Sunday, January 13, 2008

Men in tough spot with kids - Fear of sexual predators, who are usually male, raises suspicions

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In a society where pedophiles are outed and shamed as part of prime-time entertainment, it has come to this: Tony Taylor, a Pittsburgh father, says he wouldn't come to the aid of a crying child lost in the mall.

"For a guy to think he can walk up and say, 'Can I help you, kid?' he obviously does not watch the news," said Mr. Taylor, a retired military officer who lives in Turtle Creek. "Being a human being, I would call the shopkeeper. But I wouldn't approach the kid myself."

It can be tough being a man seen around children these days, Mr. Taylor and other men's rights leaders would argue. Gotcha shows such as "To Catch a Predator'' and front-page stories about pedophiles have fueled such a fervor that just being around a child can raise unfounded suspicions. The distrust can surface anywhere, they said, from airplane seats to billboard campaigns to random encounters with a child.

Virginia, for example, launched a sexual abuse prevention campaign that used billboard ads featuring a man's hand intertwined with a child's hand with a tagline, "It doesn't feel right when I see them together." The campaign enraged many men.
- Shown above. And here is articles about this. Here and here.

"I realize there are bad people in this world," said Mr. Taylor, a leader in the Dads Custody Support Group of Pittsburgh. "But the media can convince people that every Arabic guy in a beard is a terrorist and every little black boy will steal your purse and every guy with a kid looks kind of fishy. You might want to call 9-1-1 just to be sure. You never know."

Rebecca K. Odor, director of sexual and domestic violence prevention for the Virginia Department of Health, agreed "most men are not perpetrators. But the problem is most sexual abuse perpetrators are men. "It puts everyone in a hard place. It is especially hard for men," she said, adding she is in talks with men to tweak the message.
- Correct, most sexual crimes are done by men, but women do it as well. Read the news. This kind of scare tactics is a load of BS!! They are all probably feminazis as well.

Ms. Odor said the campaign was designed to tell people to trust their gut instincts about sexual abuse and noted it resonated with adults who had been abused as children. "They said the only way it could have been stopped is if another adult paid attention to the warning signs."

Some men complain pedophile suspicions are so widespread that it even affects the seating of unaccompanied minors at some airlines such as British Airways, which makes an attempt to put unaccompanied minors in a seat next to a woman. (US Airways and Southwest Airlines, however, do not have such a policy.)

"It's gotten to the point if you send a kid on a plane alone, they won't put him next to a man," said Marc Rudov, a Pittsburgh native and California TV and radio personality who is the author of the Web site

"This man is allowed to get married and have children. On the airplane, he is a presumed pedophile. When you teach your children you can't sit next to him because he might hurt you, what do you think girls are going to think about men? What do you think a boy is going to think about himself and his father?"

Mr. Rudov believes it has become difficult for men to innocently be around young children without raising suspicions. But others say that doesn't ring true. They point to all the dads coaching soccer or going on Indian Princess father-daughter campouts.

"Men are spending a lot more time with children than when I was a kid," said Dr. David Finkelhor, director of the University of New Hampshire's Crimes against Children Research Center, which has found 95 percent of sexual abuse perpetrators are male.

"I think it would be hard to argue that sex abuse hysteria has driven [men] away. But there are challenges. I think men are more conscious of physical interaction around kids and time alone. It has made it harder to be a child care worker and male."

Day care workers are overwhelmingly female -- so much so that Patrick Webster said that it was a hindrance when he opened a preschool program in Pine in the 1990s.

Back then, some people were thrilled to see a positive male role model in the business, but it made other people nervous, said Mr. Webster, now administrative director of Shady Lane School, an early care and education program in Point Breeze.

"There was a bit of hesitation on some people's part. There were people who would not enroll their children in the program."

Now he believes that people tend to be less uneasy about a male day care worker or preschool teacher. "It is now less of a problem. We are making some strides in finding professional-level caregivers who are male."

Male teachers also are a rarity in elementary schools, dropping from an all-time high of 18 percent in 1981 to 9 percent in 2004, according to the National Education Association, the nation's largest teacher union. The NEA attributes economic reasons and gender stereotypes for the decline -- not social hysteria.

The administrators at Roosevelt Elementary School in Carrick have worked hard to find good male teachers, and the parents often request them, said Principal Vincent Lewandowski. All things equal between two qualified candidates, Mr. Lewandowski tries to hire men to bring diversity to the mostly female teaching staff.

Still, with all the headlines about pedophiles, he said he and his male staff are extra vigilant about not doing anything that could even be construed as inappropriate.

"It is a very touchy subject," Mr. Lewandowski said. "In the past 10 years, as society has changed and become more aware of pedophilia, education has changed, too.

"As males, we are hypersensitive about it. I never put myself in a situation where I could be construed as compromising myself. When a child comes into my office, and I am alone with him, my door is open."

Male youth ministers also have to concern themselves with outside appearances.

"I make it a point to never be with kids in a one-on-one way that other people don't know about it," said Todd Tracy, director of youth and young adult ministries at Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon. "It is a concern of mine. It is always in the back of my mind. But it is not a big issue."

Roy Peter Clark, a writing coach, believes that heightened fears over men with small children is a type of profiling, and it's the reason he agonized when he heard a child asking for help in the men's room of his church in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"Are you OK in there?" asked Mr. Clark, vice president and senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, a St. Petersburg-based school for journalism.

"Mister, I can't pull up my zipper," the little boy called out. "Can you help me?"

Those 11 words stopped him in his tracks.

"I'm in a Catholic church, in the middle of the greatest sexual scandal in the history of Catholicism, in the men's room, with a boy who wants me to help him with his zipper," Mr. Clark wrote in a recent column. (He said he waited two years to write about the topic because he did not want to stigmatize the little boy or his family.)

Later, he asked his friends what they would do if they were faced with such an excruciating predicament. They recommended getting the parents, making an announcement from the pulpit or -- his favorite -- go get a woman.

"In other words, men cannot be trusted with little boys," he wrote in his column.

As he agonized over what to do, an old man walked into the bathroom. In a loud voice, Mr. Clark asked the little boy what he wanted to do and repeated it back so the old man would hear before helping the boy with his zipper, an act of male solidarity.

Mr. Clark, the father of three grown daughters, thinks there is more suspicion around men today than decades ago.

"But it doesn't upset me. It reinforces my personal determination to help children when I can," he said. "I know other men, good men, may be forced to stand aside. Out of fear or suspicion or worse, there will be fewer and fewer Good Samaritans in an era when Good Samaritans are sometimes prosecuted for their actions."

MO - Bill targets sex offenders

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LIBERAL — Lydia Down, who was hiking at Prairie State Park on a chilly day, stopped to talk about a proposal by state Sen. Kevin Engler (Email), R-Farmington.

Engler’s bill — Senate Bill 758 — would prohibit sexual offenders from going to state parks and historic sites. In its original form, the bill would have required certain sexual offenders to ask permission or to notify the site superintendent, but language is being prepared that would ban certain sexual offenders from state parks entirely.

Engler was not available for comment, but Floyd Gilzow, deputy director for policy with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said concerns were heightened by an incident in which a person contacted staff members about a sexual offender in a state park. He would not provide specifics about when or where.

“We didn’t have any authority to ask him to leave,” Gilzow said of the offender.

Asked about the bill, he said: “It’s to help our rangers deal with situations when they arise. Certainly, we want to do as much as we can to keep our park residents safe.”

Down, a mother of four and a frequent visitor to Prairie State Park, said she likes the idea, but she isn’t sure it’s practical.

“I want my kids safe, but how are they (park rangers) really going to know?” she said. “It’s not like they wear signs or something.
- This lady is smart! The politicians are just grandstanding so they "look good" to the sheeple!

Engler’s bill is just one of the dozens pre-filed in the Missouri Senate, which began its session last week and which gets under full steam today.
- Just curious, the US has been around for a very long time, how many laws do we need? Pretty soon you will not be able to fart without permission.

Everything from prenatal child abuse to displaying a burning cross is on the agenda. The wide spectrum of bills also includes illegal immigration and concentrated animal feeding operations.
- I think displaying a burning cross is freedom of speech sir! It's disgusting, but it is their right to do so! So what about throwing people who get abortions into prison? That IS child abuse!!

Sen. Jack Goodman (Email), R-Mount Vernon, has proposed legislation that would criminalize chronic prenatal consumption of a controlled substance. Offenders could face charges of child abuse, a Class C felony, and/or child endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor.
- I can feel the prisons swelling as we speak!!

“The purpose of the bill is to protect children from abuse at all stages,” Goodman said.
- So what about abortions? Child abuse is child abuse. This is murder on top of child abuse, IMO.

While he is preparing language that would prevent women from escaping punishment by having abortions, he said SB 766 is not intended as anti-abortion legislation.
- Why not? Child abuse is child abuse, and an abortion is murder and child abuse, period!

“My goal is not to go beyond the situation I’m addressing,” he said.

Sen. Jason Crowell (Email), R–Cape Girardeau, is sponsoring legislation that would deny driver licenses to illegal immigrants. Crowell also is the sponsor of a bill meant to keep illegal immigrants from obtaining state or local benefits.
- Now this is a good idea, IMO. They should come here legally, then pay taxes like everyone else.

“If I invite you over to my house for dinner, you’re invited. Let’s have dinner,” Crowell said. “But if you come in my back door and steal out of my bread pantry, I’m going to be angry.”

Sen. Gary Nodler (Email), R-Joplin, wants to see SB 738, which deals with concentrated animal feeding operations, pass this time.

“I first introduced this bill three years ago,” he said. “I want to get this done.”

The legislation would give the DNR more control over enforcement of state air, odor and water pollution standards, and would allow the state to impose harsher punishment for violators, including surcharges. Companies that violate state standards at least six times in a 12-month period would forfeit their CAFO-related permits.

“The department doesn’t really have enough power to act, and the penalties aren’t strong enough,” Nodler said.

The bill was inspired by multiple issues in Missouri, including complaints against Renewable Environmental Solutions in Carthage over odors allegedly coming from its plant.

Nodler said he aims to “sneak it through” if necessary so the bill won’t be bogged down with amendments that could stall its passage. Last year, a similar proposal was saddled with 23 drafted amendments, he said.
- This BS should be illegal. And this is exactly what they do with a lot of bills.

“The best chance this has is if it comes up on a day when half the senators are asleep and not paying attention,” Nodler said.

Other bills

Sen. Yvonne Wilson (Email), D-Kansas City, has introduced legislation that would criminalize the display of a noose or the burning of a cross for the purposes of intimidation.

NY - Schuyler County To Vote On Sex Offender Law

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WATKINS GLEN - The safety of your children is in the hands of Schuyler County lawmakers. If a new law passes, the county will restrict where a sex offender can live.
- Why isn't the safety of their children in their own hands? The government gestapo need to stay out of peoples lives.

Stacy Mundt started to worry about sex offenders a few years ago when her daughter brought home a warning note from school. The note said that a sex offender had moved into her neighborhood.
- What? Why didn't the police provide her with this notice? So is the school checking every kids address to the sex offender registry? Apparently so. Why isn't the police doing this, or the parents?

“A lot of things go through your mind being a parent. You don't want them walking around here,” says Mundt.

“We have a nice community, nice area, we let our kids out and play together, but there's always a chance of worry,” says Tricia Madaffari, parent.
- Even if sex offenders did not exist, you should still be protective and worried about your kids, that is what any parent should do, especially in this day and age with violence so rampant.

But a proposed Schuyler county sex offender law could keep your children safer.
- No, it will make them "feel safer" when in reality it's a placebo and doesn't protect them. Come on, be honest for once!

County officials say if this law passes a sex offender would not be allowed to move within 500 feet of restricted areas. If they already live within the restricted area, the offender can stay until the lease runs out. Level two and three sex offenders will be restricted from living near a school, playground, daycare or county park. Level three's are considered the most serious offenders. The law would also apply to sex offenders even after they get off parole.
- So 500 feet, are they magically safe at 501 feet? It could be 50 or 100 miles and they'd still not be safe from someone who is intent on harming a child. The sheeple are gullible and will believe anything...

Mundt says if the law passes, her kids will be allowed to be more independent.
- This is scary! You tell them this, they will let their guard down. How is 500 feet going to protect them? Even if we did not have sex offenders or these laws, you should ALWAYS be weary of who lives around you, period.

“I would allow my kids to walk a half block a head of me when we're out for walks. If they don't pass this law, you can't allow you're kids to go so far from you because you never know what can happen,” says Mundt.
- Come on! This is scare tactics plain and simple. Even with 500 feet, are you going to let them roam 500 feet ahead of you, as if they know what that is? You never know what will happen regardless of a sex offender being around or not. You could die in a split second, that is a fact of life, especially in today's evil, sick world!

County lawmakers will be meeting to discuss the law at a public meeting Monday night at 7 pm at the legislative chambers.

OH - Free forms to file against new Ohio punishment


This is in regards to the new sex offender laws in Ohio. If you live in Ohio and have been sent one of these notices, and reclassified, read the bold text below, then click the above link to get the free forms to file a petition.

The new law, which took effect at the beginning of January, was passed by the Ohio Legislature to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act. The new law updates the reporting requirements for all sex offenders, and reclassifies them into different categories.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office re-classified the offenders in December and informed them of the changes via letter. Offenders have 60 days from the date they receive the letter to file a petition protesting their reclassification under the new law.

Alex Jones - A Message To The Future

TX - Cops: Dad Sodomized Teen Stepson to Avenge Rape of Daughter

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FORT WORTHA father sodomized his 18-year-old stepson to avenge the teenager's alleged rape of the man's 8-year-old daughter, police said.

The father, 32, turned himself into to authorities on Friday and was released from jail Saturday after posting a $17,500 bond. He faces a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

The stepson was arrested Jan. 2 and charged with suspicion of aggravated sexual assault. Police say the father caught him assaulting his daughter, and a subsequent examination at a hospital revealed the girl had been sodomized.

Sgt. Cheryl Johnson, supervisor of the Fort Worth sex crimes unit, said in a story posted Saturday on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Web site that people need to "allow the criminal justice system to work for them."

"This is a very unique case, but we have a criminal justice system in place, and no one can take the law into their own hands," Johnson said.

The Star-Telegram didn't identify the father or the stepson to protect the identity of the girl. Fort Worth police didn't immediately return phone and e-mail messages from The Associated Press.

When the stepson was arrested, the man warned his wife not to get the teenager out of jail. She posted bond for the teen's release. When he called home Jan. 3 after getting released, the father took the call and picked him up, police said.

Instead of taking the teenager home, the Arlington man drove to an abandoned house in Fort Worth, beat his stepson with a baseball bat and sodomized him with a metal tool, police said.

After the man left, the stepson found a pay phone and called police, who searched the abandoned home.

"We did find evidence at the scene to corroborate our victim's story," Johnson said.

GA - Vick Named In Brother's Sex Suit

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A teenager who claims in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that she had an almost two-year sexual relationship with former Miami Dolphins player Marcus Vick is hoping Vick's imprisoned brother Michael Vick will corroborate her claims.

In papers filed in Carroll County Circuit Court this week, the 18-year-old asked a judge to compel the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback to give a sworn statement about what he knows about the alleged relationship.

Michael Vick is serving a 23-month sentence on a federal dogfighting conviction.

The woman, who was 17 when she filed the lawsuit against Marcus Vick last year, claims in the suit that she was a 15-year-old honor student at Christiansburg High School when she first had sex with a then 19-year-old Marcus Vick in January 2004 while he was a quarterback at Virginia Tech.

Marcus Vick has denied a relationship with the woman.

The woman wants to know if Michael Vick knows anything about the alleged relationship, said Steven Smith, one of the lawyers representing the woman in the $6.3 million lawsuit.

"If Marcus has told Michael certain information about this case or has discussed it with him, it would certainly be relevant," Smith said.

A hearing on the request is scheduled for Jan. 23 in Carroll Circuit Court.

An after-hours message left Friday with Marcus Vick's attorney, Lawrence Woodward Jr., was not immediately returned. He has declined previously to discuss the case with the media.

Marcus Vick and two of his former teammates at Tech were convicted in 2004 of three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for giving three underage girls liquor and encouraging them to strip. In the lawsuit, the girl identifies herself as the one who had sex with Vick on that night in January 2004 that led to his arrest and conviction.

Marcus Vick was cut by the Miami Dolphins last year.

SD - More names may be put on sex offender registry

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PIERRE (AP) - The sex offender registry in South Dakota may be expanded to include the names and addresses of those who have been convicted of intentionally infecting sex partners to the AIDS virus.

Senate Bill 65, which is sponsored by several legislators, would require those offenders to register.

People convicted of most sex offenses already must give their names, addresses and other information to law agencies for inclusion on the registry.

Failure to register as a sex offender or verify that status twice annually is punishable by up to two years in prison.

WI - Lawmaker aims to stop laws restricting sex offender residency

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Email this man and thank him for what he is trying to do. Finally someone with a brain!


Friske proposal has gained support within rural areas

A state lawmaker wants to quash local laws restricting where registered sex offenders can live.

Rep. Donald Friske (Email), R-Merrill, has proposed legislation to bar municipalities from drafting ordinances dictating where people listed on the states' sex offender registry can live. He argues that pushing sex offenders out of cities and villages forces them to live in rural areas where there aren't as many law enforcement and supervision resources.

"It also pits communities against each other," Friske said. "The safety and security of each community is equal. I don't know if we can start to say this community's more important because of this or the children of that community are entitled to less protection because they live there."

Green Bay is among several communities in Northeastern Wisconsin that have passed or are considering restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live.

Chad Fradette, president of Green Bay's City Council, who helped create the city's sex offender residency ordinance, said it is a tool to try and keep the most dangerous people away from potential victims.

"If they keep the worst of the worst — the predators — in prison the rest of their lives, you won't need these laws," Fradette said. "That's why this (residency) law was drafted in Green Bay.

"We're trying to force them to keep the predators in prison. If (Friske) was a real leader, he would solve the problem instead."

The legislation is aimed at any law or ordinance affecting residency of any registered sex offender, whether the person is being released from prison or simply establishing a different residence in the same city, according to Friske's staff.

The bill, which has been introduced unsuccessfully in other legislative sessions, has gathered support from lawmakers in other rural areas, Friske said.

It also has support from some rural law enforcers.

"When you initiate a sex offender geo-restriction, all it's going to do is shove them into the next township," said Kewaunee Sheriff Matt Joski. "It's going to be basically a domino effect of these people passing ordinances until it's the last man standing.

"And all you've done in the process, while creating this false sense of security, is force these people underground," Joski said. "Right now, these guys are accounted for, they're on the books and we know where they are."

Brad Hopp, chairman of Green Bay's Sex Offender Residency Board, said that logic is flawed.

"It seems kind of ludicrous that we say we can't pass these type of ordinances or laws because someone might break" the sex offender registration law, Hopp said. "That doesn't make any sense to me.

"Might it force them underground? Yes it might, but in return, then the state of Wisconsin has the responsibility to go find them, arrest them and put them back in prison. That's their job."

Hopp knows the residency restrictions are not the ultimate solution for the issues surrounding sex offenders.

"You're seeing these ordinances put in place as a way for municipalities to protect their citizenry," Hopp said. "I think the assemblyman would be better served to focus his energies on making up for the shortcomings of the Department of Corrections or taking a stronger look at what is and what isn't working with the Department of Corrections."

Offenders who are unprepared for life outside of prison and incomplete housing arrangements are two major problems that should be addressed, Hopp said.

"The state needs to step up and do something different with how they're handling these offenders because it's not working," Hopp said. "The backlash of that is you're starting to see these ordinances."

Friske said he hopes to start hearings on the measure later this month.

"If we don't have a hearing on it by the first part of next month, I don't anticipate being able to get it through both houses because it's so late in the session," Friske said.

Vigilante Justice - South Africa

Even in a country who has vigilante justice, it doesn't stop crime. So you see, trying to justify this and turning us into some third world country, is insane, IMO. I'm sure a lot of evil sick people out there would love this. Click the above link, they disabled embedding the video.

In this report South Africa's growing vigilante crisis is thrown into sharp relief when the rape of a black girl is publicly avenged. She gets the opportunity to beat them in the street while they are tied to a street light.

NY - 'No pants' transit day

Will they all be placed on the sex offender registry? It is a crime!

NY - Hundreds of sex-offender cases to be heard locally

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UTICA – Oneida County is likely to see dozens, eventually hundreds, of court cases in coming years to determine whether sex offenders should be civilly confined, the region’s top judge says.

The mushrooming caseload also likely means more sex offenders will be housed locally at a psychiatric center or at a state prison, both in Marcy.

Already, the county is handling more than 85 percent of Central New York’s civil confinement cases, and that number is only expected to increase with time, Fifth Judicial District Administrative Judge James Tormey said.

The civil confinement process grew out of a law passed last March. As more sex offenders enter the process, such proceedings could number into the hundreds, Tormey said.

And with that, there’s no doubt more questions will arise, he said.

“We’re trying to make the statute work, and that’s been the most rewarding aspect of this whole thing,” Tormey said. “This is a very complicated statute, and we’re putting our own brand of procedure on this, as well as our belief in how justice is served.”

Since the state enacted a civil commitment law last March, 56 sex offender cases have proceeded in Oneida County, compared to six cases in Onondaga County, and one case each in Jefferson and Herkimer counties, officials said.

With four state prison facilities located in Oneida County, the county would naturally host most of the proceedings as inmates convicted of sex crimes face possible civil commitment upon their parole, Tormey said.

But after presiding over all of the cases himself since April, Tormey said he’s confident the judicial system in Oneida County and surrounding counties can handle the mushrooming caseload.

“It’s under control now, and it’s working very well,” Tormey said of the new judicial process.

“Everybody needed to cooperate to make this work, and thank God they did,” he said. “It’s become a smooth operation, and justice is being done for everybody involved.”

Ceremonial courtroom used
Last summer, Tormey led a search for possible locations in the region to conduct such hearings.

After local concerns that the state would choose Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome or the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center in West Utica, civil confinement hearings have taken place at the Oneida County Court House, often in the ceremonial courtroom.

The civil confinement process is a complex one, with required hearings eventually leading to a possible trial.

Many cases in are approaching the trial stage, and Tormey has already begun distributing the caseload to various state Supreme Court justices.

Oneida County has 16 trials scheduled in the weeks ahead to determine whether a sex offender previously incarcerated in prison suffers from a mental abnormality, officials said.

If such a finding is reached, a judge would then decide whether the offender should be civilly committed or released under “strict and intensive supervision.”

Before most of these trials get underway, however, Tormey said he plans on holding a training seminar later this month to educate district judges on how to handle such proceedings.

Legislators comfortable
So far, state legislators said they are satisfied with how the new law is being followed.

“My understanding is that they have been going pretty smoothly,” state Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito (Email), D-Rome, said of the proceedings. “But I think there’s always room for improvement. The program itself probably needs to be reviewed after a certain period of time, both by the Office of Mental Health and the Office of Court Administration.”

State Sen. Joseph Griffo (Email), R-Rome, likewise said he is not aware of any major concerns regarding the law and the sex offender treatment program. However, Griffo said he believes a long-term solution needs to still be pursued to address the problem of sex-offender recidivism.
- What problem? Recidivism is lower than any other criminal, check for yourself instead of believing someone who doesn't have the facts.

Griffo said he would prefer sex offenders receive longer prison terms instead of civil commitment. But in the meantime, Griffo said he wants reassurance that civil commitment facilities remain secure and offenders will be returned to their point of origin upon release.
- What about treatment? If you give them treatment after the first time, maybe they won't come back again or commit another crime. Oh yeah, I forgot, prison is a huge business and you don't want to ruin that..

“We passed the law on civil confinement, so we will have to give it time,” Griffo said. “As we undertake this evaluation and examination, there may be some adjustments and modifications that have to be made. And we will have to assure that proper resources will be provided to get the intended results, whether it’s facility-wise or staff-wise.”
- Meanwhile, many people are suffering because you want to "give it time!" Why not listen to the experts for once?

IL - Seminar aims to prevent sexual offenses

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From looking at the Egyptian Health Department web site, what qualifications do they have to tell professionals who deal with sex offender what is right and wrong? I do not see any, or am missing it. And who is this Gary Lemmon company? Not much info about them on the web, unless I'm missing something. What qualifies these people to do this? Sounds like a good thing though, if they show the facts and not spread more lies.


HARRISBURG - If the public can understand why individuals commit sexual offenses, organizers of an upcoming seminar are hoping they will start being able to prevent such crimes.

In an effort to reach that goal, the Egyptian Health Department in Eldorado and Gary L. Lemmon & Associates, Inc. from Norris City are offering a seminar Jan. 30 at Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg.

Professionals who work with child sex offenders and victims as well as the public can learn more about the controversial and often misunderstood topic during Lemmon's presentation, "Child Sex Offenders: What we know, what we don't know, and what we thought we knew but were wrong about."

Lemmon, a senior clinician and seminar presenter, said the Jan. 30 training will teach attendants why individuals sexually offend and what research has shown to be effective in keeping children safe. It will cover many topics, including how to predict recidivism, assign risk and counseling methods, among others.

"It's a politically hot issue," Lemmon said. "Part of the training is going to point out research that shows some of the eagerness of the public and politicians to simply imprison or have offenders register."

"In some cases, it actually increases the danger level of victimization," he added. "There are so many misconceptions and that's part of what this training will clear up."

Lemmon said people cannot and should not treat all sex offender cases the same. Each case needs to be dealt with on its own merit, he said, adding that the risk level and predicted recidivism will be different on an individual basis.

"Safety must always be the primary concern. Healing the victim is second and justice is the third concern," he said. "A lot of times justice is first and what we end up with is less safety."
- Keep in mind, this means JUSTICE FOR ALL, those convicted as well.

In his 30 years of experience, Lemmon has gained an interesting perspective on the issue of child sex offenders.

Lemmon is approved by the Illinois Sex Offender Management Board and has evaluated and treated adult and child sex offenders. He has also treated sexual abuse victims and worked as an advocate for abused and neglected children.

Angie Hampton, CEO of the Egyptian Health Department, said the seminar is geared toward professionals, like counselors, judges, attorneys, law enforcement, child welfare providers, advocates and teachers. The public is not only welcome, but Hampton said they are encouraged to attend.

"We want to raise awareness," she said. "It's an important issue that everyone needs to understand."


What: Child sex offender seminar

When: Training is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 30; registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg

For more information or to register: Contact Gary L. Lemmon & Associates, Inc. at 378-3010 or Camille Harris of the Egyptian Health Department at 273-3326 ext. 2135