Thursday, April 30, 2015

former inmates Kerik and Nacchio talk about prison

Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and former Qwest Communications CEO Joseph Nacchio may have done prison time for white collar crimes, not sex offenses, but they make important points about prison reform in this CNBC interview.

Both men talk about their time in prison--their worst day, time in solitary, what they feared--and they push to educate their audience about how prison often makes things worse because prison has nothing to do with rehabilitation.

It is interesting that the CNBC news anchor, Joe Kernen, seems completely unsurprised by anything Kerik and Nacchio say. Good to know that some people in the media already recognize what goes on in our justice system.

Watch the whole thing.

~ marie

Monday, April 27, 2015

Could there BE a slower news day?

The headline says, "Check Finds Most Sex Offenders Living At Registered Address".
After conducting a recent "Sex Offender Registry Compliance Check," the Pottawattamie County [IA] Sheriff's Office says nearly all of the sex offenders they checked were living at his or her registered address.
The disappointment is almost palpable. Perhaps they expected to find all the sex offenders camping out on preschool playgrounds. Instead, they were living exactly where the registry said they would be. Imagine that. Just as study after study shows, registered sex offenders are law abiding citizens.
"Further investigations into potential criminal charges for failing to update information and/or violations were found on five separate offenders," reads the Department's news release.
Five law-breaking offenders.
"Of the five investigations, two are not considered criminal however will be referred to the Iowa Department of Human Services."
Only three law-breaking offenders, then.
Two sex offenders ... were arrested. 
Only TWO arrested.

Failure to Register can be another felony charge. They can serve more prison time simply because they missed a registration deadline or because they failed to understand the registry requirements or because registrants were not notified of changes in requirements -- not because they are an actual threat to anyone but because they didn't register correctly.

A paperwork error, perhaps a data entry error.

Notice that the article does not say that five registrants could not be found. Law enforcement knows where these men are. There is no mystery here, only an opportunity to throw lives into chaos again.

The article also omits any information about how many overtime hours were logged during this operation.

Nor does it include any information about officers who protested the waste of time.

~ marie

Monday, April 6, 2015

Another Op-Ed Shows Trend Toward Rational RSO Laws

Another editorial out of California, this one from the LA Times, detailing how pointless and counterproductive sex offender laws are. Here's how the article gets started... 

Jessica's Law — California's version of it, anyway — was a mess from the beginning. Voters here adopted it (as Proposition 83) in 2006 because they mistakenly believed they were cracking down on horrific crimes against children. They were urged on by nightly harangues from national TV commentators who campaigned on-air for swift action following the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford in Florida, a crime that touched an especially sensitive nerve here because the circumstances nearly mirrored the nightmarish killing of Polly Klaas in California a decade earlier. But emotional outpourings of fear, revulsion and collective guilt too often translate poorly into policy and law, and that was surely the case with Proposition 83.

In fact, the story shows an actual protest mounted by registered citizens in Carson, CA in front of the city hall. If only registrants across the nation and their families would be so bold. Real change would happen much faster than it already is.

Here's one more great passage from the article, which is worth a full read:

Californians have every right to protect their children from child molesters, so it would be understandable if they were perplexed by the actions of the court and corrections officials — until they realize that the residency restriction did nothing of the sort. In fact, it likely undermined public safety for everyone, children included, by pushing paroled sex offenders from their homes and compelling them to live homeless or as transients, leaving the public in the dark as to their whereabouts and making parolees harder for agents to find.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

"I have not come to call those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Matthew 9:13).
On this day, some two billion Christians in every country on earth are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If you are a sinner, Jesus came to save you.
Do you feel weighed down by your sins, mistakes and poor choices? Are you laboring under penalties for your past mistakes, misdeeds and crimes? Well, good news—Jesus has come to free you from these burdens because He loves you.
We at Nebraskans Unafraid hope you and your loved-ones are fully able to enter into the Lord’s love for you and find the freedom He offers to those who accept Him.
Jesus loves you. In fact, He loves you so much that He died for your sins so that you might live with Him forever.
On this glorious Easter day, let us all accept the freedom that comes from the unfathomable love Our Lord has for us, sinners, for He has called us, specifically by name, to be His adopted sons and daughters that we might live with Him forever!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Progress Against RSO Restrictions in California

California is making headway against the restrictive laws that unfairly burden sex offenders by reducing travel and residency restrictions.
...there is a vast body of evidence showing that sex offenders are less likely to reoffend if they have stable lives. Laws that make it impossible for them to live with family members or keep a job are completely counterproductive. Such legislation “contradicts decades of criminological research identifying factors associated with successful offender reintegration” into society, says University of Louisville professor Richard Tewksbury, an internationally recognized authority on this issue.
None of this is news to sex offenders who struggle to find employment and suitable housing.
 Unfortunately, former state Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, and his wife and successor, Sen. Sharon Runner — the lead advocates of the 2006 ballot campaign that gave us Megan’s Law — say they may sponsor strict new legislation and warn that changes made by the state are dangerous to children.
California has made such positive moves toward just treatment of sex offenders that we hope the Runners get no traction. Registered sex offenders who speak up can help to make sure of that.
This denies the evidence. We need laws that are crafted sensibly, not driven by populist posturing.
 Instead of emotional appeals that rely on fear, it's good to hear a clear call for evidence.

~ marie
Notes from the Handbasket