The public claims they don't want any more victims, and therapy does work, yet they want to shut this place down? Sounds like they don't know what they want to me. Well, think of it this way, if the treatment facility was there, and the ex-offenders were getting help, then people would not be making money any more!
Friday, September 10, 2010
The public claims they don't want any more victims, and therapy does work, yet they want to shut this place down? Sounds like they don't know what they want to me. Well, think of it this way, if the treatment facility was there, and the ex-offenders were getting help, then people would not be making money any more!
This is just 10 the author cited, but we have a lot more than this. Chelsea's law, Jessica Lunsford Act, Jacob Wetterling, etc.
The occurrences of crimes often open our eyes to the things we have not yet experienced or make changes to our current laws and systems. While all violent crimes are an awful part of our society, some have garnered so much attention and controversy that new laws and bills have passed with the belief that had these laws been enacted these crimes probably would have not happened. The following awful crimes have prompted the creation of new laws:
The Amber Alert, a legislation signed in April of 2003, is a child abduction alert that exists in several countries that is issued when a child abduction is suspected to have taken place. The alerts are distributed throughout radio stations, satellite radio, TV stations and electronic traffic billboards and gives as much information as possible relating to the abduction. The system was created after 9 year old Amber Hagerman was abducted as she rode her bicycle and murdered in Texas in 1996.
This act is a statue signed into law by George Bush in July of 2006 and mandates a national database of convicted child molesters. This law breaks sex offenders into different tiers and requires the most serious offenders to update their whereabouts every three months with less serious offenders every 6 months and longer. The law was passed after 6 year old Adam Walsh was abducted from a mall in Florida in 1981 and later found murdered.
- This is not exactly correct, it's not a database of child molesters, it's a database of those who have committed a crime against a child. It doesn't have to be sexual in nature. It could be child abuse, kidnapping, consensual sex, etc. Also, Adam Walsh's murder had nothing to do with a sex offender, sexual abuse has NEVER been proven.
This law, federally known as Sexual Offender Act of 1994, requires law enforcement agencies to make information regarding registered sex offenders public record, which commonly includes their name, address, their crime and a picture of them. The law also requires them to notify local law enforcement of any changes in address or employment. The law came after the rape and murder of 7 year old Megan Kanka, by Jesse Timmemdequas. He had moved into Megan’s neighborhood after he was given a suspended sentence in the attempted aggravated sexual assault of a 5 year old.
This law, signed into Congress in October 2000, pushed for the creation of a National Center for Missing Adults. The law came in response to the disappearance of 18 year old Kristen Modafferi, who was last seen leaving her shift at the coffee shop where she worked. When her parents called police to report her missing, it was 23 days passed her 18th birthday, which made her an adult and there were no funds to assist in the search and she was not featured in notices in child-search organizations.
The Matthew Shepard act is an American Act of Congress signed into law by President Barack Obama in October 2009. The act, which expands a previous hate-crime law, includes crimes driven by a victim’s perceived gender or sexual orientation. The law came after the 1998 death of Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old student who was severely beaten, murdered and left chained to a fence because he was gay.
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act is also known as the Matthew Shepard Act. It was also fueled by the dragging death of a 49 year old black man in Texas. James Byrd, Jr. was beaten, tied to the back of a truck by his ankles and dragged to his death by 2 well known white supremacists and another man. Since the defendants had tattoos of and openly spoke of white supremacy the murder was considered a hate crime, and in turn sparked another part of the act.
Matt’s Law is a California law that allows for felony charges when severe injuries or death is a result of a hazing ritual. Prior to the enactment of the law, hazing in California (even resulting in death) was a misdemeanor. The law states unstructured or unaffiliated fraternities be held liable regardless of them not being student affiliations. The law was enacted after 21 year old Matt Carrington died during a brutal hazing ritual in the basement of a fraternity house in California.
This 2008 California law extends and protects the legal rights of crime victims and has had immense impact on the length of parole denials. The primary leader and sponsor of the law, Henry Nicholas is an advocate for victims’ rights. Nicholas’ sister, Marsy was a senior at UC Santa Barbara in 1983 when she was stalked and brutally murdered by her ex-boyferiend.
The 1994 Brady Bill requires federal background checks on firearm purchases in the US. The bill was named after James Brady, a former assistant of President Ronald Reagan, who was shot during an attempted assassination of the president. The shooter, John Hinckley, purchased the gun in a Texas pawn shop and had been arrested 4 days earlier attempting to board a plane with three handguns and ammunition. Hinckley has also been under psychiatric care before purchasing the gun.
This act was signed into law in October 2001 and greatly reduced restrictions placed on law enforcement agencies’ abilities to intercept emails, records, telephone conversations and anything else they needed to monitor in response to suspected terrorism. The act came after the September 11th attacks in 2001 in which about 3,000 people were killed and over 6,000 injured. Four US planes were hijacked by al-Queda terrorists and intentionally crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, The Pentagon, and a rural area outside of Pennsylvania.
By NICOLA BRENNAN
Seventy-nine child sex offenders are living anonymously in the Waikato - 30 of them considered likely to reoffend.
The figures, released to the Waikato Times by the Corrections Department under the Official Information Act have shocked the mother of one Waikato boy who was sexually abused. She says she is "scared for the community" and wants it known where the offenders live so people can protect their children.
The figures show that as of June 30, 106 sex offenders were under supervision in the Waikato community with 79 of those having committed offences against children under 16 years.
Of those child-sex offenders, 30 were subjected to extended supervision orders, meaning they were assessed as being of a high risk of reoffending sexually against children.
Extended supervision allows the Probation Service to monitor them for up to 10 years after release. They can be sent to prison for up to two years if they breach supervision.
The numbers have not impressed the mother of a disabled teenage boy who was sexually abused by Hamilton man [name withheld].
[name withheld] was sentenced to 31/2 years' jail in June.
The woman. who can't be named for legal reasons. said one day [name withheld] would be out in the community again.
"I don't fear for [my son]. I'm really just concerned about [name withheld] being out there and the risk of him re-offending," she said.
"Even just talking about it I have a scared feeling - scared for the community I guess. I think there's a real risk because it was horrendous [what he did] when you think about. Someone who can do that has a problem and I don't know if that can be fixed by a prison sentence."
For that reason, she thought the public should be told where convicted sex offenders were living so they could protect their children. She acknowledged that some people would misuse that information to persecute or attack offenders - rather than to protect their loved ones.
There have been a number of instances where sex offenders have been singled out by communities. In 2007 a convicted paedophile, [name withheld], was beaten to death in a vigilante attack in Palmerston North. He was struck with a hammer, stomped on and choked to death and his battered body was left outside a Foxton chicken farm.
Government agencies refused to give the Times a breakdown of the number of offenders in each Waikato town.
"As the volume of offenders is low, the release of locations of offenders may make it possible to locate and identify individuals," Hamilton Community Probation Service general manager Katrina Casey said.
The service needed to protect the offenders' privacy so it would not release those details, she said.
Ms Casey said each offender was assessed for their risk of reoffending before they were released from prison on supervision.
Typically supervision restricted an offender's contact with children. Offenders were monitored to manage any escalating risk of re-offending or risk of harm to others.
Mike Holloway, of the Hamilton-based Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, said while the department may class the volume of offenders as low, the impacts were high.
"Who should we ultimately be trying to protect? The paedophiles or our children?" Mr Holloway asked.
"The effect on our communities is devastating. These numbers again highlight the need for not only parents, but everyone to be vigilant in protecting our children from these predators."
Mr Holloway understood that all child sex offenders had to be released back into the community eventually, and that was fine if they had received proper treatment prior to their release.
"But there needs to be more information available so public are better informed and better safeguards put in place," he said.
Sensible Sentencing Trust's Garth McVicar agreed and said the whole "secret squirrel" mentality was crazy.
"New Zealand is at a crossroads where we're saying that [sex offenders] can all be rehabilitated and that their privacy and human rights are paramount to the safety and protection of the community."
"I think that ideology has ultimately got to change so that the safety of women and children is paramount to the privacy of offenders."
Offenders had a choice - victims did not, he said.
Mr McVicar was all for protecting the identity of first-time offenders - who were still at the stage where they could be rehabilitated. But not for recidivist offenders.
"I believe New Zealanders are prepared to give people another go once - but not 50, 60, 70 or 80 times."
The author of the petition could've included a little more info, like how old was the "victim?" Anyway, if you have a child in the same situtation, even if you don't, and you agree with the petition, then show your support and sign it. Thanks!
Target: Showing support for Mike.
Sponsored by: Laurie, Mike's mom
Michael has been incarcerated for over 3 1/2 years for having CONSENTSUAL sex with minors. He was only 19 at the time. He harmed no one! The "Hitler" laws in Minnesota and other states are putting young men like Mike in the same catagory as rapists, child molestors and predators. He is NONE of these! His only crime was stupidity! His county of residence is trying to have him civilly committed which is basically a life sentence. It is my hope to get as many names on this petition as possible to show the support that Michael has from friends and family and others. He's served his sentence in prison and paid for his crime.
By Gail Kerr
Rules on offenders aimed at halfway houses, sponsor says
A new state law that allows only two sexual offenders per address may have "unintentional consequences" that cause a problem for homeless shelters, including Room in the Inn's brand-new, $13 million building.
For the first time, 38 homeless men will be housed in their own low-rent apartments in the new building, including two paid for personally by Gov. Phil Bredesen and his wife, Andrea Conte. As he was touring the facility after Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, the governor was stopped in his tracks by news that the legislation he signed into law in July might affect housing for the homeless.
"Did I sign that?" the governor asked.
- Did you not read and comprehend the bill? Apparently not!
"Yes, sir. It's on my desk," replied Rachel Hester, executive director of Room in the Inn, a comprehensive service center that provides treatment, classes, health care, laundry and now apartments for the homeless.
"The law is not clear about what is an address," she said. "No one can answer that question."
The law, sponsored by Rep. Mike Turner, D-Old Hickory, was aimed solely at residential halfway houses. Many of them are in suburban neighborhoods where children walk to school bus stops. Turner filed the legislation after receiving many complaints about two halfway houses in his district, each with eight registered sex offenders. The new law forbids more than two registered sex offenders from living in the same residence.
Room in the Inn, at 705 Drexel St. just south of downtown, is now a residential address but does not do a background check on its guests or tenants. Formerly known as the Campus for Human Development, the program provides services for more than 1,000 people.
Bredesen pledged a quick fix. "I know Mike very well," Bredesen said. "I might just talk to him about looking at changing that next year. Here are some of the unintentional consequences."
Turner said Thursday afternoon that the law's intention was simply residential neighborhoods, not homeless apartments or shelters. Room in the Inn complies with the law, "as far as I'm concerned," he said. "I don't think we need to do an adjustment. But if we do, I will do that."
By Rina Palta
Today, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Chelsea’s Law, which is designed to clean up some of the parole issues that contributed to two high-profile tragedies in California. In southern California, registered sex offender John Gardner pled guilty to raping and killing two teenage girls. Gardner was a known sex offender, as was the more local Philip Garrido, who about a year ago, was found to be hiding the kidnapped Jaycee Lee Dugard and their children in a compound in his Antioch backyard.
In the wake of the scandals, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a Republican from San Diego, introduced Chelsea’s Law, a bill named after one of Gardner’s victims, Chelsea King.
The bill does a few things. It gives judges the option of sentencing someone to life without parole in the case of a forcible sex crime against a child. It increases the time some released sex offenders must spend on parole. And it creates a risk assessment system for identifying which sex offenders need more treatment and supervision.
Recently, I called up Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to get the details.
How did Chelsea’s Law come about and what exactly does the law propose to do?
Chelsea’s Law came out of two really tragic incidents that happened in my district in San Diego. The first was the disappearance of Amber Dubois and that was followed by the disappearance of Chelsea King. Chelsea was found a short time after she disappeared, just a few days later. And John Gardner, who is a convicted sex offender, who in 2000 had violently assaulted a 13-year-old girl and had been convicted and served prison time for it, was linked to the Chelsea King case by DNA and then confessed also to raping and killing Amber Dubois and led police to her body. So out of these tragedies came, I think, a real spotlight got shined directly on the Department of Corrections, on parole, on how we treat sex offenders, on how we handle sex offenders, and on a lot of failings in the system. And so Chelsea’s family, her parents, Brent and Kelly, approached my office and said we’re interested in seeing if there’s a way we can make the system work better so that maybe out of this tragedy something good can come.
You know, we’ve talked to a lot of parole officers over the years here at KALW, and we, I’m sure you’ve heard, had our own sort of illuminative episode in the Bay Area where Phillip Garrido was found to have been housing Jaycee Lee Dugard in his backyard. Which was not something that his parole officers ever suspected. And you know, there’s constant news about parole being underfunded and parole officers being under-staffed, over-stretched. How is parole actually going to be equipped to accomplish this higher level of supervision for the parolees that they will be responsible for, for a lifetime or for 20 years?
NF: I think that’s a great question and I very aggressively went after the Department of Corrections on a number of things. In terms of how do you do things, why, and what do you need? And I had a really tough time getting them to tell me what they need to be successful. I just couldn’t get anything. The couple things we identified as a problem was the risk assessment tool. So they’re not really able to prioritize. So let’s go back to John Gardner. John Gardner comes out of prison. He has a mental health evaluation when he’s released that says “do not let him out, he will re-offend, he will hurt young girls again.” But they didn’t have a choice, they let him out and put him on parole. While he was on parole, he had seven parole violations. You know, seven different times he violated parole. And they were the kind of things that people in the field say are indicators. You know, marijuana possession, who he’s hanging out with, these types of things. So his risk assessment should have gone up and he should have been afforded more attention and more resources. For someone who’s in compliance and doing the right thing you probably don’t need as much attention or as many resources. So with the dynamic risk assessment and containment model, what we’re really trying to do is allow corrections to really focus and prioritize on the people that are most likely to re-offend.
On that note, has there been any talk around the capitol of perhaps reforming some of the laws regarding sex offenders that are already on the books that tend to come in the way of CDCR? Like Jessica’s Law, obviously the 290 categorization*, I think it’s pretty well documented that it’s overly broad. Has there been any talk about cleaning up these old laws that are on the books?
[Note: Jessica’s Law, passed in 2006 through a voter ballot initiative, makes it so that sex offenders who fall under penal code 290 must wear GPS tracking devices and not live within 200 feet of a school or park. The category includes people who have committed rape and child molestation, but also includes people who have been convicted of things like indecent exposure and sometimes public urination.]
Yeah, so a number of those things kind of came up as we went through this process and one, with the initiative it’s hard. Because some things you have to go back to the voters on. We aren’t writing a bill for all sex offenders. There’s nothing in my bill that deals with the 18-year-old with the 17-year-old girlfriend. There’s nothing in my bill that deals with the guy who gets drunk and pees on the sidewalk or in the alley. We really tried to focus our efforts in our bill on people who violently sexually go after young children. So there were conversations about it, but at the end of the day, a lot of these things were strengthened, but they weren’t really addressed or cleaned up.
Similarly, I just want to get a sense from you how much you think this bill is going to accomplish. I mean, we just have thousands and thousands of sex crimes. Something like 9,000 a year in California. And our recidivism rate for sex offenders within five years is remarkably lower than one might think, it’s only about 4 percent. So it seems like we’re targeting a very small number of people in this bill. What do you think about the amount of resources that’s going to have to be dedicated to this bill versus what kind of dent it’s going to make in these crimes that are committed?
I think it’s a very, very fair question. And on the resources bit, we’ve offset the cost. Still the question is, we’re going to spend the resources. I really think that somebody that violently sexually goes after a young child is just in a different category of criminal and I think it’s just a different level of evil. You should focus your attention on those people. So I think the life without parole option, while it may not apply to a large number of people, it’s certainly going to apply to a category of people who unfortunately I think we just cannot let back out into society. And so I think that’s a positive step and I just think it’s a good thing to do. In terms of the increased parole periods, what you’re doing is you’re taking people who you fear are likely to re-offend and all of those are forcible violent sex crimes against children who are under the age of 14. So it’s particularly heinous. All of the parole increases are only if the victim was under 14 because we drew that as a point at which you know, we think it’s a greater offense because the child is so much younger. And we really just said we will provide the resources to get them to focus. When they get released, to track them, to monitor them, to get them the treatment that they need. And while some stats may point to low recidivism rates, when you look at the number of sex crimes that go unreported, it’s staggering. I mean one estimate I read had that 85 percent of them go unreported. In 2001, the Department of Justice did a story in Florida where they did polygraphs on sex offenders who had gone after children. And they found that on average, those people had been committing offenses for 14 years before they got caught the first time and had something like 200 victims. I mean it was staggering, it was really shocking. So you know, the recidivism rate may be low, but when you look at the number of unreported crimes, it’s still a very serious thing.
I just wonder, and I’m not sure if this is true or not, if these laws do give people a false sense of security. And make them less alert to the signs of their child being abused, or their neighbor being a potential abuser. Just because people are like, oh, these laws are in place to protect us. I just wonder about that sometimes.
Yeah, and I’ve tried to stay realistic about it. And we always say that there’s no legislation you can pass that removes evil from the world. And there’s nothing in our bill that stops the first offense. There’s nothing in our bill that stops the first offense. So I think your points are really good and that parents have to be very vigilant in terms of watching their kids, where they go, who they’re with. And then knowing the signs. Is there something going on with my child, having conversations with your kid, talking to them. So there’s nothing that we can do to stop all sex offenses. I think what we can do is when you have the proper warnings that someone’s going to re-offend, when they demonstrate that they have a propensity for these types of repeat offenses, then you have to do everything in your power to prioritize and focus on that person and keep them away from kids. That’s kind of what we’re trying to do.
|Sex worker in Soho, London.|
|Photograph: Dan Chung|
By Nick Davies
The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday 14 November 2009
In the report below about sex trafficking we referred to the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre as "the police Human Trafficking Centre". The UKHTC describes itself as "a multi-agency centre" and says that it is "police led". Its partners include two non-governmental organisations, HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Border Agency. We referred to Grahame Maxwell as the head of the UKHTC; his title is programme director.
The UK's biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.
The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.
Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.
While some prosecutions have been made, the Guardian investigation suggests the number of people who have been brought into the UK and forced against their will into prostitution is much smaller than claimed; and that the problem of trafficking is one of a cluster of factors which expose sex workers to coercion and exploitation.
Acting on the distorted information, the government has produced a bill, now moving through its final parliamentary phase, which itself has provoked an outcry from sex workers who complain that, instead of protecting them, it will expose them to extra danger.
When police in July last year announced the results of Operation Pentameter Two, Jacqui Smith, then home secretary, hailed it as "a great success". Its operational head, Tim Brain, said it had seriously disrupted organised crime networks responsible for human trafficking. "The figures show how successful we have been in achieving our goals," he said.
Those figures credited Pentameter with "arresting 528 criminals associated with one of the worst crimes threatening our society". But an internal police analysis of Pentameter, obtained by the Guardian after a lengthy legal struggle, paints a very different picture.
The analysis, produced by the police Human Trafficking Centre in Sheffield and marked "restricted", suggests there was a striking shortage of sex traffickers to be found in spite of six months of effort by all 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together with the UK Border Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Scottish government, the Crown Prosecution Service and various NGOs in what was trumpeted as "the largest ever police crackdown on human trafficking".
The analysis reveals that 10 of the 55 police forces never found anyone to arrest. And 122 of the 528 arrests announced by police never happened: they were wrongly recorded either through honest bureaucratic error or apparent deceit by forces trying to chalk up arrests which they had not made. Among the 406 real arrests, more than half of those arrested (230) were women, and most were never implicated in trafficking at all.
Of the 406 real arrests, 153 had been released weeks before the police announced the success of the operation: 106 of them without any charge at all and 47 after being cautioned for minor offences. Most of the remaining 253 were not accused of trafficking: 73 were charged with immigration breaches; 76 were eventually convicted of non-trafficking offences involving drugs, driving or management of a brothel; others died, absconded or disappeared off police records.
Although police described the operation as "the culmination of months of planning and intelligence-gathering from all those stakeholders involved", the reality was that, during six months of national effort, they found only 96 people to arrest for trafficking, of whom 67 were charged.
Forty-seven of those never made it to court.
Only 22 people were finally prosecuted for trafficking, including two women who had originally been "rescued" as supposed victims. Seven of them were acquitted. The end result was that, after raiding 822 brothels, flats and massage parlours all over the UK, Pentameter finally convicted of trafficking a grand total of only 15 men and women.
Police claimed that Pentameter used the international definition of sex trafficking contained in the UN's Palermo protocol, which involves the use of coercion or deceit to transport an unwilling man or woman into prostitution. But, in reality, Pentameter used a very different definition, from the UK's 2003 Sexual Offences Act, which makes it an offence to transport a man or woman into prostitution even if this involves assisting a willing sex worker.
Internal police documents reveal that 10 of Pentameter's 15 convictions were of men and women who were jailed on the basis that there was no evidence of their coercing the prostitutes they had worked with. There were just five men who were convicted of importing women and forcing them to work as prostitutes. These genuinely were traffickers, but none of them was detected by Pentameter, although its investigations are still continuing.
Two of them — Zhen Xu and Fei Zhang — had been in custody since March 2007, a clear seven months before Pentameter started work in October 2007.
The other three, Ali Arslan, Edward Facuna and Roman Pacan, were arrested and charged as a result of an operation which began when a female victim went to police in April 2006, well over a year before Pentameter Two began, although the arrests were made while Pentameter was running.
The head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, Grahame Maxwell, who is chief constable of North Yorkshire, acknowledged the importance of the figures: "The facts speak for themselves. I'm not trying to argue with them in any shape or form," he said.
He said he had commissioned fresh research from regional intelligence units to try to get a clearer picture of the scale of sex trafficking. "What we're trying to do is to get it gently back to some reality here," he said.
"It's not where you go down on every street corner in every street in Britain, and there's a trafficked individual."
"There are more people trafficked for labour exploitation than there are for sexual exploitation. We need to redress the balance here. People just seem to grab figures from the air."
Groups who work with trafficked women declined to comment on the figures from the Pentameter Two police operation but said that the problem of trafficking was real.
Ruth Breslin, research and development manager for Eaves which runs the Poppy project for victims of trafficking, said: "I don't know the ins and outs of the police operation. It is incredibly difficult to establish prevalence because of the undercover and potentially criminal nature of trafficking and also, we feel, because of the fear that many women have in coming forward."
The internal analysis of Pentameter notes that some records could not be found and Brain, who is chief constable of Gloucestershire, argued that some genuine traffickers may have been charged with non-trafficking offences because of the availability of evidence but he conceded that he could point to no case where this had happened.
He said the Sexual Offences Act was "not user friendly" although he said he could not recall whether he had pointed this out to government since the end of Pentameter Two.
Parliament is in the final stages of passing the policing and crime bill which contains a proposal to clamp down on trafficking by penalising any man who has sex with a woman who is "controlled for gain" even if the man is genuinely ignorant of the control. Although the definition of "controlled" has been tightened, sex workers' groups complain that the clause will encourage women to prove that they are not being controlled by working alone on the streets or in a flat without a maid, thus making them more vulnerable to attack.
There are also fears that if the new legislation deters a significant proportion of customers, prostitutes will be pressurised to have sex without condoms in order to bring them back.