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July 10, 2018: Great Article from Boston Globe July 9, 2018
Posted by William S.

The Boston Release Network, an organization that promotes public safety by helping returning citizens reintegrate into the community, notes that of the 59 individuals using their services, none have committed or even been arrested for a new sex offense. In fact, sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates of all offenders — 87 percent of offenses committed each year are by first- time offenders, 93 percent committed against children are by people known to the child, and people over 60 have a 2 percent recidivism rate.

 Boston Globe | July 9, 2018

OPINION

Changing sex offender law needs to be evidence-based

Chris Christo/The Boston Herald via AP

Wayne Chapman in the courtroom at his arraignment on June 6, 2018, in Ayer, Mass.

 

By Anthony Benedetti and Laurie Guidry  

Massachusetts is hardly soft on sex offenders, being one of only 20 states and the District of Columbia that incarcerate people convicted of sex offenses after they’ve completed their criminal sentences based on what they might do in the future. This practice is so antithetical to our Constitution that sexually dangerous person laws require careful calibration.

In the nearly 20 years this law has been in effect, some have been released because they’re no longer dangerous — having either progressed in treatment or become too old, too sick, or too debilitated to reoffend. An analysis of statistics gathered from annual reports of the Massachusetts Treatment Center between 2008 and 2017 reveals only approximately 17 percent of those examined during this nine-year period have been released when both qualified examiners found them no longer sexually dangerous.

The Boston Release Network, an organization that promotes public safety by helping returning citizens reintegrate into the community, notes that of the 59 individuals using their services, none have committed or even been arrested for a new sex offense. In fact, sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates of all offenders — 87 percent of offenses committed each year are by first- time offenders, 93 percent committed against children are by people known to the child, and people over 60 have a 2 percent recidivism rate.

Wayne Chapman committed heinous offenses against children. For more than 40 years he’s been in custody, serving a lengthy prison sentence followed by sexually dangerous person civil commitment. It wasn’t until this year that two experts agreed that he cannot manage his basic needs without assistance, and doesn’t have the ability to reoffend, due to degenerative Parkinson’s disease.

The examiners making these judgments are appointed by the court and meet rigorous standards established by law. Many have interviewed hundreds, if not thousands, with sex offense convictions, with no evidence that their decisions failed to optimize the safety of the Commonwealth.Chapman is facing new allegations. He has been charged with open and gross lewdness and lewd, wanton, and lascivious conduct at MCI-Shirley. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday. He will not be released from prison until these allegations are resolved. Keeping a person behind bars for prior offenses despite findings by two examiners that he’s no longer sexually dangerous is a violation of the Constitutional rights that protect us all.

Sensationalized media reports would have one think that the floodgates have opened and dangerous people are streaming out of the treatment center. There is zero evidence that, after being found no longer sexually dangerous by two examiners, individuals who are released ultimately reoffend. Why aren’t data critical to the legislation of smart and effective policy available? The Department of Correction could gather data to answer this question, but it doesn’t. In fact, in a recent public records request, it confirmed that it doesn’t collect data on recidivism of inmates released from the Massachusetts Treatment Center.

If one fully acknowledges the suffering of victims, there’d be a demand for more resources for victims and survivors, and widespread public pressure to prevent all forms of sexual violence before anyone is harmed. Yet we focus the vast majority of available resources on small numbers of sex offenders who are already highly regulated by the state.

A bill filed by Governor Charlie Baker expands existing efforts by spending millions of dollars on trials of a relatively few while doing nothing to address the prevention of the vast majority of sex crimes against children and adults. A far more prudent approach to reduce the incidence of sex crimes and prevent future victims would be to focus on preventing sexual crimes committed by someone with no previous history of sexual offense, thereby focusing our resources and energy smartly.

The governor prides himself on making evidence-based decisions, but his legislation would significantly change existing law without data to support the need for reform. Further, the Legislature recently created a commission to review the qualifications and reliability of examiners and explore moving toward an evidenced-based approach that tracks outcomes.

Quick fixes now make no sense when a well-considered approach is pending. Before incurring enormous costs to the Commonwealth to “fix” a law that isn’t broken, the governor and Legislature should prioritize data collection and review.

Anthony Benedetti is chief counsel of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Laurie Guidry is chair of the Public Policy Committee for the Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

 

Source:  Link to Boston Globe Article

June 14, 2018: Eric Tennen"s Unabridged News Conference Regarding Wayne Chapman
Posted by William S.

Hello Everyone,

Follow the link below to watch this wonderful Press Conference.

Press Conference Link

June 7, 2018: Governor Baker's Knee Jerk Legislation Pertaining to Sexual Offenders
Posted by William S.

June 6, 2018
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives,
Wayne Chapman has been behind bars since the late 1970s. Part of that time was spent
serving a series of criminal sentences for raping children. When he finished serving his criminal
sentences, the Commonwealth was able to continue to hold him in custody through a civil
commitment process for sexually dangerous persons. He is on the verge of being released from
that civil commitment despite the fact that experts disagree as to whether he remains so
dangerous that he should remain in custody.
Ordinarily, we would resolve this dispute through a trial. However, in 2009, the Supreme
Judicial Court ruled that our civil commitment statute does not permit a trial if two of these
experts, referred to as “qualified examiners,” whom the superior court orders to examine the
person agree that he no longer remains sexually dangerous.
Chapman’s case illustrates two serious issues with our justice system. It is clear that we
must reform the court process for reviewing the commitment of sexually dangerous persons so
that there is a full hearing before a sexually dangerous person is released. But we must also reexamine
the sentences Chapman received in the 1970s for raping children. Serial rapists of
children should be sentenced to life in prison and not to shorter terms that give them the chance
to be released and reoffend.
I am submitting for your consideration “An Act Relative to Child Predators.” This
legislation addresses both of these issues. First, this legislation reforms our civil commitment
process so that any disagreement among experts will result in a trial at which a judge or jury can
hear all of the evidence about whether a person remains sexually dangerous and make a fully
informed decision regarding release. Second, the legislation establishes a mandatory minimum
sentence of life without parole for someone who uses force to rape two or more children, or uses
force to rape a child after being convicted of a previous sex offense.
While these reforms will not impact Chapman’s case, they will help keep child predators
in custody in the future. I urge your prompt and favorable review of this legislation.
Respectfully submitted,
Charles D. Baker
Governor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHTEEN


AN ACT RELATIVE TO CHILD PREDATORS
Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to
protect children from serial rapists, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law,
necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, safety and convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the
authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 123A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is
hereby amended by striking out the definitions of “Community Access Board” and “Community Access
Program”.
SECTION 2. Said section 1 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by
inserting after the definition of “Qualified examiner,” the following definition:-
“Sexual dangerousness review board,” a board consisting of five members appointed by the commissioner
of correction, consistent with the policies and procedures of the department of correction. Each member
shall be a psychologist or psychiatrist who meets the requirements for being a qualified examiner.
Membership shall include at least two persons who are not department of correction employees, but who
may be independent contractors or consultants. The board’s functions shall be to evaluate sexual
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dangerousness, to provide expert evidence and testimony in connection with proceedings under this
chapter, and to make recommendations for the treatment of sexually dangerous persons committed to the
treatment center.
SECTION 3. Section 2 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following
paragraph:-
Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, persons adjudicated as sexually
dangerous persons and committed to the treatment center shall have no expectation of privacy, privilege
or confidentiality in any records or communications regarding treatment, including without limitation,
medical, psychiatric and psychological records of any type.
SECTION 4. Section 2A of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in
lines 27 to 28, the words “considered for participation in the community access program” and inserting in
place thereof the following words:- until released pursuant to section 9.
SECTION 5. Section 6A of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the
second and third paragraphs and inserting in place thereof the following 4 paragraphs:-
The department of correction shall establish a board known as the sexual dangerousness review
board, as defined in section 1, referred to in this section as the board. The board shall, 9 months before the
release of a sex offender from his criminal sentence, evaluate each such prisoner under sentence in the
custody of the department of correction to make a recommendation to the district attorney or the attorney
general about the present sexual dangerousness of such prisoner. In the case of a prisoner who is
sentenced to prison for no more than 9 months, such review shall be conducted as soon as practicable
following such person’s admission to prison. The board shall set forth its recommendations about the
present sexual dangerousness of said prisoner in a written report which report shall be admissible in
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evidence in any proceeding under this chapter. In the event of dissenting opinions, two written reports
shall be prepared, one representing the majority opinion and one representing the minority opinion.
The board shall conduct examinations, including personal interviews, of each sexually dangerous
person committed to the treatment center for the purpose of opining whether the person remains sexually
dangerous. The board shall prepare written reports of its examinations and diagnoses and the
recommendations for the disposition of any petition filed pursuant to this chapter, which reports shall be
filed with the court.
Such examinations shall be conducted at least annually and on such additional basis as
determined by the department of correction or order of the court in connection with any petition under
section 9 of this chapter. The board shall also annually make recommendations for treatment for each
sexually dangerous person committed to the treatment center, which recommendations shall be included
in the board’s written report.
For all evaluations conducted under this chapter, the board shall have access to all records of the
person being evaluated.
SECTION 6. The second paragraph of section 9 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby
amended by striking out the third sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sentences:-
The court shall also order the petitioner to be examined by the sexual dangerousness review board,
including personal interviews, as set forth in section 6A of this chapter. Said reports of the qualified
examiners and the sexual dangerousness review board shall be admissible in a hearing pursuant to this
section.
SECTION 7. Said section 9 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by
inserting after the word “section,” in line 31, the following words:- or by the sexual dangerousness review
board.
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SECTION 8. Said section 9 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by
inserting after the word “examiners,” in line 34, the following words:- and the sexual dangerousness
review board.
SECTION 9. The second paragraph of said section 9 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby
further amended by striking out the sixth and seventh sentences.
SECTION 10. Said section 9 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by
inserting after the word “center,” in line 46, the following words:- ; provided, however, that such order
shall not require discharge sooner than 48 hours from when it is issued.
SECTION 11. Said section 9 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking
out, in line 46, the words “such discharge” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- receipt of
such discharge order.
SECTION 12. Section 13 of said chapter 123A, is hereby amended by inserting after the word
“examiners,” in lines 5 to 6, 10 and 25, in each instance, the following words:- and the sexual
dangerousness review board.
SECTION 13. Section 14 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the
word “examiners,” in line 7, the following words:- and the sexual dangerousness review board.
SECTION 14. Said section 14 of said chapter 123A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by
striking out subsection (c).
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SECTION 15. Said chapter 123A is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 17.
Evidence of the person's juvenile and adult court and probation records, medical, psychiatric and
psychological records and reports regarding the person named in the petition prepared under this chapter,
including the report of any qualified examiner and the sexual dangerousness review board or any member
thereof, the report of an expert retained by a party, police reports relating to such person’s prior sexual
offenses and other offenses, incident reports arising out of such person’s incarceration or custody, oral or
written statements prepared for and to be offered at the trial by the victims of sexual misconduct by the
person who is the subject of the petition, parole records and reports, and any other evidence that tends to
indicate that he is or is not a sexually dangerous person shall be admissible in a trial under this chapter if
such written information has been provided to opposing counsel reasonably in advance of trial. A
qualified examiner, any member of the sexual dangerousness review board, an expert retained by a party,
any victim of sexual misconduct by the person who is the subject of the petition, and the chief
administrative officer of the treatment center or his designee may testify at the trial of a petition brought
under this chapter.
If a person who is the subject of a petition under this chapter seeks to present expert opinion at a
probable cause hearing or trial and said expert has conducted a personal interview of the person, the court
shall order the person to submit to a personal interview with the sexual dangerousness review board and
such other expert as designated by the commonwealth. If the person refuses to participate in the personal
interview with the sexual dangerousness review board or such other expert as is designated by the
commonwealth, the court shall exclude the person’s expert from testifying at such hearing or trial.
Evidence of the opinion of a single qualified examiner, any member of the sexual dangerousness
review board or any person meeting the requirements of a qualified examiner that the subject of a petition
brought under sections 9 or 14 is a sexually dangerous person, shall be deemed sufficient for the
commonwealth to meet its burden of proof.
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SECTION 16. Section 133A of chapter 127 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official
Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “degree,” in line 5, the following words:- or rape
of a child through use of force or threat of bodily injury.
SECTION 17. Said section 133A of said chapter 127, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by
inserting after the word “murder,” in line 6, the words:- or rape.
SECTION 18. Section 22C of chapter 265 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by
striking out, in line 17, the words “or any term of years, but not less than 20 years” and inserting in place
thereof the following words:- and shall not be eligible for parole pursuant to section 133A of chapter 127.
SECTION 19. Said section 22C of said chapter 265, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by
striking out the second sentence.
SECTION 20. Said chapter 265 is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 59. Whoever, having been convicted upon a single indictment of two or more rapes of a child
through use of force or threat of bodily injury in violation of section 22A in which the victims were
different children, shall be adjudged a child predator, and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state
prison for life and shall not be eligible for parole pursuant to section 133A of chapter 127, and such
indictment shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file.
SECTION 21. Sections 3, 9 through 11, inclusive, 14 and 15 shall apply to all petitions brought pursuant
to chapter 123A of the General Laws pending on the effective date of this act and to all such petitions
filed after the effective date of this act.
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SECTION 22. Sections 5 through 8, inclusive, 12 and 13 shall apply to all petitions brought under chapter
123A of the General Laws pending 90 days after the effective date of this act and to all such petitions
filed 90 days after the effective date of this act.
SECTION 23. Sections 5 through 8, inclusive, 12 and 13 shall take effect 90 days after the effective date
of this act.

May 16, 2018: We Need Your Help With A Scientific Survey
Posted by William S.

Hey Guys.

Have you been out for 3 years or more? Do you know someone who has?

The Boston Release Network is helping gather data on the true recidivism level for offenders released from the TC for the attornies and independent examiners to use at our trials.

If you are interested, or know someone who is, contact Billy Stevens or Billy Canavan by phone or email:

Billy Stevens, (857) 243-7979 or stevens.boston.release@gmail.com

Billy Canavan, (781) 999-4523 or bill.j.canavan@gmail.com

We sure hope you can help.

Thanks

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