Thursday, June 20, 2019

IN THE NEWS: BJS fuels myths about sex offense recidivism, contradicting its own new data

IN THE NEWS: BJS fuels myths about sex offense recidivism, contradicting its own new data: A new government report reinforces harmful misconceptions about people convicted of sex offenses. Here's our take on how to parse the dat...





Framing aside, the recidivism data presented in the BJS report can offer helpful perspective on the risks posed by people after release. Whether measured as rearrest, reconviction, or return to prison, BJS found that people whose most serious commitment offense was rape or sexual assault were much less likely to reoffend after release than those who served time for other offense types. The BJS report shows that within 9 years after release:

  • Fewer than 67% of those who served time for rape or sexual assault were rearrested for any offense, making rearrest 20% less likely for this group than all other offense categories combined (84%). Only those who served time for homicide had a lower rate of rearrest (60%). 
  • People who served sentences for sex offenses were much less likely to be rearrested for another sex offense (7.7%) than for a property (24%), drug (18.5%), or public order (59%) offense (a category which includes probation and parole violations).
  • Only half of those who served sentences for rape or sexual assault had a new arrest that led to a conviction (for any offense), compared to 69% of everyone released in 2005 (in the 29 states with data).
While the data were more limited on returns to prison,1 the study found that within 5 years after release, people who had served sentences for rape or sexual assault also had a lower return-to-prison rate (40%) compared to the overall rate for all offense types combined (55%). BJS notes that some of these returns to prison were likely for parole or probation violations, but because of data limitations, it is impossible to say how many were for new offenses, much less how many were for rape or sexual assault.

In sum, the BJS data show that people who served time for sex offenses had markedly lower recidivism rates than almost any other group. Yet the data continue to be framed in misleading ways that make it harder to rethink the various harmful and ineffective punishments imposed on people convicted of sex offenses.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

PA high court will again review sex offender registration | | CCRC

PA high court will again review sex offender registration | | CCRC: On August 31, 2018, the trial court issued an 80 page opinion adopting the experts’ evidence and finding that SORNA violates both state and federal Due Process as well as a number of other constitutional provisions. The government appealed to the State Supreme Court.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

'Sex Offenders Are Not Second-Class Citizens,' Says Judge While Nixing Alabama Rules on First Amendment Grounds - Hit & Run : Reason.com

'Sex Offenders Are Not Second-Class Citizens,' Says Judge While Nixing Alabama Rules on First Amendment Grounds - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "Sex offenders are not second-class citizens," writes U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins in a recent decision overturning two provisions of the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act (ASORCNA) on First Amendment grounds. "The Constitution protects their liberty and dignity just as it protects everyone else's."

Those points, which should be obvious, are a sadly necessary corrective to the hysteria that has driven legislators in one state after another to enact indiscriminate, mindlessly restrictive, and covertly punitive laws aimed at sex offenders. ASORCNA, which Watkins calls "the most comprehensive and debilitating sex-offender scheme in the nation," is a prime example.

The lead plaintiff in this case, dubbed John Doe 1, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure in the early 1990s, when he was living in Wisconsin. He received a six-month suspended sentence for each charge and was not required to register as a sex offender, even after moving to Alabama in 1994. But 14 years later, Alabama expanded its registry, forcing Doe to comply with ASORCNA's numerous demands and restrictions under threat of imprisonment. Among other things,

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Federal Lawsuit Against State DOC Alleges Due Process, Civil Rights Violations in Lifetime GPS Monitoring | Madison365

Federal Lawsuit Against State DOC Alleges Due Process, Civil Rights Violations in Lifetime GPS Monitoring | Madison365: A Chicago law firm has filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Wisconsin Department of Corrections alleging civil rights violations concerning the use of GPS monitoring for sex offenders — many of whom have completed their sentences and are not on any form of probation, parole or supervised release — and seeks an injunction to stop the state’s lifetime GPS monitoring program.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Georgia Supreme Court rules against lifetime electronic monitors for sex offenders - JURIST - News - Legal News & Commentary

Georgia Supreme Court rules against lifetime electronic monitors for sex offenders - JURIST - News - Legal News & Commentary:



The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday unanimously struck down a law that required sexually dangerous predators to wear and pay for GPS monitoring devices 'for the remainder of [their] natural [lives].'...

Monday, March 4, 2019

How should Manitoba deal with its worst juvenile offenders? The answer may lie in Wisconsin | CBC News

How should Manitoba deal with its worst juvenile offenders? The answer may lie in Wisconsin | CBC News:



It's operated in a correctional facility, but run by the staff of an adolescent psychiatric unit. As well, she said, "therapeutic treatment is highly individualized, tailored to the youth" and based on their specific needs.



 It's a treatment process Van Rybroek, the centre's director, compares to the constellation of Orion.

"The juvenile treatment program has a lot of stars, and each star is a component that has to do with trying to help this youth stay safe," he said.



A large component of the program involves "decompression" treatment, where youth are gradually moved from a prison cell to other environments, like a classroom or office, where they can experience increasing levels of freedom.

Another piece involves measuring the youth's behavior twice daily, and adjusting their privileges accordingly. 



 For example, youth making good progress may be moved to a less restrictive setting.

Wisconsin Legislature: SB68: Bill Text

Wisconsin Legislature: SB68: Bill Text:



Under current law, in order for an image or video to be child pornography, the
child must be engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Under this bill, an image or video
is child pornography if it depicts the child in a sexually suggestive manner, which
means that it depicts: 1) a child's less than completely and opaquely covered genitals,
pubic area, or intimate parts in a manner that, by means of the posing, composition,
format, or animated sensual details, emits sensuality with sufficient impact to
concentrate prurient interest on the child; 2) any form of contact with a child's
genitals, pubic area, or intimate parts in a manner that, by means of the posing,
composition, format, or animated sensual details, emits sensuality with sufficient
impact to concentrate prurient interest on the child; or 3) a child in any other way
that is for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who may
view the depiction where the depiction does not have serious literary, artistic,
political, or scientific value.
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to pre

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Argument preview: Justices to hear oral argument on additional time for sex offenders who violate terms of supervised release - SCOTUSblog

Argument preview: Justices to hear oral argument on additional time for sex offenders who violate terms of supervised release - SCOTUSblog:



In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act “to protect the public from sex offenders and offenders against children.” One part of the act provides that if a defendant who is required to register as a sex offender commits certain crimes carrying a prison term longer than

Friday, February 15, 2019

Wisconsin Justice Initiative blog

Wisconsin Justice Initiative blog:



Prior to the deaths of Vann-Marcouex and Teskoski, the suits say, "Wood County experienced multiple suicide attempts, at least some of which were successful." 



"In response to these suicide acts, Wood County made no changes to policies designed to prevent future suicides, despite the knowledge that its policies were inadequate," the suits say. 



The suits allege that Wood County’s "knowing failure" to have policies and procedures in place to identify and monitor suicide risks violated the constitutional rights of Vann-Marcouex and Teskoski.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Walker Administration Puts 181 Men on GPS, Charges Them $200 a Month, But Doesn’t Seem to be Monitoring Them | Madison365

Walker Administration Puts 181 Men on GPS, Charges Them $200 a Month, But Doesn’t Seem to be Monitoring Them | Madison365:



Cook said the Department of Corrections asked Attorney General Brad Schimel to specify for the Department what “multiple convictions” means.

Schimel, in a letter dated October 2017, said that multiple convictions would be anyone with more than one count of sexual assault. 



Two former prosecutors told Madison365 that there is a difference between multiple counts and multiple convictions. If you get in a fight on State Street and hit the person in the face twice, that’s two counts. But we all understand it to be one fight. Each blow of the fight was not a separate criminal incident.



 In any case, Schimel’s opinion was not acted on for a full year by the Department of Corrections. Department of Corrections Secretary John Litscher did not take action, but when he retired, new secretary Cathy Jess did. Finally, in October 2018, just weeks before Governor Scott Walker and Schimel were up for reelection, the Department reviewed hundreds of offenders and sent letters to Braam and 180 others.

90 state lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct since 2017

90 state lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct since 2017:



32. Wisconsin: Rep. Josh Zepnick, D, removed from legislative committees in December 2017 after being accused of kissing two women against their will at political events several years ago. Defeated in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary by attorney Marisabel Cabrera.



 33. Wisconsin: Rep. Rob Brooks, R, resigned as assistant Assembly majority leader Sept. 26, 2018, while acknowledging he made “stupid comments while under the influence of alcohol” to three female lawmakers. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that included sexual comments to two lawmakers and a racially insensitive remark to another after a July event involving the Republican caucus.