Thursday, March 28, 2013

MA - In wake of alarming audit, state to check whether child care workers are sex offenders

Susan Bump
Original Article

Just because someone is forced to wear the "sex offender" label doesn't mean they have sexually abused a child. Out of the 119 matches, how many had sexual crimes against children, and how old were they when the crime occurred? That is information that is needed in a study like this, unless you are just fear mongering?


By Martin Finucane

People who work in child care centers or live on the centers’ premises will be checked to see if they are registered sex offenders, the acting head of the state agency that oversees the centers said today.

Acting Early Education and Care Commissioner Thomas L. Weber commented in the wake of a state audit (PDF) that found 119 matches between the addresses of registered sex offenders and the addresses of child care providers.

We take the safety and security of children in the care of providers very seriously. It’s our highest priority. Any time we receive suggestions or findings related to safety, we’re going to treat those very seriously,” Weber said.

We’ll obviously work closely with [the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security] and the Sex Offender Registry Board to ensure that all those who are working with children and/or living with children are being reviewed for any safety concerns,” he said.

Auditor Suzanne Bump today unveiled the audit, which covered the period from July 2010 to September 2011, calling for the state to check whether those who work or live at child care sites are sex offenders, something 17 others states do, she said.

Bump also called for the state to continue to check for address matches. Weber said the address matching would also be done. “We’ll take advantage of all publicly available information,” he said.

No parent who drops their child off at day care should have to worry about the safety of their son or daughter,” Bump said in a statement. “The presence of registered sex offenders in such proximity to groups of children is information parents, providers, and the EEC must have and act upon.”
- Not all ex-sex offenders have sexually abused children!  That is like saying all ex-felons are serial killers because a couple are, but it's the typical reaction by politicians and many in today's society.

The child care agency said in a response included in the audit report that its investigation had found that 16 of the address matches uncovered by Bump’s office were for programs that were closed, 39 were for workplaces or community college campuses where the sex offenders were either working or going to school, and 10 simply weren’t matches.

In 50 of the remaining cases, Weber said, the sex offender lived in the same building but not at the child care facility and operators were directed to “complete a safety plan” for the children.

In four cases, at four separate locations, Weber said, the investigation found that sex offenders were living in homes where family day care was provided. Those licenses were immediately revoked, he said.

The 119 offenders matched addresses with 75 child care locations, said auditor’s spokesman Christopher Thompson, meaning multiple offenders matched up, in some cases, to a single location. Weber said that could be explained, for example, by multiple offenders listing a community college campus.

After a thorough review of all 119 “individuals of concern,” Weber said, “we haven’t received any evidence of any wrongdoing. ... Should we have any information brought to our attention we will take action and, if appropriate, report it to public safety officials.”

The audit matched the addresses of Level 2 and Level 3 offenders against the addresses of child care providers licensed by the agency. Weber said he had no information on how many of those with matching addresses were Level 3 offenders, those considered most likely to reoffend.

The audit also contained other findings critical of the agency, but Bump said the agency had already taken actions in response.

While I know that EEC has the best intention to fulfill its mission, this audit shows that more can be done to protect young children,” said Bump. “Unfortunately, there is little margin of error as just one case can have dire consequences.”

Weber, the acting commissioner, has been on the job for only a little over two weeks. The commissioner of the department, Sherri Killins, resigned earlier this month after revelations that, while working at her nearly $200,000-per-year state job, she was enrolled in a superintendent training program in the town of Ware.

WI - Methods for housing, tracking sex offenders under scrutiny

Original Article

We can tell you a good idea, take the sex offender registry offline (or eliminate it) to be used by police only, eliminate the residency restrictions, then most of the problems will not be problems. Crazy, we know, but politicians haven't thought of that idea either, because they don't want to look "soft" on ex-sex offenders who are trying to get on with their lives, yet the very laws they are having issues with, prevent that.


By Gilman Halsted

State legislators are looking for ways to save money by improving Wisconsin’s system for housing and monitoring released sex offenders.

The joint legislative audit committee plans to investigate the cost of housing released sex offenders and tracking their whereabouts. The audit will also assess the effectiveness of the community notification system that alerts citizens that a sex offender is moving in to a neighborhood.

Don Mogenson of Manitowoc told the committee that in his community, the state is paying exorbitant rent to house offenders and doing a poor job of alerting the public about changes in an offender’s supervision status. He suggested the state put offenders on a farm where they can earn their way back into society: “We need to get these people into a productive life. Then maybe they can make a life for themselves. Walking around and having somebody watch them is not a way to make them productive.”

But the committee chair, Representative Samantha Kerkman, says even rural residents have a “not in my backyard” attitude about having sex offenders as neighbors: “When we have those discussions, even in my rural district, about placement … Even if they're in the middle of a cornfield in a farm, nobody wants them there either.”

Senator Kathleen Vinehout says she hopes the audit will produce solutions that previous legislatures have failed to come up with.

We have a lot of legislators over the years that have been very concerned about sex offenders and we've added laws on top of laws to try and deal with the problems; but maybe this is a good time for us to look into it in detail and see if we're getting our money's worth.”
- That's your problem!  Adding unconstitutional law upon law to "solve" your problems will do nothing to actually solve your problems, it just creates more.  If you continue to do the same thing, you will continue to get the same outcome.  That is the definition of insanity!

The Department of Corrections has asked for a $2 million increase in sex offender program funding over the next two years.
- See our notes at the top, and you will save millions more!

SSRN - On Emotion, Juvenile Sex Offenders, and Mandatory Registration

Original Article

Catherine L. Carpenter
Southwestern Law School

November 10, 2012

3 Journal of Race, Gender, & Policy 1 (2013, Forthcoming)

It is both unremarkable and true that juveniles are different from adults. United States Supreme Court decisions over the past decade have highlighted the extent of the differences. Yet, played out against the backdrop of sex offender registration laws, the conversation takes an abrupt turn. Rather than differentiating between adult and juvenile offenders, federal sex offender registration laws require juveniles convicted of certain sex offenses to face the same onerous registration and notification burdens as their adult counterparts.

Tracking the shift in sex offender registration models from “likely to reoffend” to “conviction-based" assessment, this article argues that “conviction-based” assessment is an unstable proposition when applied to child offenders for two fundamental reasons. First, juvenile offenders lack intentionality and purpose that adult offenders possess, thereby diminishing the value that a conviction carries. Further, and more importantly, studies reveal that the commission of juvenile sex crimes does not portend future predatory behavior, raising the question of the purpose of registration for this class of offenders.

Ultimately, the legislative push to require juvenile sex offenders to suffer serious register and notification burdens demonstrates convincingly the pitfall that impacts the entire debate over sex offender registration. Emotional rhetoric controls the legislative agenda, even in the face of compelling arguments to the contrary.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: sex offender registration, juvenile sex offender, mandatory registration, SORNA