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Archive for February 8, 2010

Do Harsher Sex Offender Laws Really Work?

February 8, 2010 Comments off

herald-mail.com (Maryland): Do harsher sex offender laws really work?

Do sex offender registries really work? Consider the following:

After the recent kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell in Salisbury, Md., an alleged sex offender by the name of Thomas J. Leggs Jr. was charged with kidnapping and burglary. Little Sarah’s body was found badly burned on Christmas Day 2009. Leggs already was listed on both the Delaware and Maryland sex offender registries. Leggs was one of 172 sex offenders in Wicomico County. The sheriff’s department had conducted at least seven routine checks on this individual. Each time, he was in compliance with the law.

Did the sex offender registry program in Delaware and Maryland work? Only after the crime was committed did the registry possibly assist law enforcement personnel in the apprehension of a suspect. It did not prevent the crime.

If sex offender registries make you feel safer in regard to the well-being of your children, consider another tragedy in California.

In 1991, Phillip Garrido was listed on California’s sex offender registry and restricted from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Maryland does not have this requirement. Garrido also previously had been convicted of kidnapping and rape and had been sentenced to 50 years for this crime in 1976, but released early. Even in consideration of the above, he still allegedly managed to kidnap 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard off her bicycle on a California street, in broad daylight, and keep her locked in a shed behind his house for some 18 years while repeatedly raping her and fathering two children with her. The California sex offender registry did not prevent this crime nor did it quickly help in the apprehension of the sex offender.

If you believe a sex offender registry makes your children safer, you should think again.

If sex offender registries seem to be the wave of the future, should we also demand other registries for murderers, arsonists, thieves, etc.?

Certainly, as we get tougher with laws, I don’t believe any employer will go out of their way to hire one of these offenders, do you?
If the offender then has difficulty getting a job in society, what might he or she do with a little extra recreational time on their hands?
Perhaps educating the public, both adults and children, to the potential dangers and behaviors of sex offenders might be more helpful.
I am afraid that tougher laws might sound really good and help get people really excited and elected, but the practicality and enforcement of them in preventing crimes in the neighborhood is slim to none.

Also, when the released prisoner has difficulty finding employment and adjusting to society because of a name on a registry, one should not be too surprised if that person returns to crime, sorrow visits a different community and another murder finds its way to the headlines of a local newspaper.

Man Under Fire For Housing Sex Offenders

February 8, 2010 Comments off

koco.com: Man Under Fire For Housing Sex Offenders.

Oklahoma –A Lincoln County man is under fire for housing registered sex offenders near a camp where children stay.
However, Tom Wright told Eyewitness News 5 that he’s doing the work of God by helping people nobody else would.

Wright provides work and room and board for seven sex offenders living on his property. He said it is a divine calling. But with a camp that children use just miles away, neighbors have called it careless. “One thing I was always wanting to do is I was wanting to help some people no one wanted to help,” Wright said.

Everybody’s sinned and come short of the glory of God — and thank God that we have a God that forgives,” he said.

The controversy centers on the Greenfield Winery, which sites exactly one mile east of Wright’s property. In the summertime, Girl Scouts use the winery as a campsite.

Wright is not breaking the law. Lincoln County commissioners have told him that he must provide counseling for the offenders to remain in legal compliance. Wright is also in the process of building small houses in on his property for the offenders to live. He said he would like to house 15 offenders.

OK Bill To Track Sex Offenders With GPS

February 8, 2010 Comments off

koco.com: OK Bill To Track Sex Offenders With GPS.

Oklahoma City — A registry list already keeps track of sex offenders in Oklahoma, but a state lawmaker wants to take the idea one step further. State Sen. Dan Newberry of Tulsa wants the most dangerous offenders to wear some sort of electronic monitoring device in order to help police track their whereabouts. Offenders would be required to wear the device for as long as they are required to register. (that could be for a lifetime, folks)

Oklahoma currently has more than 11,000 registered sex offenders. Newberry’s bill would limit the monitoring requirement to people convicted of the most violent sex crimes. Lawmakers will take a look at the bill when they return for the legislative session next month.

Contact this foolish Senator here to instruct him of our Constitutional rights:
State Sen. Dan Newberry of Tulsa
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Rm. 411A , Oklahoma City, OK 73105, Tel: 405.521.5600
newberry@oksenate.gov Executive Assistant: Maressa Treat


Read bill (RTF file) : http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10SB/SB2301_int.rtf
See: Oppose Oklahoma Senate Bill 2301 Lifetime GPS for Tier II and III; A law we cannot afford! (slow-loading page)

Aussie Child Sex Offender Blacklisted

February 8, 2010 Comments off

Globalnation.inquirer.net: Aussie Child Sex Offender Blacklisted.

Manila, Philippines – Being up front about his criminal history was the undoing of this Australian. Rodney Le Fevre was banned from entering the country by immigration authorities after he admitted that he had been charged with sex offenses in his country.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan ordered Le Fevre placed on the immigration bureau’s black list on Monday after being informed that the Australian had applied for and been denied a visa by the Philippine Embassy in Australia.

Renato Villapando, assistant secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs, asked Libanan to place Le Fevre in the bureau’s “do not admit” list for being an undesirable alien.

Villapando said the Australian recently wrote to the Philippine Embassy in Canberra requesting for an entry visa to the Philippines.
In his handwritten letter, Le Fevre disclosed that he was in detention at a correctional prison in Australia’s Queensland state, awaiting sentencing on charges of indecent acts toward a child and possession of child pornography. In his letter, Le Fevre said he wanted to enter the Philippines after his release from prison, visit his fianceé and explore the possibility of putting up a timber export business here. He asked that the information about visa requirements be sent to his cell at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Prisons in Summer Park, Queensland.

“Apparently, he doesn’t know that despite our vaunted Filipino hospitality, foreigners who have criminal record are not welcome in our country,” said Floro Balato Jr., the bureau’s spokesman. Balato pointed out that the Immigration Act specifically provided for the exclusion or deportation of foreigners who have been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. “No immigration agency in any country in the world will issue a visa to a foreigner accused of committing immoral acts, especially against children,” he said.

SO Registries: Giving Citizens What they Want?

February 8, 2010 Comments off

crimeinamerica.net: Sex Offender Registries—Giving Citizens What they Want?

The study below suggests that sex offender registries are not associated with reduced recidivism (re-arrests or re-convictions). This is not the first study questioning the validity of sex offender registries.

But ask the average citizens as to whether or not they want access to a sex offender registry and the answer will be an inevitable “heck yes.” The problem is that we know that registries were unlikely to have an impact on recidivism when we started them.

So where does that leave the criminological and criminal justice community? Is it good public policy to spend millions of dollars on strategies that are unlikely to have an impact on crime rates or totals just because citizens want them?
Better question—do we employ other strategies that are dubious as to crime control but give the public what it wants?

Study-Sex Offender Registries

The authors of this study examined the effects of South Carolina’s sex offender registration and notification policy on adult recidivism.
The current policy in South Carolina is considered broad, in that it subjects all registered sex offenders to internet notification, regardless of the risk posed by the offender. Internet notification refers to posting sex offenders’ information in a publicly accessible online database.

In 1994, sex offenders were required to register with law enforcement. In 1999, this registration expanded to included internet notification. In this study the authors analyzed data for a sample of 6,064 male offenders convicted of at least one sex offense between 1990 and 2004.

They used models to estimate the influence of registration status on the risk of sexual recidivism while controlling for the length of time that offenders were in the community. Their analyses revealed that registration status at the time of recidivism was not associated with reduced risk of sex crime recidivism or reduced time to detection of sex crime recidivism.

These findings were consistent whether recidivism was defined as new charges or new convictions. They found no evidence that South Carolina’s policy decreased sex offender recidivism, which was consistent with the majority of outcome studies examining sex offender registration and notification systems.

However, this study did not control for changes in the notification and other policies that occurred during the study. The study, Effects of South Carolina’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policy on Adult Recidivism, is available in Criminal Justice Policy Review at: http://cjp.sagepub.com/cgi/rapidpdf/0887403409353148v1

Article from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/evaluation/e-news/dec09.pdf

Sweden: Website Reported for Privacy Violations

February 8, 2010 Comments off

TheLocal.se: Web site reported for privacy violations.

A website featuring personal information about Swedes convicted of sex crimes involving children has been reported to the police by Sweden‘s Data Inspection Board .

The filing marks the third police report within the last year filed by Swedish data protection officials about websites containing personal information about convicted sex offenders.

“It’s a worrying development that more sites of this type are cropping up which clearly breach the the date protection act,” DI head Göran Gräslund said in a statement.

By publishing the names, addresses, and personal identity numbers (personnummer) of people convicted of sex crimes involving children, the website, svenskapedofiler.se (‘Swedish paedophiles’), violates Sweden’s Personal Data Act.

“When sites like this expose people, it not only affects those who are singled out, but also affect their families and relatives,” said Gräslund.

Back in March 2009, DI filed a similar complaint against a website which posts information about sex offenders run by the Original Gangsters criminal gang.

Indiana Sex Offender Registries are Muddied

February 8, 2010 Comments off

News25/ABC (Indiana): 2008 ruling muddies Ind. sex offender registries.

Fort Wayne, Ind. (AP) – An Indiana Supreme Court ruling is throwing counties into turmoil as they try to decide who should be on their sex offender registries. The court ruled in 2008 that Richard P. Wallace no longer had to register as a state sex offender because his crime occurred in 1989, and the registry wasn’t created until 1994.

The Department of Correction says the ruling applies only to Wallace and that those who want off the list should get a court order. But several counties say it applies to everyone and have begun purging their local registries of offenders who don’t fall within the reporting guidelines.