Thursday, March 7, 2013

NY - Registering Gun Criminals? But what about registering all criminals?

Original Article

If an online registry is okay for ex-sex offenders, then we should have just one registry with all crimes on it, otherwise we are wasting money by creating more registries when we already have one. Like we have said many times, the sex offender registry is the test bed, and more registries will come, it's only a matter of time, and this, along with the link above, is proof of that. We also find it very ironic and hypocritical that now these people are coming out against it saying it's draconian, will ruin lives, and that the people have served their time. Well duh! But, if it's done to ex-sex offenders, then it should be done to all criminals! So, which registry will you be on?

03/06/2013

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. talks about his State of the Bronx speech, including a proposal to create a registry of criminals who use guns, like that for sex offenders.


Rowan advocates for sex offender reform

Shana Rowan
Original Article

03/07/2013

By Reece Alvarez

As the executive director of USA FAIR, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for a fair and intelligent sex offender registry, Lewisboro native Shana Rowan faces criticism, insult and at times the threat of harm as part of her professional life.

Her organization, which she co-founded in November, aims to raise awareness about the repercussions family members of registrants face as a result of the national and state use of the sex offender registry system.

We want to minimize the damage to families and reform the registry into a viable safety tool,” said Ms. Rowan, a John Jay High School graduate who now lives in central New York.

She knows firsthand the consequences of being close to someone on the registry — her fiancé is a registered sex offender who served four years in prison for a sex crime he committed while he was a minor.

At the request of Ms. Rowan and her fiancé, The Ledger has omitted his name to protect his privacy.

Ms. Rowan and her fiancé have experienced financial and legal hardship, targeted vandalism and threats of violence as a result of his registrant status, she said.

The more I saw, the more I got involved,” she said. “I saw somebody needed to do something.”

Ms. Rowan co-founded USA FAIR (fair and intelligent reform) with family members of registrants, as well as people currently on the registry. Their mission is to educate the public about the myth of high sex offender recidivism and to advocate for reform of the registry that is based on facts and evidence, according to the organization’s website, USAFAIR.org.

Perceptions

The assumption they [sex offenders] are all predatory pedophiles preying on children, who are highly dangerous, can’t be stopped and can’t be helped, are all myths not supported by the research,” said Jill Levenson Ph.D., an associate professor of human services at Lynn University in Florida and an expert on sexual violence.

Much of the work of USA FAIR centers on combating misinformation and false public perception, Ms. Rowan said, the most predominant of which is the public perception of who actually commits sex crimes and that sex offenders will all inevitably re-commit sex crimes.

The majority of sex crimes — 96% — are committed by someone who is not on the registry,” Ms. Rowan said.

She also notes that sex offenders have the lowest occurrence of re-offending next to murderers, who have the lowest recidivism rate in the criminal justice system, a point supported by a 2003 Department of Justice study, Ms. Levenson said.

Joan Tabachnik, co-chair of the Prevention Committee for the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers and an expert in the field of sexual abuse prevention, said that 85% to 97% of victims of sexual abuse know their abuser.

The registry gives people a false sense of security because not all dangerous offenders are there,” Ms. Tabachnik said. “People feel if they know who is on the registry that they are safe, their children are safe. Sex offenders on the registry are not the ones we need to worry about. The ones we don’t know about are the ones we need to worry about.”

In her experience, the majority of sex offenders are not what people see on “To Catch a Predator” or “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” Ms. Tabachnik said. When she thinks of sex offenders she thinks of countless people she has met in her 20 years of experience in the field and, in particular, the children who have been abusive with other children.

The registry is not just a list of people who abuse children,” Ms. Rowan said. “There are a lot more people, including children and teenagers.”

Cognitive dissonance

Risa Sugarman, deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the director of the office of sex offender management, said that to her knowledge there are no complaints of negative consequences from the sex offender registry.
- That is because you are looking at only one side of the story.

What we hear is that parents are grateful and happy they have this opportunity to keep their children safe,” she said. “What we do here is to provide information to make people feel safer in their communities and what they can do to keep themselves safe.”
- And that is all it does, makes them feel safe.  But, they are not.  If a person who is on the online shaming hit-list wants to commit a crime, the registry or laws will not stop that.

The registry gives people the knowledge to empower themselves, and that is a part of being a responsible parent, Ms. Sugarman said.
- So if you want to give people knowledge and empower them, then why don't we have an online registry for all criminals?  The fact is that many other felons are more dangerous that what you perceive by those on the sex offender registry.

As a parent, do I want to know if a sex offender is in my neighborhood? Of course I want to know,” Ms. Tabachnik said. “But is that good public policy? Does it make my neighborhood safer? I would say in most cases it doesn’t make it safer and is not a good public policy.”

With the well-established fact that the majority of sex crimes are perpetrated by someone known to the victim, people should not be monitoring sex offender registry lists and maps as much as they should be observing the people closest to them and their children, Ms. Tabachnik said.

You should be watching out for anyone who gives you concern,” she said, “not just a registered sex offender.”

Consequences of the registry

Ms. Tabachnik has less of an issue with the registry than with the public notification aspect of it, she said.

Public notification without education is like putting a lit match in a gallon of gasoline,” she said.

There is an abundance of research showing there are a lot of collateral consequences that interfere with successful reintegration, Ms. Levenson said. Research from other criminal fields, as well, has shown that stable employment, housing and social support increase the likelihood of success for criminal offenders.

If you push people to the brink of society and make it impossible to exist, you are taking away all incentives for them to reintegrate,” Ms. Rowan said.

Reminds us of this video:

As part of her work with USA FAIR, Ms. Rowan has collected hundreds of stories of families and individuals affected by the negative consequences of the registry. Difficulty finding and maintaining employment, as well as physical and verbal harassment of children of registrants, are among the top obstacles registrants and their families face.

The group also works to challenge perceptions and terminology frequently portrayed and used in the media and politics.

Bills passed in the New York state Senate on Tuesday, March 5 illustrate the challenges registrants have in turning their lives around after incarceration, Ms. Rowan said. The four bills promote tougher restrictions for registrants, including prohibiting registrants from serving on school boards or as principals; instituting misdemeanor charges for anyone known to harbor, house or employ a defaulting sex offender; and prohibiting high-level sex offenders from living in college housing.

While sexual violence on campuses is an important issue, Ms. Rowan said, she finds these bills to be restrictive to a registrant’s ability to reintegrate in a community. They also further the inflammatory language that promotes a common perception of all sex offenders as predators, she said.

The danger of indifference

Everyone agrees that sexual crimes need to be punished and that the impact on victims is often incomprehensible,” Ms. Rowan said. “But by refusing to acknowledge information that could help us prevent there being more victims, we are doing a huge disservice.”

Along with Ms. Levenson and Ms. Rowan, Ms. Tabachnik advocates for increased awareness and educational strategies to prevent sex crimes from happening.

Former Penn State football coach and convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky was not on any registry, Ms. Rowan pointed out. Ms. Levenson made a similar observation about Mr. Sandusky and how he represents the more likely source of danger than someone on the registry.

Perhaps if those parents and the people around had been more educated and understood the dynamics of grooming, noticed what was going on and understood the dynamics of how sexual abuse thrives in the trust between the abuser and victim, it could have been prevented,” she said.

Ms. Tabachnik said that knowing how to set boundaries and teaching children that it is OK to say no and have it be respected is much more important than knowing about a sex offender who is already being watched by the police.

The biggest misconception is that all sex offenders are all the same and they should all be treated the same,” Ms. Levenson said.

Both she and Ms. Tabachnik said that painting an entire class of people with a broad brush creates room for the truly dangerous to be mixed with non-violent individuals and draws attention away from the true source of danger.

A blind focus on punishment turns a blind eye to prevention,” Ms. Rowan said. “It’s much easier to pretend all the dangerous people are neatly organized on a magical list than realizing those who cause the most harm are often those closest to us.”


CA - San Diego County Launches Sex Offender Email Notification System

We left the following comment on the video which is still waiting to be approved, which we doubt will be, so we are posting it here.

"So when can we get alerts for murderers, gang members, drug dealers / users, thieves, DUI offenders and all other ex-felons who are more likely to commit another related crime?

If it's good enough for one group, it should be done across the board, in our opinion, but we all know it's just fodder for politicians, the media and victims organizations to use to help their own careers or organizations."



The solution to rape is to train men not to rape women?

What about women who rape men? Or women who rob, beat or commit other crimes against men? Men are not the only ones who commit crime! And they are not dogs that need to be trained! This is the same man hating mentality as this article. Man I cannot stand Feminazi's!


CA - More Calif. sex offenders go missing under new law

Original Article

03/06/2013

By DON THOMPSON

SACRAMENTO - The number of paroled sex offenders who are fugitives in California is 15 percent higher today than before Gov. Jerry Brown's sweeping law enforcement realignment law took effect 17 months ago, according to figures released Wednesday by the state corrections department.

The increase amounts to 360 more sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown and who were not reporting to their parole officers last year.

An Associated Press analysis of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation data shows that 2,706 paroled sex offenders dropped out of sight in the 15 months since the new law took effect in October 2011, compared to 2,346 in the 15 months before realignment. The numbers were obtained by the AP before their public release.

That's an average of 180 sex offender fugitives each month, up from 156 before realignment.

Attention has focused on parolees who cut off or disable their GPS-linked ankle bracelets, meaning that parole agents are unable to track their movements by satellite. Sex offender parolees are required to wear the tracking devices under Jessica's Law, approved by state voters in 2006.

The governor's realignment law sends lower-level offenders to county jails instead of state prisons and was enacted in part to conform to a federal court order to reduce the inmate population.
- I think they meant release people not just move them around!

Before the law took effect in 2011, those who violated their parole by tampering with the devices could have been returned to state prison for up to a year. Now they can be sentenced to up to six months in county jails, but many are released within days because local jails are overcrowded.

Some county jails refuse to accept the parole violators at all.

The problem varies greatly by county. Many saw no significant change, while some saw decreases in the number of sex offenders who could no longer be located.

But the number nearly doubled in Fresno County, from 62 before realignment to 116 through the end of last year. The number jumped from 685 to 847 in Los Angeles County, which produces about a third of the state's criminals.

Among other large counties in Southern California, Orange County saw an increase from 91 to 119; Riverside County from 131 to 151; and San Bernardino County from 154 to 195. The number dropped slightly in San Diego County, from 141 to 140.

In the Central Valley, Kern County saw an increase in the number of fugitive sex offenders from 51 to 67, Sacramento County from 170 to 191 and San Joaquin County from 74 to 94. San Francisco increased from 72 to 84.


ARC RADIO - SPECIAL GUEST Shana Rowan Executive Director of USA FAIR

Hosted by: RealityUSA | Website

Title: SPECIAL GUEST Shana Rowan Executive Director of USA FAIR

Time: 03/06/2013 08:00 PM EST

Episode Notes: Please join us as we welcome Shana Rowan as our special guest on ARC TALK RADIO. As executive director of USA FAIR, Shana promises to work as hard as she can to fight for law abiding former offenders and their families and to insure that their struggles and successes are reported by the news media. And she pledges that she will not quit until the myth of high sex offender recidivism is erased from our culture and our registry laws are based on reason.