Monday, July 15, 2013

CO - Sex Abuse Victim's Struggle With Revenge (03/28/2013)

Nobody has the right to exact revenge no more than the person had the right to rape / molest you! If we all took out revenge on the person(s) who harmed us, then we'd be back in the Wild, Wild West! Revenge is NOT the answer, and is a crime!


Video Link


Thoughts on Sex Offender Recidivism

Statistics
Original Article

07/15/2013

By RSOL

I strongly dislike arguments and discussions based on recidivism rates. However, I seem to be finding myself in them quite a bit of late.

Any report and any commentary about recidivism is only as good as the ability of the person reading it to properly decipher every factor that went into the study, and unless one is a trained researcher and analyst, that is next to impossible. That is why we cut to the chase: what is "the" recidivism rate?

Understanding all of the factors includes the vocabulary and the definitions. Are we talking any offense, including parole violations, that results in a re-arrest, or only a repeat sexual offense? Are we talking re-arrest, re-conviction, or re-incarceration before it is labeled "recidivism"? Was the study group a cross-section of all offenders, or did it focus on special populations? Were control groups in place? Was proper procedure followed? Was there peer review? (1)

Proponents of ever-increasing stringency and monitoring of former offenders claim that most studies track recidivism only for three years, and that with each year, the rate increases. However, while it is true that recidivism in general increases a little each year of a study, for every individual in the study, and actually for individuals everywhere, the risk or chance of re-offending goes down every year they remain in the community offense-free. (2) (3) (4)

When you add to this the fact that the vast majority of those who are committing sexual offenses right now and will in the future are those not on a sex offender registry, and this is even more true in cases of child sexual abuse, the actual risk to any given child from a registered individual is minuscule.

No one wants to take any risk or chance, no matter how small, with the safety of his children, but the precautions taken must be in proportion to the actual risk of harm. You don't totally ostracize and severely damage the lives of over 7000,000 registrants and their families and their children based on such a small risk. You teach your children the common-sense precautions that our parents taught us and that you are probably already teaching them, and you keep up with where they are and who they are with--and that will also help, along with some additional instruction, against the much greater risk of sexual harm from those not on a registry.

And as much as it goes against the core of every parental instinct, we accept that we will never guard against all danger. Lightening will strike. Airplanes will fall. The baseball bat will break, and the flying piece will smash into someone's head. And every time we start the car engine and check in the mirror that they are buckling their seat belts, we are putting them at more risk of calamity the second we are out of the driveway than an individual on the sex offender registry will ever present. (5)

In the food-for-thought category, these are two accurate statements about chances and risks as they involve children and registered offenders.

The person who will sexually molest your child is many times more likely to be found sitting around your table at holiday meals than on a sex offender registry.

Your child is more likely to end up on a sex offender registry him or herself than he or she is to be harmed by someone on the registry.

  1. http://www.leg.state.vt.us/workGroups/sexoffenders/AWA_SORNsummary.pdf
  2. http://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/2013/03/miracle-of-day-80-year-old-man.html
  3. "Still Time to Rethink the Misguided Approach of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act." AMY BARON-EVANS. Sentencing Resource Counsel, Federal Public and Community Defenders. FEDERAL SENTENCING REPORTER. VO L. 2 0, NO. 5, JUNE 2008, p. 357.
  4. No Easy Answers. Human Rights Watch. September 2007, p. 5.
  5. http://www.asirt.org/KnowBeforeYouGo/RoadSafetyFacts/RoadCrashStatistics/tabid/213/Default.aspx


(URGENT) GA - Countdown Extended - We're Almost at our Goal!

Calendar - July 17Website

As of 1PM EDT, we have raised $3,515.00 toward our goal of $5,000 for USA FAIR to have an exhibit booth at the National Council of State Legislatures convention in Atlanta, GA from August 12th to 15th.

We are so close to our goal that we have extended the pledge period from today to Wednesday, July 17th. If you have not made a donation, please consider doing so now. We know that many families on the registry are financially struggling and that making any donation could be difficult. Yet, while our opponents benefit from government grants - we only have each other to rely on. There's no one but us.

Stand up for your rights as a law abiding former offender or family member and have our voices heard at this annual gathering of legislators from all 50 states. This is by far the most cost effective way to get our message out directly to elected officials.

So please make a pledge now by clicking HERE.

And if you already pledged, but not yet donated, now is the time to follow-through by clicking HERE.

Thank you - and lets all do our part to make our goal!

Shana Rowan
Executive Director


(URGENT) GA - RSOL - National Conference of State Legislatures

Reform Sex Offender Laws Logo
Website

Dear RSOL Affiliates & Supporters:

As you may have heard by now, RSOL will be sharing a booth with Women Against Registry (W.A.R.) and Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network (SOSEN) at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 12-15. This is the premier opportunity to share our message with lawmakers from all over the country.

W.A.R. has been fund-raising to cover the cost of the booth itself, which includes such things as the table, tablecloth, chairs, and related services. Thanks to the generous offer of use of the California's Family Safety Foundation 501c3 certificate (FSF is the non-profit arm of CA-RSOL), that particular expense will be cut in half. Even with this great savings, we'll still need lots of financial support from you in order for RSOL to send our very best possible representatives.

Leading our delegation will be Larry Neely (Admin Team, Chair of our Scarlet Legal Action Project, and Board member of RSOL-NM.) Larry is the ideal person to represent National RSOL at the NCSL Summit. With his extensive background in legislative advocacy and firm understanding of "our" issue and message, Larry knows how to get our core message of constitutional and civil rights across to busy politicians.

We will do everything we can to keep costs down, but four nights at one of the hotels, four days of meals, plus airfare will run at least $1400 per person. And if we want to give our representative(s) full access to all the sessions (and to the lawmakers!) that will cost an additional $985 per person.

We know how much you want to see RSOL’s message delivered to our nation’s lawmakers at this very important national summit. We are ready to step out and send our very finest to do the job. This will be a sacrifice for each representative, who must stop everything else they are doing and take most of a week off from their day jobs to make this trip for us.

They need to know we "have their backs" on this. Please give generously. Send your checks TODAY (deadline is July 23 for some summit expenses) to RSOL, PO Box 534, Mansfield, OH 44901. Write “NCSL” on the subject line. Or make a PayPal contribution [http://reformsexoffenderlaws.org/donate-today], with a special message mentioning “NCSL” so that we can be sure to credit your gift appropriately.

Thank you!

Brenda Jones, Executive Director


MA - Adam Walsh Act Would Label Children as Sex Offenders, Say Advocates

Shana Rowan
Shana Rowan
Original Article

07/15/2013

By Shana Rowan (USA Fair Inc., Blog)

Urge Gov. Patrick to veto Rep. James Arciero’s budget amendment to move Massachusetts closer to Adam Walsh Act compliance

USA FAIR, Inc., the nation’s leading nonprofit organization representing family members of registered sex offenders, expressed dire concern over the welfare of Massachusetts youthful sex offenders and their families should the state become one of only 16 others in compliance with the Adam Walsh Act. One of the mandatory conditions of AWA includes lifetime public registration for youthful sex offenders as young as 14.

In addition to costing the state of Massachusetts an estimated $10.4 million to come into compliance with the Adam Walsh Act – which dwarfs Rep. Arciero’s claim that the state will ‘gain $600,000’ – the risk assessment tools mandated by AWA do not accurately predict recidivism, according to a 2012 study by Dr. Jill Levenson, a noted sex offender policy researcher. Only sixteen out of fifty states have adopted the Adam Walsh Act since 2006, and several have been forced to repeal portions of the law, particularly AWA-mandated lifetime public registration for children as young as 14. There’s a clear, established precedent.

Other reports studying the impact public registration has on juvenile sex offenders have expressed similar concerns. Nicole Pittman, formerly of Human Rights Watch, released “Raised on the Registry” in May, and interviewed children who had been placed on the public registry as young as 11. The findings indicated that the impact of publicizing youthful sex offenders was “multi-generational” – often causing “stigmatization, isolation, and depression… they and their families have experienced harassment and physical violence… They [have been] shot at, beaten, even murdered; many are repeatedly threatened with violence…children of youth sex offenders often cannot be dropped off at school by their parent…they may be banned by law from hosting a birthday party involving other children at their home…they are often harassed and ridiculed by their peers for their parents’ long-past transgressions.”

Several studies focusing on juvenile sex offender recidivism have found juvenile sex offenders re-offend at lower rates than adults, including a 2009 report by the US Department of Justice. The same report indicated that “juveniles account for over a third of all sex offenses committed against other minors.”

In addition to concerns regarding the safety and welfare of children charged with sex crimes, as well as their families, there is simply no evidence to suggest increased public notification reduces sexual offending. Anecdotal claims that ‘knowledge is power’ are poor justification for publicizing the personal information of Level 2 sex offenders and their families, many of whom have been living offense-free in the community for decades. In order to be ‘powerful,’ that knowledge must also be accurate and whole.

Various studies over the years have examined the effect registration and notification laws have reducing sexual recidivism. Every study has come to the same conclusion: the majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone known to the victim and not a stranger, so the public’s access to a sex offender’s photo and home address is little more than a placebo. Furthering the problem is the widely held belief that sex offenders have high recidivism rates, which is disproven by decades of research.

At their worst, these laws are counter-productive. Beyond giving the public a false sense of security, disrupting a person’s life who has been law-abiding for years and since built a family could result in violence, loss of housing and employment, which all harm the entire family, not just the offender. Breaking up families is the opposite of what public safety should be about.

USA FAIR isn’t the only group opposed to the Adam Walsh Act. The Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers has expressed concerns about the true ability of AWA to prevent child sexual abuse. ATSA encourages evidence-based policies, as well as education and awareness campaigns, as more effective ways to combat sexual violence.

Imagine if that $10 million instead went towards educating the children and parents of Massachusetts – how many more crimes could be prevented?

Governor Deval Patrick is expected to sign or veto the bill sometime this week.


LA - Sulphur may raise (extortion / punishment) fees on sex offenders

Sulphur may raise feeds on sex offenders
Original Article

07/15/2013

SULPHUR - The city is considering boosting the registration fees it charges sex offenders.

Councilman Stuart Moss said he will offer a proposal to increase the fee when the City Council meets in August.

According to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sulphur has 74 registered sex offenders — one out of every 240 residents.

I have a concern that every time I open the (newspaper), I see more and more pictures of these sexual offenders,” Moss said.

Here we sit on a gold mine of parks and recreation and great schools. I just don’t think we are on an equal playing field when it comes to sexual offenders living in the city of Sulphur.”

Moss said Lake Charles’ action to raise its registration fee to $600 may convince sex offenders to “move somewhere where it’s a lot cheaper to register.”
- And once again we have another politician showing the purpose of the sex offender laws is punishment!

He said an increase in sex offender registries in Sulphur appeared to follow after Lake Charles raised its fees in 2011.

Moss said his proposal for Sulphur’s registration fee will not be less than the fee charged in Lake Charles.

His proposal will come before the council on Aug. 12.


Facebook unveils child safety 'panic button'

Social networks
Original Article

The intention is good, but Facebook already doesn't obey their own terms of service, so this may help in some cases, but not others. When Facebook starts obeying it's own TOS, then maybe bullying, online exploitation, hate, etc will stop, but until then? If you have rules and don't enforce them, then what good are they? They also mention that you will be downloading the application. That is not true from what we've seen. You only install it on Facebook, but what about all other sites, like Twitter, MySpace, chat rooms, etc?

07/11/2013

By Daniel Emery

Facebook has announced it will allow a "panic button" application on its social networking site.

The button, aimed at children and teenagers, will report abuse to the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) and Facebook.

Once installed, the application appears on their homepage to say that "they are in control online".

The launch follows months of negotiation between Ceop and Facebook, which initially resisted the idea.

Ceop, the government law enforcement agency tasked with tracking down online sex offenders, called for a panic button to be installed on social networking sites last November.

Bebo became the first network to add the button with MySpace following suit, but Facebook resisted the change, saying its own reporting systems were sufficient.

Pressure mounted on Facebook following the rape and murder of 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall by a 33-year-old convicted sex offender, posing as a teenage boy, who she met on Facebook.
- Education may have helped prevent this.  Parents, and teachers, need to teach kids to not talk to strangers on the Internet, or agree to meet them in person.  The button is a good idea, but we doubt it would've helped in this situation.

Forty-four police chiefs in England, Wales and Scotland, signed a letter backing Ceop's call for a panic button on every Facebook page.

'Reassurance for parents'
The agreement to launch a child safety application is the culmination of months of negotiation between Ceop and Facebook.

Jim Gamble, Ceop's chief executive, said in a statement: "Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCeop button is well documented - today however is a good day for child protection."

"By adding this application, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCeop button which should provide reassurance to every parent with teenagers on the site."
- And in our opinion, it's also going to be another false sense of security for some.

Facebook's head of communications in the UK, Sophy Silver, told BBC News that the new app would integrate reporting into both Facebook and Ceop's systems.

"Both sides are happy as to where we have got," she said.

"We still have the Facebook reporting system and by having a pre-packaged application that users play an active part in, you not only help keep them safe, it makes all of their friends aware too, and acts as a viral awareness campaign."

"Ultimately though, this makes for a safer environment for users and that's the most important part," she added.

In addition to the online reporting application, a new Facebook/Ceop page is being set up, with a range of topics that, it is hoped, will be of interest to teenagers, such as celebrities, music and exams. It will link these subjects to questions about online safety.