Tuesday, July 13, 2010

URGENT - Supplemental Guideline Comment Period END in Roughly 3 Hours

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SCOTLAND - 'Dangerous' thug gets life for attack on sex offender

Original Article

Do you think this would happen in the US? No, in the US they are made out to be heroes.

07/14/2010

By JOHN ROBERTSON

A YOUTH who attacked a sex offender with pool balls inside a sock was branded a danger to the public yesterday and given a life sentence.

Anthony Elliot, 18, carried out the assault in a young offenders' institution where he had been serving a sentence for leading a riot in a children's secure unit.

He wanted to kill fellow inmate [name withheld], a child rapist, and repeatedly smashed him over the head with the pool balls during a recreation period. Officers were able to halt the attack and save [name withheld]'s life.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the judge, Lord Bracadale, told Elliot, from the Isle of Bute, that he already had a bad criminal record and unless he addressed his behaviour he was likely to spend the rest of his life in custody.

"You attacked another inmate with a makeshift weapon and repeatedly hit him with it, putting his life in danger," he said. "You stopped only because officers intervened. Otherwise, on your own admission, you would have beaten him to death."

He added: "It is clear you are a very dangerous person. I am satisfied the nature of this offence and the circumstances in which it was committed demonstrate there is a likelihood, if at liberty, you will seriously endanger the lives and well-being of the public at large. I make, as I am required by law to do, an order for lifelong restriction."

In 2008, Elliot received a four-year sentence for mobbing and rioting. The charge related to a disturbance at St Mary's Kenmure secure unit in Bishop-briggs, near Glasgow, when a group of about 16 youths caused £200,000 of damage. Windows were smashed, rooms ransacked and fires started, and a member of staff sustained a cut to his ear when he confronted the knife-wielding Elliot.

In September last year, Elliot and [name withheld], 18, were playing pool at separate tables in a recreation area of Polmont Young Offenders' Institution, near Falkirk, when Elliot put two balls into a sock. He approached [name withheld] from behind and struck him across the back of the head. [name withheld] slumped on to the pool table and Elliot continued the assault, striking him several more times when he fell to the floor. He also stamped on his head and kicked him as he lay motionless and unable to defend himself.

Officers moved in and restrained Elliot, and [name withheld] was taken to hospital. He had cuts to the scalp and had developed a blood clot on the brain.

[name withheld] had been given a five-year sentence for repeatedly raping a young girl and sexually abusing her three brothers.

Elliot told police his intention had been to "take him right out, man" and that if he had not been stopped, he would have killed [name withheld].

He admitted a charge of attempted murder.

The defence counsel, Susan Duff, said: "He knows there are aspects of his behaviour which are not acceptable to society, and he will have an opportunity to address these issues in the coming years."

Lord Bracadale heard that Elliot's earliest release date from current sentences was March 2014, and the judge ordered that he serve at least four years and six months from that date before he would be able to apply for parole under the order for lifelong restriction.


CA - Sex offenders see tougher rules in Seal Beach

Original Article
How to lie with statistics!

07/13/2010

By JAIMEE LYNN FLETCHER

SEAL BEACH - City officials have passed more rules for sex offenders than required by state law after recent reports provided to the city say convicted sex offenders who have been released are likely to repeat sex crimes.
- And which is based on lies and not facts.  The many studies (here) show this is a false statement.

City Council members on Monday added some sex offender registration rules to its city code.

"Sex offenders pose a clear threat to children in the city, which traditionally has been an attractive place for families with children to reside," city officials wrote in their report.
- What report?  I'd love to see it.

According the to the Megan's Law Web site, the city has nine registered sex offenders living within city borders. However the site reports it is possible some of these registered offenders may have changed addresses.

State law makes it illegal for a person who has been convicted of certain sex crimes to live within 2,000 feet of any school or park where children regularly gather.

Proposition 83, also known as Jessica's Law, was passed by voters in 2006 and it allows city governments to add their own rules to expand on the state's criteria.

In addition to the state's mandate, the city has now made it unlawful for registered sex offenders to live within 2,000 feet of any public library, foster home, day-care home or child care facility. It is also illegal under the new city law for sex offenders to live in a residence already occupied by another registered sex offender unless they are legally related by blood, marriage or adoption, the city reported.

Jessica's Law, also known as the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act, also increases the penalties for sex offenders who violate the registry requirements and require them to carry GPS devices.


Thousands of sex offenders receive U.S. passports

Original Article
Should Sex Offenders Get U.S. Passports?

07/13/2010

By Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost

Watch Abbie Boudreau of CNN's Special Investigations Unit give more details on CNN this evening at 6 ET on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

(CNN) -- Thousands of registered sex offenders have received U.S. passports, including at least 30 federal employees, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by CNN.

The GAO report said the Department of State cannot legally deny passports to registered sex offenders, except those specifically convicted of sex tourism.

The report concluded that about 4,500 U.S. passports of the more than 16 million issued in fiscal year 2008 were issued to registered sex offenders.

"Federal statutes authorize the Secretary of State to deny issuance of a passport in certain circumstances, such as while an individual is imprisoned or on parole or supervised release for a conviction for international drug trafficking or sex tourism or is in arrearages for child support," the report states. "However, there is currently no comprehensive program to deny passports to applicants who are registered sex offenders."

The Department of State disputed the report's findings, calling it "very misleading" and adding it "conveys more 'shock value' than factual accuracy."


In a written response, the department pointed out that only a fraction of a percent of the 16 million passports issued in fiscal year 2008 went to registered sex offenders. In addition, the title of the report "fails to convey that GAO found no lawful reasons for the department to deny or revoke the passports of the case study sex offenders based on their status as sex offenders."

"The report appears to suggest, without any foundation, that the Department's issuance of passports to certain Americans facilitated their commission of sex crimes abroad, " the department's response said. "There are no facts in the report which show that any of the thirty individuals included in the case studies used his passport to travel to a foreign country to commit a sex crime."

The original title of the report, "Passports Issued to Thousands of Registered Sex Offenders," was later changed to "Current Situation Results in Thousands of Passports Issued to Registered Sex Offenders."

"The title also fails to convey that GAO found no evidence that the offenders used their passports to commit sex offenses abroad," the State Department wrote.

The GAO defended its findings and said the report's current title was fair and accurate.

Under federal law, a passport can be denied to someone or revoked if that person has been convicted of drug trafficking overseas or sex tourism. But that restriction applies only during the time the individual is locked up or on parole.

A passport could also be denied to anyone with an outstanding felony warrant or who owes more that $2,500 in unpaid child support. Anyone declared "legally incompetent" or who has an outstanding felony warrant also could be turned down.

The GAO report was requested by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana.

The GAO studied data from the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR). However, the approximately 4,500 sex offenders who received passports in fiscal year 2008 "is likely understated because many of the records in the passport database and the NSOR lacked valid Social Security numbers... In addition, the NSOR does not currently contain a comprehensive listing of all sex offenders from the states."

The GAO found cases that include a sex offender from Texas who received a passport while in prison, a Delaware man with multiple sex convictions who traveled to the Philippines, Germany and France since receiving his passport, and a Georgia man who has traveled to the Philippines, Ireland and Panama.

Among the federal employees who received passports was an aerospace engineer with NASA, an employee of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and a Postal Service carrier who traveled to Taiwan and Japan after receiving his passport.

About half of the registered sex offenders who received passports live in five states -- California, Texas, Florida and Michigan, the report said. Some 50 of those who received passports either lived outside the United States or "their whereabouts were unknown," the report said.

A new law took effect in December 2008 that prohibits anyone convicted of sex tourism from receiving a U.S. passport. However, the report said, the Department of State was not even aware of the law until April of this year after the GAO "brought this statute to its attention."

"When Congress passes a law and the president signs it, then the Executive Branch needs to execute it," Grassley said in a statement. "I'm shocked that GAO had to inform the State Department that Congress made individuals convicted of sex tourism ineligible for passports back in December 2008. It's inexcusable that the State Department did nothing to enforce that provision for 14 months. Since someone who is late on child support payments cannot receive a passport, then surely these criminals should also be stopped from traveling internationally."

"It also is disturbing that the GAO found examples prior to that new law where the State Department issued passports to convicted sex offenders who fled law enforcement, received government housing subsidies, and work for the Post Office. This report raises a lot of serious questions about how effectively the government protects us from child predators," Grassley said.

The report also studied a group of registered sex offenders -- many who held positions of public trust, including a school teacher, religious layman, and health care provider.

"Other cases involve registered sex offenders who owe child support or are currently in prison or whose whereabouts are unknown," the report said. "...Several of our cases showed that sex offenders left the country and moved to Mexico. According to State officials, Mexico does not have a sex offense registration system, so these offenders are likely unknown to authorities and their neighbors."

The Department of State "has indicated that it would like to study any proposed legislation to provide additional authority to deny passports to sex offenders, including constitutional, policy and practical issues that may arise in its application and use," the report said. "A State official said that the department recently began working with (the Department of Justice) to develop a procedure for tracking these convictions and a procedure to notify State of those convictions."

The department wrote that it has "limited authority" to deny passports in cases involving sex offenders, such as those convicted of sex tourism and individuals are forbidden from leaving the U.S. by a court order.


CANADA - Electronic anklet trial a 'disaster'

Original Article
Read the full report on the electronic monitoring pilot project

07/13/2010

A federal pilot project to outfit parolees with electronic anklets in hopes of keeping track of them and deterring further crimes has been a costly failure, according to a corrections expert.

"The whole fact is that the program was an unmitigated disaster," said Paul Gendreau, a professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick who is known internationally for his research in corrections and electronic monitoring.

Nearly two years ago, then public safety minister Stockwell Day announced the pilot project with great fanfare as part of the Conservative government's tough-on-crime stance.

But an internal review of the program, obtained by CBC News, found that it was plagued by technical malfunctions with the anklet's global positioning system and showed little proof as to the effectiveness of the device.

"The bottom line is whether these kinds of programs reduce criminal behaviour and this one didn't," said Gendreau.

The yearlong pilot, which began in September 2008 and cost $856,000, tracked 46 Ontario parolees. All were volunteers.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday that he had not seen the report and therefore could not comment on it.

False alarms

The Correctional Service of Canada review of its own program found the technology was faulty and often failed to pinpoint a parolee's whereabouts accurately.

For example, there was only one valid electronic anklet alert out of 19 where a parolee had actually tampered with his anklet strap. Most of the false alarms were due to equipment sensitivity and hardware or software issues. About one-third, or six cases, were caused by accidental jarring at work or during other activities.

And all seven alerts that parolees had tampered with the device itself turned out to be false.

Another problem was so-called GPS "drift," when the monitoring map inaccurately identified the parolee's location by a difference of up to 200 metres, requiring a program reset to sync it back up.

Parolees also complained of an overwhelming number of phone calls about technical issues, such as telling them to charge their batteries to keep the device from emitting alerts and recalibrating the GPS to fix drifting. At least one parolee received more than 30 calls in a month.

Gendreau says the program was poorly orchestrated, contained too small a sample size, didn't properly collect data, and experienced too many technological breakdowns.

"This [electronic monitoring] project that they ran was so expensive that they would have been better off just to keep people locked up in jail," said Gendreau.

Keeping an offender in a medium-security facility costs $239 a day, or $87,500 a year, while housing them in a community correctional centre costs $65,656 annually.

Project under review

The Correctional Service of Canada report acknowledged the pilot project was too small to draw conclusions on the usefulness of the program, with 46 volunteer parolees participating, and only nine of them agreeing to evaluate the program at the end.

It also admitted that the electronic monitoring anklets are best suited to monitoring those with curfews.

"The benefits associated with electronic monitoring may be minimal for offenders with a history of substance abuse, criminal associates and violent offences," the report states.

The assessment found that parolees complained of the size, comfort and visibility of the electronic anklets, and didn't think it made them more accountable.

British Columbia was the first province in Canada to introduce electronic monitoring in 1987 and was later joined by Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia.

In the United States, electronic bracelets are widely used and aimed primarily at those who pose the greatest risk to the public, including sex offenders.

The report states that the Canadian government expects to spend about $1 million a year over the next four years to roll out the program across the country.

A Correctional Service of Canada spokesperson said there are currently 25 Ontario offenders being monitored under the pilot program. The agency says the whole project is under review.


MS - Controversy surrounding Pickens coach, a registered sex offender

Original Article

07/12/2010

By Roslyn Anderson

PICKENS - A Holmes County parent contacted WLBT after last week's story on the burned Pickens playground reporting that an interviewed coach was a registered sex offender and should not be around the children.

Coach [name withheld] said he has served his time and is now giving back to the community.

Forty-eight-year-old Pickens Youth Softball Coach [name withheld] practiced with his team Monday teaching them the fundamentals of the game and sportsmanship.

The volunteer coach recently spoke out supporting the rebuilding of a burned Pickens playground.

He said that made him a target because he is a registered sex offender, something he said he's never hidden.

"It's never been a complaint before. Herman brought out some issues about this town and now they're picking me as a target. I am a registered sex offender. 1990 I was charged with a sex offense charge where I served five years," said [name withheld].

He was convicted in Black Hawk, Iowa, in 1990 charged with sexual abuse second degree.

The Pickens resident said he was accused of touching a young, female relative.

He said he served his time and has always registered.

Denise Boyd is among the parents who know about [name withheld]'s conviction.

Her 12-year-old son has been on the team for three years.

"I just figured that it's probably just somebody probably got something against him or don't like him or something like that otherwise he's alright with me," said Boyd.

Other volunteer coaches said [name withheld] uses his own money to purchase balls, bats and gloves and takes the children to the games when parents can't.

"The man did his crime and did his time so it should be no problem you know long as he's doing right by the kids and doing for the community," said Pickens Softball Coach Lamont Southern.

"All I'd say to a parent is come out here and watch him. He does good every day. Just come watch him," said Coach Romero Bush.

"They've got to judge what they see in me. I mean they have been knowing me all my life. They've seen me here the last five years working with kids," added [name withheld].

The Pickens native said he's now trying to overcome a mistake made 20 years ago.


ACTION ALERT: Congress stops certain sex offenders from receiving money under TWO federal programs!

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VA - State struggles to place aging inmates after release

Original Article
See Also

07/12/2010

By Frank Green

CAPRON - On April 22, [name withheld] was driven in a state van from the Deerfield Correctional Center to the parole office in Richmond after 30 years in prison.

His return home, however, was short-lived. Soon after he arrived, officials took the 50-year-old, 6-foot-2, 257-pound, diabetic, wheelchair-bound sex offender to the nearby VCU Medical Center.

"They tried to admit me in there, and they wouldn't take me. So they was debating on what to do with me," [name withheld] said. "All they told me is I ain't got no place to go; no home, so they can't let me go."

"I was going to be a free man," he said. But by the end of the day, he was locked up again. And on May 5, he was sent back to Deerfield, where he remains in custody two months after his mandatory parole date.

A major public-safety initiative of Gov. Bob McDonnell is to help Virginia's inmates re-enter their communities and reduce the number who wind up back in prison.

Marla Decker, McDonnell's secretary of public safety, recently said, "These people are paying their dues to society, they're doing their time, and we should set them up to succeed prior to release, rather than setting them up to fail."

"We can start looking at what they need early on so that when it's time to release them, we don't have the difficult problems that we're now facing upon release, particularly on the geriatric side," she said.

Keith Davis, the warden at Deerfield where many of the state's elderly inmates are housed, outlined the problem to Virginia senators touring the prison last month.

"In some cases, literally - not just figuratively, but literally - they do not have a bridge to live under. What are we going to do with those people?" he asked.



Davis said that with large, aging inmate populations, it is a growing problem in the nation and not just in Virginia.

Often, older inmates and/or sex offenders have outlived their families or are estranged from them.

Nursing homes and other facilities are reluctant to take them, even if they have Medicaid. And families initially willing to take them sometimes find they are unable to cope.

Thus far, Donna Harrison,, a community placement coordinator with the Department of Corrections, has been working on [name withheld]'s case for a year.

"We're usually looking all over the state for placements, and I know in this case I've looked at over 250 nursing homes," she said.

Officials said they could not comment specifically on what happened in [name withheld]'s case April 22.

However, James Sisk, manager of offender release services for the department, said that in general, "we always want a [release] plan worked out ahead of time but sometimes we just don't have it and we get up to their release date and we have to release them."

And Larry Traylor, a department spokesman, said probation and parole officials have the authority to issue a warrants to return offenders to custody if no plan is available that will allow their special needs to be met.

"As a temporary solution, and rather than simply placing the offender on the street, we may find it necessary to house the offender [in prison] in order to provide him with proper care, particularly when the offender needs 24-hour medical care," he said.

Harrison said a major problem for the department is the lack of long-term beds in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for Medicaid recipients, the only coverage most released prisoners have, she said.

Also, she said, "trying to get a nursing home or an assisted-living facility to accept a sex offender is extremely difficult."

In the majority of cases, families step in and take the released inmate, Sisk said. But [name withheld]'s situation, unfortunately, is not unusual, he said.

"In the last three years, we've had 178 [offenders] we have identified as really tough cases," he said. The goal is to get a plan ready before an inmate is released, but it is not always possible, he said.

"Nobody can make a nursing home take anybody," Sisk said. They have legitimate concerns about the safety of their residents. Just one assault could cause a home to lose its insurance coverage, he said.

He and Harrison hope some solutions will be found as a result of the current effort in Decker's office.

"We're always looking for help," Sisk said. Other possibilities include faith-based efforts, city-contracted beds, and grants.



Crimes such as [name withheld]'s - who was convicted in 1981 in Richmond for abduction and attempted rape - committed before Jan. 1, 1995, come under the old parole rules. In 1987 while in prison, he also was convicted of possession of a weapon and maiming.

Parole-eligible inmates have a discretionary parole release date - when the parole board can begin considering an early release - and a mandatory parole date - when an inmate must be released.

Time off for good behavior, or good conduct time, figures into the formula used for determining mandatory release dates. The idea behind mandatory parole is to discharge an inmate with some remaining prison time to hang over his or her head to help ensure good behavior.

Traylor said that when it appears an inmate will be released without an appropriate plan, it is possible to use earned good conduct time to delay the release date, allowing more time to find a placement.

Harrison said she is working with the city of Richmond and hopes that arrangements for [name withheld] can be made soon. And efforts continue to try to locate his family.

Sisk said the department is moving as quickly as possible or the point will be reached where it loses any legal hold over [name withheld] and he must be released.

"He's a sympathetic figure," Sisk said, "but he's a big guy."



In a recent interview at the prison, [name withheld] produced a copy of the warrant being used to hold him. It alleges he had violated a condition of his release and was a fugitive even though the warrant was issued long after [name withheld] had returned to Deerfield.

Just last month, his listing on the Virginia State Police sex offender website identified his status as "probation/parole." It now says, "incarcerated."

[name withheld] said he has "a child's mind" and accuses the Department of Corrections of brainwashing him with tape recorders and television. He said he understands his is a difficult case for the department but, nevertheless, he wants to be released soon.

"I hope to get to a group home or a nursing home, because in reality I can't go back out there in society," he said.

[name withheld] grew up in Richmond. He has brothers and sisters and cousins, though he lost their addresses and telephone numbers long ago.

"Since my mom died [in 1991], everybody else stopped coming to see me," he said.

He said his legs are paralyzed and he has a number of other health problems, including diabetes.

"I've straightened out. I'm a good guy now," he said. "I deserve a chance to get out there, because I did all my time. I ain't got no time left."

He hopes a family member will see his story and contact him.

[name withheld] has written a number of poems with Christian themes over the years and spent 10 minutes reciting dozens of lines from four of them.

"I did the abduction, I did grab the girl," he said of the 1980 attack. But he denies trying to attack her and says, "I did my time, and I think 30 years is enough."


NY - Tapes show Simon Taub tried to blackmail son of sex-offender

Original Article

07/13/2010

By Simone Weichselbaum

The son of a convicted child molester made secret recordings of sweater king Simon Taub trying to blackmail him, sources said yesterday.

The conversations in Yiddish between Taub, 61, and the 31-year-old son of [name withheld] led to Taub's arrest on July 7 on grand larceny charges.

Taub asked for around $250,000 for his silence after accusing the younger [name withheld] of sexually abusing Taub's son, sources said.

The junior [name withheld] recorded his conversations with Taub and dropped off the evidence with detectives in the Brooklyn DA's office three months ago.

[name withheld], 59, was sentenced in April to 10 to 32 years in prison for sex assaults on a 16-year-old boy.

In another extortion case linked to [name withheld], the DA's office has recordings of the father of an 18-year-old man - whom [name withheld] also has been charged with molesting - asking [name withheld]' relatives for cash, the law enforcement source said.

The father told [name withheld] family members to hand over thousands of dollars to avoid more young men telling police that [name withheld] had molested them, the source said.

The father "is a person of interest" in a possible extortion case, said the source.

Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, said the investigation is ongoing.

Taub's lawyer, Ben Lieberman, said he didn't know what was on the tapes.

The newest developments link two once-prominent figures from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Taub made millions in the garment business and is embroiled in long-running Hollywood-style divorce proceedings with his wife, Chana. They live in the same Borough Park home with a wall separating them.

[name withheld] was once a successful cantor and travel agent.


Child Porn $20 Billion Industry in U.S. - US Congresssional Subcomittee

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