Monday, June 24, 2013
|Police Minister Jack Dempsey|
The online registries are nothing more than phone books for vigilantes to use to find, harass and murder ex-sex offenders, their families and children, and it's a rising problem in the US and UK.
By RENEE VIELLARIS
Queenslanders could be emailed photos of dangerous sex offenders who live nearby under moves being considered by the State Government.
And for the first time, parents may be able to stay a step ahead of predators by obtaining a background check of a person who has regular contact with their children.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey (Wikipedia, Facebook) said he was considering introducing similar laws to Western Australia, which allowed residents to ask and receive information about dangerous sex offenders.
"One of the most abhorrent crimes in the community are those of a sexual nature against children and this Government makes no apologies for putting the rights of the victim and their family well before those of the offender," Mr Dempsey told The Courier-Mail.
"Since coming to Government we have introduced tough penalties for sex offences against children including 20-years nonparole for repeat offenders."
"I am also watching with interest Western Australia's recent implementation of a web-based means of providing community stakeholders with information about dangerous sex offenders."
In WA, people must enter a driver's licence or an address to access information about a sex offender living in their suburb and surrounds. The details - a photo and the suburb the sex offender is living in - are emailed to the person who requested the information. Those who misuse information face 10 years' jail.
WA residents can also ask police to ask for the background of a person having regular contact with their child. A parent or guardian wanting the information must make a written application and the request is assessed by police.
Bravehearts executive director Hetty Johnston said the measure would be a win for single mothers, who were often targeted by pedophiles.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said he supported the laws.
"A searchable public register of pedophiles and sex offenders akin to similar Megan's Law registers in other jurisdictions makes sense," Mr Leavers said.
"While we would never want to condone any type of vigilantism, as the father of a nine-year-old boy, I would want to know if a pedophile moved in next door to me or in my neighbourhood."
"Too often I think we get hung up on the rights of pedophiles and sex offenders, and I think we need to put the rights of parents and children first, by Government providing the information families need to assist in ensuring their safety."
"Why should the Government be the only ones who know where pedophiles and sex offenders live?"
"I think it is common sense for the Government to make this information known to the public."
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O'Gorman labelled WA's laws a gimmick and warned they could lead to offenders reoffending.
"It doesn't do anything to protect the public," Mr O'Gorman said.
"Overwhelmingly, the percentage of sex offending occurs within the family or the extended family."
Ms Johnston agreed that emailing photos and addresses of sex offenders would not work, and that it "would probably drive them underground".
But she said allowing families to access the details of an adult spending a lot of time with a child would be beneficial.
"I think that's really good. (Pedophiles) relationship hop, going from one single woman to another single woman," Ms Johnson said.
"She falls in love with him but he's really after her children."
She said dangerous sex offenders should not be released into the community but if they were the Government should give the public a fighting chance.
As of yesterday, there were 129 offenders subject to orders under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act. Of those, 89 were being managed in the community. Eighty of them are forced to wear ankle bracelets monitored by GPS tracking.
Three are in custody with supervision orders pending release, 17 offenders are on continuing detention requiring review and 20 offenders are on interim continuing detention orders for contravention.
It's understood that the Government is only considering releasing the details of dangerous sex offenders and not the 4000 sex offenders who are living in Queensland and listed on the Australian National Child Offender Register.
Western Australia: The Community Protection website
- There are three tiers. The first gives information about missing offenders or those who have lied to police. It provides photos and personal details.
- Tier 2 allows for a local search for dangerous and high-risk offenders. It provides photos of certain offenders that live within the same suburb and adjoining suburbs of the person asking for the information. A drivers licence or WA address is needed to access the information, which is emailed to an address provided.
- Tier 3 allows parents or guardians of a child to ask police whether a specific person, who has regular unsupervised contact with their child or children, is a reportable offender.
California - Megan's Law
- A person can search for a sex offender by name, or those living near a city, park or school.
- Anyone can look at the information on its Justice website, which includes a photo and
- The public has been able to view information on sex offenders since 1994. Prior, the information was available by visiting police stations and sheriff offices or by calling a 900 toll-free number
- The Department of Justice is required by law to score the risk of eligible sex offenders.
UK - Sarah's Law
- The Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme enables parents, guardians and third parties to ask whether a person who has access to a child, is a registered sex offender, or poses a risk to that child.
- If the individual has convictions for sexual offences against children or poses a risk of causing harm then police can choose to disclose the information.
- The information can be accessed from police stations.
By JIMMY ELLINGHAM
He administered a violent dose of vigilante justice to a Taranaki sex offender - including attempted strangulation with a noose - but a Feilding mechanic now says his own jail sentence is too harsh.
Grayson Weaver, 41, is serving a 4-year, 7-month prison term for the violent assault on [name withheld], 64, at his Feilding home on August 1, 2010.
[name withheld] was jailed for seven years for sexual offending against three young boys in Taranaki, between 1978 and 1982.
Weaver and his partner Katrina Maree Uncles, 42, of Paraparaumu, received identical sentences in May 2011 after both admitted one charge each of aggravated burglary and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure.
Last year Uncles successfully appealed her jail term and the Court of Appeal reduced it to three years and eight months, ruling that the sentencing judge failed to take her fragile mental state into account.
Uncles had formed the belief that [name withheld] had been having sexual contact with her son, although no formal allegations were made, and said a "spirit" told her to attack [name withheld].
Weaver argued he, too, should have received a discount for mental illness, although the Court of Appeal did not agree and in a judgment released this month upheld his sentence.
Weaver maintained he was not totally responsible for his actions because he was sexually offended against by a man when he was young and had suffered a mental disorder since.
The court also rejected a claim that the sentencing judge's calculations began from an excessive starting point and relied on "aggravating facts" that Weaver did not admit, including a victim statement from [name withheld] that overstated his injuries.
"The court accepted that [Uncles'] discount would create a disparity between her sentence and that of Weaver, but considered that to be justified because the evidence as to her serious mental disorder was clear and Weaver was not under any equivalent disability," the Court of Appeal judgment says.
On the night of the attack [name withheld] was woken by knocking at his door, and he recognised Uncles' voice.
[name withheld]'s door was kicked in as he tried to ring the police and Uncles came into his bedroom.
[name withheld] hit her with "a back hand" and Uncles yelled to Weaver for help.
Weaver punched [name withheld] in the face, and [name withheld] fell against a tallboy before hitting the ground.
He got to his hands and knees before Weaver landed four more blows to the head.
A noose was then placed around [name withheld]'s neck and tightened. [name withheld] pretended to pass out, but the strangulation continued.
As he was on the verge of losing consciousness for real, the noose was released and [name withheld] heard footsteps running away.
Police arrived to find him slumped on his bedroom floor, with the noose still dangling around his neck.
In his victim statement, [name withheld] said: "I received very bad injuries. I have had five or six metal plates inserted into my face and both sides under my eyes . . . My whole face was pushed in and I required major surgery to my scalp to have it repaired."
Weaver and Uncles were not related to [name withheld], whose sentence was reduced to take into account the severe beating. [name withheld]'s lawyer Tony Thackery said Weaver's explanation for the attack was he was "doing a public service".
- (06/24/2013) Vigilante's appeal rejected
The title is about treating sexual offenders, so why the scary intro below?
By SARAH MCCAMMON
It’s been just over a month since two girls from Dayton, Iowa were abducted near their bus stop - allegedly by a convicted sex offender who’d served nearly two decades in prison. Authorities say [name withheld] abducted the girls and committed suicide later that day.
The fact that [name withheld] was free at all has prompted questions about how sex offenders are evaluated, treated and monitored.
This story begins a summer series examining Iowa's correctional system.
In the video, do they really need that many people showing up at one house to simply check if an offender lives there? And why don't they do this for murderers, gang members, DUI offenders, thieves, etc, who are, based on the facts, more dangerous?
By Russ McQuaid
INDIANAPOLIS - There are more than 1500 registered sex offenders living in Marion County. 456 of them are listed as sexually violent predators. The Marion County Sheriff’s Department has a goal of tracking down each one of them by the end of the week.
Funded by a federal grant, sheriff’s deputies backed up by U.S. Marshals and officers from other departments are knocking on doors all across the city this week, checking compliance of sex offenders with the state registry and checking the offenders for any other outstanding warrants.
- They get grant money to do this? I wonder if they get grant money every single year for these compliance checks? If so, no wonder they push their PR campaigns and insist the laws work, money!
“They could have an identification card that does not match where they live or maybe they did not go down and register in time,” said Lieutenant Guy Hammons.
Deputies checked on the whereabouts of nearly 200 sex offenders during the weekend and place 13 under arrest.
One of those was [name withheld], a convicted California rapist living on Station Street.
“I don’t see why you coming up on my property like that,” said [name withheld] as he met deputies at his backdoor. “I ain’t broken no laws.”
When [name withheld] was asked how long he’d been living at the Station Street address, he answered, “Don’t worry about it.” That was enough for Hammons to advise [name withheld] that the information on his identification card did not match the sex offender registry, even though he was told last January to update his records, and [name withheld] was placed under arrest.
Hammons and his team had spent a frustrating afternoon chasing ghosts as sex offenders weren't found where they claimed to be and residents of those addresses pretended not to know their whereabouts even though neighbors told police otherwise.
“A lot of time times one lead leads to another to another,” said Hammons. “Eventually we get them That’s how it works a lot of time. It’s just keeping up with them”
This study linked below is a national study, not just for Texas.
AMARILLO - A nationwide survey found that the Clements Unit, a men’s prison in Amarillo, has the highest rate of inmates reporting that they were pressured into sex or sexual contact with prison staffers.
The U.S. Bureau Of Justice Statistics report (PDF) found that 8.1 percent of inmates at the Clements Unit alleged they were sexually victimized by staffers using force or the threat of force.
State prisons spokesman Jason Clark questioned the survey's findings, saying many allegations were not actually sexual assault and "could reflect offender attitudes toward other offensive behavior or legitimate security precautions."
Clements also had the highest rate of inmates saying they were coerced or pressured into sex among male prisoners, at 8.7 percent.
The figures come from a survey of 92,000 inmates over 2011 and 2012.