Monday, February 29, 2016

Educators do little time for sex crimes

Educators do little time for sex crimes

“I couldn’t breathe:” State changes course after placing rapist within blocks of his victim | FOX6Now.com

“I couldn’t breathe:” State changes course after placing rapist within blocks of his victim | FOX6Now.com



While I understand her justifiable reaction to her attacker to have moved so close in proximity.  But if he has been treated, he is following the rules, and is attempting to reintegrate back into the community then he should have been allowed to stay where he had rented.  There were no laws preventing it, just media pressure that started with the victim.



Domestically abused women do not have the luxury of someone wearing a GPS monitor and being under the kind of strict supervision that this man is under.  Domestic abusers are far more likely to reoffend against their same victim repeatedly regardless of protection order or being told 'not to'.



Yes victims have rights and shouldn't have to suffer any more than necessary, but I also believe that part of the healing process is facing the fear of seeing your offender again and knowing that not only did you survive and prosper that even though sometimes it may not always feel that way, it is a fear that is conquered more and more each time there is a chance run-in.  I know this because even after 12 years from when I was abused by my ex, when I see him the same fears, panic and need to run the other direction can paralyze me.  But each time I face them, it gets better and less traumatic.



Something to think about for victims, facing the fears is part of the healing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Musings.... Avery... the resignation of Ed Wall... Lincoln Hills...

Between the Steven Avery hoopla and the Lincoln Hills fiasco in the Department of Corrections of Wisconsin, there has been a lot of spotlights on the DOC, law enforcement and those that work for those entities.  They have over crowding of 130% in most if not all prisons.  They have an astounding employee vacancy rates as well.  There are morale issues amongst the correctional officers and many others that work in the corrections system here in Wisconsin.  They all seem to have one thing in common, they blame Governor Walker's Act 10 in 2011 for all of it.  Is this chain of events all a result of Act 10?  Unlikely, problems like this are not brought about by one piece of legislation, consider Act 10 the chocolate glaze that went over the top of an already broken and struggling system that wasn't serving anyone, the offenders, the staff and most of all the tax paying public.

Lincoln Hills was little more than a storage facility for juveniles until they could be let loose again on the public, re-offend, and then land in adult prison.  With a 65% recidivism rate for youths being released from Lincoln Hills, what else can someone conclude from the information, other than the state was in the business of grooming criminals?  So then the question must be asked, what are they doing to give a child less than a 50% chance of making something of themselves, rather than choosing a life of crime, prison and persecution?

Then there is the grandstanding, Milwaukee County looking to try to help by pulling out some of the juveniles out of Lincoln Hills and reopening a facility that was closed. While it is better to keep the child inmates closer to their families and the support they provide, because it is common knowledge that a good support system is a large factor in rehabilitation.  If the action harms more children than it helps by causing other problems in other facilities because of the actions of one county, then other options must be considered. Such as Multiple juvenile facilities in different regions of the state, so that youthful offenders can be housed as close to their homes as possible. Maybe instead of razor wire and fencing for all, in depth evaluations could be done during intake and children placed appropriately for their individual circumstances.  That means that those facilities should have no more than 20 inmates per facility.  If run properly and without staff-on-inmate abuse, it would help kids develop in to good people, rather than tossed back out on the streets to offend again, this time landing in adult prison, with an adult conviction.  Instead I hear nothing about the rehabilitation of these youth offenders with a 65% recidivism rate, do they help them at all?

Then from beneath the fray of all the controversial headlines, the Secretary of Corrections resigns, it begs the questions, what did Ed Wall know and when did he know it.  Will an Open Records request reveal that he knew what was happening in Lincoln Hills and turned a blind eye?  Or could it show that he knew nothing and it was being kept from him?  We don't know now and probably never really know how or why the raid took place and the FBI came in and took over.  Is it a reflection of the whole corrections system here in Wisconsin?  Are there more (uncharged) offenders guarding our inmates, protecting them from themselves and protecting the communities from them, when the real people to be feared are those put in charge?  If there are abuses in the juvenile system, what is going on in the adult system?  With the kind of overcrowding that is talked about in the media, coupled with the large amount of employment vacancies in the correctional officers teams, what is happening in our Wisconsin prisons?

Milwaukee County plan jeopardizes youth prison - THonline.com: Iowa-Illinois-Wisconsin

Milwaukee County plan jeopardizes youth prison - THonline.com: Iowa-Illinois-Wisconsin

Walters: Many changes at Wisconsin Corrections - Beloit Daily News: Opinion

Walters: Many changes at Wisconsin Corrections - Beloit Daily News: Opinion

Monday, February 22, 2016

DoC: Department of Cruelty? | Milwaukee Courier Weekly Newspaper

DoC: Department of Cruelty? | Milwaukee Courier Weekly Newspaper

Madison woman allegedly took money intended for sexual assault victims | Crime and Courts | host.madison.com

Madison woman allegedly took money intended for sexual assault victims | Crime and Courts | host.madison.com

Madison woman charged with embezzling $50,000 from Wisconsin Coa - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison woman charged with embezzling $50,000 from Wisconsin Coa - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Laurence J. Dupuis: Solitary confinement causes severe harm | Opinion | host.madison.com

Laurence J. Dupuis: Solitary confinement causes severe harm | Opinion | host.madison.com

Schimel: There's nothing wicked about AB 666, 'Alicia's Law' - Watchdog.org

Schimel: There's nothing wicked about AB 666, 'Alicia's Law' - Watchdog.org

Lawmaker: Rough day for the Fourth Amendment in Wisconsin - Watchdog.org

Lawmaker: Rough day for the Fourth Amendment in Wisconsin - Watchdog.org

We’re Rethinking Prisons. Is It Time to Rethink Sex Offender Registries? - In These Times

We’re Rethinking Prisons. Is It Time to Rethink Sex Offender Registries? - In These Times

Friday, February 19, 2016

New Bill in Wisconsin with new fiscal penalties against offenders...

docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/raw/proposal/2015/-1125



Proposal: AB926 (-1125) View Bill History 
relating to: creating a surcharge to be paid by persons convicted of certain crimes against children and certain crimes against sexual morality to fund services relating to crimes against children, and making an appropriation.

My Husband Committed a Sex Offense | Free Range Kids

My Husband Committed a Sex Offense | Free Range Kids

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Watchdog Update - Panel advances bill making lying on licensing application a crime

So was he a good social worker? Did he contribute to the profession?



The man served his time, paid his debt to society and from what I can tell didn't work with folks under the age of 18.  All of which seems to me to be a success story of life after prison.



Who's brilliant idea was it to start banning people from being productive members of society?



Watchdog Update - Panel advances bill making lying on licensing application a crime

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

SEX OFFENDERS FILE LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INTERNATIONAL MEGAN’S LAW

SEX OFFENDERS FILE LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INTERNATIONAL MEGAN’S LAW

The International Megan’s Law Obama just signed is bad law.

The International Megan’s Law Obama just signed is bad law.




Obama Just Signed a Really Bad Criminal Justice Law

By 

Is this really the best Congress can do?


International Megan's Law.
International Megan’s Law requires sex offenders’ passports to be marked with a special indicator.
Kritchanut/Thinkstock
After months of hype about the historic bipartisan consensus that we must make the American criminal justice system less harsh, President Obama finally signed a justice reform bill into law Monday. There’s only one problem: Instead of making the justice system more fair and less punitive, the new law will make it more vindictive and petty. Specifically, it will require people who have been convicted of sex crimes against minors to carry special passports in which their status as registered sex offenders will be marked with conspicuous identifying marks.

Leon NeyfakhLEON NEYFAKH
Leon Neyfakh is a Slate staff writer.

The point of International Megan’s Law,in the words of its House sponsor Chris Smith of New Jersey, is to prevent “sex tourism” by making it harder for people to “hop on planes and go to places for a week or two and abuse little children.” In addition to the passport stamp, this goal is supposed to be achieved through the formation of a new federal unit inside of Immigration and Customs Enforcement called the “Angel Watch Center,” which will inform foreign governments when American sex offenders have made plans to visit their countries.
You might be thinking that sounds like a good idea—a wise precaution that promises to prevent confirmed perverts from victimizing more people. But like the domestic sex offender registry it’s based on, the law is premised on a profound and consequential misunderstanding of how sex crimes against minors are usually perpetrated. Though it’s understandable that parents are concerned about “stranger danger,” the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that the vast majority of sex abuse victims are attacked not by strangers hunting for prey, but by family members and other acquaintances. 

victim chart.
Bureau of Justice Statistics
The other myth the new law perpetuates is that people who commit sex crimes are much more likely than other types of criminals to recidivate and find new victims after they’ve been released. A BJS report shows that insofar as that’s true, we’re still talking about a tiny percentage of people: According to the findings, just 5.3 percent of the 9,691 released sex offenders in the study sample were rearrested for a sex crime within three years of their release. Among male child molesters specifically, recidivism appears to be even lower: of the 4,295 male child molesters in the sample, just 3.3 percent were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within three years of their release.
It’s difficult to understand, in light of these findings, how making it harder for sex offenders to travel internationally is going to help reduce the frequency of child sex abuse. What will the new law achieve instead? Further marginalization of a group of people that Democrats and Republicans alike apparently consider to be deserving of permanent social exile and never-ending suspicion.
To state the obvious, it's hard for many people to summon much sympathy for sex offenders, and that is perfectly understandable. However, it’s crucial to remember that the category includes all sorts of people, including those who were placed on the registry when they themselves were children. Here’s how Rep. Bobby Scott put it in a statement on the House floor in which he expressed his opposition to the idea of marking sex offenders’ passports with a special indicator:
The failure of this provision to allow for the individualized consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the traveler’s criminal history, including how much time has elapsed since his last offense, underscores how this provision is overbroad. Details such as whether the traveler is a serial child rapist versus someone with a decades-old conviction from when he was 19-years-old and his girlfriend was 14 … are significant, and would allow law enforcement to more appropriately prioritize their finite resources.
Scott also argued that “it is simply bad policy to single out one category of offenses for this type of treatment,” noting that “we do not subject those who murder, who defraud the government or our fellow citizens of millions and billions, or who commit acts of terrorism to these restrictions.”
Some might ask, Well, why don’t we? The answer is that there’s a deeply questionable moral calculus involved in holding people’s crimes against them long after they’ve paid their debt to society. In theory if not in practice, our justice system is built on the idea that this is wrong. Yet when it comes to sex offenders, American lawmakers seem not just willing but eager to impose punishment forever—a tendency that has resulted in sex offenders all over the country being forced into homelessness because residency restrictions have made it impossible for them to find housing. In its most extreme form, the idea that sex offenders never stop being dangerous has resulted in thousands of people being held indefinitely in “civil commitment” long after they’ve completed their prison terms.  


Compared to that terrible practice, the law Obama just signed is small potatoes, and its life-ruining potential is low. But its quick and friction-free passage is significant nonetheless: at a time when it seemed possible that U.S. lawmakers were finally starting to believe that even people convicted of crimes can be trusted to change, it shows just how little willingness there is, on either side of the aisle, to push back on our intuitive fears and revulsions.
On the one hand, it’s understandable that Obama couldn’t bring himself to veto a bill that purports to protect children from sexual predators. On the other, he should have been able to see that this law is unlikely to achieve anything besides making some Americans feel even more ostracized than they already do. That’s not criminal justice reform. It’s just politics.    

Sex Offenders Fight Passport 'Scarlet Letter'

Courthouse News Service



Sex Offenders Fight Passport 'Scarlet Letter'
     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The International Megan's Law bill signed by President Barack Obama on Monday requiring sex offenders to be identified on their passports is already being challenged in court.
     The civil rights group California Reform Sex Offender Laws filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of the International Megan's Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking.
     The original Megan's Law was passed by the New Jersey Legislature in 1994 after 7-year-old Megan Kanka was assaulted and murdered by a sex offender living across the street. The legislation, which requires authorities to disclose where convicted child offenders live, has since been adopted by every other state.
     The International Megan's Law, which Congress passed unanimously on Feb. 1 and Obama signed on Monday, is designed to alert foreign governments when registered sex offenders travel abroad and help prevent sex trafficking crimes.
     Under the new law, passports issued to registered sex offenders will contain an identifying mark. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are to inform foreign governments when registered sex offenders are visiting their countries and are to receive information when sex offenders come to the United States from abroad.
     Janice Bellucci, president of the California Reform Sex Offender Laws, says the required mark on sex offenders' passports is akin to "a scarlet letter."
     "Today the Scarlet Letter will be used to punish sex offenders. Tomorrow the same or a similar letter could be used to punish Muslims, gays or drunk drivers," she said.
     Bellucci, who is representing four anonymous sex offenders in their lawsuit against the government, said Congress did not provide adequate attention to the legislation and passed it by voice vote and without substantial discussion or debate.
     "The process used for the vote - suspension of the rules - was an abuse of a Congressional rule that is supposed to be limited to noncontroversial bills, not historically significant bills like International Megan's Law," Bellucci said.
     The sex offenders argue in their complaint that the legislation applies in blanket fashion to all registered sex offenders, regardless of the circumstances or age of their conviction or whether they pose a current risk to public safety.
     "For example, covered individuals whose passports will now publicly identify them as 'sex offenders' will include individuals convicted of minor misdemeanor offenses such as 'sexting' or public urination, individuals convicted of voluntary sexual contact with a girlfriend or boyfriend while both were teenagers, individuals convicted decades ago and who have never reoffended, and even individuals who are currently minors or who committed their offense while a minor," the complaint says.
     The list of individuals who will have to have the identifying mark on their passports will also include those who are no longer required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction, according to the complaint.
     This will "harm thousands of Americans who have been declared by a state to be rehabilitated and are no longer required to register as sex offenders. The federal government in such cases will substitute its own judgment, which will not be based upon an investigation of an individual, for the judgment of a state government that has conducted such an investigation," Bellucci said.
     Being forced to identify themselves as sex offenders "will invite serious risk of physical harm and harassment" on the offenders, their families and anyone with whom they are traveling, the complaint says.
     The law also violates the First Amendment by compelling people "to identify themselves publicly as 'sex offenders' on their United States passport, which serves both as a primary form of identification within the United States as well as an essential international travel document," the complaint says.
     Lawmakers, however, say that the legislation is an important step in expanding the protection of children globally.
     Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, said that the "reinforcing provisions of this carefully crafted legislation" will prevent "convicted U.S. sex offenders from harming children abroad" and will "help stop those seeking to end run the registry and notification programs."
     Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat and vice chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee which funds the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, said that the law will give the departments the tools they need to protect children at home and abroad.
     "We have made some amazing progress over the years, starting out with billboards and milk cartons. But as crimes have grown more sophisticated, we've had to become more sophisticated," she said.
     Bellucci sees it differently.
     "Only Nazi Germany and Communist Russia have marked the passports of their citizens in this way and that was done decades ago," she said, warning that "citizens of this nation should be afraid, very afraid." 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016