Thursday, October 27, 2011
Being on the registry is double jeopardy. If we're out long enough to have a clean background check based on the number of years, we're still on the registry-and we lose job opportunities.
While I am not 100% sure how far back the background check would have gone, I had a job offer rescinded because of the registry. This isn't the first time, I have been offered 3 jobs in the past, and have not been able to accept, or the offer was rescinded due to the registry.
These aren't low-paying jobs. I'm a successful consultant, and this job offer would have me working for a broadcasting company for approximately $85,000 a year or more.
I've been employed for 7 years and am trapped. I'm blessed with my current job, but I have to drive to multiple clients. It's not the money, it's the stress and the 3+ hours every day driving that are hard to live with. I was hoping for a change where I could use public transportation and not drive 20,000 miles a year....
I've done my time, I finished my therapy, I own my own house, am active in church and AA, and I have a strong support system. I'm also very low risk based on the Static-99 and other instruments. I'm well educated and I get along well with everyone.
There is something very wrong with the registry process.
By SARA GANIM
Teens in Pennsylvania who are found delinquent in juvenile court of serious sex crimes might soon be part of a national sex-offender registry.
That provision is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (PDF), which equalizes sex crimes laws in all 50 states and creates a national database of sex offenders. The legislation is named for the former “America’s Most Wanted” host’s son who was kidnapped at a mall near his Florida home and found murdered two weeks later (Not by a known or unknown sex offender).
The legislation would make teens 14 and older who are found delinquent of the most violent sex cases — forcible rape, sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse — register for 25 years.
Pennsylvania is supposed to pass its version of the Adam Walsh act by Dec. 31, and those working on the bill, authored by Sen. Jane Orie, R-Allegheny County, say they are hopeful they won’t need an extension.
The bill moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday after an amendment was added that, in part, lowered the registration from a lifetime to 25 years.
Lawmakers are still working out the details, but those working on the legislation are confident the registry won’t be accessible to the public, only to law enforcement.
- The registry for adults should be offline and used by police as well. The way it is now, it's used by vigilantes to hunt and track down ex-offenders to harass or harm them or their families.
Still, the idea that some teens would have to register at all is creating pushback.
District attorneys are noticing that juvenile court judges are holding back from certain rulings with the registry in mind, and defense attorneys are less amenable to plea deals for crimes that would require registration.
Meanwhile, every state in the country is supposed to pass versions of the Adam Walsh Act or give up certain funding. Already some major states, including New York and Texas, have told the Department of Justice that they don’t plan to comply.
- These people are morons. They apparently haven't noticed that it will cost more to implement everything to become compliant and receive the grant (bribery) money, than to not become compliant and just do it how they feel is right, based on facts and not emotions.
In Pennsylvania, the bill is moving forward with support from Gov. Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission.
And that’s partly due to an idea to limit access to the registry to law enforcement.
“We agree that [a] public notification website would have a lot of unintended consequences,” said James Anderson, executive director of the JCJC. “A lot time, victims are family members or close to the family. “
- I agree, and the same unintended consequences affect adults. It's punishment, pure and simple!
The JCJC would not have supported the bill if juveniles would have been part of a public registry.
The potential damage of making that information public is evident in neighboring New Jersey, said Nicole Pittman, a Soros fellow working for Human Rights Watch studying the impact of child registration. In the Garden State, there has been a public registry for children for 14 years.
- And the same damage is done to adults and their families as well, but yet you overlook that simply because they are adults?
“They say they have a more public safety designed system,” said Pittman, whose group is lobbying against adopting the act. “There are two kids in Jersey who are in the registry for sitting on the face of a kid and farting. This is not a finite tool to say that we’re reining in the worst of the worst.”
Eleven other states and the District of Columbia don’t register youths.
Just the anticipation of the consequences of the Adam Walsh act had an effect on the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania.
Between 2000 and 2004, the number of juvenile sex cases in Pennsylvania was about 1,100 a year. Between 2006 and 2010, the number hovered between 750 and 800. As of this month, there have been 508 cases.
“There’s no question that the passage of the federal law had an effect on case processing in anticipation of what Pennsylvania would do,” Anderson said.
Before, defendants in juvenile court often pleaded delinquent to crimes in an agreement to get treatment, knowing their records would be sealed because they were younger than 18.
Once the Adam Walsh act was passed at the federal level, defense attorneys began to worry about losing that anonymity.
Pittman said it has created the same drop in cases in Ohio.
New York and Texas, in letters to the U.S. Department of Justice, said they have already decided to give up the federal funding and not comply with the Adam Walsh act.
- Good, all states should do this, and not accept the bribe money.
Both cited the juvenile registry as one reason, with money as another.
Texas called it “one-size-fits-all” legislation that would cost 30 times the amount of federal funds that will be withheld if the state doesn’t comply.
And in California, the sex-offender management board wrote a letter urging the legislature to reject it.
“California should absorb the comparatively small loss of federal funds that would result from not accepting the very costly and ill-advised changes to state law and policy required by the Act,” the letter said. “There is no evidence, to date, that the inclusion of juvenile offenders into public registries increases public safety or promotes effective juvenile offender reentry.”
- The same has been said for adults as well, no evidence to support the registry at all.
The recidivism rate for child sex offenders is pretty low — less than 1 percent, Pittman said.
- And the recidivism rate for adults is low as well, the DOJ puts it around 3.5%.
Prosecutors in central Pennsylvania say the number of kids who commit forcible rapes also is low — but they are usually the most brutal cases.
“You’re talking about someone that is a danger,” said Dauphin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack.
For example, Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed prosecuted a 12-year-old in Mount Holly Springs who had raped his 3-year-old neighbor in 2007. That boy is now getting treatment, and Freed said the registry will allow police to keep track of him for the rest of his life.
- So what about juvenile detention, and therapy to fix the problem? Tracking someone like an animal for life solves nothing, just makes you feel like it does. Also, I know nothing about the case, but was it actually rape or kids experimenting with sex, like most kids do at one time or another?
“We’re going to want to know where he is,” he said. “I think it’s likely he’s going to act out again.”
- And that is your own personal feelings, which is the problem. You are running on your own feelings instead of hard facts from real experts.
Plus, Freed said, many of the worst crimes committed by juveniles move to adult court anyway, where those convicted will still need to register under the new provisions.
- And that is another problem, if a kid is considered a kid, then he/she should not be tried in adult courts, regardless of what he/she did. Either you are an adult or you are not, you can't have it both ways.
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today on an amendment to the act that would give the states a little more discretion in the length of time that children have to register, lowering the minimum to 15 years.
State lawmakers said efforts to fix loopholes in the existing Megan’s Law sex-registry provisions are not depending on passage of the Adam Walsh Act.
- I am sick of people calling the trampling on citizen's rights, "loopholes!"
The loopholes give out-of-state and homeless sex offenders a pass on the current Megan’s Law registry.
Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Lower Paxton Township, said he has added fixes for the loopholes onto another state Senate bill — it deals with juvenile law — that is headed to the state House floor for a vote.
“I took it upon myself to take a different route in order to ensure that this legislation had another chance of passage,” Marsico said.
The fixes are also included as part of the state’s Adam Walsh legislation.
State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery County, said that if passed, the Adam Walsh legislation will take a year to go into effect, so he is also working on an amendment allowing the loophole fixes to take effect sooner.
This is over all a decent video, but the male seems to think all sex offenders are child molesting, pedophile predators, as do most people. Folks, get this through your thick skulls, not all sex offenders are child molesters! That is like calling all people racists because a few are.