Monday, July 16, 2012

News Article Comments

News Article Comments:

As I read articles I often find interesting things, below are some of them:

Police Speaking in a Vigilante Manner

6-2-2013 Ohio Officer George Brocker says "The best place for a child molester is a tree limb."

Civil Commitment - Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs)

3-18-2013 Vashon child molester faces indefinite confinement
Under Washington law, county prosecutors or the state Attorney General’s Office can file civil lawsuits asking that convicted sex offenders be confined indefinitely at a Department of Social and Health Services facility, the Special Commitment Center.

Prosecutors are required to show that an offender is likely to commit another sex crime, and that the offender has a mental abnormality making him more likely than not to reoffend. If a jury or judge agrees with prosecutors, an offender can be sent to the McNeil Island facility.

The Special Commitment Center is home to about 300 men being held indefinitely. While several offenders have "graduated" from the program and more than a dozen others are living off the island, most remain at the facility. They make up about 1 percent of the sex offenders convicted in Washington courts.

Juveniles - Minors - Children

1-7-2012 Dealing with child-on-child sex abuse not one size fits all
Recent high-profile cases of child sex abuse have roused national revulsion against the adults who perpetrated them. Rarely mentioned is the sobering statistic that more than one-third of the sexual abuse of America's children is committed by other minors. (USA Today 1-7-2012)

See also: Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors OJJDP Bulletin
Key findings from this Bulletin include the following:
---Juveniles account for more than one-third (35.6 percent) of those known to police to have committed sex offenses against minors [Full source pg-3 bottom: "Juvenile sex offenders comprise more than one-quarter (25.8 percent) of all sex offenders and more than one-third (35.6 percent) of sex offenders against juvenile victims (the group that is the focus of this Bulletin). As a percentage of all juvenile offenders, they do not constitute a large group—juvenile sex offenders account for only 3.1 percent of all juvenile offenders and 7.4 percent of all violent juvenile offenders. If other jurisdictions in the country were assumed to be the same as the NIBRS jurisdictions, one would extrapolate approximately 89,000 juvenile sex offenders known to police throughout the United States in 2004."].

---Juveniles who commit sex offenses against other children are more likely than adult sex offenders to offend in groups and at schools and to have more male victims and younger victims. ... ...

See also eAdvocate's Charts: Look closely at the chart that shows up -AND- the one below it!

7-27-2012 New law revokes second chance for teens with sex offenses

Now, for those seeking expungements of sex offenses, the clock is winding down. Act 91 is designed to comply with the state’s new Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act, which will re-quire juvenile sex offenders to register for the first time ever in Pennsylvania. But even juveniles who wouldn’t have to register will be blocked from expungement, notes Riya Shah, staff attorney at the Juvenile Law Center.

Nicole Pittman of Human Rights Watch says “a lot of these laws made in Harrisburg are meant to catch Philadelphia children.” Expungement efforts like the Defender Association’s, she says, caused “alarm for a lot of people, thinking that children that committed sex offenses were going to be hidden.”

Yet she says there’s no benefit to exposing them, because juvenile sex offenders are unlikely to re-offend as adults. The recidivism rate is estimated at between 3 percent and 7 percent.
“Juvenile sex offending is very different from adult sex offending, and this movement toward public notification … is trying to fit the solution that has been created for adults to juveniles,” says Shah. “It’s not a good fit.”

The Registry

7-23-2012 Officials say sex offender registry a useful tool

The original idea for a list of sex offenders in Kansas dates to 1993, when its two purposes were to provide law enforcement with a ready list of identifiers and information about sex offenders, as well as serve as a deterrent for the sex offenders to act again, knowing the authorities have all their information.

“If people are thinking that if I search my neighborhood, I’m going to see all the sex offenders, they are wrong. Because the vast majority of folks aren’t on the list.”
Take note of the two purposes for the registry, neither of which was to protect the public.

Police Access to Registrant's Home Computers

In the next article it appears officers -during a home address check- are somehow getting access to registrant's home computers. Maybe by simply asking registrants during the home address check. Assuming these registrants are not on parole or probation this appears to be a 4th Amendment violation, a properly executed search warrant is required before accessing anything in a registrant's home, including the computer. Is this happening now everywhere?
9-28-2012 Sex offender check nets 3 arrests
The checks allowed officers to verify addresses of registered offenders provided to state officials and that offenders do not have or use social media or email accounts. Officers also checked to make sure no drugs or firearms were in the homes of registered offenders.

10-1-2012 Changes planned for sex offender registry system

For Daggett, the crime could have been prevented “if we just had his cell phone or text messages. Once we saw his computer, and we did see everything, it was scary.”

“But it’s a privacy issue,” Daggett added. “And they’re (sex offender) not going to come up here and show us.”

Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck acknowledges that having access to sex offenders’ cellphones, text messages and Internet usage would be “a useful tool,” but that the information is currently a “Fourth Amendment and freedom of speech” issue.

“I’m a law enforcement officer and a peace officer and will enforce laws as they are, but that would be a useful tool. Would I like to see it? Sure, especially if they’re a very dangerous offender and the offense was initiated over a phone or the Internet,” Hollenbeck said.

Social Network Sites

7-16-2012 Social networks scan for sexual predators
"By some measures, internet-related sex crimes against children have always been rare and are now falling (as are reports of assaults on minors that do not involve the net). Most sex crimes against children are committed by people the children know, rather than strangers.

The US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children processed 3638 reports of online "enticement" of children by adults last year, down from 4053 in 2010 and 5759 in 2009.

Even those companies with state-of-the-art defences spend far more time trying to stop online bullying and attempts to sneak profanity past automatic word filters than they do fending off sex predators."

Residency Laws

11-5-2012 Gardiner, Augusta consider restrictions on where sex offenders can live
Alysia Melnick, public policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, said restricting where sex offenders live can destabilize them by not allowing offenders to be close to members of their support systems and needed resources. On top of that, the restrictions can create a false sense of security for parents, she said, since predators usually choose victims close to them relationship-wise, not geographically.

"It's hard for us to understand why communities continue to push for this kind of restriction instead seeking to find real solutions that would actually impact the problem of sexual victimization," she said. Melnick added that research has shown no correlation between residential restrictions and a reduction in sexual abuse allegations.
7-31-2012 Police: Certain sex offenders are allowed inside schools

Although the thousand foot rule sounds good there are still loopholes. Detective Shimkus said the law needs to be revisited. "It sounds good and feels good but when you look at the big picture the overall picture it's it's very difficult for these offenders to find places to live. Because of that and I've always said before I'd much rather have an offender living near school as long as I know he's there, the school knows he's there and the neighborhood knows he's there that way everybody is watching him."

7-18-2012 Green Bay votes to keep sex offender residency ordinance, beefs it up

Brown County District Attorney David Lasse says there is no correlation to where a sex offender lives and where they would reoffend.

Sex Offender Treatment

2006 Recidivism: It's Not Open-and-Shut

Recidivism rates for sex offenders drop for those who receive treatment to help them control their impulses and steer clear of dangerous situations, recent studies have shown. In Vermont, for instance, correctional officials tracked 195 adult male sex offenders over a six-year period. The sexual re-offense rate for those who completed treatment was 5.4 percent, versus a 30 percent rate for those who refused treatment or did not complete it.
Note: See Also 2011 "Factors impacting recidivism in Vermont" and "Reducing Recidivism in Vermont"

7-26-2012 Montana counselor addresses sex offender treatment

Statistics from Montana Department of Corrections state that 2% of offenders who undergo treatment re-offend. Those without treatment: 26%.

Megan's Laws

Ted Koppel had this to say on Megans' law: "Good laws are almost never produced in the cauldron of public passion. The fact of the matter is that when we are angry, when our primary motive is punishment, we are impulsive and very rarely smart.

The Sicilians have a wonderful line which captures the essence of that: "Revenge," they say, "is a dessert best eaten cold." Passing a piece of legislation with a particular victim or, for that matter, criminal in mind is bound to prove less than satisfactory over the long haul.

Megan's Law may be trying to do too much. So much, in fact, that it's turning out to be unenforceable. That's neither fair to the convicted sex offender who's done his time and now has his sickness under control, nor is it providing any real protection to the most vulnerable among us. It needs to be fixed on both counts."

Ted Koppel, ABC Nightline, 2-5-04 Nightline: Address Unknown: Well-Intentioned Legislation Doesn't Always Produce Good Laws!

John Walsh & Others like him...

John Walsh: "Walsh told the critics that when he was talking to senators about electronic monitoring of sex offenders, "I said implant it in their anus and if they go outside the radius, explode it, and that would send a big message." Summer Press Tour, Day 16: An Explosive Interview 7-26-2006 (Washington Post article"

John Walsh generated a great deal of controversy during a summer press tour in 2006 when he stated to the media he jokingly told senators to implant "exploding" chips in the anuses of sex offenders. He stated, "I said implant it in their anus and if they go outside the radius, explode it, that would send a big message." Walsh stated this was a "joke," but that "nobody thought it was funny."[14] Walsh later suggested implanting GPS chips in such criminals.[15]

John Walsh also faced criticism when he advised women to never hire a male babysitter, which was seen as a blatantly sexist remark. "It's not a witch hunt," he said. "It's all about minimizing risks. What dog is more likely to bite and hurt you? A Doberman, not a poodle. Who's more likely to molest a child? A male."[16]

In his book Tears of Rage, Walsh openly admits being (UTube Biography Channel) in a relationship with 16-year-old Revé when Walsh was in his early 20s and aware of the age of consent being 17 in New York.[17] Critics of Adam Walsh Act have pointed out that, had he been convicted, Walsh himself would be subject to sex offender registration under the law which he aggressively promoted.
It is important to note "In a relationship" does not necessarily mean a "sexual relationship" of which I have not seen any proof of that. eAdvocate
Some critics accuse Walsh of creating predator panic by using his publicity.[18] Walsh was heard by Congress on February 2, 1983, where he gave unsourced claim of 50,000 abducted and 1.5 million missing children annually. He testified that U.S is "littered with mutilated, decapitated, raped, strangled children",[19] when in fact, later Department of Justice study from 1999 found only 115 incidences of stereotypical kidnappings perpetrated by strangers, of which about 50 resulted in death or child not being found.[20] Critics claim that Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, which started without funding in 1981, generated 1.5 million dollars annually following his testimony before the Congress.[19] Source:

More as I find them, if you know of some, let us know...