Archive for September 1, 2009

Ohio RSOL is Now Launched !

September 1, 2009 Comments off

Ohio RSOL is now launched !

Ohio RSOL is our state affiliate organization for the RSOL (Reform Sex Offender Laws) network.

We are pleased to be closely associated with, an online leader in the battle against these flawed sex offender laws within Ohio and throughout the nation.

We have partnered with in order to provide information, news and legal updates to our readers. Please use the many resources available on that blog. You can also search that blog for terms of interest (i.e recidivism, residency restrictions, vigilantism, audio, video, constitution, court case names, and much more). Take advantage of the valuable search engines on our blogs.

GPS Won’t Protect You

September 1, 2009 Comments off : GPS alone won’t protect us.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled recently that sex offenders convicted prior to 2006 cannot automatically be required to wear GPS devices to monitor their location. The decision set off a hue and cry regarding questions of public safety, with some critics even suggesting that it would result in sex offenders flocking to Massachusetts.

But the likely result will be quite the opposite. The decision underscores that, while GPS monitoring can be a helpful tool, it’s no substitute for active human supervision of released offenders. The court decision will likely push Massachusetts toward a more comprehensive approach to safeguarding its citizens.

Electronic monitoring has been used since 1964 to keep track of individuals convicted of drug possession, drunk driving, domestic assault, housing fraud, and credit card fraud. More recently, it has been used to supervise sex offenders. But does GPS monitoring of sex offenders provides the protection we assume?

There is a perception that offenders with GPS supervision are constantly watched, and that such surveillance alone prevents further crimes. Not so. Most GPS monitoring enables the parole or probation officer to track an offender’s movements after they have occurred. If an offender is prohibited from being within 100 feet of a school, an officer will not likely know that the offender went within 100 feet of a school until after reviewing the data showing the offender’s movements. In rare circumstances, an offender’s movements may be monitored in real time 24 hours a day by a technician or officer, but this is labor-intensive and expensive.

Also, the reliability of GPS monitoring suffers from technical problems including cellular interference – similar to dropped cellphone calls – and from the ability of some offenders to remove the bracelet without alarming surveillance officers. Moreover, GPS cannot prevent contact with possible victims within approved zones, such as the supermarket. Finally, most sexual assault victims know the perpetrators, whether as extended family members or community acquaintances, and GPS will do little to prevent that victimization.

Indeed, using GPS to track the sex offenders who are most likely to re-offend does little to curb their behavior. After a while, with little personal intervention by professionals or supervision officials, an offender is likely to ignore the device in an effort to satisfy destructive and antisocial urges. While the officer will eventually discover the offender’s violation, it may well be too late to prevent another victim from being attacked.

Isolating Sex Offenders is Not the Answer

September 1, 2009 Comments off : Isolating Sex Offenders is Not the Answer.

A few weeks ago, I posted an argument for sex offender laws that make sense. Last week we saw a disturbing result of current sex offender laws that ostracize and isolate sex offenders from society.

Effects of Isolation

Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender, was able to imprison and abuse Jaycee Lee Dugard for 18 years, partially because sex offender laws pushed him to a semi-rural area where he was able to hide his actions for so long. In fact, the city of Antioch, Calif., where Garrido made his home, is also home to over 100 other registered sex offenders simply because sex offender residency laws have quarantined them away from society in this run-down, semi-rural area.

Such areas are rarely patrolled by police, have minimal street lighting and large spaces between houses, and are overgrown with vegetation—a perfect haven for criminals who don’t want anyone knowing what they are doing. Garrido’s home is so secluded that neighbors didn’t even know he had a shed in his back yard. Instead of punishment, residency laws gave Garrido the perfect place to operate undetected.

What We Can Learn

Garrido’s case highlight the fact that pushing sex offenders to the fringes may actually create MORE opportunity for them to re-offend rather than act as a barrier between them and the rest of society.

The lesson that we need to take away from this tragedy is that knee-jerk sex offender laws that exile sex offenders from society, rather than keeping them under the watchful eye of society and law enforcement, need to be re-examined. More studies need to be done to determine the best way to deal with sex offenders, how to monitor them, rehabilitate them, and where to house them so that they are at a decreased risk to us and our children.