Sunday, October 18, 2015

Shame, Isolation and Banishment

The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By James:
There is so much I've learned about these laws over the past five years that I'd like to unlearn but can't. One feels a bit like Kafka's Samsa; one day you are traveling salesman and the next day, a giant insect whose family in the end is relieved that you died. Perhaps Kafka's "The Trial" and Joesph K. is an even more fitting description of what this experience is like.

I was convicted of a non-touch offense and given many years of supervised release plus the registry. Of course, there isn't a day that goes by in my life that I don't regret what I did. I literally threw my life away and I had a professional career and life which is gone, forever. I'm not qualified for most welding/mechanical jobs that most sex offenders are forced to get so I remain unemployed. I did not end up going to prison and am extremely grateful for that. But even though polygraphs and many experts have shown and agreed I have never physically touched anyone and I am not a risk to do so, that fact will never be believed by the general public because of the public registry. Since my conviction I've read many people actually prefer prison to life on the outside being a registered citizen. Before being brandished from my community, that statement might not have made any sense to me but because I'm living it, I don't doubt it. Neighbors who shun you because you lower their property values, former friends and associates who pretend that you don't exist, having an "elephant in the room" that is always there no matter who you are talking to, fearing that any day a new buffering zone restriction will be passed in your state forcing you to move, watching people look at you as though you are Frankenstein's monster despite the fact that you know the truth about yourself.

Let me say this: We haven't reached the phase of genocide that Hitler's Final Solution provided for in the killing of 6 million innocent people, but we are moving in that direction. That may sound like an extreme statement but everyday as I watch more laws being passed, I am forced to come to that conclusion. Jews were not put in concentration camps on day number one of the Nazi regime. It escalated. Don't believe me? It's actually happening.I look at "Miracle Village" in Florida as being like a modern day Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw Poland. The implication is that these people need a colony of their own outside of the general community because God forbid they may contaminate or poison the community by their mere presence. Doesn't this sound pretty similar to another well known ideology? This really should not be a surprise; many politicians have made off-the-cuff remarks (and not so off the cuff) about how nice it would be if penal colonies for sex offenders existed. And it isn't just happening in Miracle Village. Clustering is happening all over the country, especially in more restrictive states. Certain cities, towns and municipalities can pass ordinances to keep sex offenders out. The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently compared these laws to Japanese Internment Camps. Do I personally worry about how this escalation can effect me in the future? I don't know how I could be human and not worry about it. It's a fact that's staring me in the face that I'd rather ignore but can't.

I could write a polemic here based on my experiences and research but alas I will cut it short. I just wanted to get in my two sense. I hope other people can resonate with how I feel.

23 years of mayhem

The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Bill:
I am from Utah. 23 years ago I plead guilty to attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child. The penalties of the law for pleading guilty were laid out. I would have to "Register" at the Courthouse once a year for 3 years. 3 years parole. Judge said in court I was looking at doing considerably less than 5 years. Everything that was thrown at me is what is referred to as a "Legal Fiction" I had no idea they could just change the law anytime they wanted without any due process of the law, and that I would become subject to those laws or I would have fought for reduced charges. I did 11 years in prison. The time on Parole changed to 5 years. I was violated 3 different times on "Technical Violations" None of the violations had anything to do with a sex offense. Then in 2008 when I was just ready to get off my 5 year parole I was informed it was now ten years parole. So after being out for 7 years they decide because of a traffic violation that went to warrant I needed to go back to prison. Adult probation and parole recommended 4 years for the violation!!!! Lucky the people whom I love, neighbors included showed up and fought to get me released. I did 6 months. I now have another 10 year parole to do. I was convicted in 1993. This nightmare is never going to end for me. I took a polygraph test so that my granddaughters could live with me. They asked me every sick question possible and I passed 100%. Now that the system has turned prisoner for profit, and they use sex offenders to extort money from the taxpayers by scaring them, I am doomed!!! Oh Utah just created a bunch of reform laws that would help me. But I don't fall under them because of the date of my conviction. But the laws that hurt me I fall under even though it was not a law when I entered my Plea? Funny huh, For some readers I am sure it is. This looks like a good website. I hope people will educate themselves to the truth about everything that is going on. Its a industry now for a lot of people. They depend on sex offenders committing crimes so they can make a living. It's very sad, one of the saddest things is now is they are throwing children in the checkout cart. It really does boil down to money. Taxpayer Money! So the worse they can make all sex offenders look, the more cash they can pull out of all your wallets. True story

How did I get here?

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By Nita:
My son was/is addicted to online pornography all types, and is incarcerated. He is non-violent, but being treated like he was.

I have gone through disappointment, embarrassment, guilt, depression, anger, money and now mislead.

The system said he would serve his time and get off with good behavior, and extra credit for taking classes. They never told us it's impossible to find a place for him to reside. His PO told me He has to wear a monitor, no internet access where he resides, Land line only. Must pay for weekly counseling and pay an annual fee to the city he resides in. He must also pay for a yearly polygraph. Now to find a job to do all this. If not able to meet these, he stays in prison.

What ever happened to second chances?

Not only is he punished, but so is the immediate family.

I don't know if these conditions are for all or they are making this up as they go along. I am wondering if an attorney can advise me or do anything other than take my money.

There needs to be risk assessments to this law other then black or white.

Please get help

The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Sam:
A few years ago I got sucked into a virtual world that was plain wrong. My crime is possession of child pornography and though I don't exactly know why i did it, the only thing I could relate to it was an addiction. I know for a fact that it is wrong and I needed help though I was to afraid of trying to seek it. After a 4 year investigation my final court date is tomorrow in which I will accept a plea deal of 2 years time and 10 years probation. Words can not begin to describe the fear which is flowing through me, and the worst part is I am only 26 and I feel as though my life is over. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life and this is doing nothing but exacerbating the condition. At the time I thought to myself that I am not actively searching for a victim to rape so I am not harming anyone but that thinking is what got me in to this situation to begin with. Luckily for me, my friends and family and fiance are all supportive yet it almost doesn't seem like enough. One moment I feel as though I got this and the next I want to end it all. I have read horror stories online about how sex offenders are treated in prison and out and I fear my life is completely over. I ruined my chances at a great career and a great life and now I fear as though I may not make it out of prison alive mentally and or physically. My advice to anyone who is struggling with this same problem is please get the help that you deserve for not only yourself but also your loved ones.

What is a compliant SO supposed to do to make a living?

The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Max:
I have a friend of mine that has done 13 years in prison and is serving his parole at home. The registering, ankle bracelet, permission to go to the store, all that. He just got out earlier this year around Feb. or March. What I find hard to believe is how stringent the parole officers are and the mistakes they have made and try to flip it on him even though he has reported the jobs he had had and then had to quit because of them trying to make him out like he was the guilty party and not following protocol to stay compliant. The first job he had to give up was because his PO didn't want to use his temp agency as the mediator to get his work schedule so he had to quit that job. He finally got on with a local store as a cashier and even reported where he was working, his schedule and what his job was which was a cashier. After being there for a week or so, his PO made him quit that job due to his interaction with people and who may have had kids and children. That's somewhat understandable but his PO turned around and told him that the next time he tries to get a job like that, that they would revoke his parole even though his PO had been told where he was working and always gave all information as to where al the places where he has applied at. All he wants is a job so he can take care of himself and not have his parents pay his rent, utilities and whatnot. It would be one thing if he was trying to do something underhanded or sneaky but he hasn't done no such thing. How is he supposed to live if PO's are being stingy as to where they work or have to use a different communication tool to obtain his work schedule to verify?

Why are they breaking up families?

The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By King Kano:
I am a registered sex offender, low level of course, but now that I have returned to the USA, I heard I am not allowed to go back to the Philippines, but what about Thailand, or Singapore? This would through off the embassy reporting to the Philippines, and just go to the Philippines after Singapore... Will this work? I have a wife and 2 kids there, they all miss me of course, why is this law breaking up families?

A good holiday weekend

The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Chris:
I read a lot of stories here, I thought it may help some to read a good story from the holiday weekend.

My 4th of July was one of the best I've had in the last few years. I'm nearing the end of my second year of federal probation (1 ct poss of CP, no jail time, 5 years probation), doing everything I can to keep the PO happy and in return I was able to go out of state and attend a family reunion over the holiday weekend. It has been a long time since I have seen some of them and for the first time I was able to see new grand-nieces/nephews. They were all so happy my family and I were able to be there, and my daughter had us in tears when she was telling us one night how happy she was.

It's moments like those that keep me, and others I am sure, going when so much piles up on us every day. Soon the fall semester starts for me, and after that the kids will be back in school, and I'll see the wife off every morning as she goes to work. I may actually get some work done around the house! But when things get hard it's those memories that are always there, and knowing that more are around the corner in the future.