Friday, April 12, 2013

POLL - Should the sex offender registry be abolished?

Our Comment:
Of course it should. It should be deleted or at least taken offline and used by police only. Many ex-offenders, their husbands/wives and children have been harassed or worse by the public information.

Our vote is YES

Click the image to vote


IL - Bolingbrook Man Wants Neighbors to Know He's Not a Sex Offender

Original Article

Once again, more proof the registry is used to harass ex-offenders, and in this case, innocent people. And the mug shot sites having outdated information causing innocent people harm. This is why the online registry needs to be taken offline and used by police only, and all the mug shot sites need to be taken down.  This is also why you should not trust any site showing criminal records if they are not government run, and even then things could be wrong!

04/12/2013

By Melissa Sersland

A Bolingbrook resident living in the former home of a registered child sex offender has received verbal insults and obscene gestures from passersby.

When Fred Cook moved into his Bolingbrook home a few years ago, he noticed something very strange.

When he would stand outside his home at Briarcliff Road and Route 53, the passengers in passing cars would give him dirty looks. Some would flip him off.

Over time, he noticed the attention becoming more hostile. People started yelling at him.

Once, while he was playing with his daughter in the front yard, someone shouted out the window, "Run girl, run!"

Cook lives in the former home of a registered child sex offender. This offender, named [name withheld], was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 14-year-old when he was 18.

[name withheld] became non-compliant and failed to update Illinois authorities about his whereabouts, as is required by law. Unfortunately for Cook, the Bolingbrook address was still listed in the Illinois Child Sex Offender Registry and other sites that list sex offender records, like "bustedoffenders.com."

On multiple occasions, Cook said, police would arrive at his home looking for [name withheld].  Cook would prove that he was not [name withheld], who is a 5'5" redhead. Then he would have to prove that [name withheld] did not still live in the home.

It took months, he said, of contacting several law enforcement agencies to have the Illinois Child Sex Offender Registry site updated with [name withheld]'s true location -- Gaylord, MI.

Cook said he supports informing the community where sex offenders live, but he wants that information to be correct.

His address is still listed on these websites:


NC - Sen. Thom Goolsby admits sex offender registration is a harassment package, thus proving punitive intent!

Video Description:
Sen. Thom Goolsby provides update on law that will turn sex traffickers (pimps) into sex offenders subject to monitoring and registration with local sheriff's departments. Today, the bill cleared House Judiciary B Committee. (S122, PDF)


CA - New bill would give tougher punishments to paroled sex offenders who cut their GPS trackers

Original Article

You will notice in the video below, many inmates are wearing pink clothes. Sound familiar? It should, Hitler did that to prisoners as well, as you can see here.

04/11/2013

By Nannette Miranda

SACRAMENTO - The jump in the number of high-risk sex offenders who are cutting off their GPS ankle trackers is actually bigger than previously thought.

The number has almost doubled since the prison realignment policy change in October 2011, which sends parolees to county jail instead of state prison for certain relatively minor violations.

In the 15 months prior to the policy change, 3,117 warrants were issued for sex offender fugitives; the 15 months following the policy change, nearly 5,000 warrants were issued - a 58 percent increase.

Previously, 30 percent of paroled sex offenders had cut off their monitors.

"If someone absconds, we go after them and 92% of the time, we catch them and we do so within 12 days on average."

But since realignment, being recaptured means only a few days at the local lockup, but if that facility is overcrowded, it could mean no jail time at all.

Critics said that's why more and more parolees are ditching their GPS: the consequences are weak.

"Clearly, they're not cutting them off to have a drink of a cup of coffee unmonitored," Sen. Ted Lieu said. "They're cutting them off because they want opportunities to commit new crimes."
- You will notice he doesn't bother to show facts about how many have cut off their GPS and committed another crime, related or not, it's just his personal opinion.  We are sure this may be the case for some, but a vast majority do it so they can have somewhat of a normal life, get a job, home, etc.

Take the recent Stockton case of [name withheld], a high-risk paroled sex offender who was in and out of jail for months charged with drugs and repeatedly disabling his GPS tracker. [name withheld] wasn't a fugitive for the GPS issue, but he was supposed to be in jail for a different parole violation; however, due to overcrowding he was released early.
- So if it wasn't about cutting off his GPS and committing another crime, why bring it up?

"He received a 30-sentence and was released the next day," San Joaquin County Deputy District Attroney Sherri Adams said on Feb. 28.

A few days later, police arrested him for killing and raping his 76-year-old grandmother.
- Okay, so lock him up for life for killing someone just like you'd do with anybody else.  But, this has nothing to do with cutting off GPS, it's about the prison realignment, and is relevant to this story, in our opinion.

Lieu has a proposal that puts parolees who cut off their electronic monitors back in state prison.

"What the studies show are that if you're a sex offender not on GPS monitoring, your rate of recidivism increases three times," Lieu said.
- Again, not true, just a personal opinion.  The facts are that sex offenders have one of the lowest re-offense rates of all other criminals, but you don't hear him complaining about all the other criminals who commit further crimes, related or not.

The Senate Public Safety Committee is set to hear Lieu's bill in a couple of weeks. However, lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown have been reluctant to send more people to prison because of a court order to reduce the prison population.


CA - Seeking smarter rules for sex offenders

Janice Bellucci
Original Article

04/11/2013

By Gale Holland

Janice Bellucci of Reform Sex Offender Laws believes offenders should go to prison. But after they get out, she wants them to have a chance to lead stable lives.

Janice Bellucci is a mother of two, the wife of a pastor and a former Girl Scout leader active in volunteer work.

She lives in a gated community an hour's drive north of Santa Barbara, with needlepoint pillows on the sofa and a vegetable garden in the backyard. She is also the public face of an organization advocating for the closest thing to an untouchable caste in our society: California's 88,000 registered sex offenders.

A former aerospace lawyer, Bellucci is the president of the California chapter of Reform Sex Offender Laws, a national group of offenders, family members, psychologists and attorneys registered as a nonprofit.

The California branch holds meetings every other month, closed to the media, to discuss offenders' rights and legal actions she is taking. Bellucci believes sex offenders should go to prison for their crimes. Her target is the crazy quilt of state and local laws regulating their conduct after they get out.

These laws bar offenders from moving near parks and schools, leaving them with comparatively few places to live. Almost all of San Francisco, and most of San Diego, is off-limits, she says. Some ordinances forbid offenders to even visit county parks and beaches.

Bellucci also wants to give some sex offenders a way off the registry. California is one of four states where sex offenders register for life, regardless of the seriousness of their crimes.

Bellucci has brought a professional sheen to the sex offenders' fight, writing talking-point memos, testifying before agencies and taking cities to court. And she's had some success: After she sued, a court stopped Simi Valley from requiring sex offenders to post signs on their front doors warning trick-or-treaters away on Halloween.

She casts her cause as a civil rights movement. During a conversation at her home, Bellucci referred to those on the list as "registrants" rather than sex offenders, and she quoted Gandhi and the Constitution.

"People don't like to hear me say it, but it's like how the Jews were treated in Nazi Germany," she said. "First they were told they were different, then they ended up in concentration camps."

No doubt this preposterous characterization is objectionable. Sex offenders are shunned for their conduct, not their status. And their conduct is often unspeakable.

But even a state advisory board acknowledges that post-release restrictions on sex offenders have gone too far. In an August 2011 report, the California Sex Offender Management Board said that one-third of the state's registered sex offenders are homeless, partly because of the housing limits.

There is no evidence that residence limits make children safer, the report said. "To the contrary, the evidence strongly suggests that residence restrictions are likely to have the unintended effect of increasing the likelihood of sexual re-offense," the report went on.

A particularly boneheaded example of overkill is the pocket park in Harbor Gateway. The park is being built not to serve families but to drive registered sex offenders out of a nearby apartment building, my colleague Angel Jennings reported.

I have no doubt Harbor Gateway needs a park. But what kind of a society builds parks not for children, but to chase sex offenders away?

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza put the issue on hold in March by ordering officials to stop enforcing restrictions on how close sex offenders can live to parks or schools. Bellucci argues the limits are unconstitutional, and Espinoza, in an earlier ruling, agreed.

Bellucci, 61, doesn't have a sex offender in the family, although she currently represents some in civil challenges. She came to the cause by chance. The man who installed her water purifier wrote a book about his years on the registry. She read it and was aghast.

The man, [name withheld], had molested a child more than 30 years earlier, when he was a raging alcoholic, Bellucci said. [name withheld] went on to build a business and become a civic activist. He was physically attacked by a vigilante who found his name and address on the registry, she said.

His case helped convince her that lifetime registration was wrong. Bellucci has stories about Everymen who wind up on the registry: the "Romeo and Juliet" cases of two teens, one underage, in a sexual relationship; the guy who urinates behind a bar or moons a crowd. Nobody seems to know how many fit this category.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has proposed a three-tiered registry that would enable lower-level offenders with otherwise clean records to get off in 10 to 20 years. Bellucci is lobbying for its passage.

"Sex offenders come from all walks of life," she said. "Some grew up in the ghetto, some grew up in Beverly Hills. They're like everybody else."

Really? I don't think so. Some undoubtedly made mistakes, but others are hardened offenders whom law enforcement would do well to track and monitor.

Just this week, [name withheld], 58, a registered sex offender, was arrested on suspicion of the home-invasion killing of an elderly San Bernardino woman. [name withheld]'  previous conviction was for sodomizing a child under age 14.

I don't see the purpose of the public registry. For this story, I went on the Megan's Law website for the first time and found several sex offenders in my neighborhood. It made my skin crawl, but is it useful to know exactly where they are or what they did? I am well aware sex offenders are in our midst, and I don't need the details to protect myself and my children.

Bellucci is convinced sex offenders can be rehabilitated. She cited a study of 2008 data by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation showing than of those who returned to prison, about 2% had committed another sex offense. Banishing them from normal society makes them more likely to repeat their crimes, she believes.

"We all do so much better when we have stability," Bellucci said. "It's ridiculous all the challenges that get thrown in front of sex offenders."

But we've all heard of the priests, Boy Scout leaders and teachers who molested multiple children before finally getting caught. The state corrections department acknowledges it can say with only 75% accuracy who is likely to commit a sex offense again, although it hopes to increase the odds with better assessments.

Bellucci is undeterred.

"The people I'm focused on already paid their debt to society," she said. "All I want for them is peace."


NE - The Masonic Chip Identification Kit (CHIP) kit program offered on Saturday

Original Article

04/12/2013

By DIANE WETZEL

Since 2004, 35,191 children in Nebraska have been "chipped," thanks to the Nebraska Freemasons. The Masonic Chip Identification Kit is recognized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as the most comprehensive service of its kind.

Adams Bank & Trust in North Platte is again partnering with the Masons to bring the program to town on Saturday, April 13, at no charge.

"When we did it in the fall of 2011 we had planned on 150 children and we ended up with 241," said Josie Hammer, eastern regional retail coordinator at the bank. "We are planning for 300 this weekend. It's a free service to parents and children."

CHIP is the process of collecting identifying information from a child that could help law enforcement in the event the child is reported missing. All identifying items generated at the event are the sole property of the child's parent or legal guardian. Only the signed permission slip is kept by the Masons.

During the event law enforcement personnel, dentists, members of the Platte Valley Masonic Lodge and other organizations will collect a digital interview, digital fingerprints, a bite impression and a DNA cheek swab from the child.

"The process helps build a bond between children and law enforcement and other agencies," Hammer said. "It provides a structure for the children that these are the people who will help."

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children report that 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States. Most are abducted by family members. Those taken by non-family members are often abducted for sexual motives. While the chances that a child will be missing or sexually exploited is remote, parents and guardians should do what is necessary to be prepared for the unthinkable.

"God forbid that anything would happen to a child," Hammer said. "But they would have everything in one place to help law enforcement find them."

Often parents don't have items available to help law enforcement find their missing child. The Masons are committed to helping provide those items at no cost.

According to the Nebraska Freemasons website, www.glne.org, CHIP kits have been generated for children ages 0-21 in Nebraska, and for senior citizens living in Alzheimer's care facilities.

"It really is a cool program," Hammer said.