Thursday, February 2, 2012

ND - Grand Forks - Non-offender's Home Listed on Sex Offender Registry

Roland Riemers
Original Article


By Melanie Orlins

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A Grand Forks man is upset his home address was released to the public as the home of a sex offender.

Roland Riemers is temporarily house 24-year-old [name withheld], who is a high-risk sex offender, and now Riemers has filed a complaint against a Grand Forks police officer.

Riemers says the police have put him in danger by releasing his address to the public. He thinks there may be people out there who want to harm him and his family, but police say they were just following normal procedure.
- And his worry if legitimate, see here or here.

Riemers owns apartments in downtown Grand Forks, but right now he doesn't have any openings. So when [name withheld] came to Riemers looking for a place to live, Riemers opened his own front door.

"I always review their criminal records and backgrounds and after reviewing his I could find nothing really that bad," Riemers said.

Aggravated sexual assault in 2003 for raping a woman and has a lifetime registration requirement.

Officer Brian Robbins says he was just doing his job.

"One of our responsibilities as laid out in the North Dakota Century Code is to notify the public of a high-risk or sometimes a moderate-risk sex offender," Robbins said.

"They were following department policy in that matter," Lieutenant Roger Pohlman said.

Riemers filed a complaint against officer Robbins saying he invaded his privacy and potentially his safety.

"Since the complaint was basically the law was violated, we could not substantiate that but we did forward it to the district attorney for an official opinion," Pohlman said.

Riemers believes the police shouldn't notify the public if there is any sex offender in the area, instead he thinks the police should just follow them behind the scenes.
- I totally agree.  The online registry (hit-list) should be taken offline and used by police only.

"It's just crazy how they go about this whole system," Riemers said.

But police say with a high-risk offender in the area, they aren't taking any chances.

"The risk level dictates the type of release that is made," Pohlman said.

Police follow the laws that are laid out in the North Dakota Century Code which requires them to notify the public of any sex offenders in the area.

Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Impede Safety Goals

Jill Levenson
Original Article


By Leah Kathryn Sell

Jurist Guest Columnist Jill Levenson, Associate Professor of Psychology at Lynn University, says that sex offender residency restrictions often do little to prevent repeat offenses because are based on stereotypical notions of recidivism among sex offenders.

Recently, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that a policy banning registered sex offenders from entering Albuquerque's public libraries is unconstitutional. Over the past decade the availability of online sex offender registries has enabled widespread awareness of sexual offenders living in the community, increasing concerns for the safety of children and leading politicians to pass laws restricting where sex offenders can live, work and even be present. Residence restrictions in 30 states and countless municipalities typically prohibit individuals convicted of sex crimes from residing within 500 to 2500 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds, daycare centers, bus stops and other places where children congregate.

Few court challenges have been successful in overturning such restrictions (but, this is no reason to not try!). Research shows that politicians and citizens are overwhelmingly in favor of such laws, which are often based on stated (but empirically unsupported) assumptions that almost all sex offenders reoffend and that they are immune to therapeutic intervention. In fact, recidivism rates (more) of known sex offenders are much lower than commonly believed, and properly designed treatment, though not equally effective for all offenders, can significantly reduce the risk of re-offending. Restrictions also reinforce the myth of "stranger danger," despite research from the Justice Department indicating that over 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims are well known to their perpetrators, who typically cultivate opportunities for molestation through familiar relationships with relatives and acquaintances.

Residence restriction laws are relatively new, but some research has questioned whether these laws "work" to prevent recidivism. For instance, sexual recidivists do not appear to live closer to schools or parks than non-recidivists, suggesting that residential proximity to such venues is not a contributing factor to re-offending. Furthermore, sex offenders rarely prey on young children in or near parks, libraries or schools and sexually motivated abductions of children are very rare events. Laws restricting where sex offenders live or work will do little to prevent the most common circumstances in which children are sexually abused, through positions of authority and familiarity.

In fact, residential restrictions may create more problems than they solve. Since the vast majority (80-95 percent) of residential properties in densely populated metropolitan areas are within 2500 feet of a school, park, or daycare center, housing options can be diminished to a degree where sex offenders become homeless or transient (See here, here and here). This transience undermines the very purpose of sex offender registries (to track and monitor where sex offenders live) and creates other barriers to successful reintegration. Another unintended consequence of such laws is clustering, where sex offenders end up living in disproportionate numbers in the limited areas that are compliant with restrictions.

Some jurisdictions have instead opted for "child safety zones" or "loitering zones." Rather than restricting where sex offenders reside, such initiatives prohibit them from hanging around in places (without a legitimate reason or prior permission) where they can easily cultivate relationships with children and engage in grooming tactics. In some cases loitering laws are supplemented with GPS monitoring devices that alert officials when a sex offender enters a forbidden area without a legitimate reason. These types of laws, though also controversial and vulnerable to legal challenges, might be better equipped to manage the daily activities of sex offenders at risk for abusing children than housing laws which dictate primarily where sex offenders sleep.

Diminishing access to potential victims is an appropriate component of sex crime prevention, but should be tailored to the offender's risk, offense patterns and victim preferences. Broadly restrictive legislation is unlikely to be effective in preventing sexual assault and interferes with reintegration (housing stability, employment and social support) which may inadvertently increase risk. Treatment should be included as part of any comprehensive strategy for preventing recidivistic sexual violence. Professionals and policymakers alike are encouraged to consider a range of options available for building safer communities and to endorse those that are most likely to achieve their stated goals while minimizing collateral consequences for offenders reentering communities.

Jill Levenson is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida and an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh. She has published over 80 articles investigating the impact and effectiveness of social policies and therapeutic interventions designed to prevent recidivistic sexual violence.

SD - State lawmakers poised to ban sex offenders from circulating petitions

Original Article


By David Montgomery

South Dakota lawmakers are poised to ban sex offenders from circulating petitions.

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved not one but two similar bills, which members said were aimed at stopping sex offenders from getting sensitive information about potential victims.

"This is a group that should not have names and addresses of petition signers," said Rep. Gene Abdallah, R-Sioux Falls.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom also testified in favor of the bill, saying letting sex offenders circulate petitions created a potential "safety issue."

"In allowing them to circulate petitions, we have created a unique venue where they can size up potential victims and engage them in conversation," Thom said.

Thom also said the petition process itself was threatened.

"If information off a petition is abused and someone is victimized, I think that can cause hesitation by citizens to sign petitions in the future," he said.

There was no opposition testimony to either House Bill 1181, sponsored by Rep. Mark Kirkeby, R-Rapid City, or to House Bill 1186, sponsored by Rep. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City.

Both measures were inspired by the case of a petition circulator in Rapid City, who is also a registered sex offender. Though many petitions have signatures collected by volunteers, some groups also hire people to collect signatures.

Rep. Marc Feinstein, D-Sioux Falls, voted no on both bills. He said lawmakers were unfairly singling out sex offenders rather than perhaps including all violent felons.

"I think we're making mistakes in not including more offenders," Feinstein said.

Feinstein also expressed concern that this bill was targeted at the Rapid City individual who inspired the laws instead of aimed at a broader problem.

Despite Feinstein's opposition, the final votes on both bills were overwhelming: 10-2 in favor. Rather than debating whether sex offenders should be barred from circulating petitions, lawmakers focused on a narrower point - whether that ban should extend to petitions a sex offender is circulating to put himself or herself on the ballot as a candidate.

"We're saying we don't want any sex offenders collecting signatures on nominating petitions, and yet we allow them to do the same thing when they're a candidate," said Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Sioux Falls.

Kirkeby said blocking a candidate from petitioning to put themselves on a ballot might be unconstitutional.

"I believe the great state of South Dakota would have some constitutional issues by preventing a citizen that right to seek public office," he said.

In the end, lawmakers had it both ways: they approved HB1181 after amending it to extend the prohibition to sex offenders running for office. But they declined to make the same change to HB1186, which provides an exception for candidates petitioning for themselves.

The two bills will go to the House floor, where they will be combined in some way into one piece of legislation.

"Let Rep. Jensen and Rep. Kirkeby duke it out and see who wants their name on the bill," said Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids.

AUSTRALIA - Sex offender faces court

Our Comment Left On The Video:
You would think, with all the police who show up in force to arrest someone wearing the label "sex offender" that the person has some major disease, or is a bad ninja, assassin or something. Most people who wear the label are not dangerous as the "media" and "politicians" make them out to be, and most do not re-offend, and that is based on many studies showing such.

OR - The Sex Offender Next Door promo (Oh the horror!!!)

Our Comment Left On The Video:
Is your neighbor a murder, gang member, drug dealer/user, DUI offender, animal abuser, domestic abuser, etc? Why do we only have one registry for sex offenders who are less likely than any other criminal to commit a similar offense? And why the creepy voice in the beginning of the video? Oh yeah, sensationalism!!!!

Is hypocrite Dr. Drew encouraging mothers to sexualize their children?

In a recent show, Dr. Drew had two other women on his show. One woman's husband was a part of the NAMBLA pedophile group, but the other women, Lynn Gilmore, her husband was not. He was convicted of a sexual crime. But, Dr. Drew splashes the "I MARRIED A PEDOPHILE" text on the screen.

Lynn's husband has NEVER been diagnosed as a pedophile, and Dr. Drew should know that, after all, he is a "doctor" who specializes in sex, is he not?

Dr. Drew's Interview With Lynn:

Video Link

And now he goes on to have this show where he is basically encouraging parents to sexualize their children, IMO. That is true hypocrisy in my book.

Dr. Drew "Toddlers & Tiaras":

Video Link

What do you think?