Monday, July 25, 2011

"THE TALK" hosts apology for laughing at man whose penis was cut off by wife over divorce, but fail!

NE - Offenders Cry Foul Over Sex Registry Changes

Original Article

Just think of all the money the states would have, if they were not bogged down in law suits due to them passing draconian laws?


Low-Risk Offenders Added To Internet Database

OMAHA - The state of Nebraska is being sued over its sex offender registry. The lawsuit comes after the Legislature changed the sex offender laws in the state last year.

As it stands now, anyone convicted of a crime with a sexual element is on the Internet-based registry for everyone to see.

Those who have filed suit say the changes in the law have made them targets of harassment, vandalism and worse.

The plaintiffs include three men of different ages and different walks of life. They agreed to be interviewed if their identities are concealed.

One of the men was convicted of ordering illegal pornography.

"I used to have a porn addiction in the early '90s," said Plaintiff No. 1.

Another was convicted of downloading an illegal video clip.

"I was charged with 76 files, because a person can be charged for each frame (of video)," said Plaintiff No. 2.

The third was found guilty of illegal touching.

"I plead guilty to touching a girl," said Plaintiff No. 3.

In fact, all three men pleaded guilty to their crimes. The state originally labeled each as a low-risk to commit another sex crime.

"Dec. 21, 2009, I was a level one (sex offender). I was not on the public registry," said Plaintiff No. 3. "On Jan. 1, 2010, according to the state of Nebraska, I was suddenly a predator."

His change of status came as the result of the Nebraska Legislature passing LB 285 (PDF), which changed the rules for the sex offender registry. It used to be risk-based, meaning if an offender was deemed low-risk, his or her name wouldn't be made public. Those who were likely to reoffend were placed on the registry.

The change in the law made the registry crime-based, which means anyone convicted, regardless of his or her risk to reoffend, is now added to the registry.
- Just the usual ex post facto punishment.

For the three plaintiffs, the fallout has been substantial.

Plaintiff No. 1 said he's had people call his boss.

"They were trying to get me fired in hopes of making me homeless," he said.

He also said his wife has been harassed. People have asked her how she could be married to a sexual predator. He said his daughter has also been the target of verbal abuse.

Plaintiff No. 2 said he's lost his job.

"After LB 285, I was let go from the job that I had," he said. "I've not been able to find work because I'm on the registry."

Plaintiff No. 3 said his family is paying the price.

"My children are taunted at school," he said. "Strangers, not even from the neighborhood, are approaching my house. My wife was traumatized."

All three plaintiffs said the registry's rules are making them pay twice for their crimes and they said that's unconstitutional.

They are suing the state and argue that the new law should not be retroactive to those who weren't on the registry because they were considered low-risk.

State Sen. Pete Pirsch introduced and sponsored LB 285. He said the old system was flawed because it was based on subjective assessments. He said the law should be based on objective, scientific fact.

"All it says is on this date, this person was convicted of this type of crime and it's up to you if you want to accord any meaning to it," Pirsch said.

Pirsch said he can’t comment on the lawsuit filed against the state, including whether the law should be changed, but he pointed to other states where similar laws have been upheld by the courts.

"The lion's share of these moving parts that were in LB 285 have been in place in other states and have been tested and have been upheld in terms of constitutionality," he said.

Earlier this month, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that part of that state's registry law was unconstitutional. The ruling said the state unfairly increased punishment on people whose crimes happened before the law took effect.

The three men suing the state are hopeful the same ruling will be made by the Nebraska Supreme Court. Still, they call themselves pariahs of society. They said society is justified in being upset with sex crimes, but said it is unjust to punish everyone the same.

"That exacted revenge may not be able to happen to this specific offender, so it spreads out to everybody, whether they're at-risk or not," said Plaintiff No. 2.

Both sides in the Nebraska lawsuit are waiting for a District Court judge to set a trial date.

YOUR SAY - Sex offender candid vlog

WI - Green Bay sex offender housing costs taxpayers

Original Article


By Scott Cooper Williams

Some officials call for Green Bay residency ordinance to be reviewed

Wisconsin taxpayers have paid nearly $100,000 in the past year for county jails to house convicted sex offenders whose prison sentences have ended but for whom no other housing option exists.

That figure includes the cost of hiring private chaperones to escort offenders on housing searches, often in communities with tough restrictions on where offenders can live.

Green Bay's restrictions, for example, have contributed to the $56,000 the state spent on sex offenders at the Brown County Jail. That's by far the most spent in any county by the state Department of Corrections to manage homeless sex offenders.

The state also has paid for similar arrangements in other counties.

The unintended fallout from state registration of sex offenders is prompting some Green Bay officials to rethink a local ordinance that makes it nearly impossible for offenders to move into the community without approval from a city review board.

Green Bay ordinance

Green Bay Police Chief Jim Arts said 30 offenders are living "underground," which means they have given up on finding approved housing and no longer are reporting their whereabouts to police, as required.

"I just don't think this ordinance is doing what it intended," Arts said. "You could make a very strong argument that we're less safe."

When the Green Bay Sex Offender Residence Board denies an offender's application to live in the city, that offender sometimes faces the prospect of being sent to the county jail until another housing opportunity turns up.

[name withheld], who served 10 years in prison for molesting children, spent another eight months — after completing his sentence — in the Brown County Jail before he found an apartment this summer in Bellevue.

At a rate of $28 a day paid to Brown County by the Department of Corrections, [name withheld]'s extended jail stay cost state taxpayers more than $6,700. Paying a chaperone $17 an hour to escort [name withheld] outside the jail for four hours each weekday cost taxpayers another $10,000.

[name withheld], 36, a Green Bay native, said he objected frequently to being held in the jail and being "baby-sat" whenever he was allowed to go look for an apartment or a job.

"That was mind-blowing to me," he said. "I was stressed. I was frustrated."

State officials said the rules and procedures for running the state's sex offender registration program allow them to house offenders in county jails when no other option is available.

The state spent $60,000 on county jail housing, and $39,588 on chaperones for sex offenders statewide between June 2010 and June 2011, according to state corrections documents obtained by the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

In Brown County, the costs were $20,247 for housing and $36,260 for chaperones during that period.

Officials said they could not produce data for previous years because the records are not maintained in a central location.

Generally, no more than one or two such offenders are inside the jail at a time, and none are there now, Brown County Jail administrator Larry Malcomson said. The county agrees to the extended housing arrangement and chaperoned releases as a way of helping state officials manage their sex offender monitoring duties, he said.

"It's different — I'll give you that," he said. "But their hands are tied, with all the restrictions."

Lance Wiersma, director of sex offender programs for the corrections department, said the funding comes from his department's estimated $1 billion-a-year budget. It's a worthwhile investment that protects the public by assuring that offenders are monitored.

Wiersma acknowledged that offenders often are unhappy about being detained in a jail after completing their time in prison.

"It's not a comfortable situation, I don't think, for anybody involved," he said. "Sex offender management in the community is a very difficult thing. Our staff faces many challenges."

Into the community

State law generally requires that offenders be released back into the county where their crime occurred.

In Green Bay, the state operates a transitional living facility where up to 15 offenders live temporarily after getting out of prison. The former motel has operated since 1994 and has been called a model for local sex offender management.

Concerned that too many offenders were congregating in the city, however, Green Bay aldermen in 2007 passed an ordinance prohibiting offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school, park or other place where children gather.

That covers virtually the entire city — including the Shawano Avenue facility — and it has prompted neighboring communities to impose their own restrictions against sex offenders.

As part of the ordinance, Green Bay's Sex Offender Residence Board was established to hear appeals and to decide which offenders get permission to live in the city.

At a July 13 meeting of the board, Chairman Dean Gerondale said he was considering proposing that his board relinquish authority over who lives in the state's transitional living facility. Noting that board denial sometimes lands an offender in the county jail, Gerondale said: "That's costing the taxpayer a heck of a lot more money."

Arts met with board members at the same meeting and agreed that Green Bay's 4-year-old ordinance should be reviewed.

"I think it's worth opening up again," he said.