Friday, December 23, 2011

MO - State Lawmakers Consider Removing Names from Sex Offender List

Original Article

It's about time people starting talking sense.

12/23/2011

By Lourin Sprenger

ST. JOSEPH -"It's the bottom of a the bottom," said a Buchanan County man about dealing with the consequences of being on Missouri's Sex Offender registry.

Two years into his probation, the Buchanan County man - who asked to remain nameless - is still coming to terms with the label he'll now carry forever as a registered sex offender.

"It was not a forceful act," He said of the consensual relationship he had with a 15-year-old girl. "I put myself in a bad situation and instead of making it better I choose to make it worse."

The bad decision landed him prison time and four years probation.

Now, a state committee is considering a change that could give men like him a second chance. They're looking at removing thousands of non-violent offenders from the list.

"I can see both arguments," the offender said of the proposed changes. "Being a sex offender, I know there is a difference between an offender and a predator. Personally, I believe there is a need for a list for predators, I feel people have a right to know who is a danger and threat."

Officials in Buchanan County are on board with the changes.

"Some people don't meet the intention of the statues," said Buchanan County Sheriff, Mike Strong. "They were written to protect people that are predators and repeat offenders that molest and stalk children."

Tracking offenders is time consuming and costly. While there are hundreds of names on list here in Buchanan County, the sheriff said only a few are considered dangerous.

"It would benefit us, " Strong said. "It would be less people that we have to monitor, and the people that we monitor are the ones we need to that we have a no tolerance policy on."

The question lawmakers now face - where is the line? And where should they draw it when it comes to Missouri's registry?

Buchanan County has 241 registered offenders, which require two full-time positions at the Sheriff's Department to track and register offenders.

Missouri's Sex Offender Registry currently has more than 12,000 people on the list.


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IL - Registered sex offenders to pay fee

Original Article
Related: Many Sex Offenders Not Paying New Fee

12/22/2011

By eAdvocate - "Talk about rape, what are these fees doing to registrants and their families? Outrageous.."

Offenders must pay $100 annual registration fee beginning Jan. 1, 2012

MT. VERNON — Beginning Jan. 1, registered sex offenders in the city will be required to pay a $100 annual registration fee.

Jan. 1, 2011, the state passed a new law that amended the Sex Offender Registration Act that allowed law enforcement agencies to charge the fee,” explained Mt. Vernon Police Department Detective Eric Breeze, who administers the sex offender registry for the city. “I took over doing the registry in July this year, and took some training on the Act and the law that passed. I took that to the chief, and got it worked out. It will start the first of the year.”

Funds collected go to several agencies as defined in the Act.

The $100 is broken down between four agencies,” Breeze said. “Thirty dollars is kept by the Mt. Vernon Police Department; $10 is sent to the Sex Offender Management Board Fund, which is part of the state treasurer’s office; $30 goes to the Illinois State Police Sex Offender Registration Fund, since the State Police oversee all registration in the state; and $30 goes to the Illinois Attorney General Sex Offender Awareness Training and Education Fund.”

Breeze said discussions on how to use the local funds collected have included using the fee for costs associated with compliance checks, materials used in the office to maintain the registry, and possibly a donation to The Amy Schulz Child Advocacy Center, “which deals with forensic interviews with child victims of these types of crimes.”

The new fee directly affects the 44 adult registered sex offenders in the city limits and the six juvenile offenders. Breeze said there are five more registered sex offenders in the city, but are considered “inactive” since they are in jail at this time.

Under terms of the Act, convicted sex offenders who are required to register by law will be required to pay the $100 fee.

Depending on what the conviction is for, some sex offenders have to register once per year, others with more serious charges must register every 90 days, and ... those who become homeless must check in with us once a week,” Breeze said. “If they can’t pay the $100 all at once, they are required to pay throughout the year with quarterly registration.”

Breeze said in addition to enforcing the registration fee, he is also working on locating non-licensed daycares in the city limits.

We need anybody who has a non-licensed day care facility in their home to call and speak with us so we can have your address,” Breeze said. “We only have a list of licensed daycares to use to calculate the 500 foot radius from the property lines to make sure no offenders live within the area. We have no way to find out about unlicensed daycares unless they tell us.”

Breeze said all daycares do not require licensure, and under terms of the Sex Offender Registry Act, what makes an unlicensed daycare is outlined.

If they regularly take care of three or more children and only two of the children are their own, that’s an unlicensed daycare,” Breeze explained. “If anyone has a question about whether they are considered a daycare, they can call me for the definitions and types of daycares covered under the statute.”

The city’s sex offender registry is online at [link withheld] under the sex offender tab. Photos and addresses of all registered sex offenders in the city limits are posted. Anyone who would like additional information about the registry, the new fee or the definitions of a daycare may contact Breeze at 242-0215. ..Source.. by TESA CULLI


CA - How Registered Sex Offenders can Challenge “Jessica’s Law” Residency Restrictions

Original Article

Article submitted by "DK" - This is an important article with helpful links for Californians fighting Jessica's law.

12/22/2011

By Coral Henning

Q. My brother is going to get out of jail soon, and we were planning on him moving in with me, but his parole officer told him he couldn’t because he has to register as a sex offender and I live too close to an elementary school, which is against “Megan’s Law” or “Jessica’s Law” or something like that. Isn’t there anything we can do? I’m afraid if he doesn’t live with me he will be homeless.

Jerri

A. California’s Megan’s Law requires anyone convicted of a wide range of crimes, including forcible sex crimes involving non-consenting adults and most sex crimes involving children, prostitution, and child pornography, to register as a sex offender upon release on parole or probation or discharge from custody. California Penal Code § 290. Proposition 83 (PDF), the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act, or “Jessica’s Law (PDF),” which amended Megan’s Law on November 8, 2006, forbids any registered sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children regularly gather. California Penal Code § 3003.5(b).

Your brother is not alone in facing a very bleak prospect. According to the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit public interest law firm which engages in class action and other impact litigation on behalf of prisoners, these residency restrictions have forced many parolees to become homeless because they are unable to find affordable, compliant housing.

Jessica's law has been challenged in courts as being too restrictive. Your brother may wish to ask a court to review his case. The Prison Law Office, which has been involved in many of these challenges, has produced a packet of forms and instructions that parolees can use to ask for an immediate stay of the restrictions while their individual cases are being heard by the courts. The packet is available for free on the web at:

http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ModelHabeasFull,Dec10.pdf

An additional fill-in-the-blank form, required by all California state courts in this type of case, can be downloaded from the California Courts’ website at:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/mc275.pdf

You should be aware that local cities, towns and counties are permitted to adopt ordinances which impose further restrictions on where you can live. If you are not in Sacramento and are unsure whether your residence is in compliance with local law, check with someone who is familiar with your community’s laws.

Good luck!

Do you have a question for the County Law Librarian? Just email sacpress@saclaw.org. If your question is selected your answer will appear in next Thursday's column. Even if your question isn't selected, though, I will still respond within two weeks.

Coral Henning, Director
@coralh & @saclawlibrarian
www.saclaw.org