Monday, February 11, 2008

MA - NB mayor proposes "safety zones" to keep sex offenders away from kids in public places

View the article here

Stupidity runs rampant in this country (USSA). Stranger danger accounts for 10% or less, so this does nothing to protect anybody, except make this jerk look better to the sheeple who believe anything they say. This is just more knee-jerk reactions. If we made all laws this way, we'd all be in prison now.

02/11/2008

NEW BEDFORDMayor Scott W. Lang has submitted an ordinance to the City Council that would establish child safety zones around public places where children gather.

The proposed ordinance was drafted at the mayor’s request in the wake of a Jan. 30 sexual assault by a Level 3 sex offender against a 6-year-old boy in the New Bedford Free Public Library.
- See, this proves it's a knee-jerk reaction. And I am willing to bet, it will do nothing to prevent other crimes.

The ordinance would create specific public areas in the city where child sex offenders are prohibited., including:

  • parks
  • playgrounds
  • recreation centers
  • libraries
  • schools
  • day care centers
  • private youth centers
  • video arcades
  • bathing beaches
  • swimming and wading pools
  • gymnasiums
  • sports fields and facilities
  • school and camp bus stops

Parking areas and the land surrounding the facilities also would be part of the child safety zones.

“I do not have any qualms about protecting the kids in our city; they are my number one concern,” Mayor Lang said in a prepared statement. “I want to send a clear message to all Level 2 and Level 3 child sex offenders that New Bedford is going to do everything it can to protect the children in our community from the individuals who prey on them,” the statement said.
- They are your number one concern because they make you look good to the sheeple, and it's politicians who exploit children to further their image and agenda. This will do nothing to prevent further crimes, yet the sheeple follow along and believe everything you say. Nobody wants children to be harmed, but these laws do not, and never will prevent it. You are also assuming that all level 2 & 3 offenders harmed children, which is ignorance on your part.

The mayor also has provided the Library Board of Trustees with a list of six recommendations to tighten up security at the library, including installing a system that would require all people entering the facility to show photo identification and produce a library card.
- More wasted tax payers money for something to give the government more control over everyone and will do NOTHING to prevent future crimes.


CA - Vallejo police call for more volunteers

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It's because the "Terminator" doesn't know what he is doing. Why isn't he funding this and getting more police? Why must we turn the entire population into wanna-be police?

02/11/2008

Reductions in the number of sworn officers have prompted the Vallejo Police Department to look toward citizen volunteers to help fill the gaps.

"We are losing people here, and we have to figure out ways to compensate for the losses," said police spokesman Lt. Rick Nichelman.

Nichelman said the department is compiling a comprehensive plan on ways to incorporate more volunteer work. The plan will be released in a few weeks, he added.

Currently, about 20 volunteers work with Citizens on Patrol and 10 others perform various services within the department, said Cpl. Rich Botello, the volunteer program coordinator.

Volunteers help with some record entries, filing, sex offender registration, assistance to victims of domestic violence and other tasks.

Citizens on Patrol can assist with traffic and crowd control at city events, tag abandoned vehicles, help search for missing people and patrol city streets, Botello said.

Citizens on Patrol are trained for about four to six weeks initially. Afterward, members have monthly training sessions and spend time working with veteran officers.

"Our volunteers are trained to not get involved in any enforcement whatsoever, due to obvious safety reasons," Botello said. "If they see anything while out on patrol, they are trained to radio back to dispatch directly."

Nichelman said volunteers provide a valuable service, surveying what is going on in the city.

"It always helps to have more sets of eyes out there," he said. "But by no means are we asking our volunteers to take the place of police officers."

The department just had 10 more volunteers sign up after completing the latest Citizena Academy, a program designed to tell the public about the inner workings of the department.

Academy participation is a prerequisite to volunteering. Botello said the next class is tentatively scheduled for May.

Citizen volunteers do not need prior experience in law enforcement, but they are screened through background checks, Botello said.

Applicants should discuss with program coordinators where they would be best suited, he said.


Sexual abuse of deaf children. A retrospective analysis of the prevalence and characteristics of childhood sexual abuse among deaf adults in Norway.

View the article here

03/28/2004

Kvam MH.

Abstract

Objective: North American studies conclude that deaf children may have a 2–3 times greater risk of sexual abuse than hearing children. No comparative studies are available in the Nordic countries. The present study was initiated to estimate the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among deaf children in Norway, describe the nature of the abuse, and to examine risk factors.

Method: A self-administered questionnaire was sent in 1999 to all 1150 adult deaf members of the Norwegian Deaf Register. The Deaf Register includes all deaf Norwegians. The questionnaire, which was also available videotaped in sign language, was an adapted version of a questionnaire used in a Norwegian survey among the general adult population in 1993. The results from this earlier study were used as a comparison group.

Results: Deaf females aged 18–65 who lost their hearing before the age of 9 (N=177) reported sexual abuse with contact before the age of 18 years more than twice as often as hearing females, and deaf males more than three times as often as hearing males. The abuse of the deaf children was also more serious. Very few cases were reported to parents, teachers, or authorities.

Conclusions: Deaf children are at greater risk of sexual abuse than hearing children. The special schools for the deaf represent an extra risk of abuse, regardless of whether the deaf pupils live at home or in boarding schools.


CO - Proposed Colo. Sex Offenders Law Sparks Controversy

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So pass it and then the police and the police department and the state will be sued for hiring cops who have committed sex crimes. This is a law from a person who is clearly not thinking right. See a TON of corruption here.

02/11/2008

In a move that has created a political clash between advocates of victim's rights and defenders of the Catholic Church, a Colorado lawmaker has introduced a bill in the Colorado General Assembly aimed at giving victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue both the abuser and the organization employing the abuser.

"Most children who are abused by a person who is in a position of trust are not able to come forward until they are in their 40s, 50s, 60s," Colo. State Rep. Gwyn Green (D) (Email), the key sponsor of the bill, told The Denver Post. "And by then the statute has long since run out. Meanwhile, those pedophiles who assaulted them as children are continuing to assault other children."
- A truly ignorant lady. Not all sex offenders are pedophiles or harmed children. Educate yourself lady before passing laws you know nothing about.

Under H.B. 1011 (PDF), the statute of limitations would be suspended for any new or recent incidences of sexual abuse and it would also open a window of opportunity permitting those abuse victims with tolled limitations to be able to file charges. The law, as written, would apply only to private institutions, such as a church, and not public institutions, such as a school.
- Why?

"This has nothing to do with justice - it's pure politics," stated William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Mr. Donahue explained that H.B. 1011 is strikingly similar to a bill Ms. Green attempted to pass in 2006. When opponents to the bill exposed the fact that it gave public schools a pass, controversy crushed the bill.

"When this was exposed as a witch hunt, the public schools were blanketed with the same legislation. But then the Colorado education establishment saw the handwriting on the wall and effectively killed the bill," Mr. Donohue explained. He also noted that the Colorado Catholic bishops, along with the Catholic League, supported the bill, so long as it was all-inclusive.

Ms. Green states that she learned her lesson last time and is drafting a bill that would strip immunity from public institutions. Such a measure will not be included in H.B. 1011 but will be introduced as its own bill.

Agreeing that sexual abuse of a child is an egregious sin, the Colorado bishops issued a statement asking, "What should Colorado's public policy be on civil lawsuits arising from such sexual abuse? And should two unequal kinds of justice apply: a soft version when the sexual offender works for a public entity and another, much harder version, when the offender works for a Catholic or private institution?"

For instance, under Colorado law the application of sovereign immunity sharply limits the rights of an abuse victim suing a public school district for abuse. Even if there is no sovereign immunity, the abuse victim of a schoolteacher must file an initial claim within 180 days or the claim could be void. And even after the administrative hurdle is complete, damages are capped at $150,000. No such limitations are present when a victim sues a private entity.

But Ms. Green said a bill to level the playing field will be coming shortly. Concerned Catholics question her credibility.

"Now Rep. Green is back, targeting only private institutions again, saying she will introduce another bill that will address public institutions. What a shell game: If there is to be no difference in liability for private and public institutions, then they can be treated equally in the same bill," stated Mr. Donohue.


CT - Rell urges stricter rules for sex offenders

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More grandstanding to "look good" to the sheeple. This will do nothing to protect people. If she really wanted to protect people, she'd create a CRIMINAL database with ALL criminals on it, so you know if a serial killer, DUI offender, drug dealer, gang member or anyone else is living next door. It's about boosting her image and pay check.

02/11/2008

A few weeks ago, Gov. M. Jodi Rell (Email) enacted criminal justice reforms targeting home invasions. Now, she wants lawmakers to turn their attention to sex offenders.

During last week's State-of-the-State address, Rell proposed registration requirements for persons convicted of a sex crime, including more frequent reporting to police.

Her most controversial idea requires sex offenders to get a special imprint on their driver's license.
- Modern day Scarlet Letter!

"The premise of these changes and my efforts - the more the public knows, the better protected they and their children will be," Rell told members of the General Assembly Wednesday.
- This is just total BS and about your image. No matter how many laws you pass, it will not prevent a true predator for committing another crime, if that is their goal!

If approved, Rell's recommendations would give Connecticut some of the strictest requirements for sex offenders in the United States, national experts said.
- Yeah, yeah, they all say this.

Some are embracing her proposals, but others are scratching their heads.

"I wish the administration had been a little more detailed in its vetting of these," said state Sen. Andrew McDonald (Email), D-Stamford, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "Many of them . . . have not been thoroughly or thoughtfully reviewed."

Critics said Rell mistakenly assumes that most sex offenders are predators on the hunt for new victims.

Sex offenders living in Connecticut are required to register with the Department of Public Safety, which posts their names, addresses, birth dates, descriptions and details of their crimes online.

There are 60 registered sex offenders living in Stamford, 58 in Norwalk, six in Greenwich and five each in New Canaan and Westport, according to the Web site.

Sometimes residents who learn a sex offender is moving to their neighborhood call on elected officials to intervene.

In October, Rell asked Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (Contact) to prevent convicted rapist David Politt from being released to his sister's Southbury home after more than 24 years in prison.
- He served his time, so he can live anywhere he wants. If he is off probation/parole, then leave the man alone!

A state Superior Court judge shot down the request, and Rell and Blumenthal drew fire for infringing on Politt's rights, because he served his sentence.
- AMEN!!!!!! If they get away with eroding this mans rights, yours will be next!!

Rell's spokesman, Christopher Cooper, said her new registration requirements were suggested by the state Department of Public Safety and modeled after those in other states.
- Yeah, so... What about laws which do not violate the constitution which they took an oath to uphold and apparently lied about!

The Advocate's research found that at least five states require sex offenders to get a special imprint on their driver's licenses - Delaware, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
- So that doesn't make it right! If they jumped off a cliff, would you follow along? Probably!!

Cooper said Rell wants the statute under which the driver was convicted of a sex crime printed on their license.

"It's another law enforcement tool that would allow someone to be immediately identified instead of having to look them up on a registry," Cooper said.
- Why don't you just stick a "666" on their foreheads?

But David D'Amora, director of the Center for the Treatment of Problem Sexual Behavior in Middletown, said other criminals are not required to have their crimes labeled on their driver's license, so sex offenders could become easy targets.
- And I feel like this is their intention!!!

Some lawmakers share those concerns.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (Email), R-Fairfield, and House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero (Contact), R-Norwalk, said they want to know more about how the plan would improve public safety.

A drivers' license label could make it more difficult for an ex-convict to re-acclimate into society, but could flag a problem if, for example, a convicted sex offender seeks a job involving children, Cafero said.

"It's something we've got to ponder," Cafero said.
- So why don't you have codes on ALL CRIMINALS drivers license? That is only fair!

Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling, past president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, said the imprinted driver's license would be a good tool.

"The sex offender has given up certain rights by his or her acts or deeds," Rilling said.
- While they are on parole or probation, yeah, but once they are off that, then they are suppose to be free as you are. EVERYONE has rights, period!

But some sex offenders might not warrant being labeled with a drivers' license, he said.

"There are people who may have been registered sex offenders because at 15 they had consensual sex with a girl who's 14," Rilling said. "That could be their only criminal act. It's not to be condoned, but we have to understand that person may not be somebody we want to have affected by this."

Charles Onley, a research associate for the Center for Sex Offender Management in Washington, D.C., said it is too early to tell whether driver's license rules prevent crimes.
- It's common sense!!! How does having a label on their license prevent crimes? If they want to rob a bank or store, do you think they are going to whip out their license to show it to the person they are robbing? No, so it does nothing!!!!

"These laws are just too new," Onley said.
- New or old doesn't matter, it's common sense idiot!

Some states have considered forcing sex offenders to get special license plates.

"I would be concerned as to whether that would be instigating some kind of vigilante justice against these people," McKinney said.
- Oh, you know that would occur, just read my blog and you will see, the public cannot handle the registry, and when you do this, it will only get worse. How do you expect to learn when you do not get the FACTS or listen to experts???

Experts said Rell's other proposals are becoming standard around the country.

Cooper said Rell wants sex offenders, depending on their crime, to report to police every 90 days, every six months or annually.

She also wants sex offenders to provide police with license plate numbers and descriptions of their cars.

Rell wants to bar sexual offenders from changing their names "to escape police attention or to avoid registration."

McDonald said Rell needs to prove that is an issue.

"Every time somebody applies to the probation court for a name change, they check with the Department of Public Safety," McDonald said.
- All they have to do is get a fake ID like illegal immigrants do, so this is more BS!!!

D'Amora said some of Rell's proposals are based on the faulty assumption that sex offenders are more likely to repeat the crime.
- Because they listen to people who are NOT experts and ignore facts! How can you create laws when you have this kind of attitude?

About one in five sex offenders commits a second sex crime, according to estimates in several academic studies.
- Why don't you provide a link to those studies?? I have a couple here which prove recidivism is LOW for sex offenders.

Most child sex assault victims - at least 60 percent of boys and 80 percent of girls - are attacked by a family member or someone they know, according to the Center for Sex Offender Management.

"We continue to think about policy based on the 15 percent of offenders who commit assaults on people they don't know," D'Amora said. "We need to think of policies relevant to that larger group."
- AMEN!! AND LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS!!


FL - Overzealous policies create social outcasts - SEX OFFENDER POLICIES SHOULD BE REVAMPED OR REPEALED

View the article here

02/11/2008

State and local officials have a misguided, narrow-minded approach to dealing with sex offenders: banish them from existence. Trouble is, this approach doesn't work. People can't be made to disappear, not even convicted sex offenders. Yet elected and public leaders keep trying.

Consider this latest example: Convicted sex offenders were told two years ago that they could live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge. Last week they were told to clear out. Already driven from familiar residences -- including, for some, with family and loved ones -- these men had set up umbrella tents on a miserable concrete embankment under the bridge. The state already had banned them from living within 1,000 feet of a school. The city of Miami, following suit, expanded the zone to 2,500 feet.

Where to relocate?

Making a bad situation worse, the Department of Corrections parole officers roused the men at 5 a.m. but gave them no real options about where to relocate. The men were directed to motels with rates they couldn't afford or to locations far away from South Florida. It's classic NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

The pity is that all of this is legal, but that doesn't make it right. Local ordinances and state laws authorizing the zones have thus far been upheld in court. However, considering how these laws have played out in real life, that may change. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have asked Gov. Charlie Crist (Email) to intervene. The governor hasn't responded yet.
- You are kidding, right? This man is not going to intervene, he's the idiot who passed the draconian laws.

Still, there are compelling reasons to believe that these laws will not stand for long. Here's why: First, the laws are overly broad. They make no distinction between sexual predators (who are more likely to be repeat offenders) and sexual offenders (who seldom are repeat offenders). Moreover, the sex-offender designation covers a wide range of sexual misconduct, including, for example, a 19-year-old who has a consenting sexual relationship with a 16-year-old.

No place to go

Worse, though, is that these laws amount to impractical, contradictory public policy. The laws themselves create the dilemma that these men have no place to go. Yet, the local and state governments have done little to resolve that dilemma. Because the men have no specific address, the probation and parole officers who are supposed to monitor their activities are put in a bind. They sometimes don't know where to find them.

The cities and state Legislature that created these laws at least should direct sex offenders to suitable housing. The better approach, of course, would be for the city and state to rewrite or repeal the laws altogether. Banishing sex offenders isn't the answer because it doesn't work.


WI - Lawmaker suggests making some sex offenders report places of work

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Sex offenders already have to give the police their home and work addresses when they register, so what would having this info on a public registry do except further humiliate people and cause them to lose their jobs because the employer doesn't want their name on the registry. This is more BS knee-jerk reactions that will not work. Politicians do not think, they just react!

02/11/2008

MILWAUKEE — The state senator who wrote Wisconsin’s sex offender disclosure laws wants authorities to look into whether some sex offenders should report their profession, as well as their places of residence.
- See my comments above, they already do this, it's just not on the public registry for display!

State Sen. Alberta Darling’s (Email) comments came after she learned that a 37-year-old sex offender was running a pornography and drug paraphernalia store that became a magnet for Waukesha teens.

Scott E. Ziegler has since been charged with 14 felonies accusing him of luring teens into a life of sexual abuse and drug use.
- Oh come on, they have free will, and they are the ones who went into his shops, he did not drag them into the business without their approval! Yes, he should not be running this kind of business, but, if he registered and put it on the paperwork, the cops are at fault for not saying something to him when he registered.

“If sex offenders are setting themselves up in a sleaze-trade business, it’s a loophole that we should check into,” said Darling, R-River Hills. “The question is: Is it unconstitutional to require a criminal who has served their time to report their profession?
- Yes!!!!

Darling said she would address the issue with the state attorney general.

Ziegler was charged Thursday and due in court Monday for a bail hearing. The charges against him include second-degree sexual assault of a child, child abuse-intentionally causing harm and child enticement-exposure of a sexual organ.
- Well this is a different issue, which he should be arrested for.

A criminal complaint alleges teens engaged in sex and drugs with Ziegler at his Waukesha home.

Police Capt. Mark Stigler said the large marijuana leaf painted on the window of the store, named Twisted, baited gullible teenagers. The store closed in November, though Ziegler operates another one in West Allis. Authorities staked him out for about a year, Stigler said.

Police found Ziegler in the parking lot of his home with a 14-year-old girl wearing a dog collar and leash, according to court records. The girl told police she was allowed to stay at the apartment and given alcohol and drugs in exchange for sex, records said.

Darling said state law should be changed to require registered sexual offenders who earn their livings through pornography or drug paraphernalia sales to report their places of employment to police.

Currently, convicted sex offenders must register only their home addresses with police.
- I don't believe this. If anyone here is from Wisconsin, what all info do you have to give the police when you go down to register? I am willing to bet it's your home and work addresses.

Darling said a blanket policy that requires all sex offenders to register their workplaces may not be feasible, but sex-trade merchants should have to disclose that to authorities.

Many Web sites tell the public where sex offenders live, and Darling said a work registry would give the public more information.

She said it was doubtful that a sex offender who has cleared probation and is no longer under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections could be prevented from operating a shop like the one Ziegler had.

But Darling said public pressure could be brought to bear.
- This still would not make it constitutional just because you incite the public to bitch and moan!

“Information is a powerful thing,” she said.


UK - Sex offender hit by train

View the article here

Notice how they have one sentence about him being killed by a train, then the rest of the article to smear his name even further? This was probably suicide, but from this article it's not apparent. And they even capitalize the "CHILD" which appears to me like they are trying to say something here that is not mentioned.

02/11/2008

A CHILD sex offender has died after being hit by a train - just one week after his latest appearance in court.

John Neville Kay, 52, formerly of Stockton, was killed when he was hit by a train in Dringhouses, near York.

The former computer technician, who had only recently left the Teesside area, previously served 10 years in jail for sex offences against children, including the rape of an eight-year-old girl.

Kay was last before Teesside Crown Court on January 8, when he was sentenced after admitting four breaches of a sexual offences prevention order.

Judge Peter Fox QC told the court that Kay had been punished enough due to the 270 days he had spent remanded in custody. Instead he was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months with supervision.

Kay was given the indefinite order in 2006, banning him from communicating with or having images of under-18s and having camera or video devices. The order also banned him from locations like family pubs, camp sites, swimming pools, schools, youth clubs, and parks.

The court heard that Kay breached the order by having pictures of young Coronation Street stars on a set of cards, and having a postcard and mobile phone wallpaper containing images of children.

A further breach also related to an incident in June last year when he was seen at a County Durham pub saying to an 18-month-old child, “Do you like my dog?”

At the time, defence counsel Nigel Soppitt told the court that Kay had many psychiatric problems and had become a “pitiful sight”, telling police he “wanted to stop the world turning” after he was arrested naked in Stockton.

Mr Soppitt said Kay had rebelled against the SOPO feeling that some of its restrictions served no purpose.

At a previous hearing, Mr Soppitt said: “The huge and expansive sexual offences prevention order imposes so many restrictions that he can barely set foot outside his house.”

Kay, formerly of Shaftesbury Street, Stockton, was pronounced dead on Tuesday, January 15, at 7pm.

At the time of his death, Sergeant Robin Edwards from British Transport Police said: “It’s clear that when these incidents do take place, it’s very distressing for those who attend the scene and particularly the train drivers as they are not in a position to do anything about it. They can’t stop or turn, so it’s very distressing for those involved.”

An inquest into Kay’s death has been opened and adjourned by the coroner in York pending inquiries by the British Transport Police.


IL - New Law: Parent's Permission Required For Myspace/Facebook Account

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02/11/2008

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- Under a new proposal in Springfield, kids would have to have a parent's permission to create a profile on popular social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

WBBM's Regine Schlesinger reports that's one provision of a package aimed at making those websites safer for children.

Representative Tom Cross, the Illinois House republican leader, says the bipartisan effort builds on laws passed last year. The new provisions would place a greater burden on the sites' operators, requiring them to verify the age of a minor and get written permission from a parent before a minor can create a profile.

The sponsors also want parents to be able to access their child's profile.

It would make it a felony for a registered sex offender to access the profile of a minor and perhaps even to go on those websites at all. Representative Cross acknowledges the difficulty of regulating the internet but says, we have to take a shot at better protecting children.

He says several other states are looking into similar measures. He thinks the package has a good chance of passing in the Illinois general assembly.


NC - Childers sentencing expected Tuesday

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02/11/2008

LANDIS -- The former police chief in the Rowan County town of Landis is expected to be sentenced Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Greensboro.

Charles Childers, 51, pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges last year.

Officers arrested Childers after undercover agents said they found him trying to solicit sex from 13- and 14-year-old girls through the Internet.

Court documents showed he sent pornographic pictures, including video of himself, over the Internet, and sometimes used the police station's computer.

He faces up to 45 years in prison.


GA - Those sexual predator laws do more harm than good

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02/10/2008

EVERYONE wants children protected against sexual predators. Few crimes are more heinous than rape or murder of a child. Even lesser molestation can spell years of depression, anxiety and nightmares for victims. Some even suffer self-mutilation and suicidal tendencies.

But the national surge of states adopting Megan's Law and Jessica's Law — online registries of convicted sex offenders and stiff restrictions on where they can live — is going way overboard and causing more harm than good.

The statutes are named after young girls who were abducted, raped and murdered by convicted child molesters. Now there's federal law virtually forcing states to set up publicly accessible Internet registries showing sex offenders' residential addresses.

But the laws are turning out to be crude instruments with disturbing impacts.

First, they don't differentiate between truly serious sex offenders and others convicted of lesser charges such as urinating in public, or teenagers having consensual sex, or kids who expose themselves as a prank.

For one and all, there's a "scarlet letter," notes Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit monitoring group. The Internet registry sites can be accessed by anyone and use often-misleading criminal justice language — for example, "indecent liberties with a child" — to depict simple teenage sex. Former offenders have a tougher time getting a job or adjusting to normal life. Vigilante violence has led to instances of stabbings, houses burned, even targeted killings by strangers who found names and addresses through online registries. Other registrants have been driven to suicide.

Now things are turning even worse with a spate of laws restricting where former sex offenders can live. Twenty-two states, plus hundreds of municipalities, are setting minimum distances — from 500 feet up to 2,500 feet — that a former offender's residence must be from such places as schools, day care centers, parks, movie theaters, stores, swimming pools, even public transit.

The result, all too often, is to make most — or in some cases virtually all — of a community off-bounds for a former offender to live. An expose last spring by reporter Isaiah Thompson of the Miami New Times revealed a whole colony of former offenders camping out under the noisy Julia Tuttle Causeway because a stiff Miami-Dade County residency requirement left them practically no other place to live.

The offenders are still there, cooking with small portable stoves, using battery-powered televisions and radios, stowing their belongings in plastic bags — and living in fear of vigilante attacks.

One resident was "Big Man" — a 6-foot, 250-pounder forced to leave his home because 23 years ago, when he was 19, he was charged with sexual assault on a minor. Big Man's wife regularly showed up with food and supplies, telling Thompson: "Look at this place! There's no running water to take a shower; there's no toilets. My husband can't work now; nobody's going to hire him."

Big Man departed before Christmas, his case resolved by his parole officers. But with newcomers, the under-the-bridge census is still more than 30. Dade County officials continue to profess no concern.

Which in fact is not unusual. Pressing a residency requirement in Georgia, state House Majority Leader Jerry Keen said: "My intent personally is to make it so onerous on those that are convicted of these offenses that they will want to move to another state."
- More of this jerks quotes here.

Mayors and county officials who press harsh residency restrictions are doing the same — effectively banishing individuals who've already been punished by the law. Talk about violating constitutional rights.

Reports from Iowa, which enacted stiff residency restrictions for sex offenders in 2000, show the statute may be promoting conditions that easily lead to crime. Ex-offenders are listing their residence at such spots as "the Raccoon River" or "behind the Target on Euclid." Close to half have simply disappeared, so police no longer know where they are.

Human Rights Watch doesn't underestimate the horror of many sex crimes, or the need for close controls on dangerous offenders. But neither states nor localities, it argues, should pass blanket restrictions on all released individuals. Instead, as a model Minnesota law mandates, restrictions should be based on a careful evaluation of the offender's personal and family situation by a panel of law enforcement, victim advocacy and specialized treatment providers.

The Megan and Jessica cases are deeply tragic, but they miss a glaring fact: that over 90 percent of sex crimes against children aren't committed by outsiders at all, but rather by family members or family acquaintances. If there's prevention work to be done, that's where it should be focused. Not by Internet scarlet letters, and certainly not by residency laws that hound ex-offenders out of their communities, separate them from their families, and quite possibly drive them into isolation and new criminal behavior.


Deaf Sex Offenders in a Prison Population

View the article here | PDF

08/03/2003

Katrina Miller

University of Arkansas Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

McCay Vernon

Very little is known about deaf sex offenders. This descriptive study of a population of 41 deaf sex offenders incarcerated by the state of Texas provides information about the prevalence of sexual offenders in the deaf prison population, the educational achievement and IQ scores of deaf offenders, and the incidence of secondary disabilities in this population. The rate of sexual offending by deaf offenders was 4 times the rate of sexual offending by hearing offenders with 30% recidivism in the population. Sexual offending by deaf adults is discussed in relation to the sexual abuse of deaf children. Sixty-two percent of deaf sex offenders were functionally illiterate, a literacy rate considerably below the average for deaf adults who remained in school until age 18 or above. However, the performance IQs of deaf sex offenders were comparable to those of the overall prison population.

Correspondence should be sent to Katrina Miller, University of Arkansas Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, 4601 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205 (e-mail: krmille@uark.edu)

Received August 1, 2002; revised September 18, 2002; accepted September 24, 2002