Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WA - Homeless sex offenders on the rise (Due to residency restrictions!)

Original Article

Just more of the usual media fear mongering. If they'd eliminate the residency restrictions then much of this would go a way. Why do they now ask, why are they homeless?

03/11/2013

By Davis Wahlman

BENTON COUNTY - KEPR is always keeping an eye on the process to track sex offenders in our community.

We learned one-type of offender is on the rise here in the Tri-Cities.

We looked at how you can keep your family safe.

Megan Mahaffey brings her children to Columbia Park almost every week. She feels safe knowing the park is far from homes.

Megan wants to steer clear of the possibility of any sex offenders, saying, "I don't think they should be allowed to live within in like, 20 miles of a park and a school."

But the offenders she's talking about are the one's who actually follow the rules. They tell law enforcement where they're living.

The number of compliant sex offenders hasn't gone up substantially in several years.

But officials at the Benton County Sheriff's Office are growing concerned about the number of transient offenders.

They may check-in with deputies, but they don't have a permanent home.

They could be anywhere -- at any time.

There are currently 477 registered sex offenders living in Benton County. 16 are transient.

Law enforcement has no way to proactively checking on them. They have to wait for the offender to make their weekly visit with authorities instead.

16 may not seem like a lot, but it used to hover around three to five.

Having three-times the number of homeless sex offenders is more work -- and more of the unknown.

Checking online can give you some idea of where offenders live.

But the list isn't complete.

If you were to go online to the Benton County Sheriff's website and put in the address for this park, you'd find at least four sex offenders living within two miles, but officials tell me it could be much more.

Leaving it up to parents to be aware -- and stay vigilant -- as the number of homeless sex offenders is on the rise.

We checked for an updated number of transient sex offenders in Franklin County, but that number was unavailable today.

Agencies update as best they can with the time and resources available.


VA - Former correctional officer (Kevin Eric Boswell) sentenced to jail

Original Article

How many, who are not police or probation officers, get this kind of break for what is said he did?

03/12/2013

By KEITH EPPS

A former correctional officer at the Rappahannock Regional Jail was ordered Tuesday to serve six months in jail after being convicted of sexual assault on a minor.

Kevin Eric Boswell, 35, of Stafford was convicted of three misdemeanors in Stafford Circuit Court: sexual battery, assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to a total of 36 months in jail with all but six months suspended.

Boswell had been charged with three far more serious felony charges, including aggravated sexual battery. He has already served about a month and a half in jail, so he only has about 50 more days to serve. People convicted of misdemeanor crimes in Virginia generally serve only half of their total sentence.

Boswell had worked at the regional jail in Stafford County for a number of years prior to his arrest last year. He also served in the military. He has and will serve his time in another regional jail where he is not known to the other inmates.

The initial charges against him stemmed from a girl’s claim that he improperly touched her and got her to touch him numerous times between May 2011 and April 2012.

At a preliminary hearing last year, the girl testified that Boswell’s actions made her feel “completely violated and worthless.”

Defense attorney Mark Murphy said Boswell continues to deny the allegations, but felt his no-contest pleas were in the best interests of everyone involved.

He will not be allowed to resume his law-enforcement career once he gets out of jail.


CA - Pocket Park Policing (Huff Post Live)


See the next link for the "ground breaking" political campaign video Mr. Buscaino mentions. It's nothing more than a political campaign that exploits fear, children and the elderly to help himself get elected and to look like he's actually doing, or will do, something, but that's just politics.


Video Description:
Harbor Gateway in Los Angeles is putting in a 1,000-square-foot park to force sex offenders out of the neighborhood. But where will they go if this becomes a trend?


MI - Michigan sex offenders may pay yearly fee under proposed bill

Original Article

03/12/2013

LANSING - People on Michigan's sex offender registry would have to pay a yearly fee under a bill a Senate panel will debate this week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the bill Tuesday. It would require offenders who are not in prison to pay an annual $50 fee instead of a one-time $50 registration fee.

Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge is the bill's sponsor. He says offenders have "put themselves in this special club, so they need to pay a membership fee."

The Senate Fiscal Agency says it would increase annual revenue from fees from $160,000 to $700,000. It says it costs the state $1.2 million to operate the registry each year, $600,000 of that is used to maintain the database.

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Luke 11:46


MN - Minnesota officials seek way to release sex offenders


Original Article

03/11/2013

By Don Davis

A federal judge says the system Minnesota uses to incarcerate sex offenders is so close to the throw-away-the-key philosophy that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

ST. PAUL - Many Minnesotans may be perfectly happy to see sex offenders tossed behind bars, with jailers throwing away the keys.

However, a federal judge says the system Minnesota uses is so close to the throw-away-the-key philosophy that it violates the U.S. Constitution. He threatens to take action if Minnesota leaders do not fix the system.

If that change does not come in the legislative session that ends May 20, the judge could order the state to make expensive changes and order state officials to release offenders.

A Senate committee Monday night unanimously approved legislators’ first step to meet the judge’s demands. The bill that was passed on to another committee requires the state to find “an adequate number of facilities” around the state to treat sex offenders who have completed their prison terms instead of the current system that send serious offenders to state hospitals in Moose Lake, Minn., and St. Peter, Minn.

The bill by Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, would establish a system that allows judges to commit a person to treatment, but keep him under strict supervision while he is in the community.

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson of the Minnesota Human Services Department called the state’s two hospitals where sex offenders are treated “prison-like” facilities. New sex offender treatment facilities would not look like prisons.

Yearly reviews

In the Sheran bill, anyone in the Minnesota Sex Offender Treatment Program under the strict release provision would be reviewed once a year and the Human Services Department could ask a judge to put the offender in a security facility at any time if they have violated conditions of their release.

Sheran said the key to her bill is that “it is a treatment program rather than one that continues to punish.”

Former Minnesota Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, chairman of a task force the federal judge ordered to draw up recommendations, said the Sheran bill “clearly addresses the issue.”

Magnuson said in an interview that the state needs to do something, “even if it isn’t a complete solution.”

People don’t fully understand what a federal judge can do,” Magnuson said.

Minnesota law allows state judges to indefinitely commit serious sex offenders who complete their prison sentences to a treatment program in a locked state hospital. Only one sex offender has been released from the program.

At the end of last year, state hospitals in Moose Lake and St. Peter were treating 678 sex offenders.

Dru Sjodin

The number of sex offenders committed to the treatment program grew greatly in the past decade after the high-profile Dru Sjodin case.

Sjodin, a UND student was kidnapped from a Columbia Mall in Grand Forks in 2003, and a sex offender released earlier in the year was convicted in her murder. Her body was recovered months later near Crookston.

We are very aware of the importance of public safety, of the concern people have about this issue,” Magnuson said. “On the other hand, the Constitution has to be followed. There are better ways to ensure protection both of the constitutional rights of these committed persons and public safety.”

Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, said Sheran’s bill, if it passes, should meet with the judge’s approval and keep him from taking action against the state.

This would meet the recommendation of the task force,” said Lourey, who has been a chief proponent of finding an alternative to the current system.

More importantly, he added, if the bill passes, it should “show that Minnesota is serious” when the judge decides whether to take action.

Consequences

Magnuson warned that U.S. Chief Magistrate Arthur J. Boylan could do like a California judge did: release a large number of offenders.

Minnesota is one of 20 states to allow judges to commit sex offenders to treatment after serving their sentences. The law is based on the fear that sex offenders could reoffend if allowed back into society.

The notion that you can lock someone up for something they might do in the future is difficult,” Magnuson said.

The former chief justice said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that state laws can keep people locked up to prevent future crimes, but “you have to have them in some type of program that offers treatment. You can’t just lock them away and throw away the key.”

Sex offenders in the program filed a federal lawsuit saying their rights have been hampered since only one person has left the program.

No one has really successfully graduated from the program,” Magnuson said. “And that is a big constitutional issue.”

The state has to create some less restrictive alternatives ... but at the same time to do everything possible to protect the public,” he added.

The judge will begin to take action if lawmakers do not act, Magnuson said. If so, he warned, the action will be with “a broadsword; it is not a scalpel.”

He “may order the state of Minnesota to do things that would not be very effective,” Magnuson said.

Minnesotans need to realize that not everyone should be locked up forever, Magnuson said. “There are people who are locked up with no real hope of ever getting out who could have been treated and maybe could have been returned to their families and their communities.”

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