especially one widely-discredited study that shows higher recidivism for some populations but has nothing to do with our New Mexico study. The data from our study is being downplayed in the report and ignored in the media in favor of the higher numbers which don’t even apply. This is nothing more than political pandering.”

Dr. Jill Levenson, professor at Lynn University and author of many sexual offense related studies and publications, when asked to review the study, also expressed surprise that the newspaper articles dealing with the N.M. Commission’s report didn’t even cite the results of their N.M. recidivism study.

The NMSC, media, and at least one lawmaker have put nearly all their attention, says Swartz, on "one study done by a group from Canada (2) who specifically said that their results should not be used to formulate policy and which has been rejected as poorly controlled by the rest of the research community. (3) But that is what the media and politicians see when they look at the report.” (4)

“Even more egregious,” adds Neely, who has extensive knowledge of sentencing and supervision practices as they apply to sex offenders, “is the veiled suggestion in the Commission’s follow-up statement that some of the subjects from the study may have re-offended elsewhere, making the rate higher. (5) This is nonsense. Convicted sex offenders on parole or probation are virtually never given permission to leave the state. The Commission does not say that any of the study group is ‘missing.’ If one or two have been given permission to move elsewhere, the Commission would have had no difficulty at all tracking them. Everything in that report is designed as a scare tactic and as a springboard to a demand for additional restrictions on registrants and more stringent laws and monitoring.”

Brenda Jones, Executive Director of National RSOL, agrees there should be graphs and percentages, and she set about creating them (see original). “It took me about an hour,” she said. “It would seem like the NMSC could have taken an extra hour and produced something that has some meaning for the average citizen.” (6) ..Source.. by RSOL

-------------------------
(1) http://issuu.com/eadvocate/docs/nm_study_-_a_review_of_studies
(2) http://ccoso.org/Canadianstudy.pdf
(3) http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ccj/summary/v048/48.1hanson.html
(4) http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/study-reveals-when-rapists-reoffend
(5) http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2012/10/21/opinion/sentencing-panel-clarifies-story-on-its-report.html
...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Study reveals when rapists reoffend

FACTOID (Part-1) & TRUTH (Part-2):

First the news article, then explanation why that is false, then what is true:
Legislator wants new look at sex-offender registry 10-5-2012 by Crystal Gutierrez

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Alarming numbers released in a recent study show the longer some sex offenders are out of prison the higher the chance they'll strike again. That has a state representative looking to toughen up the law.

There are hundreds of convicted rapists and child molesters who live in New Mexico and are ordered to register as sex offenders. The type of crime they’re convicted determines if they need to register for 10 years or for life.

It’s a requirement by law to keep better tabs on them so they don't claim more victims.

That's the main focus of a new study released by the New Mexico Sentencing Commission. It compiled information from studies that looked at more than 200 registered sex offenders, some just released from prison and others had been sentenced to probation.
The study showed five years after parole or probation begins about 15 percent reoffend. The study shows after 25 years back on the streets, that number jumps to 60 percent.
The study caught the eye of Democratic Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque.

“Oh no, it's very alarming,” Maestas said.

Maestas said it shows New Mexico laws for registered sex offenders need to be tougher and more effective. He said they could start with adding a third tier to the state’s system. He thinks some on the list for 10 years maybe need to be on the list for 25.

“Maybe so, maybe so, and at the same time maybe some life-timers may be on the 25,” Maestas said.

He's considering adding that three-tier system for registering and he wants more requirements for those registered.

“IP addresses from their computer,” Maestas said. “Palm prints, updated photographs.”

However, he's up against a nationwide group called Reform Sex Offenders Laws. That group is completely against sex offender registries saying they're a second sentence and not effective.

RSOL Executive Director Brenda Jones said other studies show forcing molesters and rapists to register can lead to them reoffend because they claim it destabilizes them.

Jones said more restrictions would also be unconstitutional.

“Any kind of restriction after they completed their sentence after probation or parole is unnecessary,” Jones said.

The House bill Maestas is putting together would also require child predators who use the Internet or a phone to go after children to register as sex offenders.


Discussion:

PART-1: The study which the 60% recidivism rate is quoted from is: Lifetime Sex Offender Recidivism: A 25-Year Follow-Up Study by Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume:46 Issue:5 Dated:October 2004 Pages:531 to 552 Author(s): Ron Langevin ; Suzanne Curnoe ; Paul Fedoroff ; Renee Bennett ; Mara Langevin ; Cheryl Peever ; Rick Pettica ; Shameen Sandhu
Date Published: 10/2004

That study has been severely criticized because of the method used to chose participants. "Given that the follow-up period in Langevin?s study was more than 15 years, all of the inactive (non-recidivist) offenders should have been deleted from the RCMP database." In other words, the people chosen for the study WAS NOT a cross section of ALL sex offenders, it was only recidivists.

PART-2: The article also mentions a "New Study" by the Sentencing Commission. That study is best described as a review of all sorts of other sex offender studies which do not pertain to the recidivism rates of New Mexico offenders.

The Commission Report itself mentions it tracked a total of 79 persons on probation, and 126 persons still in prison as of 2004. Offenders in the probation cohort were tracked for probation violations through January 2012 and tracked for prison admissions through May 2012. Of the 79 persons, only 1 (1.3%) was convicted of a new sex offense by 2012.

Offenders in the prison cohort were tracked for prison re-admissions through May 2012. Of the 126 offenders, 7 (5.5%) were re-admitted for a sexual offense, and 3 (2.3%) were admitted for failure to register.


The Commission Report stressed that their single-year cohort should not be generalized to presume recidivism rates for the whole state, and that the study is not "comparable" to the literature review which takes up most of the report.

All the other studies mentioned in the report merely took up space and none were relevant to sex offenders in New Mexico. It is shocking to see what some will go through to get the focus off what is relevant, and here, it misled the media to the erroneous and not relevant 60%.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tracking Registry Compliance Rates

10-13-2012 National:

Registry compliance figures is something missing from studies, so we are going to track comments made by officials as to registry compliance. Hopefully, over time, we can determine "Local" and "State" or even "National" compliance rates.

This by no means is any official rate, lets call it the Media Rate.

Here is a local from Alaska (4.2% Non Compliant):
In May 2011, the marshals and the troopers finished a five-month joint operation called "Operation Verification." It resulted in 1,910 of the registered sex offenders' addresses being verified. In all, 1,651 were in compliance; 137 were in jail for unrelated reasons; 81 offenders were out of compliance, and they were either arrested or had warrants issued for their arrest; and 41 were not located at the time. ..Source.. 10-13-2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do Registries Help?

QUESTION:

While law enforcement groups have championed SORNA and cheerlead for compliance in every state, some counter that more stringent sex offender laws and longer registration periods could violate offenders’ constitutional rights.

SORNA’s three-tier registration system lumps statutory rape convicts with violent sexual predators, attorney Katherine Godin of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union noted in a May 12 memo to state lawmakers there.

“Under the (Adam Walsh Act), an 18-year-old who has sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend will be branded a sex offender for the rest of his life and will be seen as posing the same threat to the community as someone who commits rape or first-degree child molestation,” Godin wrote in the memo.

States toughening their treatment of convicted sex offenders may lull residents into a false sense of security, the Rhode Island ACLU argues, by ignoring the statistical likelihood that children will be abused by a family member or close family friend.

“In fact, this community notification system distorts the fact that most sex crimes are not committed by some scary man lurking in the bushes,” Godin wrote. “Instead, 97 percent of child sex abuse victims up to 5 years old knew the offender prior to the offense.”

Academic studies show that offenders placed on public registries reoffend at roughly the same rate as those convicted before the registries were maintained, said M. Lyn Exum, an associate professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“I think there is this scarlet-letter stigma that is carried with this, and whether that’s good or bad, that’s a moral judgment,” Exum said. “There’s not compelling scientific research to show that individuals on sex offender registries have lower recidivism rates.”

Studies show that 5 percent of registered sex offenders will be convicted of another sex crime within three years of their registration. In a 15-year span, about a quarter of sex offenders will reoffend.

In some studies, the number of registered offenders convicted of a subsequent sex offense was slightly lower than the number of non-registered offenders.

“Those on the registries do offend less, but it’s a very small percentage,” Exum said. “In the research world, we say those percentages are not statistically significant.”


Nearly half of registered sex offenders said being listed on a public registry has limited their job prospects and cost them friendships, according to self-reported survey data.

“A significant minority report being attacked — being tracked down and confronted in such a way that they were physically assaulted,” Exum said.
Maybe Dr Exum needs to see these blogs: RSO/SO Murders/Killings -and- RSO/SO Vigilantism
While the public may need information about sex offenders in their communities, some scholars and civil liberties groups say those offenders deserve the opportunity to turn their lives around.

“In some ways, you’re sort of cutting off your nose to spite your face,” Exum said. “You’re putting these people on a registry and making it harder for them to reintegrate, which could increase the chance that they recidivate.” ..Source.. Opinions of attorney Katherine Godin of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union - and- Dr. M. Lyn Exum University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If Drunk Drivers Were Treated like Sex Offenders

September 2012:

Learned of this and had to save it. Author unknown.

Nobody likes sex offenders. People aren't very fond of drunk drivers, either. Drunk drivers have a much higher recidivism rate than sex offenders, and are much more likely to kill or injure someone than sex offenders. So let us imagine, for a moment, that they are given similar treatment.

2003
You are caught running a red light. The policeman who pulls you over discovers you been drinking, and arrests you for drunk driving. The judge sentences you to a $1000 fine and 60 days in jail. Recognizing your drinking problem, you participate in a voluntary alcohol treatment program, join AA, get sober, and never drink again, let alone drink and drive.

2005
Drunk driving tragedies have been in the news a lot over the past year, and the public wants to toughen up on drunk drivers. A law is passed requiring anyone convicted of drunk driving after the year 2000 to be put on a non-public registry for five years from the date of their conviction. The registry exists so if there are any hit-and-run accidents, the police know who to check out as suspects first.

You are now required to report to the police station once a year to give them your address, driver license number, license plate numbers, and vehicle descriptions. You must report any changes in information within 5 days. If you fail to report, you can expect 2 years of incarceration on a felony charge. Thank goodness you only have to do this for two more years!

2007
As a reaction to an especially messy drunk driving incident that got many people up in arms, everyone convicted of drunk driving after the year 2000 is restricted from living within 1000 feet of the nearest bar or store which sells alcoholic beverages. Your state legislature also decides that its RDDs (registered drunk drivers) will need to be on the police registry for ten years from the date of their conviction. This takes a big bite out of the state budget, so RDDs are expected to pay $500 per year to offset the cost.

Your house is within range of two liquor stores. You have to move far out of town, forcing you and your wife to find new jobs. It a scramble, and Santa isn't as generous this year. Your children, who had to change schools mid-year, are not happy. And now you are stuck on that registry until 2013!

Early 2008
The national government has imposed a minimum of 2 years in prison for any drunk-driving charge, and a maximum of 10 years if there has been damage to property or personal injury. Failure to register now carries a stiffer penalty of 5 years in prison, with no parole in either situation. RDDs originally convicted of personal injury incidents must now re-register four times a year, at a cost of $250 per visit. Failure to register carries the same penalty as a new offense. Your family celebrates the fact that this time, the changes do not affect you.

Mid-2008
Thanks to politicians who all want to look tough on Drunk Drivers, living restrictions are expanded to include any place where people congregate to drink. All RDD-owned vehicles must have pink license plates so others will know that a possibly drunk driver is behind the wheel. Another federal law forbids any current RDD from owning certain types of vehicles. No studies have actually confirmed this, but it is believed that people who own these vehicles are more likely to drive while intoxicated.

You own one of these restricted vehicles. You are allowed a month to sell it or face a felony charge and two years incarceration. You lose a lot of money in the process, and can only afford to buy a clunker. You also have to move again, because there is a Kiwanis Club just over the hill. The only place that qualifies is a run-down trailer park filled with other RDD’s (registered drunk drivers). Your kids and wife are frequently harassed by schoolmates and neighbors whenever they drive anywhere, and the car is often vandalized. The kids are regularly getting into fights at school, and your oldest shows signs of serious depression.

Early 2009
Two studies have shown Drunk Driving accounted for nearly 260 child deaths each year, and 700 serious child injuries. The federal government, in an effort to protect these poor children, passes the Cindy Sweet Act, named after a child who became a paraplegic after one such incident, which mandates that all states create a public, web-based registry listing ANYONE who has had ANY type of alcohol-related conviction since the year 2000. This registry includes the RDD’s home and work addresses, his/her photograph, description of his/her vehicle and of course the vehicle license plate numbers that have been convicted of personal injury charges must install breathalyzers, at their cost, into each vehicle they drive, that send radio reports back to their local police station for monitoring. A positive breathalyzer is grounds for immediate arrest.

You lose your job, because your employer refuses to be listed on the registry, and nobody else will hire you in spite of your excellent employment history. The road to the trailer park is lined with signs like Baby Killers and Beware! Child Murderers! Others are much cruder. Your eldest tries to commit suicide, and is placed in a treatment center. Unable to take any more of this, your spouse packs up the younger kids and moves out, with your blessing. You move into a two-bedroom trailer with five other RDDs, to conserve what little money you manage to earn from odd jobs. Interestingly, not one of your trailer-mates have ever driven drunk. But they all get the same treatment.

2010
Penalties for new offenses, and for failing to register, have doubled. RDDs are no longer allowed to drive on the interstate, for public safety reasons. The breathalyzer-and-license-plate requirements are expanded to include any vehicles owned by family members, because the RDD might have access to them. Also, all these vehicles must have a GPS installed for law enforcement to track whether it is safely parked in your driveway or parking lot between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m., since those are the hours most bars are open.

The new requirements have caused you and most of your trailer-mates to lose what little income you make, because you had night jobs. In desperation, everyone chips in to buy two bottles of good rum the first drink any of you have had since your convictions. Passing around the bottles, you all get roaring drunk, climb into your breathalyzer-enhanced vehicles, turn on the engines, and wait. Within minutes, police arrive and take all of you into custody. You are guaranteed to be in prison for five years or more. But at least you are warm, and dry, and have steady jobs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ALERT: CERTAIN Registered Sex Offenders and The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization Act of 2010

9-11-2012 National:

CAPTA Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was a federal law first enacted in 1974. CAPTA is a law likened to a spider web, in that, it has fingers that tie it into any form of proceeding affecting a "Child." And, until 2010, in the 111th Congress, it did not tie into "registered sex offender" laws.

In 2010, when CAPTA was up to be reauthorized, -a few lines of code- was tucked into the bill making it applicable to certain registered sex offenders, under certain circumstances, REPEAT, under certain circumstances ONLY. As best I can tell, the RSO must be involved in a court or other proceeding (non criminal), where the court is required to make a decision in the best interests of the child. ex: Probate proceedings, Child Custody, Visiting Rights, Divorce, Adoption, Termination of Parental Rights, and I'm sure there are others which escape me right now.

WHY have folks not heard about this? The federal law was amended in 2010, and many states have not yet decided how they will implement it. Yes, this is another of those federal laws which dock the state federal funds if they do not implement it, and a federal agency decides if, a state, after enacting it, is or isn't in full compliance, which then determines if the state is docked federal funds.

Today States are in a transition period! Please see this Michigan news item from 5-1-2012: Sex offenders could lose parental rights under law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. In Oklahoma House Bill 3049 "Sex offenders; prohibiting certain sex offenders from residing with minor children; effective date." passed and will become law.

How will the federal law affect registered sex offenders? This is the most difficult part, it depends on how a state enacts the federal law. So far, in the two states mentioned, RSOs are affected differently. Your state decides how it will enact CAPTA. Local lawyers are the only folks who can PROPERLY advise you, or even tell you, if you will be affected. And, as of today, remember not every state has addressed CAPTA yet!

OK, what did the 111th Congress insert into CAPTA (S-3817)?
(I) in subclause (III), by striking ‘‘; or’’ and inserting ‘‘;’’; and
(II) by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(V) to have committed sexual abuse against the surviving child or another child of such parent;
or
‘‘(VI) to be required to register with a sex offender registry under section 113(a) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16913(a));’’;
I have provided links to the bill in the 111th Congress, if you are brave enough to read it, it is a monster bill, like I said, a spider web into many other laws; have at it.

It might be easier to read this, which explains CAPTA overall, then search it for the insert I mentioned above, still a daunting task. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization Act of 2010. More about CAPTA 2010 can be found HERE

OK, every RSO -in the state where you live- need to find out how your state -has or will enact- this federal law. Watch the news for your respective areas. And never forget, if the law does not affect you today, it could if your family situation changes in the future (i.e., divorce, visitation rights for previously divorced folks, etc.).

Whatever folks find, please let me post it here for other folks to learn from.

Thanks, and have a good day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate

If you cannot read the links, copy and paste this into your browser, and read it there: http://truths-authority-factoids.blogspot.com/2012/09/alert-certain-registered-sex-offenders.html

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Child Porn or Family Photos?

August 28, 2012 Minnesota:

The following article shows the differences between how law enforcement and prosecutors look at a photo and how the family might view the same pictures.

Minn. coach's child porn case tests investigators

A Minnesota football coach accused of taking pornographic videos of his children is offering a simple explanation: The images are nothing more than innocent family antics, unfairly misinterpreted by authorities as having the darkest possible motive.

That defense, first presented by Todd Hoffner's attorney last week and reiterated by his wife on Monday, will face tremendous scrutiny by investigators in the days ahead and a likely challenge by prosecutors before a jury, experts said.

"Where you draw the line is through investigation," said Meg Garvin, the executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute in Portland, Ore. "Because sometimes the pictures you first see in a child pornography case might be very similar to benign family photos, and it takes more investigation to determine that, as well as experts talking to the children. And that's sometimes how we'll find out what's happening."

What they'll discover is nothing illegal, said Melodee Hoffner, whose husband is the football coach at Minnesota State University in Mankato. In the family's first statement since her husband's arrest last week, Hoffner called the charges against her husband "ridiculous and baseless."

"My family does what every family does -- we take videos and pictures of our kids in all their craziness," Melodee Hoffner said Monday.

Hoffner, 46, of Eagle Lake, was arrested last week and charged with two felonies: possession of child pornography and using minors in a sexual performance or pornographic work. Capt. Rich Murry of the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office said officers seized computers, discs and electronic equipment when they searched the coach's home following his arrest, and that material is being searched for any relevant evidence.

Experts who reviewed authorities' descriptions of Hoffner's videos said to determine the innocent from the nefarious, detectives will try to uncover whether the videos were kept secret or if other adult family members knew of them. While debating whether to file charges, they said, officials often consider whether there are multiple pictures or videos and whether the children are acting naturally for their age.

Marsh Halberg, a prominent defense attorney in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, said such investigations rarely yield close calls. He cited a case in which his client was investigated for taking a picture of her naked toddler on a beach. It was seen by day care workers, who went to authorities.

Officials searched his client's home and conducted interviews to determine the context of the photo, Halberg said. They decided not to charge his client.

"Usually, when I have a child porn case, this hasn't been a gray line," he said.

In Minnesota, the legal definition of child pornography includes performances depicting actual or simulated sexual conduct, and the definition of sexual conduct includes masturbation or lewd exhibitions of the genitals. That's typical of state and federal laws on child pornography, which generally define videos or photos as such if they include images that have the intent of evoking a sexual response, said Parry Aftab, a New Jersey attorney and online child safety advocate.

A naked child in the bathtub is not pornography by itself, she said, but a nude girl with her legs spread or a boy touching his genitals meets that definition.

At a court hearing after Hoffner's arrest, his attorney, Jim Fleming, said the videos show nothing graphic, abusive or exploitive and defended them as "private family moments." Hoffner's wife said Monday the couple's three children love to dance, play and act silly, and to be photographed and recorded.

"I assure you our children have not been exploited or abused -- they are healthy physically, mentally and emotionally; and have normal relationships with friends, family and teachers," said Hoffner, who works as a guidance counselor at Mankato East High School.

Cordelia Anderson, a Minneapolis-based consultant on the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation, said one of the things investigators likely will look at is whether Hoffner was directing the children. The description of the videos offered by authorities state a man's voice can be heard, but does not include what is being said. The described actions don't sound like those of children between the ages of 5- and 9-years-old who were in front of their parents, she said.

"Children can be smiling. Children can be laughing. The adult can be very skilled at setting this up as a game at these ages," Anderson said.

Fleming rejected such assessments of the videos: "I don't know how they can say it when they haven't seen (them)," he said.

Hoffner has been placed on leave at Minnesota State, where he was entering his fifth year as football coach. Authorities said they uncovered the videos after Hoffner brought his university-issued phone to the school's information technology department earlier this month because it wasn't working properly. An employee came across the videos and reported them to his superiors.

"There was certainly something in what they saw that concerned them. It's good to see they were willing to report it," Anderson said. by Steve Karnowski

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stress on sex offenders increases risk of re-offending

TRUTH:

Making child sex offenders feel unwelcome could only increase their risk of re-offending, according to an expert in the field.

Melbourne University criminology fellow Mayumi Purvis, who has worked with child sex offenders to reintegrate them into society, said a holistic approach to rehabilitation was needed.

"If we're serious about this we have to be holistic in working with this as they will invariably end up back in the community," she said.

Dr Purvis said while many people supported the idea of rehabilitation in theory, in practise it was not always the case.

She said some concern from parents was understandable but attempts to push a child sex offenders out of a suburb may have harmful effects.

"Stress and inability to cope are often a risk factor to offending," Dr Purvis said.

"That pressure and terrorising of them, abusing them in the streets; that is elevating their risk [of re-offending] tragically."

She said child sex offenders were far less likely to re-offend than most other criminals.

Dr Purvis said rehabilitation programs which were usually initiated after a person was convicted of child sex offenders, helped to reduce these offences in the community.

She quoted a Canadian study in which overall sexual recidivism (repetition of undesirable or criminal behaviour) rates for child sexual offenders was about 12.7 per cent in a five year follow-up period and 9.9 per cent for non-sexual recidivism. (Hanson, R.K., & Bussiere, M.T. (1998). Predicting relapse: A meta-analysis of sexual offender recidivism studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 348–362.)

An Australian government report from 2007 put general recidivism rates at between 35 and 41 percent for a two year follow-up period.

Dr Purvis admitted rehabilitation was not what most people thought it was.

"The word 'rehabilitation' makes most people think that once they do it they are fixed or cured.

"In a criminological sense, it's a journey of treatment, the process they go on to understand how it happened and the risk factors involved," she said.

Dr Purvis said most child sex offenders were not what criminologists would call paedophiles.

"People don't realise [paedophilia is] a medical diagnosis and only really applies to a relatively small percentage of child sex offenders overall, about 3.5 per cent."

She said the vast majority were situational sex offenders.

This is in contrast to paedophiles who are preferential offenders, which means even if they had the opportunity to have a sexual relationship with an adult, they would prefer to have a sexual relationship with a child.

"Child sex offenders are highly amenable to change," Dr Purvis said.

"The vast majority don't want to offend."

She said treatment of offenders addressed victim awareness, risk factors and sexual attitudes.

Typically, rehabilitation was done in group therapy but it could also be done one-on-one.

She said different topics were talked through and offenders were then given tasks, like homework in which they gradually worked through the offence and risk factors for themselves.

Tasks could include things such as writing a letter to the victim (which is not sent), as a way of working out how the victim may have felt, or role playing a conversation with the victim (with an adult in therapy.)

"This can be psychologically and emotionally challenging," Dr Purvis said.

They will also set up a support group of people in their life who know about their offending, so if these people see them start to behave in certain ways they can step in.

In the beginning, offenders may have a lot of denial - about the offence, the severity of it or denial over consent.

"By the end of treatment offenders are very good at acknowledging their personal triggers and setting up protective factors in their life to avoid offending in the future," she said.

Dr Purvis said personal triggers could vary for different people.

She said they might be things such as drugs or stress.

"A lot of the time, poor emotional control manifests and presents itself in dysfunctional ways," Dr Purvis said.

She said awareness of how it happened and why it happened was important.

"Essentially, when they offend, they are looking to fulfil some need, they don't have the skills to go about living life in pro-social and personally meaningful way.

"A lot might view it mistakenly as a relationship.

"For them it's about relationship seeking which is completely inappropriate.

"In treatment they build skills for communicating with adults and debunking incorrect beliefs about adults."

Dr Purvis said despite what many people usually thought, sex offenders rarely had mental illnesses other than depression, which he pointed out was common in the general population.

She said the treatment for those diagnosed as paedophiles was similar to that of sex offenders.

"But if they have a desire to have sexual relations with children and not adults, they represent a different type of risk," Dr Purvis said.

She said a containment approach was generally used for those diagnosed as paedophiles and that the numbers of these people were miniscule.

"In 15 years I've come across maybe one or two of them."

Dr Purvis also pointed out that a period of incarceration did nothing to reduce re-offending.

She urged the government to put a greater focus on first time offenders in order to stem the problem of child sexual assaults.

"The government spends enormous amounts of money on tertiary prevention for established offenders but almost no money on primary prevention," she said.

"Unfortunately the Australian government haven't really been proactive; they are waiting until the problem becomes much worse." ..Source.. by Aleisha Orr

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Verbal Vigilantism - In Politics and by Public Speakers

8-18-2012 National:
Vigilantism - Our Belief

Vigilantism: Once the actual crime is over, then it is up to the laws of the day to punish for the criminal acts. Now, any actions (generally attacking of any form) towards persons convicted or accused of crimes, however subtle, which are not part of the court's sentence, carried out by someone who is not under the sentencing court's jurisdiction executing the judge's sentence, gets into the world of vigilantism. Persons who exact their own form of personal hate and harm, however subtle, to those who have committed crimes or are accused of crimes, cross the line of being a vigilante.

This definition EXCLUDES the natural feelings of a victim (and those close to the victim) which result from the crime; certainly these people are not vigilantes, unless they act illegally. Remember, it is every person's constitutional right, "to remain silent, and not act." You are not required to love thy neighbor! See: "Vigilantes: Coming soon to a community near you," In the News: Forensic psychology, criminology, and psychology-law by Karen Franklin, PhD

Comments made by public figures,
who likely wish they hadn't, or are glad they did?
You be the judge.


14) by Laura Ahearn Parents for Megans Law, which just received a contract from Suffolk County to enhance public safety by monitoring registered sex offenders residing there:
"Ahearn dismissed Rowan's criticism, pointing to Rowan's engagement to a registered offender who she said "raped a six year old child." Ahearn also said Rowan is "part of NAMBLA," the North American Man/Boy Love Association.

Rowan categorically denies that she has ever in any way been associated with NAMBLA. A website called evil-unveiled.com has a page with her name in the URL, and it's the top hit in a Google search of her name. The page says she is a member of "the new NAMBLA" a name the website gives to "activists" seeking reform of registry laws so that they can have sex with children.

"I think it's very telling that she would resort to personal attacks instead of discussing the issues on the merits," Rowan said this week."
Riverhead Local 2-15-2013 article by Denise Civiletti
The article is about the awarding of a contract to Parents for Megan's law. The contract is to enhance public safety according to PML. We find it questionable to award such a contract to an organization that believes anything they read on a troll type website. Somehow that knowledge will enhance public safety?


13) by Florida State Representative Rep. Susan Goldstein, who recently introduced such a bill in the Florida legislature:
said the goal is "to get these people out of our neighborhoods and hopefully out of our state." in a September 15, 2005 interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel


12) by Massachusetts Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette. This amounts to nothing but harassment and an attempt to get the RSOs to move!
Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette has also announced he will ask the Police Department to have all shifts check sex offenders most likely to reoffend every two weeks at their workplace, if in the city, and home addresses to ensure they are working and living there.

Police now make these checks annually.

"My order is that these checks be made by all police officers as part of their regular duties and everyone in the city will know these officers assigned to that zone will know which sex offenders live there," the mayor said. He will issue this order following National Night Out activities on Monday. Quoted from: "Chicopee seeks offender rules"


11) by a Lousiana legislator, Rep. Danny Martiny at the end of a legislative session in June of 2007:
Few topics were as popular in the Capitol, leading Rep. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, to joke about it as the legislative session wound to a close.

Said Martiny: "Is there anything left we can do to sex offenders with a few days left in the session?" Quoted from: "Host of new anti-sex offender laws"


10) by a Florida legislator, Sen. Nancy Argenziano (see also #5 below), on bills in the Florida legislature which legislators are not agreeing on. April 2007:
Sen. Nancy Argenziano said those bills likely will die because of their "reactionary" nature. She said removing predators from a neighborhood might cause the predators to go into hiding.

"If you make it so hard on predators, they won't register, and we're going to have a harder time with knowing where they're going to live," she said.

"There's only a certain amount you can do besides taking them out and shooting them in the street - which is illegal." Quoted from: "Many Sex Predator Bills Run Into Resistance"


9) Georgia: by House Majority Leader Jerry Keen 8-16-2005:

House Republicans want to keep a closer eye on the state's worst sex offenders by mandating that they wear electronic tracking devices as long as they live in Georgia.

"If it becomes too onerous and too inconvenient, they just may want to live somewhere else," House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons Island) said in a recent interview. "And I don't care where, as long as it's not in Georgia." [[[[snip]]]]

"I don't have a problem with [electronic monitoring] because of the aggravated nature of this crime," Keen said. "I'm more interested in the rights of the 8- or 10-year-old child whose innocence has been taken away from them than the rights of any people convicted of these crimes." Quoted from "Law to track sex offenders studied" for the rest of the story.


8) Florida: by County Commissioner Randy Harris 6-16-2005:
A county commissioner in Central Florida has offered a controversial proposal of sending the area's worst sex offenders out of the United States to Mexico, according to a Local 6 News report. Phone calls have bombarded Marion County Commissioner Randy Harris' office after he voiced his idea of banishing American sex offenders, "The American prison system is not a deterrent to these serious crimes," Harris said.

Harris said the answer is more severe punishment, Local 6 News reported.

He said the United States could strike a deal with Mexico and send the worst offenders to harsher Mexican prisons where it is more economical to house them, Local 6 News reported. "We can pay under a contractual agreement the cost in Mexico and again I'm sure it would be a huge savings to the American taxpayer," Harris said.

The idea is far from being widely accepted, Local 6 News reported. An unidentified woman told Local 6 News that she welcomes sex offenders into her mobile home park. Quoted from news: "Commissioner: Send Sex Offenders To Mexico" for the rest of the story.


7) Florida: by County Commissioner Randy Harris 4-23-2005:
The molester is dead and the community is divided -- over whether their condemnation killed a man that many had wished would vanish anyway. [[[snip]]] SIGNS OPPOSED Some said that Claxton had served his time and posed no threat. Some opposed the idea of signs, saying it would devalue their real estate and drum up fear. [[[snip]]]

The town is also fiercely debating how to manage its sexual offenders. Early this week, just before the Claxton fliers went up, Randy Harris, a county commissioner, urged that warning signs be posted in neighborhoods where convicted offenders live. ''I take no pleasure in hearing the report of anyone's death, even in this particular case,'' Harris said of Claxton's suicide. ``But I don't think we can go too far in providing information.''

Harris has found his strongest opponent in Marion County Sheriff Ed Dean, who believes warning signs would foster fear and violence. According to Dean, the county's 530-odd sexual predators are accounted for and have been visited by sheriff's deputies. Dean also said he plans to increase the frequency of such visits and notify people living within a mile of predators. ''I don't see what purpose signs would do, other than have an unintended consequence like this,'' said Dean. ``It creates hysteria.'' [[[snip]]]

Harris, for his part, said he would only strengthen his push to have warning signs posted in neighborhoods where sexual offenders lived. ''Real simple. There's been a suicide that occurred when we had 530 sex offenders in Marion County,'' said Harris. ``There are still 529.'' Quoted from "SEX OFFENDERS: Town torn over molester's suicide" for the rest of the story.


6) a Montana double header: by Rep. John Sinrud and Rep. Michael Lange:

A bill senators touted as a national model of a tough and smart way to both punish and treat sex offenders has been drastically changed by the House, and was approved Wednesday with more focus on punishment and less on treatment.

"Let's put the money where it should go, into prisons, not into the treatment of a sick freak who is going to get out of prison and rape again," said Rep. John Sinrud, R-Bozeman. "We don't need to throw good money after bad." ..........

An amendment from Sinrud that stripped a part of the bill that would have provided additional treatment for less dangerous sex offenders passed on a 51-49 vote. But much of the debate surrounding the amendment centered on whether the most dangerous sexual predators should receive treatment, which was originally part of the bill and was not changed by the amendment.

"The only place there ought to be reform is at the end of a rope," said Rep. Michael Lange, R-Billings. "If that sounds harsh, I don't care."

After the floor discussion, Sinrud clarified that he supports treatment for less dangerous sex offenders but doesn't think there is sufficient information to show it works for the most dangerous ones, who, he said on the floor, "need to be shot." Quoted from: "House alters sex offender bill to focus on punishment"

Seems like the focus here is on "money" and "punishment," but, what about "preventing crimes" so that there is NO next victim? Should these two remain in the legislture? Don't ask for my opinion! Yet, in the middle of this turmoil is a ray of light, hope, hope that there should not be a next victim:

"I don't know how anyone can argue that treatment doesn't work," said Bob Anez, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections. "It flies in the face of facts."

Give this man a cigar. Unfortunately, he is not the one who will vote for or against the bill, but he may in the next election!


5) by a Florida legislator, Sen. Nancy Argenziano, on the passage of the Lundsford Act in the Senate in April of 2001:
"The bill's sponsor, Sen. Nancy Argenziano, R-Dunellon, fought tears as she urged senators to vote for the bill named after the 9-year-old who lived in her district and told other sex offenders who prey on children that the bill was meant as a message to them: ``You better start fleeing the state because we're not going to put up with you anymore.'' Quoted From: Associated Press Release"


4) an Oregon double header: by Rep. Kirk Pearson and Rep. John Ahern:

It now goes back to the Senate for concurrence. "We're going to take a good step in this state," said Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe. "Porn can be extremely harmful in the wrong hands."

Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane, said he wants the longest possible community protection zone -- miles from any population center. "Get those dudes out in the middle of the wheat fields, and a lot of people like to do bird hunting," he said. "Do I make myself clear?" Both quoted from news: "Series of sex offender bills approved by Legislature." For the rest of the story.

I cannot pass up the opportunity, my favorite, is about the porn, in the right hands it is NOT DANGEROUS? Whoa! The bill he is speaking about covers "Child Porn," obviously the newspaper made a mistake. With that said, does the Oregon Legislature have an ethics committee? Given the comments seems to be made in the context of legislative business. Do I make myself clear?


3) by Georgia's Rep. Jerry Keen on the horendous HB-1059 Residency Restrictions which has already resulted in the death of one child:
"My intent personally is to make it so onerous on those that are convicted of these offenses . . . they will want to move to another state," Georgia House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R), who sponsored the bill, told reporters. Quoted from: "Some curbs on sex offenders called inhumane" For the rest of the story.


2) by John Walsh of America's Most Wanted TV show:
Calif., July 25 People who molest children should have chips embedded in the rectum that would explode if they violate their parole, "America's Most Wanted" star John Walsh told a photographer for Fox and father of two at Summer TV Press Tour 2006 as a couple dozen speechless TV critics looked on. Quoted from: "Summer Press Tour, Day 16: An Explosive Interview" For the rest of the story.


1) by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, on the Nancy Grace show 7-16-2006, speaking about the Adam Walsh Act which was not yet enacted on that date:
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Well, the bill really puts the screws to those who are sexual predators, and you know, sexual offenders. You know, we have we have around 500,000 of them in this country that we know of, and about 150,000 of them we don`t know even where they are, even though they`re supposed to report in. This bill stop that. This bill will require them to report in regularly. If they don`t, they`re going back to jail. If they break the rules after that, they`ll have to wear a leg brace or leg monitor that we can talk to them any time we want. If they try to take that off, they`re going to get hit really hard.

Quoted from: CNN Transcript of Nancy Grace show 7-16-2006. For the rest of the story.

And I thought the purpose was to protect children? Guess I was wrong. eAdvocate.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to file a Postal Complaint

August 2012:

OK, why do registered folks need to know about Post Office Complaints? Some states mail different kinds of notices to folks on the registry. And, at times this information is critical to the registrant to keep them in compliance with the state's laws. Accordingly, if folks do not get that information, timely, they may risk being arrested and charged with a crime.
ex: In Virginia a form is mailed -registered mail- to registrants, which is needed when they go in to re-register; a state requirement. Without that form registrants might get into trouble and may be charged with another crime. (see "VSP Certified Letters Sent to My Physical Address Instead of My P.O. Box When Mail Can Not be Delivered To the Physical Address, by Russ"). Other states may have similar types of forms.

Lets suppose the Post Office were to hold up delivery of the form. That would ultimately get the registrant in trouble. So registrants need to check with the Post Office and see if they have the form. Now if this happens regularly, or often, that violates Postal Regulations.

So, when you have postal issues (our example is but one) that cannot be explained, or happen too often without just cause, then its time to file a customer complaint.

Complaints can be in person, by phone, by e-mail or in writing. Click For Customer Service page. It is best to try to solve issues locally.

Make certain that you document everything, you may need to reference it later on.

If your complaint cannot be resolved locally: The US Post Office has a Consumer Advocate, who represents consumers at the top management level in the Postal Service. If your postal problems cannot be solved by your local post office, then write to the Consumer Advocate. His staff stand ready to serve you: The Consumer Advocate, US Postal Service, Washington, D.C. 20260-6320 or phone 1-202-268-2284.

At this point your complaint should be resolved, but if not, then the Washington Office needs to handle it, work with them on any issue.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate



USPS Manuals: To see what it says about "Complaints"
http://about.usps.com/manuals/welcome.htm

Choose "Domestic Manual";
Then right hand col, very bottom, "Index" Click on it;
Then page search (CTRL F) for "complaints" it will be 608.6.0.
Click on 608.6.0. to read it.

When last accessed (August 2012) it showed this:

6.0 Complaints and Postal Law Violations
6.1 Consumer Complaints and Inquiries
Any postal customer may complain or inquire about postal products, services, or employees at any Post Office or directly to the USPS Consumer Advocate (see 8.1 for address). A complaint or inquiry may be made in person, by telephone, by e-mail, or by letter. A complaint or inquiry about the handling of a specific piece of mail should include the related envelope or wrapper and copies of all postal forms filed. A customer who is dissatisfied with the local handling of a complaint or inquiry may send a written appeal to the Consumer Advocate. A court of law can require such appeal as a legal prerequisite for hearing a customer’s suit against the USPS.
6.2 Postal Law Violations
Instructions on mail security as it relates to unauthorized opening, inspection, tampering, or delay of mail are in Administrative Support Manual 274 (Mail Security). Information and complaints on a possible postal law violation must be sent to the appropriate address according to the ZIP Code ranges shown below:

ZIP CODES ADDRESS
003-079, 08005, 08006, 08008, 08050, 08087, 08092,
08501-08504, 08506-08510, 08512-08514, 08516,
08517, 08519-08553, 08555-08561, 08600-08639,
08642-08691, 087-098, 100-149
Postal Inspection Service
PO Box 2613
Jersey City NJ 07303-2613


08001-08004, 08007, 08009-08049, 08051-08086,
08088-08091, 08093-08099, 081-084, 08505, 08511,
08515, 08518, 08554, 08562, 08640-08641,
150-39776, 700-799
Postal Inspection Service
225 N Humphreys Blvd
Memphis TN 38120-2149


400-693, 800-884, 850-999
Postal Inspection Service
222 S Riverside Plz Ste 1250
Chicago IL 60606-6100

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How many -child abductions- are caused by registered sex offenders, annually?

August 2012:

Today, there is no known professional research addressing the number of child abductions by registered sex offenders, annually. Yes, we know cases such as John Couey, Brandon Lavergne and Phillip Garrido have occurred, all terrible, but professional research is lacking on this topic. However, it does appear the FBI is working on something, yet to be published:
In two FBI Law Enforcement Bulletins there is sketchy mentions of registered sex offenders and abductions, but nothing we can draw statistics from. See Endnotes.
So, are statements such as " However, only 115 reported abductions represent cases in which strangers abduct and kill children, hold them for ransom, or take them with the intention to keep." correct? (source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin) And, what is the ultimate source which explains that statement?

A proper understanding begins with knowing how the Department of Justice (DOJ) categorizes abductions. Within each subgroup is a definition for that subgroup. Here are the subgroups (each shown with the 2000 DOJ NISMART Report covering that subgroup):
FAMILY Abductions: Children Abducted by Family Members: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196466)

NON FAMILY Abductions: Nonfamily Abducted Children: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196467)

RUNAWAY / THROW AWAY Children: Runaway/Thrownaway Children: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196469)

The 115 number (sometimes misquoted as 100-200) comes from NISMART's NonFamily Abductions. There an abduction is defined as:
Defining Nonfamily Abduction and Related Terms

Nonfamily abduction: (1) An episode in which a nonfamily perpetrator takes a child by the use of physical force or threat of bodily harm or detains the child for a substantial period of time (at least 1 hour) in an isolated place by the use of physical force or threat of bodily harm without lawful authority or parental permission, or (2) an episode in which a child younger than 15 or mentally incompetent, and without lawful authority or parental permission, is taken or detained or voluntarily accompanies a nonfamily perpetrator who conceals the child’s whereabouts, demands ransom, or expresses the intention to keep the child permanently.

Stereotypical kidnapping: A nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger in which a child is detained overnight, transported at least 50 miles, held for ransom or abducted with intent to keep the child permanently, or killed.

Stranger: A perpetrator whom the child or family do not know, or a perpetrator of unknown identity.

Slight acquaintance: A nonfamily perpetrator whose name is unknown to the child or family prior to the abduction and whom the child or family did not know well enough to speak to, or a recent acquaintance who the child or family have known for less than 6 months, or someone the family or child have known for longer than 6 months but seen less than once a month.
Now, in the NISMART report the 115 number is referenced many times, esp. in each Table showing all different statistics related to that number, but the most important one is found in Table-6, how many are "sexually assaulted" and notice it shows 49.

Click on Pic for Further Information

So, here is what we have now, out of 70,172,700 children in the U.S. (Table-2 Census figure for 2000) 49 were abducted for a sexual purpose (.00006% of the total child population).

Were they abducted by a registered sex offender? That is unknown because there are no studies which show that, and the only valid study of abductions are those mentioned above by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2000.

If you wish to read more about the NISMART Reports, I wrote a "Primer" back in 2007, it is here.

Should anyone have any other source, I'd be glad to include them here and address them.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate


ENDNOTES:
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) also cites the 115 number. See their page HERE.



FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, November 2011:
FBI research revealed that 74 percent of children abducted and murdered were killed within the first 3 hours of their disappearance. To aid local law enforcement and FBI investigators in child abduction investigations, the FBI created the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) team in 2006. Since its inception, CARD has provided field offices with the resource of additional investigators with specialized experience in child abduction matters. As of September 2011, the CARD team has assisted in the investigation of 69 child abduction cases involving 77 children. Of the 77 children, 31 were recovered alive; 11 remain missing. CARD statistics also indicated that in 70 percent of these cases, the child was abducted by an individual with a known relationship to the child. In contrast, 10 percent of abductors were registered sex offenders.


FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August 2011:
Media news outlets have portrayed that abductors primarily consist of strangers or registered sex offenders (RSO), which has proven invalid in the past 2 fiscal years (FY). When a child is reported missing, members of the media advise parents to check sex offender registries to prevent their child from possible abduction or sexual victimization. However, FBI reporting indicates that RSOs are a minimal part of the problem. In FY 2009, an RSO was the abductor in 2 percent of child abduction cases; in FY 2010, this figure dropped to 1 percent. ...

Over the past 4 years, the FBI has seen a decrease in abductions committed by a stranger or RSO. However, it is important to note that abductors with sexual intentions are, in fact, sexual offenders who have not yet been identified and, therefore, are unknown to local law enforcement agencies.

A majority (68 percent) of the child abduction cases the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) team has assisted in has resulted in the identification of an offender who had a relationship with the child victim.3 Moreover, an RSO was involved in only 10 percent of the investigations, 5 percent of who knew the victim.

In FY 2009, 63 percent of child abduction cases involved an offender known to the victim; only 1 percent were RSOs. In FY 2010, 70 percent of child abduction cases resulted in the identification of an offender who had a known relationship with the victim; less than 1 percent of the abductors were RSOs.
Note: While it may seem easy to calculate how many abduction there were in 2009 and 2010 by RSOs, in reality it is not that easy: A) We do not know if above means ALL abductions, just FAMILY abduction or NON FAMILY abductions; B) There are no known statistics of abductions by year published by the FBI or the DOJ.
RSOs contribute to a miniscule part of the child abduction problem. In contrast to media reporting, the number of cases involving a registered sex offender is decreasing. In addition to the FBI reporting, NCMEC has revealed that there were no RSOs involved in AMBER Alert cases in 2009
.

National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART) Reports

September 2007:

Do you know the difference between the various NISMART (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children) Reports? Those produced under NISMART-1 and those produced under NISMART-2. Many folks do not know the differences. What follows is a primer to explain the differences and should be read so that there is no confusion when citing reports and statistics. Each report below is separated by a line of "*****."

All together the reports below are a: PRIMER, HIGHLIGHTS, OVERVIEW, FAMILY ABDUCTIONS, NONFAMILY ABDUCTIONS and RUNAWAYS/THROWAWAYS each represents a report of NISMART-2

************************************************


PRIMER: Second Comprehensive Study of Missing Children
April 2000

The Missing Children’s Assistance Act (Title IV of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended) requires the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to periodically conduct studies of the scope of the problem of missing children in the United States. The purpose of the studies is to determine, for a given year, the actual number of children reported missing, including the number of children who are victims of abduction by strangers, the number of children who are the victims of parental kidnappings, and the number of children who are recovered (Sec. 404(b)(3)).

The first study, originally known by the acronym NISMART (hereafter NISMART 1), was conducted in 1988 with results published in 1990. Thus, what were the best and most comprehensive data available on the incidence of missing children are now 10 years old.

NISMART-1 (1990): National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children in America, by David Finkelhor, Gerald Hotaling, & Andrea Sedlak (Caution: 407 pages 2MB PDF File)


The current National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART 2) is the second national study to measure the incidence of each category of missing children.

In NISMART 2, currently (2002) underway, researchers are: ..more.. by Louise Hanson

************************************************


HIGHLIGHTS: Highlights From the NISMART Bulletins
October 2002

The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART) consist of several complementary studies designed to estimate the size and nature of the Nation’s missing children problem. NISMART–2, the second such set of studies (the first, NISMART–1, was conducted in 1988), provides national estimates of missing children based on surveys of households, juvenile residential facilities, and law enforcement agencies.1 The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is disseminating a series of Bulletins that summarize findings from NISMART–2. This Fact Sheet highlights key findings presented in the first four NISMART Bulletins: National Estimates of Missing Children: An Overview (NCJ 196465), Nonfamily Abducted Children: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196467), Children Abducted by Family Members: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196466), and Runaway/Thrownaway Children: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196469).

Note: Actually if one just wants a few stats to quote, these highlights do a pretty good job. ..more..

************************************************


OVERVIEW: National Estimates of Missing Children: An Overview (NCJ 196465)
October 2002

The words “missing child” call to mind tragic and frightening kidnappings reported in the national news. But a child can be missing for many reasons, and the problem of missing children is far more complex than the headlines suggest. Getting a clear picture of how many children become missing—and why—is an important step in addressing the problem. This series of Bulletins provides that clear picture by summarizing findings from the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2). The series offers national estimates of missing children based on surveys of households, juvenile residential facilities, and law enforcement agencies. It also presents statistical profiles of these children, including their demographic characteristics and the circumstances of their disappearance.


The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART) were undertaken in response to the mandate of the 1984 Missing Children’s Assistance Act (Pub. L. 98–473) that requires the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to conduct periodic national incidence studies to determine the actual number of children reported missing and the number of missing children who are recovered for a given year.


NISMART–2 Study DescriptionsNational Household Surveys of Adult Caretakers and Youth

The Household Surveys were conducted during 1999, using computerassisted telephone interviewing methodology to collect information on missing child episodes from both adults and youth in a national probability sample of households. A total of 16,111 interviews were completed with an adult primary caretaker, resulting in an 80-percent cooperation rate among eligible households with children, and a 61-percent response rate. The total number of children identified by adult caretakers in the Household Survey sample was 31,787; these data were weighted to reflect the Census-based U.S. population of children age 18 years and younger. Each primary caretaker who completed an interview was asked for permission to interview one randomly selected youth in the household between the ages of 10 and 18. Permission
was granted to interview 60 percent of the selected youth, yielding 5,015 youth interviews and a 95-percent response rate among the youth for whom permission was granted. These youth data were weighted to reflect the Census-based U.S. population of children ages 10–18. All of the adult caretakers and sampled youth in the Household Surveys were screened with a set of 17 questions to determine their eligibility for an indepth followup interview designed to collect detailed information about each type of episode.

One obvious limitation of the Household Surveys is that they may have undercounted children who experienced episodes but were living in households without telephones or were not living in households during the study period, including street children and homeless families. Although these are not large populations in comparison to the overall child population, they may be at risk for episodes.

Law Enforcement Study
The Law Enforcement Study (LES) sample consisted of all law enforcement agencies serving a nationally representative sample of 400 counties, including the 400 county sheriff departments and 3,765 municipal law enforcement agencies. The selection of counties took into account the size of their child populations.

Data were collected in two phases. In the first phase, a mail survey was sent to all law enforcement agencies in the sample. This questionnaire asked whether the agency had any stereotypical kidnappings (see definition on page 4) open for investigation during 1997. The response rate for the mail survey was 91 percent. Agencies that reported any stereotypical kidnapping cases were then contacted by telephone for an extensive followup interview with the key investigating officer in each case. Data collection was completed for 99 percent of the cases targeted for followup interviews.

Incorporating both phases of the LES, the combined response rate for the study was 91 percent. LES case weights were developed to reflect the probability of the agency and case having been included in the sample and to adjust for nonresponse and refusals.

Juvenile Facilities Study
The Juvenile Facilities Study was developed to estimate the number of runaways from juvenile residential facilities. Respondents were facility staff in a nationally representative sample of 74 facilities, including juvenile detention centers, group homes, residential treatment centers, and runaway and homeless youth shelters. Telephone interviews were conducted to determine the number of children who ran away from each facility in 1997, and details were obtained for the five most recent runaway episodes. All of the selected facilities that were operational participated; the response rate for episode-level interviews was 93 percent. Runaways were assigned weights to reflect the probability of having included the facility and episode in the sample and to adjust for nonresponse. ..more.. by Andrea J. Sedlak, David Finkelhor, Heather Hammer, and Dana J. Schultz

************************************************


FAMILY ABDUCTIONS: Children Abducted by Family Members: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196466)
Octobr 2002

The words “missing child” call to mind tragic and frightening kidnappings reported in the national news. But a child can be missing for many reasons, and the problem of missing children is far more complex than the headlines suggest. Getting a clear picture of how many children become missing—and why—is an important step in addressing the problem. This series of Bulletins provides that clear picture by summarizing findings from the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2).

The series offers national estimates of missing children based on surveys of households, juvenile residential facilities, and law enforcement agencies. It also presents statistical profiles of these children, including their demographic characteristics and the circumstances of their disappearance.


This Bulletin presents results from the initial analysis of family abduction data collected by the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2), National Household Surveys of Adult Caretakers and Youth. These surveys were conducted during 1999 and reflect a 12-month period. Because the vast majority of cases were concentrated in 1999, the annual period referred to in the Bulletin is 1999.

Defining Family Abduction
For the purposes of NISMART–2, family abduction was defined as the taking or keeping of a child by a family member in violation of a custody order, a decree, or other legitimate custodial rights, where the taking or keeping involved some element of concealment, flight, or intent to deprive a lawful custodian indefinitely of custodial privileges.

Some of the specific definitional elements are as follows:
Taking: Child was taken by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.

Keeping: Child was not returned or given over by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.

Concealment: Family member attempted to conceal the taking or whereabouts of the child with the intent to prevent return, contact, or visitation.

Flight: Family member transported or had the intent to transport the child from the State for the purpose of making recovery more difficult.

Intent to deprive indefinitely: Family member indicated an intent to prevent contact with the child on an indefinite basis or to affect custodial privileges indefinitely.

Child: Person under 18 years of age. For a child 15 or older, there needed to be evidence that the family member used some kind of force or threat to take or to detain the child, unless the child was mentally disabled.

Family member: A biological, adoptive, or foster family member; someone acting on behalf of such a family member; or the romantic partner of a family member. ..more.. by Heather Hammer, David Finkelhor, and Andrea J. Sedlak

************************************************


NONFAMILY ABDUCTIONS: Nonfamily Abducted Children: National Estimates and Characteristics (NCJ 196467)
October 2002

The words “missing child” call to mind tragic and frightening kidnappings reported in the national news. But a child can be missing for many reasons, and the problem of missing children is far more complex than the headlines suggest. Getting a clear picture of how many children become missing—and why—is an important step in addressing the problem. This series of Bulletins provides that clear picture by summarizing findings from the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2). The series offers national estimates of missing children based on surveys of households, juvenile residential facilities, and law enforcement agencies. It also presents statistical profiles of these children, including their demographic characteristics and the circumstances of their disappearance.


This Bulletin presents results from the initial analysis of nonfamily abduction data collected by the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2). The NISMART–2 studies spanned the years 1997 to 1999.1 All data in the individual component studies were collected to reflect a 12-month period. Because the vast majority of cases were from the studies concentrated in 1999, the annual period referred to in this Bulletin is 1999.


Defining Nonfamily Abduction and Related Terms

Nonfamily abduction: (1) An episode in which a nonfamily perpetrator takes a child by the use of physical force or threat of bodily harm or detains the child for a substantial period of time (at least 1 hour) in an isolated place by the use of physical force or threat of bodily harm without lawful authority or parental permission, or (2) an episode in which a child younger than 15 or mentally incompetent, and without lawful authority or parental permission, is taken or detained or voluntarily accompanies a nonfamily perpetrator who conceals the child’s whereabouts, demands ransom, or expresses the intention to keep the child permanently.

Stereotypical kidnapping: A nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger in which a child is detained overnight, transported at least 50 miles, held for ransom or abducted with intent to keep the child permanently, or killed.

Stranger: A perpetrator whom the child or family do not know, or a perpetrator of unknown identity.

Slight acquaintance: A nonfamily perpetrator whose name is unknown to the child or family prior to the abduction and whom the child or family did not know well enough to speak to, or a recent acquaintance who the child or family have known for less than 6 months, or someone the family or child have known for longer than 6 months but seen less than once a month. ..more.. by David Finkelhor, Heather Hammer, and Andrea J. Sedlak

************************************************


RUNAWAY/THROWAWAYS: Runaway/Thrownaway Children: National Estimates and Characteristics NCJ 196469)
October 2002

The words “missing child” call to mind tragic and frightening kidnappings reported in the national news. But a child can be missing for many reasons, and the problem of missing children is far more complex than the headlines suggest. Getting a clear picture of how many children become missing—and why—is an important step in addressing the problem. This series of Bulletins provides that clear picture by summarizing findings from the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2). The series offers national estimates of missing children based on surveys of households, juvenile residential facilities, and law enforcement agencies. It also presents statistical profiles of these children, including their demographic characteristics and the circumstances of their disappearance.

This Bulletin provides information on the number and characteristics of children who are gone from their homes either because they have run away or because they have been thrown out by their caretakers. The estimates presented in this Bulletin are derived from three components of the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2): the National Household Survey of Adult Caretakers, the National Household Survey of Youth, and the Juvenile Facilities Study. The NISMART–2 studies spanned the years 1997 to 1999.1 All data in the individual component studies were collected to reflect a 12-month period. Because the vast majority of cases were from the studies conducted in 1999, the annual period being referred to in these Bulletins is 1999.

Defining Runaways/Thrownaways
A runaway episode is one that meets any one of the following criteria:

• A child leaves home without permission and stays away overnight.

• A child 14 years old or younger (or older and mentally incompetent) who is away from home chooses not to come home when expected to and stays away overnight.

• A child 15 years old or older who is away from home chooses not to come home and stays away two nights.

A thrownaway episode is one that meets either of the following criteria:

• A child is asked or told to leave home by a parent or other household adult, no adequate alternative care is arranged for the child by a household adult, and the child is out of the household overnight.

• A child who is away from home is prevented from returning home by a parent or other household adult, no adequate alternative care is arranged for the child by a household adult, and the child is out of the household overnight. ..more.. by Heather Hammer, David Finkelhor, and Andrea J. Sedlak