Thursday, March 4, 2010

SWITZERLAND - Extra small condoms for 12 year-old boys go on sale in Switzerland

Original Article

03/03/2010

By Alexandra Williams

Extra small condoms for boys as young as 12 are going on sale in Switzerland.

Called the Hotshot, the condom has been produced after government research showed 12 to 14-year-olds did not use sufficient protection when having sex.

The study, conducted on behalf of the Federal Commission for Children and Youth, interviewed 1,480 people aged 10 to 20.

It showed more 12 to 14-year-olds were having sex, in comparison with the 1990s.

The Hotshot condoms, which cost 7fr60 (£4.70) for a packet of six, have been created by Lamprecht AG, a leading condom manufacturer in Switzerland.

The company has said the UK would be "top priority" if they expanded abroad, considering that it has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.

Nysse Norballe, a spokesman for the company, said: "At the moment we are only producing the Hotshot in Switzerland. But the UK is certainly a very attractive market since there is a very high rate of underage conception. The UK would definitely be top priority if we marketed abroad."

A standard condom has a diameter of 2ins (5.2cm) in comparison with the Hotshot's diameter of 1.7ins (4.5cm). Both are the same length – 7.4ins (19cm).

According to a German study of 12,970 13 to 20-year-olds, a quarter said a standard condom was too large.

Family planning groups and the Swiss Aids Federation campaigned to have the Hotshot produced after a number of studies, including the government study researched at the Centre for Development and Personality Psychology at Basel University.

Nancy Bodmer, who headed the research, said: "The result that shocked us concerned young boys who display apparently risky behaviour. They have more of a tendency not to protect themselves. They do not have a very developed sexual knowledge. They do not understand the consequences of what they are doing and leave the young girls to take care of the consequences."

"The results of this study suggest that early prevention makes sense."

The age of consent in Switzerland is 16, although if the age difference is not more than three years there will be no punishment. Other concessions exist if the older person is not more than 20 or believed the younger person to be at least 16.

The Swiss initiative comes as the UK government announces an overhaul of its teenage pregnancy strategy after new figures showed conception rate among 18s were not falling fast enough.

The UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.

In 1999, the government pledged to halve the teenage conception rate within 10 years.

But data released last week from The Office for National Statistics shows it has clearly failed to make any significant impact.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


FL - Last of Bridge Sex Offenders to Be Moved Tonight

Original Article

Give it six months, then another camp will pop up somewhere else. And until they repeal and fix the laws, this will continue for years, just like in California. See the end of this article, for comments directly from a person at the bridge.

03/04/2010

By JESSICA SICK and TODD WRIGHT

The remaining sex offenders living under the Julia Tuttle bridge will finally get their eviction papers tonight.

According to Miami-Dade Homeless Trust chairman Ron Book, the move will take place tonight, but that he can't say exactly when, as it would spook those living there.

Tomorrow, the process of tearing down the structures will begin.

The encampment beneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway popped up in 2007 and once housed more than 100 people who said they were unable to live elsewhere because of stringent sex offender ordinances.

But shacks and tents have come down in recent days as the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust relocates residents to apartments, motels and trailer parks. The trust says it will pay their rent for up to six months.
- I think he means the tax payers will pay for the first six months, but what happens after that?

While that gives the group of men a fighting chance, it doesn't solve the bigger issue of local ordinances that have pretty much forced the men out of neighborhoods.

State law prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, child-care centers, parks or other areas where kids congregate. Miami-Dade has much stricter requirements and has stretch the boundary to 2,500 feet.

Currently, about 30 sex offenders call the bridge home.



As per this article... Be advised that since 9:00 p.m. this evening nothing has transpired here tonight with regards to the eviction papers being given to any of us. I have asked the men if anyone has come by here prior to my getting there. And they have told me that no one has been there. Yet the Spanish media here are showing old footage's making mention about tomorrows demolitions.

I am currently submitting this information via my laptop, as we are here waiting to see if anyone from the City Of Miami shows up with such notices.

I will tell you all this..some of the men living in the wooden structures have been told that tomorrow at around 1:00 p.m. the city workers will be taring down the remaining shanty's. That could be possible...because I know of three individuals being relocated elsewhere. But as per those whom choose to remain, and live in a their structure. The city knows that they can not destroy their structures nor can they force them out of said structures.

On another note..The only thing that has transpired here tonight. Is that the fire department, and (two) Miami police units. Came here to put out a fire we all had going on with the wood from the torn down shanty's. We started the fire only because we were trying to stay warm from the cold. I will post all the images at some point tomorrow under this same topic area.

I will be here at around the time the city workers will be here to take images during the attempted demolitions. And I will advise everyone as to what transpires here tomorrow.

But personally I feel this is just a fear tactic by Book planting the seed of fear, be it through the media or news papers. So that the men are forced to take his offer.

Katherine whom works with Book has told the men whom have turned her assistance down. That she will be forced to advise their probation officer that they are refusing the offer. And that their probation's could be violated. They have advised the men who will be relocating, that they will be picking them up in an unmarked van. As to not draw attention to those being relocated to the hotel.

I ask Book this...Why all the mystery with the relocating them to the hotel??? Why because when the media gets wind as to the location of this hotel they are staying at. These men will most likely have to leave and play the real sex offender shuffle... That's why!!!


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


URGENT - President Barack Obama Joins John Walsh For America’s Most Wanted’s

Original Article

Everyone who is affected by these laws, needs to contact the president and voice your opinion. You can contact Obama here. Also see the comments at the end of this article, which is from the folks at the White House on how to write the president. Also see this web page, which also explains how to effectively address the president.

03/03/2010

By Bill Gorman

Washington – President Barack Obama will make a special appearance on AMERICA’S MOST WANTED’s milestone 1000th episode, airing this Saturday, March 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

John Walsh, host of AMW since the show’s inception 22 years ago, sits down with President Obama to discuss some of the administration’s crime-fighting initiatives and the impact that the show has had on thousands of victims and millions of people in its 22 years and 1000 episodes on the air. The President also discusses his administration’s support of state and local law enforcement, including the Recovery Act’s $4 billion that was allocated for state and local agencies. Additionally, President Obama talks to Walsh about his administration’s initiatives to go after and prosecute “white collar” criminals – crimes that John Walsh and AMW have also focused on recently.

As a long-time advocate for America’s children – since his 6-year-old son Adam was abducted and murdered in 1981 – Walsh has fought hard for countless pieces of victim and child protection legislation, and most recently, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2006 on the anniversary of Adam Walsh’s abduction and murder. Walsh tells President Obama about the need for Congress to fund this act that created a national sex-offender registry to go after the estimated 100,000 convicted sex offenders who are in non-compliance and have disappeared. President Obama tells John Walsh that his administration will work to have the act funded.

To date, AMERICA’S MOST WANTED has helped capture more than 1100 fugitives, including 17 from the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list. The series has also reunited 43 missing children with their families, which Walsh says is his “proudest achievement.”

Tune in for the entire interview Saturday, March 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.



THE BEST WAY TO REACH THE PRESIDENT IS BY FAX!

Constitutional Fights spoke to a live person at the White House who expressed interest in our concerns about the Adam Walsh Act and how it violates constitutional rights of 700,000 Americans. Granted, these secretaries know nothing about the Act, but she gave potentially useful instructions on how to communicate effectively to President Obama on this issue.

She said to FAX A ONE PAGE OUTLINE summary sheet to 202-456-2461.

You can email but faxes will be MUCH more effective she said, because they receive millions of emails.
  • At the top of the page, put a clear subject line- re: Adam Walsh Act.
  • List clear concise bullet points, not narrative. She said outline form is much more likely to be read than a narrative story.

According to the secretary, faxes are more useful and will more likely be seen, so if you have a fax, or can get access to one, use it! If you use email, it may get buried and lost, since they receive millions of emails.

You know the bullet points to make: constitutional violations of Ex Post Facto/Retroactivity, Separation of Powers, Breach of Contract, ect, how it damages families and children of offenders, how it imposes life-long registration to many who committed a crime decades ago, ect..

NOW GET BUSY!!!!


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


FL - Sex offenders' shacks torn down

Video Link



"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


Tragedy fallout: Don’t trust Megan’s Law proponents for good ideas

Original Article

03/04/2010

By Chris Reed

Crime policy in California has a long history of being driven by political grandstanding and a dearth of basic risk-management and cost analysis. That’s why area residents should be wary of jumping on the bandwagon of new proposals in the wake of the horrific murder of Poway High senior Chelsea King, allegedly by John Albert Gardner III, already convicted in a 2000 sexual violence and abduction case.

Consider Megan’s Law, the 2006 ballot measure banning convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. It may seem common sense and obvious, but recent reports have suggested Megan’s Law is not working well to deter sexual violence because of the obvious basic problem that restricting where sex offenders sleep doesn’t restrict in any way where they can go while awake.

In fact, however, voluminous academic research suggests that the many state laws like Megan’s Law are actually likely to make the problem worse. No one who reads “When Evidence Is Ignored: Residential Restrictions For Sex Offenders” will think highly of the politicians and district attorneys (among them Bonnie Dumanis) who touted Megan’s Law so avidly in 2006. The study – co-authored by Richard Tewskbury, a University of Louisville professor who edits the journal Justice Quarterly and who is one of the leading U.S. experts on sex offender policy – matter of factly tears apart the pols’ and DAs’ arguments.

It shows how these policies make it more difficult for offenders to find housing, get jobs, receive support from family members – essentially, to develop a stable life that would lower the risk of recidivism.

Residence restrictions, which lead to instability, transience and hopelessness, contradict decades of criminological research identifying factors associated with successful offender re-integration. Sex offenders and other offenders with positive support systems are less likely to re-offend and violate probation than those who lack support. Stable employment and relationships make it less likely that offenders reentering the community will resume a life of crime.

Conversely, lifestyle instability and negative moods are associated with increased sexual recidivism. Social stigma and economic hardships resulting from conviction can preclude involvement in pro-social roles and activities, including employment, education, parenting and property ownership. Social and economic marginalization is especially pronounced for registered sex offenders who are publicly identified. Desistance from crime, however, is facilitated by reinforcing the offender’s identity as a conforming and invested citizen, not by preventing the ability to meet basic needs.

Now I’m sure some will dismiss this as academic mumbo-jumbo that is sympathetic to sex offenders; a lot of people will like the idea that the law makes offenders’ lives much more difficult.

But if the goal is ...
  • reducing sex crimes;
  • getting the most bang for our buck with law enforcement funding; and
  • not creating a bogus sense of security with deeply flawed laws

... we should take this sort of research seriously.

Instead, I fear we’ll see more grandstanding – because no news event more lends itself to grandstanding than appalling crimes.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


UK - Our irrational fear of child-killers

Original Article

03/04/2010

By Amelia Gentleman

Fewer children are dying violent deaths today than at any time since records began. So why do we fear the issue more than ever?
- Because the media and politicians blow it out of proportion, and shows like "To Catch a Predator!," not to mention folks like Ernie Allen, John Walsh, Mark Lunsford to name a few.

Colin Pritchard's office in the mental health unit of Southampton hospital is accessed through doors protected by a touch-code lock. As we arrive at his department, there is an angry explosion of swearing from behind the closed doors of the consulting rooms along the corridor, and the noise of furniture being banged against the wall. He hurries to key in the code, and retreats to the safety of his own room.

Professor Pritchard, a researcher in social psychiatry at the University of Bournemouth, spends much of his professional life weighing up risk – the risk of being murdered, the risk of a child being violently killed, the risk of being run over. Having eliminated the immediate risk of being attacked by a colleague's patient, he is free to set out his belief that modern fears of violent death are exaggerated and misplaced.

Research conducted by Pritchard and his colleague Richard Williams, to be published later this spring, suggests that fewer children in this country are dying violent deaths than at any point since records began. The study shows the number of children dying violent deaths in England and Wales has fallen by almost 40% since the mid-1970s with the annual number of such deaths of children aged 14 and under falling from 136 to 84. Thirty years ago, England and Wales had the fourth-highest figures for child killings in the western world; now we have the third lowest. He attributes the reduction to improved monitoring by social workers and police.

The findings are surprising, because they are so at odds with the popular mood of disquiet; the level of public fear about violence against children is running at a very high level. This year, recriminations continue over who was responsible for allowing the death of baby Peter Connolly to happen; further alarm was provoked by the prosecution of the young brothers who violently attacked two children in Edlington and, last week, seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq's mother and stepfather for starving her to death. The news that Jon Venables, one of the killers of James Bulger, is back in prison will only add to the public's concerns.

These violent incidents have acquired a political significance, and have been cited by the Conservatives as examples of how Britain has become a broken society. David Cameron said the Edlington case was not "just some isolated incident of evil" and suggested it was part of a "social recession", adding: "We should ask about what has gone wrong with our society and what we are going to do about it."
- The media, that's the problem.  Something happens, they run it day after day as if it's the norm, and it freaks people out.  Just look at Nancy Grace, she reports on the same story for months on end, daily having biased idiots on her show talking about one side of their story and their lies and disinformation.

Child protection departments face constant criticism both from the public and from government for their failures in preventing these attacks, yet Pritchard argues that the popular alarm is simply unfounded. "These cases are very, very rare," he says. "But because they are so rare, when these terrible tragedies occur, they become big news." And this is where the public misconception begins.

"We love The Bill, Silent Witness, Wallander," he observes. "We get a diet of violence, weekly if not daily, and we begin to believe it. The general public has an image of a paedophile behind every public toilet, in the swimming bath, in the park. But the fear is not in step with reality. Most policemen go through their whole career and only see one or two murders."

For comparison, Pritchard focuses on the more prosaic dangers posed by cars. Every year, 135 children under 15 die in road accidents, a much higher number than the 84 who are murdered. It is much more likely that a child will die in a road accident than in a violent attack, yet according to Pritchard, the public remains remarkably sanguine about the dangers of the road. It is a familiar argument, but his analysis of the double-standards in media reporting of these deaths is persuasive.

"The media does not treat deaths on the road in the same way as child killings. They see it as the price we pay for the convenience of modern life. In terms of public perception, the car industry, with its clever advertising, manages to make the car appear a benign, laudable, wantable object. We don't think about the hidden toll," he says.

Pritchard is dismissive of the News of the World's "Sarah's Law" campaign, designed to give parents the right to know the identity of paedophiles living in their area. The law is scheduled to be introduced nationwide over the next year, following a pilot scheme in four counties. "If papers like News of the World were serious about wanting to protect children, they would ignore the Sarah's Law campaign and go for enforcement of 20mph speed limits in residential areas – that would save more lives of children in one year."

However, despite the public vilification child social services departments have faced in recent years, Pritchard suggests it may not always be in their interest to publicise the news that the rate of violence against children is declining. "One director of social services said, upon hearing about these encouraging outcomes, 'I am pleased about the results but don't shout about it too loud, because if the elected members think we're doing well they will cut the budget,'" Pritchard notes in his research.

He continues the road-death analogy to argue that we should think twice before blaming social workers when children like Peter Connolly and Khyra Ishaq slip through the safety net and die. "When there are no road accidents because there are no mistakes," he says wryly, making it clear he does not regard this as likely, "then there will be no mistakes with child protection, and no child deaths."

This research is not uncontested, though. Enver Solomon, Barnardo's assistant director for policy and research, argues that "the figures do not take into account more recent and accurate data from Ofsted and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, which show worryingly high numbers of children still dying as a result of abuse or neglect."

"The number of child deaths in the UK due to abuse or neglect remains far too high – at least two a week," Solomon continues. "Every day, social workers intervene to protect many children from harm, but evidence suggests that [historically] there has been a reluctance to take decisive action, and a tendency to give parents the benefit of the doubt. The rise in care applications since the death of Peter Connolly constitutes an important step change in awareness, which suggests the long-established tendency to give parents the benefit of the doubt may have temporarily stopped. It must not return."

Pritchard stands by his figures, but also has strong views about how non-vehicle-related child deaths can be prevented. He recently undertook an analysis of all the child murders that occurred over a decade in two counties (equivalent to 4% of the population of England and Wales), to attempt to establish what kind of person tended to be the most frequent child killer. He isolates two distinct groups: the most frequent killer is the mentally ill mother (who often kills herself at the same time), but the most dangerous potential killer is identified as a non-family member; someone who is likely to have a number of previous convictions, is known to be violent and to have been previously involved in sex crimes against children. Pritchard's research suggests that the mentally-ill mother kills at a rate of 100 per million, while the second category of violent male child sex-offender (of whom there are many fewer) kills at a rate of 80,000 per million.
- What? This seems to go totally against the rest of the story.  Is their facts to back this up? If this were true, there were are all the dead children?

"These men almost invariably come from terribly damaged and damaging backgrounds. That is the tragedy," he says. "The paradox is that the most dangerous is the least frequent killer."

A career spent as a psychiatric social worker and an academic studying trends in child abuse and murder has hardened his views on punishment. The process of going through police files, analysing their reports about these deaths and the photographs that accompanied them, was a scarring one, and Pritchard, who describes himself as a "genuine liberal", has developed some unexpectedly reactionary views about what should be done with the small number of men who fall into this category (a number he estimates to be around 1,100).

"If I found a man, with multi- criminality, previous convictions for violence and a sex crime against a child, I would give him an unlimited sentence, and make him stay in prison until they could prove that they were safe to move on," he says. "I am amazed to find myself saying this."
- Yeah, me to, compared to the story above.  If you are in prison, not getting help, which most do not, then how are you going to "prove" you are not a risk?  You aren't!

As for preventing more deaths at the hands of mentally unstable mothers, Pritchard recommends that child protection officers need to be more aware of the risks, and that doctors be quicker to recommend treatment. Sitting among the dismal grey filing cabinets and brown institutional carpet of the hospital office, he is at pains to remain cheerful, but does not always find it easy. No sooner has the risk of child death been rationalised with cool analysis about the relative dangers of the car, than new fears arise – concerns about the environment, about pollution, about population growth and dwindling world resources.

"Parents today are being bombarded with a set of anxieties that my generation of parents never had," Pritchard says. "As a parent, as a grandparent, I have never been more scared; I worry about what will happen. I should know better."


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


MD - Maryland Bills Crack Down On Sex Offenders (What ever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty?")

Original Article

Wow, more knee jerk reactions, as if I expected more? Here they are, already making laws to punish sex offenders who had nothing to do with this crime, before the man has even had his day in court. Hell, he may be guilty, but until the case is over with, it's only speculation. So what ever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty?"

03/03/2010

BALTIMORE (WJZ) - Sarah Foxwell, 11, was kidnapped, assaulted and murdered, allegedly at the hands of a repeat child sex offender.
- Yes, allegedly, and already the public has deemed him guilty and are making laws based on speculation, as usual!

Mary Bubala has the story of Sarah's mother, who is moving from anguish to action to prevent it from happening again.
- I understand people trying to prevent crimes, but you will never prevent crime. If that were true, we'd be a crime free society today, and we are far from it. Even if the government took over everything, we'd still have crime.

Just days before Christmas, Jennifer Foxwell's daughter Sarah disappeared from her sister's home in Salisbury. After several days of hopeful searching, the Eastern Shore community got the news they dreaded Christmas night-- Sarah Foxwell would not be coming home.

Police say repeat sex offender, Thomas Leggs Jr., who dated Sarah's aunt, is to blame.
- They say this because they want someone to blame, which is understandable, but, wait until he has his day in court before you condemn him.

"I opened the front door and walked in. I saw my father on his hands and knees, and I knew it then. He didn't have to tell me, I knew," said Jennifer Foxwell.

Two months after Sarah's death, Jennifer Foxwell is directing her anguish and anger at the man accused of Sarah's murder and the criminal justice system she says failed her family.
- Like I said, wait until after the conviction! He has not even been found guilty yet!

"He should have never been walking the streets," she said.

Six times before, Leggs was charged with crimes against girls and young women. But time after time, the 30-year-old eluded serious prison time.

"Our ultimate goal to all the citizens of Maryland is to make sure this never takes place in the state of Maryland again," said Speaker of the House Michael Busch.
- Well, that is a goal that will NEVER be achieved! As long as human beings walk this Earth, there will always be heinous crimes. Everyone wants to live in a perfect world, but it's not perfect and never will be.

In Annapolis, more than 70 new laws have been proposed to close loopholes for convicted sex offenders.
- Wow, all before the man has even been to court! The typical knee-jerk reactions!

Maryland authorities were unaware that Delaware had named Leggs a "high risk" registered sex offender. A bill under consideration would strengthen notification between states so Leggs would have been watched much more closely here in Maryland.

Four proposals would prohibit convicted sex offenders from getting released early for good behavior, something that Leggs benefited from twice.

Other bills call for lifetime supervision, including GPS tracking.
- GPS is not a solution either. It doesn't track people in real time, and even if it did, it still would not prevent crime. It may deter some, but a true psychopath, it will not.

"In Foxwell's case, Leggs could have been one of those sex offenders being tracked by GPS so that they'd know when he's strayed too far, when he's in a house he shouldn't be in," said Adam Rosenberg, Executive Director, Baltimore Child Abuse Center.
- You see, everyone has already pronounced this man guilty before his day in court!

Rosenberg says abusers are often familiar with their victims.

"Ninety percent of the abuse occurs with people the child knows. This isn't the boogieman," said Rosenberg.

Jennifer Foxwell is begging lawmakers for change.

"Please pass the laws so they are harsher for these child sex offenders. Please. I want to make sure that no other child has to go through what she went through," she said.
- It's getting to the point, where eventually, anybody who has committed any crime, or accused of a crime, will be shot or hung on the spot. If people continue to act on emotions and not based on evidence, then we will become the next Iran!

Several bills tightening the laws against child sex offenders, including GPS tracking and lifetime supervision, have already had hearings in the State House. Similar bills are coming up for hearings this month in the Senate.

Video Link



"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin