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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
- 2 -
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
- 3 -
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.
- 4 -
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).
- 5 -
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.
- 6 -
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.
- 7 -
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

May 7, 2018: Heartless
Posted by William S.

Heartless:  A homeless encampment under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Florida became a national and international news story nearly a decade ago.  The camp formed because banishment laws had pushed individuals on the sex offense registry into homelessness.  More politely known as “residency restrictions,” such laws do nothing to improve public safety while creating a human rights mess.  Forced to relocate over the years, once again authorities are demanding that homeless registrants move.  Where?  There’s “almost nowhere to go.”  Arrests are threatened.  Will this awfulness ever stop?   Solidarity to those fighting to survive on the streets, their allies at Florida Action Committee, legal eagles Val Jonas, and Jeffrey Hearne of Legal Services.  The Intercept’s Zaid Jilani has a detailed report, and the Miami Herald has an update – a last minute reprieve.  Have a look.   –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire  info@thedobbswire.com

 

 

The Intercept | May 5, 2018

Homeless Sex Offenders Are Getting Kicked Out of Their South Florida Encampment. Now What?

 

 

By Zaid Jilani

 

Excerepts:  For the past four years, dozens of homeless sex offenders have lived in tents in a makeshift encampment along a set of railroad tracks in Hialeah, a city in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.   In March, Mayor Carlos Giménez gave those living there 45 days to vacate. That deadline isSunday; if they refuse to leave by then, police may be able to arrest them on the spot.  Florida’s Miami-Dade County has among the strictest residency restrictions for sex offenders of anywhere in America, thanks to a legislative change made in 2005. 

 

The problem is, they have almost nowhere to go.  There are severe restrictions on where in the county sex offenders can live, said Gail Colletta, president of the Florida Action Committee, which works to reform sex offender laws.  There is little evidence that these laws are improving overall public safety, said J.J. Prescott, a University of Michigan law professor who has studied the laws’ impact.  

 

Many of its laws governing residential choices for sex offenders come from the advocacy of a single man: Ron Book...The resulting displacement in many locales, and the proliferation of homeless encampments full of sex offenders led Newsweek to dub Book as “the lobbyist who put sex offenders under a bridge.” MORE: 

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/05/homeless-sex-offenders-florida-miami-dade/

 

 

Miami Herald | May 4, 2018

Homeless sex offenders living in tents outside Hialeah say they have nowhere to go

 

 

By Douglas Hanks

 

The cluster of tents housing dozens of sex offenders popped up several years ago outside Hialeah, and Miami-Dade hasn't yet managed to find a way to empty it.  An eviction appeared imminent this week, as county officials warned residents they needed to clear out of the roadside refuge by Sunday, May 6 — even though Miami-Dade's homeless shelters won't accept them.

 

Then came a last-minute reprieve as county attorneys faced a threatened legal challenge to an ordinance passed late last year targeting the encampment off Northwest 71st Street that's the registered address of 235 registered sex offenders. A letter from a top county official on Friday said no action to disband the camp would be taken until May 10 at the earliest.  The people living in the encampment are involuntarily homeless," wrote Legal Services lawyer Jeffrey Hearne. Thanks to a 2,500-foot restriction on living near schools, "they are prohibited from living in most residential areas of the County."

 

The person who runs the county's homeless efforts is the volunteer chairman of Miami-Dade's homeless board: lobbyist Ron Book. He's also a crusader for tough laws for sexual offenders. His daughter, state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, was a victim of sexual abuse as a child and rose to political prominence from her activism on the issue. The county law regulating where sex offenders can live is named after her.  MORE:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article210509304.html

May 7, 2018: Fake recidivism numbers!!
Posted by William S.

Fake recidivism numbers:  Illinois has a law banishing individuals on the sex offense registry from public parks.  In 2017 an Illinois appeals court struck down the statute, saying “it bears no reasonable relationship to protecting the public.”  Now comes the Illinois Supreme Court with a unanimous ruling *upholding* the park ban.  Fake recidivism numbers don’t seem to bother the court much as fear and spinelessness triumph over reason!  Kudos to Marc Pepitone and his legal eagle Katherine Strohl for waging this fight.  Stay tuned, one of the claims has been sent to a lower court and the litigation is expected to continue.  There’s a link below to the decision.  Jacob Sullum has an excellent report and analysis for Reason.com, have a look!  -Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire info@thedobbswire.com

 

Reason | Apr. 11, 1018

Writing Sex Offender Laws Based on Fake Recidivism Numbers Is Rational, Court Says

The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously upholds a law banning sex offenders from public parks.

 

 

By Jacob Sullum

 

Last week the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a state law banning sex offenders from public parks, overturning a 2017 appeals court ruling that deemed the statute "unconstitutional on its face because it bears no reasonable relationship to protecting the public."

 

In reaching that conclusion, the justices relied on alarming claims about recidivism among sex offenders, even while acknowledging that the claims have been discredited. The decision, written by Justice Mary Jane Theis, shows how fear overrides logic in dealing with sex offenders and how toothless "rational basis" review can be, allowing legislators not only to draw their own judgments but to invent their own facts. 

 

In this case, both the legislature and the judiciary have assumed crucial facts that simply are not true, as far as we can tell based on all of the research that has been done during the last few decades. Theis is saying laws should nevertheless be written and upheld based on those demonstrably false assumptions until legislators decide to gather data. MORE:

https://reason.com/blog/2018/04/11/court-says-relying-on-fake-recidivism-nu

 

 

People v. Pepitone

Illiniois Supreme Court

Opinion and decision April 5, 2018

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2018/122034.pdf

May 7, 2018: Consequences
Posted by William S.

Consequences:  A listing on the sex offense registry carries many consequences.  Registered individuals face rampant discrimination in jobs, housing, education, healthcare and many other areas of life.  Anti-discrimination laws rarely include people who have a 'record.'   So there's little recourse and, even more alarming, much discrimination is required -- by state and federal laws that bar registrants from various occupations, housing, schools, loans, and more.  Sometimes the terrible treatment escalates to harassment.  And then there are physical attacks, including ones that prove fatal.   How did we get to this point?   What has been unleashed?   Registration turns people into lepers and targets for public fears and anger.  Once pariahs, constitutional and human rights can be stripped away.   Those who do wrong must be held accountable; scarlet letters of any sort are not the way to do it.  A new Vice.com story delves into these matters, on both sides of the Canada/US border.  There’s more material on this topic, below-- have a look!  eAdvocate R.I.P.  --Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire   info@thedobbswire.com

 

Vice.com | March 28, 2018

How Sex Offender Registries Can Result in Vigilante Murder

Some Canadian conservatives are pushing for more public sex offender registries. But there is a history of deadly violence associated with them.

 

By Rob Csernyik

 

 

Excerpts:  Stephen Marshall was driving through rural Maine under the cover of night with three guns by his side and a laptop with 34 names and addresses he’s found online.  Around 3 AM, Marshall reached his first stop: about two hours southwest in the town of Milo, Maine.

 

Fifty-seven-year-old Joseph Gray was in his living room asleep. He’d been up late watching  Forensic Files with his wife. She was woken up by the sound of their dogs barking. Gray was shot and killed by Marshall through the living room window as she stood by, helpless. 

 

Grey and Elliott were among around 2,200 names on Maine’s online sex offender registry in 2006. Marshall was able to access their photo, name, address, identifying characteristics—even their place of employment. And he wasn’t the only one checking them out. The registry was the state government’s most popular website at the time receiving over 200,000 hits a month.  MORE:

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ne9ew7/how-sex-offender-registries-can-result-in-vigilante-murder

 

 

Prison Legal News | May 2017

Vigilantes Assault, Rob and Murder Registered Sex Offenders

 

By Matt Clarke

 

As repeatedly reported in Prison Legal News, for over a decade registered sex offenders have been targeted by vigilantes and assaulted, robbed and murdered due to their past crimes. And as noted in this issue’s cover story, that is part of the dark side of sex offender registries, which allow public access to offenders’ residential addresses and other personal information.

 

Such information not only endangers registered sex offenders but also those who live with them and, in at least one case in Dallas, Texas, an innocent victim. That Dallas man, who was beaten with a baseball bat, had simply moved into an apartment recently vacated by a sex offender.  Prison Legal News believes these incidents are more widespread and occur with greater frequency than reported in the mainstream media.  MORE:

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2017/may/5/vigilantes-assault-rob-and-murder-registered-sex-offenders/

 

 

Sex Offender Vigilantism blog

Reports from 1995-2017

This blog documents “various acts of vigilantism, and "who -or- what" they have targeted. These incidents document what Lawmakers refuse to admit is occurring.” 

http://on-vigilantism.blogspot.com/

 

NOTE:  A man who valued his privacy and called himself eAdvocate created and maintained, for many years, this blog and about a dozen others concerned with sex offense issues.  eAdvocate recently died; he made valuable contributions to the growing movement against draconian sex offense punishments.  While the blogs are no longer updated they are a historical resource and an online memorial to eAdvocate’s work.  –The Dobbs Wire

May 6, 2018: Shackles
Posted by William S.

What about “electronic monitoring”?   More and more individuals including many with a sex offense history are required to wear the special equipment for this type of state surveillance.  Anyone who runs afoul of Big Brother could be looking at prison time--that’s why James Kilgore urged calling the monitoring equipment “shackles” at a recent New York conference.  Kilgore has deep knowledge and personal experience with electronic monitoring, have a look at his latest essay and learn about a new campaign, Challenging E-Carceration.  –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire

 

Open Society Foundations | March 22, 2018

Monitoring the Use of Electronic Monitoring

 

By James Kilgore

 

Excerpts:  Use of electronic monitoring devices (EM), first introduced in the 1980s, more than doubled between 2005 and 2015, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The technology has become increasingly popular as the movement to reduce mass incarceration gains momentum. It is touted as a way of bringing down prison populations while still keeping people under the watchful eye of the state.

 

But electronic monitoring needs to be understood for what it really is: incarceration by another name. And it’s a form of incarceration which has largely arisen without scrutiny or regulation.  The surge in the use of these shackles also raises troubling questions about the surveillance state.

 

It is time, at long last, to try to shine some light on these "gray areas." I have been working for the past year to help develop guidelines to try to address some of these issues—and safeguard the rights of those on the monitor. I am in good company, working with dozens of advocates and individuals who have lived under EM who are part of a wider effort, the Challenging E-Carceration campaign.  MORE:

https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/monitoring-use-electronic-monitoring

May 6, 2018: #MeToo
Posted by William S.

WATCH OUT for #MeToo--that’s the message in an important essay by JoAnn Wypijewski, just published by The Nation.  What about accountability for sexual wrongdoing?  Shall it be delivered by headlines that have morphed into guided missiles, legal process only an afterthought?  We’re decades into very severe laws and punishments for sex offenses.  Nearly 900,000 people are marked with a scarlet letter and forced to sign the sex offense registry.  Will #MeToo spur progress or bring more crackdowns and draconian measures?  Has #MeToo become a wrecking ball aimed at reason and justice?  “Inspect the hydra” and have a look at this powerful and personal piece that’s interwoven with sex diary entries! Don’t miss the passage about an odd advertisement for The New York Times. –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire info@thedobbswire.com

 

The Nation | Feb. 22, 2018

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About #MeToo

There are other, unattended stories, ones that do not deny men’s age-old power over women.

 

By JoAnn Wypijewski

 

Amid the chorus of stories that define the #MeToo phenomenon, there remain other, unattended stories. These others do not displace the chorus. They do not say, “You are wrong, shut up.” They do not exist in the world of “Keep quiet” or “Be good.” They do not deny the reality of men’s age-old power over women, or conformity as a silencing force. They say power is cunning, power is a hydra; it has more heads than any story or group of stories can describe. They say history does, too. They invite us to inspect the hydra. MORE:

 

https://www.thenation.com/article/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-metoo/

 

May 6, 2018: Twice a year the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children updates its infamous registry map.
Posted by William S.

My charts are based on the latest map.  One key indicator continues to increase:  Total number of people on registries is 870,642, a rise of about 13,000 over the last six months. Thanks Bill Dobbs.

CHART A: STATE AND WASHINGTON, DC SEX OFFENSE REGISTRIES
RANKED BY NUMBER OF REGISTRANTS
AS OF NOV. 28, 2017
Credit: The Dobbs Wire info@thedobbswire.com Dec. 26, 2017
Data source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

Registry Number of
Rank State registrants
1. California 105,261
2. Texas 91,912
3. Florida 70,937
4. Michigan 43,823
5. New York 40,215
6. Illinois 33,061
7. Georgia 30,136
8. Oregon 28,089
9. Wisconsin 24,784
10. Tennessee 23,262
Subtotal: 491,480 (56% of all U.S. registrants)
11. Virginia 23,119
12. Washington 22,045
13. Pennsylvania 20,884
14. Colorado 18,768
15. Ohio 18,323
Subtotal: 103,139 (12% of all U.S. registrants)
16. Minnesota 17,687
17. North Carolina 17,621
18. New Jersey 16,446
19. Missouri 15,866
20. Arkansas 15,471
Subtotal: 83,091 (10% of all U.S. registrants)
21. Alabama 15,091
22. Arizona 13,945
23. Massachusetts 11,842
24. Kentucky 11,299
25. Kansas 10,267
Subtotal: 62,444 (7% of all U.S. registrants)

Registry Number of
Rank State registrants
26. Mississippi 10,082
27. South Carolina 9,942
28. Indiana 9,846
29. Louisiana 9,387
30. Utah 8,112
31. Maryland 7,728
32. Nevada 6,905
33. Oklahoma 6,721
34. West Virginia 5,831
35. Iowa 5,666
36. Connecticut 5,412
37. Nebraska 5,412
38. Idaho 4,723
39. Delaware 4,716
40. New Mexico 3,739
41. South Dakota 3,606
42. Hawaii 3,045
43. New Hampshire 2,826
44. Maine 2,751
45. Montana 2,675
46. Rhode Island 2,600
47. Alaska 2,369
48. Wyoming 2,315
49. North Dakota 1,566
50. Vermont 1,333
51. Washington DC 1,180
Subtotal: 130,488 (15% of all U.S. registrants)
Total number of registrants in the U.S.
as of Nov. 28, 2017: 870,642
as of May 24, 2017: 857,979
Total number of registrants in the U.S.,
Puerto Rico, Guam and other territories
as of Nov. 28, 2017: 874,725
as of May 24, 2017: 861,837

 

CHART B: STATE AND WASHINGTON, DC SEX OFFENSE REGISTRIES
RANKED BY NUMBER OF REGISTRANTS AND POPULATION

AS OF NOV. 28, 2017

Credit: The Dobbs Wire info@thedobbswire.com Dec. 26, 2017
Data sources: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and worldpopulationreview.com

Registry Number of Population Population
Rank State registrants rank in millions
1. California 105,261 1 39.84
2. Texas 91,912 2 28.44
3. Florida 70,937 3 21.00
4. Michigan 43,823 10 9.93
5. New York 40,215 4 19.88
6. Illinois 33,061 6 12.81
7. Georgia 30,136 8 10.45
8. Oregon 28,089 27 4.14
9. Wisconsin 24,784 20 5.79
10. Tennessee 23,262 16 6.70
11. Virginia 23,119 12 8.49
12. Washington 22,045 13 7.38
13. Pennsylvania 20,884 5 12.81
14. Colorado 18,768 21 5.65
15. Ohio 18,323 7 11.64
16. Minnesota 17,687 22 5.55
17. North Carolina 17,621 9 10.24
18. New Jersey 16,446 11 8.99
19. Missouri 15,866 18 6.12
20. Arkansas 15,471 32 3.00
21. Alabama 15,091 24 4.88
22. Arizona 13,945 14 7.02
23. Massachusetts 11,842 15 6.87
24. Kentucky 11,299 26 4.45
25. Kansas 10,267 35 2.92

 

Registry Number of Population Population
Rank State registrants rank in millions
26. Mississippi 10,082 34 2.99
27. South Carolina 9,942 23 5.03
28. Indiana 9,846 17 6.66
29. Louisiana 9,387 25 4.71
30. Utah 8,112 31 3.09
31. Maryland 7,728 19 6.06
32. Nevada 6,905 33 2.99
33. Oklahoma 6,721 28 3.97
34. West Virginia 5,831 38 1.83
35. Iowa 5,666 30 3.15
36. Connecticut 5,412 29 3.58
37. Nebraska 5,412 37 1.92
38. Idaho 4,723 39 1.69
39. Delaware 4,716 45 0.96
40. New Mexico 3,739 36 2.08
41. South Dakota 3,606 46 0.86
42. Hawaii 3,045 40 1.45
43. New Hampshire 2,826 41 1.33
44. Maine 2,751 42 1.32
45. Montana 2,675 44 1.05
46. Rhode Island 2,600 43 1.05
47. Alaska 2,369 48 0.74
48. Wyoming 2,315 51 0.58
49. North Dakota 1,566 47 0.79
50. Vermont 1,333 50 0.62
51. Washington DC 1,180 49 0.69
Total number of registrants in the U.S
as of Nov. 28, 2017: 870,642
as of May 24, 2017: 857,979

Total number of registrants in the U.S.,
Puerto Rico, Guam and other territories
as of Nov. 28, 2017: 874,725
as of May 24, 2017: 861,837

 

CHART C: STATE AND WASHINGTON, DC SEX OFFENSE REGISTRIES
RANKED BY PER CAPITA REGISTRATION RATE AND POPULATION

AS OF NOV. 28, 2017

Credit: The Dobbs Wire info@thedobbswire.com Dec. 26, 2017
Data sources: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and worldpopulationreview.com
Number of
Per registrants

capita per Pop-
registration 100,000 ulation Population

rank State population rank in millions
1. Oregon 686 27 4.14
2. Arkansas 518 32 3.00
3. Delaware 495 45 0.96
4. Michigan 441 10 9.93
5. Wisconsin 429 20 5.79
6. South Dakota 417 46 0.86
7. Wyoming 395 51 0.58
8. Kansas 353 35 2.92
9. Tennessee 350 16 6.70
10. Florida 344 3 21.00
11. Colorado 339 21 5.65
12. Mississippi 337 34 2.99
13. Texas 330 2 28.44
14. Minnesota 320 22 5.55
15. Alaska 319 47 0.79
16. West Virginia 318 38 1.83
17. Alabama 310 24 4.88
18. Washington 302 13 7.38
19. Georgia 292 8 10.45
20. Nebraska 284 37 1.92
21. Idaho 281 39 1.69
22. Virginia 275 12 8.49
23. California 268 1 39.84
24. Missouri 260 18 6.12
25. Illinois 258 6 12.81

Number of
Per registrants

Capita per Pop-
registration 100,000 ulation Population

rank State population rank in millions
26. Utah 266 31 3.09
27. Montana 257 44 1.05
28. Kentucky 255 26 4.45
29. Rhode Island 246 43 1.05
30. Nevada 235 33 2.99
31. Vermont 213 50 0.62
32. Hawaii 213 40 1.45
33. New Hampshire 212 41 1.33
34. Maine 207 42 1.32
35. North Dakota 207 47 0.79
36. New York 204 4 19.88
37. Arizona 201 14 7.02
38. Louisiana 201 25 4.71
39. South Carolina 200 23 5.03
40. New Jersey 184 11 8.99
41. Iowa 181 30 3.15
42. New Mexico 180 36 2.08
43. Massachusetts 174 15 6.87
44. North Carolina 174 9 10.24
45. Washington, DC 173 49 0.69
46. Oklahoma 171 28 3.97
47. Pennsylvania 163 5 12.81
48. Ohio 158 7 11.64
49. Connecticut 151 29 3.58
50. Indiana 148 17 6.66
51. Maryland 128 19 6.06
Per capita registration rate for the U.S.,
Puerto Rico, Guam and other territories:
268 registrants per 100,000 population
Total number of registrants in the U.S.
as of Nov. 28, 2017: 870,642
as of May 24, 2017: 857,979
Total number of registrants in the U.S., Puerto
Rico, Guam and other territories
as of Nov. 28, 2017: 874,725
as of May 24, 2017: 861,867

 

Map of Registered Sex Offenders in the United States

• Data obtained via a survey of the individual sex offender registries in the 50 states, the
District of Columbia, and five Territories of the United States (American Samoa, Guam,
Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). In the U.S. Virgin
Islands, Saint Thomas and Saint John share a sex offender registry, while Saint Croix
maintains its own separate sex offender registry. This brings the total number of registries
surveyed to 57.
• The total number of registered sex offenders has been compared to census data to
determine the number of sex offenders per 100,000 total population in that state. There
are 4 exceptions to this: American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Saint Thomas/Saint
John, and Saint Croix. These territories have total populations below 100,000. Therefore,
these territories were calculated at a rate of sex offenders per 10,000 total population.
• Displayed on each state and territory is the total number of registered sex offenders in red
with the number per 100,000 total population or per 10,000 total population where
applicable just below in parentheses in black.
• Rates were computed by dividing the total number of registered sex offenders1 by the
overall population2 in that state or territory and multiplying them by 100,000 or 10,000,
respectively.
• Colors indicate the total population range in each state and territory. This range is
explained in the legend of the map. The territories in which sex offenders per 10,000 total
population were calculated are also denoted with a background color.

1 Registered Sex Offenders – Registered sex offender totals are based on counts obtained from the state and territory
sex offender registries.
2 Population – Population totals are based on tables downloaded from the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau or 2010 U.S.
Census Bureau


91,912
(330)
TX

2,675
(257)
MT

3,739
(180)
NM
18,768
(339)
CO

13,945
(201)
AZ
6,905
(235)
NV

2,315
(395)
WY

28,089
(686)
OR

8,112
(266)
UT

10,267
(353)
KS
1,566
(207)
ND

5,412
(284)
NE
3,606
(417)
SD

6,721
(171)
OK

105,261
(268)
CA

17,687
(320)
MN

4,723
(281)
ID
22,045
(302)
WA

30,136
(292)
GA

33,061
(258)
IL
5,666
(181)
IA
24,784
(429)
WI

70,937
(344)
FL

15,471
(518)
AR

15,091
(310)
AL

20,884
(163)
PA

17,621
(174)
NC

10,082
(337)
MS

40,215
(204)
NY

9,387
(201)
LA

23,262
(350)
TN
18,323
(158)
OH

23,119
(275)
VA

2,751
(207)
ME

9,942
(200)
SC
5,831
(318)
WV

43,823
(441)
MI

7,728
(128)
MD

1,333
(213)
VT
2,826
(212)
NH

11,842
(174)
MA

16,446
(184)
NJ
5,412
(151)
CT

4,716
(495)
DE
2,600
(246)
RI

15,866
(260)
MO

11,299
(255)
KY
9,846
(148)
IN

1,180
(173)
DC

 

For the map, follow the link.

http://www.missingkids.com/ourwork/publications/exploitation/so-map

May 6, 2018: Video from that debate - should the registry be abolished
Posted by William S.

Opening statements are about 10 minutes each, Emily Horowitz goes first and makes a strong case against the registry – a case that badly needs to be heard more widely.  If you have trouble getting video up, try another browser.

 

The registry:   An unusual event took place last night in lower Manhattan, a rare live public debate about the sex offense registry.  In front of a packed house Emily Horowitz, a sociologist and author of Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us, went head-to-head with Marci Hamilton, a prominent child safety advocate.  The pair debated this  proposition:  “All the laws requiring those convicted of sex offenses to put their names in a registry should be abolished." It was quite a show!   And timely – with nearly 900,000 individuals required to sign the registry questions about its effectiveness are growing louder.  Kudos to moderator Gene Epstein and everybody at The Soho Forum as well as co-sponsor Reason for sparking a great discussion!   Check out the archived video, you’ll get to see a carefully built, strong case *against* the registry.  Also below are the informal poll numbers, there was a big shift in the post-debate figures.  -Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire  Feb. 13, 2018

 

WATCH ARCHIVED VIDEO:

http://reason.com/blog/2018/02/12/should-the-sex-offender-registry-be-abol

 

 

POLL RESULTS

Proposition:  All the laws requiring those convicted of sex offenses to put their names in a registry should be abolished.

 

Pre-debate

Post-debate

Change

Yes

38.89%

72.22%

33.33%

No

22.22%

15.56%

-6.67%

Undecided

38.89%

12.22%

-26.67%

 

February 14, 2018: Important Event
Posted by William S.

E V E N T


Join those concerned about the impacts of sex offense laws throughout the United States for a screening of the powerful documentary: "Untouchable".


After the screening there will be a panel discussion including:
 

Senator William Brownsberger
Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret. US Dist. Court)
Rebecca Richman Cohen (Lecturer/Director)
Bill Canavan (SOPRI / BRN)
 

March 5, 2018
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

(exact time and place to be determined)

February 14, 2018: The Soho Forum Sex Offender Registry Debate
Posted by William S.


By David Booth . . . Dr. Emily Horowitz, noted sex offense policy researcher, and Marci Hamilton, child safety advocate, went toe-to-toe in an engaging debate Monday night, which may be a first of its kind on the need for sex offender registries. On the resolution for whether the laws requiring those convicted of sex offenses to put their names in a registry should be abolished, Dr. Emily Horowitz argued the affirmative and Ms. Marci Hamilton the negative. Even though Dr. Horowitz crafted a well-reasoned argument against the use of sex offender registration and notification (SORN) policies, Marci Hamilton’s rebuttals highlighted the emotional rhetoric plaguing any serious conversation and reconsideration of SORN policies.

Dr. Horowitz began by unapologetically declaring that SORN policies are grounded in emotional reasoning that doesn’t help society reckon with sexual wrongdoing. There is no room for accountability in our current retribution-based system of laws. Empirical evidence demonstrates that not only were sex crime rates on the decline prior to the enactment of SORN policies, but they also don’t prevent sexual violence or reduce rates of re-offense. Registries are based on faulty assumptions, create numerous collateral consequences, exacerbate social inequalities, and are inconsistently applied. Dr. Horowitz concluded by remarking that even Patty Wetterling has changed her mind on registries and called on the audience for an open-minded and rational approach to registries.

While Dr. Horowitz’s opening remarks were pointed, logical, and evidence-based she did fail to address the impact of sexual violence. Marci Hamilton weaponized this weakness in her opening emotional plea to save one child. She began by recounting the sensationalized case of Larry Nassar and how he exemplifies that registered people have 150 victims on average. Ms. Hamilton failed to acknowledge that the study documenting this high average was not only debunked but also written 30 years ago. Both women did agree the premise of stranger danger was a myth, but Ms. Hamilton still held firm to her belief in its effectiveness citing her fear of re-offense. She noted that if someone pleads guilty or is convicted, then they have proved their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. “We have to believe the children!” Regrettably, she failed to inform the audience of the Satanic day care panics, the rise of wrongful convictions, and the startling percentage of plea bargains. In short, her opening statement was a rehash of the same tired arguments that research has disproven time and time again.

For her rebuttal, Dr. Horowitz reminded Ms. Hamilton that registries are ineffective and reactive policy tools. If we’re serious about changing the culture of sexual wrongdoing, then we’re going to have to answer some hard questions. Registries are out of control weapons of vengeance. Crime rates are down, but parental anxiety is at an all-time high, which has resulted in these policies being a race to pile on the punishments. Dr. Horowitz isn’t wrong when you consider the numerous social, legal, and financial collateral consequences of SORN policies, but Ms. Hamilton was not swayed by logic and reason. Her rebuttal fixated on the Larry Nassar case and an insistence on saving one child by any means necessary.

So, who won? Surprisingly, the audience voted for the abolition of registries. Prior to the debate 39% voted in the affirmative, 22% in the negative, and 39% were undecided. 72% of the audience closed ranks around Dr. Horowitz after she razed the hastily constructed fortress of feelings about the registry. 16% sided with Ms. Hamilton and 12% were still undecided.

While the debate was a good first step, it is evident that SORN policy reformers need to really engage in thoughtful education and information sharing with child safety advocates. Marci Hamilton was woefully ignorant of the research and evidence around SORN policies. She consistently cited inaccurate and debunked information, referenced outdated research, and conflated terminology. It was clear from the debate she needs a clearer understanding of the distinction between child sex abuse and pedophilia, a better grasp on recidivism statistics, a practical look into how the criminal legal system marginalizes people, and overall, more compassion and understanding for people on the registry.

David Booth is Executive Director of the Sex Law & Policy Center and was in attendance at the Soho Forum debate in NYC

To view the debate in its entirety follow this link. https://sopri-ma.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d177efcaea403c4c396e24d31&id=3fd1e65fa9&e=0475717116

January 17, 2018: Congratulations to Rachel Corey
Posted by William S.

Congratulations to Rachel Corey, a friend of the Boston Release Network, for her piece in the New York Times January 14, 2018!

 

From The New York Times:

Restoring Voting Rights for Felons

Readers discuss an initiative in Florida, addressing questions of racism and worthiness of the right to vote.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/14/opinion/voting-rights-felons.html

January 16, 2018: Pre-Launch Announcement
Posted by William S.

Welcome to the new home of the Boston Release Network

The Boston Release Network is a volunteer program, overseen by the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition (www.cjpc.org), that was created to improve Public Safety by assisting registrants during their transition from the prison system back into the community. Studies have shown that providing a strong support network during this difficult time greatly reduces the recidivism rate of released offenders and facilitates their progress towards, once again, becoming productive members of society.