Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tonight I decided to see what I could find out about the woman who is pushing for this ordinance. Her name is Angela Hoy and she is a writer. She also has a blog here: http://vbac.angelahoy.com/. She is sadly misinformed and is pushing her hatred of RFSOs because two members of her family were molested. She would like to hear from people who have questions and read her blog. She can be written to at email@example.com. I am planning on sending her an e-mail with correct information in it, especially the part about why anyone would oppose herordinance. So I encourage everyone who reads this to also write to her, nicely but firmly. There are further meetings on this proposal on August 10th at the next city council meeting. I also encourage you to write e-mails to the city couselors and to follow the e-mails with a letter.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Sex offender restrictions spur debateBangor residents propose 750-foot housing boundary
By Eric Russell
BANGOR, Maine — State legislators passed a law last year that allows municipalities to adopt reasonable residency restrictions for registered sex offenders. Bangor resident Angela Hoy was amazed to learn recently — after a sex offender moved into her neighborhood — that her city didn’t already have restrictions in place.
Hoy recently asked a lawyer to draft a proposed ordinance that would restrict sex offenders in Bangor from living within 750 feet of a park, school or any other place where children are the primary users. Her proposal mirrors the exact limit that was spelled out by LD 385 last year.
Members of the Bangor City Council’s government operations committee are expected to discuss Hoy’s proposal at a meeting on July 13, but officials said the matter is much more complicated than simply imposing restrictions.
“It would be problematic in a number of ways,” said Dennis Marble, executive director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. His facility on Main Street houses sex offenders from time to time and sits directly across the street from Davenport Park. “We’ve always tried to be thoughtful of who we accept, but my concern is that local unilateral actions have unintended consequences.”
Denise Lord, associate commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections, said there are no data that suggest enforcing residency restrictions on sex offenders is successful.
“The research is clear that restrictions don’t improve public safety,” she said. “In fact, areas that have imposed restrictions have had negative impacts … like pushing offenders underground.”Hoy lives near a park off Newbury Street in Bangor and discovered recently that a sex offender lived in an apartment overlooking the park. As the mother of a 3-year-old, an 8-year-old and a teenager, she was alarmed.
“We thought it was illegal for sex offenders to live near parks, schools, and other places where children congregate,” she said. “I'm sure other parents in Bangor naively believe that as well.” Hoy’s proposal would permit offenders to live in their current residences if they happen to fall within the 750-foot barrier. There are currently 209 registered sex offenders living in Bangor, according to the state’s online sex offender registry.
There is no statewide law regarding where sex offenders can live, although some offenders can have restrictions as part of their conditions of release. Until LD 385 passed, municipalities were free to impose virtually any restrictions they wanted. Some did, although several others were rejected by courts for being too restrictive, including a 2,500-foot ordinance in Westbrook that was struck down.
The 750-foot limit that was agreed upon was a compromise from the state’s initial proposal that sought to prevent municipalities from adopting any restrictions.
“We were concerned about the growing number of inconsistent ordinances,” Lord said. “Each town was getting a little more restrictive than the next, so we thought a standardized statewide [criterion] was a good compromise.”
Kate Dufour with the Maine Municipal Association, which worked to ensure the compromise, agreed. “The initial proposal was a complete preemption of local authority,” she said. “It was [the state] saying we know best. This is an important issue for municipalities, and we did give up some home rule authority.”
Dufour emphasized that she understands that sex offenders have rights and shouldn’t be driven underground where they cannot access resources they need. Hoy said she was concerned about the high number of sex offenders living in Bangor, but officials said service centers always have more offenders because of the rental housing stock, jobs, transportation and other services such as counseling.
Shawn Yardley, Bangor’s director of health and community services, predicted that the residency restriction debate will be interesting among city councilors, but he didn’t offer a strong recommendation.
“The devil would be in the details,” said Yardley, who worked for the state Department of Health and Human Services for 17 years. “Certainly, I would want to look at categories of sex offenders, rather than to put them all on the same level. It should be a thoughtful process of balancing rights and making them workable, but it’s a tough one.”
Yardley said one could draw concentric 750-foot circles around Bangor’s parks, schools and other areas where children congregate and it probably wouldn’t leave many housing options.
City Council Chairman Richard Stone said he hasn’t thought that much about restrictions on sex offenders but would go into the discussion with an open mind. Hoy has a more personal investment in the issue. She has two immediate family members who were molested as children and said that is why she feels so strongly about protecting children.
“We are determined to fight this and to force the Bangor City Council to pass an ordinance restricting residency of sex offenders in Bangor,” she said. Lord said she understands the concerns of parents like Hoy but also said those concerns don’t always match up with reality.
“Despite what people think, recidivism rates [for sex offenders] are low and when they do reoffend, the victim is known to the perpetrator,” she said. “So if the public wants to take precautions, family members can and should do that. But it’s much easier to manage when you know where offenders are, rather than forcing them underground, which is what happens when restrictions are imposed.”
Marble agreed and pointed to the very public case in Florida recently where dozens of sex offenders were forced to live under a bridge because they had nowhere else to go.
“The cycle we’re in right now is one of fear and anger, and we’re looking for people to blame,” he said. “They are an easy target.”
Saturday, April 17, 2010
In the last few days of reading articles to post we've noticed the U.S. Media is now saying Somer Thompson's accused killer is a Sex Offender by either claiming he’s “convicted” or if the Sex Offenders hadn’t been allowed to live in Somer’s neighborhood her murder could have been prevented.
It’s the media's responsibility to deliver facts even when a distraught mother wants to twist those facts.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Wednesday 3 March 2010 The paedophile panic: a product of elite hysteria
The government’s sex offenders disclosure scheme should remind us that it isn’t ‘the mob’ who are obsessed with paedos (not a misspelling but the way they spell it in the UK).
And so the British authorities’ sick obsession with child sex abuse continues.
After a year-long pilot in Warwickshire, Stockton-on-Tees and parts of Cambridgeshire, the UK Home Office’s sex offender disclosure scheme is set to go nationwide. What this means is that parents will be able to get information from the police about anyone who has access to their children. In short, they can check whether that person is a threat to their child – that is, whether they are a paeodophile. A kindly neighbour offering sweets, the guy who plays football with the kids at the local park, the woman at the nearby newsagents… it’s official: all can now be legitimately viewed as potential threats to YOUR children.
For deathly-looking home secretary Alan Johnson the rolling out of the sex offender disclosure scheme was akin to the launch of a new fleet of luxury, ocean-going ships: ‘The UK already has one of the most robust systems in the world for the management of sex offenders’, he announced yesterday, with barely concealed pride. ‘We’ve already seen that children are better protected and sex offenders more effectively managed because of this scheme, which is why it is rolling out nationwide.’
Yet despite the rhetorical appeal to ‘protection’ or ‘safety’, these kinds of measures do not reassure people. In fact, they do precisely the opposite: they encourage fear and foster suspicion. They suggest that if people aren’t worried about the lolly-pop man, or the neighbour offering to run the kids to school, they ought to be. To not fear, to not suspect other adults, is subtly transformed from being a recognition of commonality and basic human solidarity into an abrogation of parental responsibility.
Not that we should be surprised by the Home Office’s willingness to inculcate and institutionalise fear and suspicion. The paedophile panic, right from its emergence in its current form during the 1980s, was always an elite panic, a hysteria endorsed and exacerbated by – in no particular order – government officials, police officers, social workers, left-wing activists, children’s charities and both the broadsheet and tabloid press. The obsession with child sex abuse was not, as we are sometimes led to believe, a popular phenomenon: it did not arise in the depths of the social world, it trickled down from the top.
After all, as Brendan O’Neill wrote four years ago, it wasn’t the mob who, in the 1980s, rounded up adults in Cleveland, believing them to be practising ritual Satanic abuse of children. That was the act of social workers. And it wasn’t a paedo-suspecting mass who spent time churning out verbiage on the supposed existence of Satanic and witchcraft sects. That was the work of Marxism Today.
During the 1990s the same pattern of elite-sponsored fear and the subsequent issuing of false accusations was all too apparent. And again, it wasn’t local communities coming together to unmask the paedophiles at nearby children’s homes, such as Bryn Estyn in North Wales – it was an unholy alliance of purpose-seekers, from the police to left-leaning journalists. Dave Jones, then the manager of Southampton Football Club, was only the most famous casualty of these witch-hunts; the lives of many more innocent, well-intentioned care workers were also tainted with the nasty, grubby suspicions of officials and journalists.
However, these wrong-headed, pernicious pursuits of fantasy child sex abusers did nothing to dampen the ardour of the paedophile-obsessed. In the UK, we now have that unwieldy testament to elite suspicion, the Sex Offenders Register, a document that defies both natural justice, inasmuch as punishment is lifelong, and common sense, given the sheer range of offenders listed. And since 2006, any adult who works with children, anywhere from schools to youth clubs, now has to be vetted. Thanks to the Home Office, and the army of campaign groups such as the NSPCC, suspecting another adult of being a paedophile is not exceptional – it is routine.
The fact that even the popular face of the campaign behind the sex offender disclosure scheme, Sara Payne (the mother of Sarah Payne, the young girl killed in 2001 by a convicted paedophile), was chosen by the government as its official Victim Champion, illustrates the elite origins of this sorry fascination with child sex abuse. It must be galling for the Home Office, then, that despite the formalisation of suspicion and fear, despite the almost-weekly press releases by those scaremongers-in-chief at the NSPCC, so few people actually bothered to take advantage of the sex offender disclosure scheme during its trial. In fact, there were only 315 applications over a whole year, a figure so low that even the Home Office wondered whether the scheme was worth it.
The Home Office, campaign groups, charities, tabloids and broadsheets seem oblivious to the fact that their attempts to ‘protect children’ not only have a limited effect – they also corrode adult relationships. One does not just suspect the dodgy-looking fella at the park; one is encouraged to suspect neighbours and even friends. These measures undermine trust. Trusting another adult, whether the neighbour with the sweets or the guy at the park, is not something that can be guaranteed by an official intermediary, police or otherwise. It relies, rather, on assuming that other adults are like oneself and will behave likewise. And given that almost all of us are not interested in sexually abusing children, why should we constantly suspect others?
Tim Black is senior writer at spiked.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Below is Georgia's report on their event.....
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Your efforts to promote AWA are clearly contrary to seeking justice. Consider this definition - “Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.” – Theodore Roosevelt. If you actually understood justice rather than vengeance, you would use the role in which you have been placed to demand changes to AWA that are based on public safety. AWA and attitudes expressed by uninformed media have created sex offender registries and residence requirements that research proves are simply "failed by choice" legislation. Why would you choose to fail? Read Dr. Richard G. Wright's book, "Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions." Will you spend the rest of your life seeking vengeance or seeking justice. God has given you that choice.
These are words we all need to remember, God has given us a choice... to stand up and speak out or hide and hope AWA simply goes away
Friday, March 5, 2010
new prospective study out of Austria, none of the actuarial instruments commonly used to predict sex offender recidivism were able to predict sexually violent recidivism among a group of sex offenders released from prison after treatment.
The interesting study, just published in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, was designed to validate German versions of commonly used actuarial tools, including the Static-99, RRASOR, SORAG, and SVR-20. It followed about 400 Austrian prisoners for an average of three years in the community.
The main problem obtaining significant results was that recidivism was so rare. Obviously, the less likely an event is to occur, the harder it is to accurately predict. Only seven offenders in the entire sample committed a new hands-on offense during the followup period, and most of those were extrafamilial child molesters. Recidivism base rates were especially low for rapists and incest offenders.
The results echoed findings in two other recent studies in which the actuarials failed to demonstrate good predictive validity for predicting sexually violent reoffending.
Most of the instruments did better when recidivism was defined more broadly, to include all sexual reconviction, even hands-off offenses such as voyeurism or exhibitionism that is not typically defined as sexually violent under civil commitment laws. Even including these lesser offenses, the overall base rate for all sexual recidivism among this sample was still quite low, 4.3% (12% among extrafamilial child molesters, 1.7% among rapists, and about 1% among incest offenders).
When extrafamilial child molesters -- the group most likely to reoffend -- were examined separately, all of the instruments except the RRASOR had some predictive utility, with the SVR-20 doing the best. Still, neither the Static-99 (the most widely used actuarial tool) nor the RRASOR could significantly predict sexually violent reoffenses even for that relatively higher-risk group.
"From the results of these studies and of the present study, the actuarial prediction of some reoffence categories in at least some offender subtypes is less accurate than generally assumed,” the authors concluded. "One major aim of most criminal justice systems is to calculate risk by predicting the probability of severe sexual crimes. This goal obviously is not yet achieved satisfactorily by actuarial risk assessment, because results are far from ideal, especially when time-at-risk periods are relatively short."
An important implication of this study is that evaluators need to consider offender subgroups separately, rather than lumping all types of sex offenders together. Recidivism varies tremendously by type of offender (e.g., rapists versus child molesters) and by how recidivism is defined, with the various instruments doing better at some types of predictions than others. Furthermore, so little outcome research exists on certain groups (such as hands-off offenders, juveniles, the intellectually disabled, and offenders with only adult male victims) that the actuarials may be inappropriate to use at all.
The study is:
Rettenberger, M., Matthes, A., Boer, D.P., & Eher, R. (2010). Prospective Actuarial Risk Assessment: A Comparison of Five Risk Assessment Instruments in Different Sexual Offender Subtypes. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 54 , 169-186.
FURTHER READING: For those of you interested in the actuarials, I also recommend "More prejudicial than probative?," a stastical critique by David J. Cooke, a forensic psychology professor in Glasgow who is an expert scholar and trainer on violence risk assessment. Cooke argues that the actuarials are compelling because they are simple to use by paraprofessionals and have a scientific veneer, but "the scientific basis for actuarial scales, as applied to individuals, may be more illusory than real." The article, in the journal of the Law Society of Scotland, is available online. It also includes useful references to other sources.
Monday, March 1, 2010
My husband was 18 when he had consensual sex with a 17 year old at a campus party that was at his dorm. The 17 year old said that she went to the college, but in fact she was in highschool. While at the campus party there was booze and the two had some drinks and eventually had sex. The party got raided because, one it was in a dorm and involved several rooms, and two there was alcohol present. When the police showed up, they were searching for the person responsible for providing alcohol for minors. All ID's were being checked. While my husband and the female were sleeping in one of the rooms, the police showed up and asked for their ID's. When it was discovered that the female was 17 and that they were having drinks, the state picked up the case for having sex with a minor. She did not want to press charges because she admitted to drinking and having sex. But, since it was against the law the case was picked up by the state and my husband got convicted for five years probation, commuinty service and 5 years registration. After three years, they passed the new sex offender laws ( The Adam Walsh Act) and he was grandfathered onto the registry for life. It has been almost 15 years later and he is still paying for his crime. We have been married for 14 years and have three children. He is not allowed to have lunch with them unless they are moved to a secluded room and monitored by administration. In some states where we have moved to, they required community notification and had residency restriction laws. These Laws cause humiliation and others then pass judgments on him and us as his family. He has had to turn down jobs because of theresidency restriction laws and we have had to "settle" for neighborhoods that are not near any school or daycare. I do not have the priviledge of choosing where I want to live, so that we live in a great neighborhood or one that allows my kids to go to a good school. These laws violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights put forth by the United Nations. They don't differentiate betwwen dangerous and non-dagerous former sex offenders. We deserve to be allowed the chance to provide the best lifestlye we can, like any other family is able to do. It is time to reform these laws so that it only reflects those who are dangerous, not to the many who have no earthly desire to rape or molest a child. I can assure you my husband is not looking for his next victim, he just wants to get on with his life with his family at his side.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
The thing that has come up that bothers me the most is they have decided to exclude anyone who has an out of state conviction. In other words if you are a current resident of Maine no matter how long you have lived here you could not take advantage of either oppurtunity they are considering. Why is this? How can they have two different classes of people? Does the State's Constitution only apply to people who committed their offense here in Maine but not to those who made a mistake outside of Maine but is now a resident? Well I think I can answer why they are trying to do this whether or not it is Constitutional or not. From the very first work session the state was made " We don't want Maine to become a "HAVEN STATE". They are fearful that if word gets out that Maine has easier registry requirements that hoards of former offenders will flock to Maine looking to get off the registry. If they are so fearful of this happeneing why not place some kind of residence rerequirement. Such as former offenders must live in Maine for a certain length of time, for instance say after living here for at least 5 years and if you are eligable according to all other requirements before you could apply. Instead they are trying to interpet the Constituion two different ways.
I wonder how many people are even concerned with this or are even bothered in any way? Does anyone realize that one the Constitution can be twisted to suit different agendas that their rights are in danger as well. There is a reason the statue outside courts are shown as blind, it is that justice should be blind it must apply to those we dislike as well as those we like, or we all stand to lose in the long run. What will it take to get people to notice? Once we have lost our rights it is too late to get them back again.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee
Week of January 25th, 2010
L.D. 1703 Resolve, To Implement the Recommendations of the Juvenile Justice Task Force
L.D. 1700 An Act Concerning Statewide Communications Interoperability
L.D. 1522 An Act To Streamline the Renewal Process for a Permit To Carry a Firearm
L.D. 1497 An Act To Amend the Law Pertaining to Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
L.D. 1590 An Act To Update and Clarify Polygraph Examiner and Private Investigator Licensing Laws Administered by the Department of Public Safety
L.D. 1610 An Act To Establish the Silver Alert Program
House/Senate 10:00 AM
1:00 p.m. WS
L.D. 568 An Act To Amend the Sex Offender Registration Laws (SORNA)
House/Senate 10:00 am
1:00 p.m. WS
SBOC report and budget discussion
WS re MEMA, DPS and MEMA Supp. Budgets
House/Senate 10:00 am
1:00 p.m. WS
L.D. 568 An Act To Amend the Sex Offender Registration Laws (SORNA)
10:00 a.m. WS
L.D. 1583 An Act To Improve the Delivery of Community Corrections Services
L.D. 1588 An Act To Change the Penalties for Writing Bad Checks
L.D. 1609 An Act To Expand the Use of Ignition Interlock Devices
L.D. 1612 An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding the Unlawful Use of License or Identification Card
L.D. 1576 An Act To Improve the Ability of the Commissioner of Corrections To Respond in an Emergency
L.D. 1700 An Act Concerning Statewide Communications Interoperability
2:30 p.m. Report back to AFA re MEMA, DPS and MEMA Supp. Budgets (Room 228 SH)
Note that the sessions we are concerned with are on Tuesday and Thursday @ 1pm. It is so important for us to show up at everyone of these public sessions. I will be there as oten as I can.