The Dobbs Wire: Flashback to 1996

The Dobbs Wire: Flashback to 1996. A Massachusetts father writes about his young son -- an important matter requiring a trip to the police station. It's a powerful, poignant story that the Chicago Tribune published on Dec. 1, 1996. The father inquires, "What will be done with this information?" He asked that question shortly after the Massachusetts sex offense registry got rolling, on Oct. 1, 1996. Massachusetts was the last of the states to create an official blacklist. This year marks 25 years that every state has had such a registry, a full generation. After 25 years the ugly name we give those required to register is one of the most destructive pair of words in the English language. Sex offense registries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia have an estimated one million listings. Counting family members and significant others, several million people are directly affected. Over 25 years plenty has been learned about the impact of these draconian laws, the research has accumulated. They do not improve public safety or reduce re-offense. Registries cost a lot of taxpayer dollars to run. And they do incalculable damage to the lives and future prospects of those forced, under penalty of criminal prosecution, to register. Registries are disastrous, ineffective laws. Yet, legislators continue pushing to make these laws even harsher and judges rarely get in their way. The cry to dismantle registration laws must be heard and get louder. Those personally impacted will have to raise their voices and then others will join. As many readers of The Dobbs Wire are registrants - what will you do to stop this blacklisting? --Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire Drop us a line if you would like to join The Dobbs Wire email list or have something to say: info@thedobbswire.com Twitter: @thedobbswire

 

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Chicago Tribune | Dec. 1, 1996
 
My Son, the Registered Sex Offender
 
Editor's note: This commentary was written by an East Coast father whose son was convicted of a sexual crime. The names of the people in this article have been changed to protect their privacy
 
My son was playing Nintendo with a few of the other residents when I arrived to take him to the police station. The counselor who went to fetch him was subdued. He had probably been briefed about where we were going.
 
"You won't be needing his afternoon meds, right?"
 
"Not today, thanks. We'll be back in a few hours."
 
The medication has been a mixed blessing. He's on a good-sized dose of Ritalin combined with an anti-depressant, and he's much calmer than before. There's a bland serenity, as if the price paid to gain control of his insane impulses has been the loss of his personality.
 
During the drive, Tom described his progress at the residential center and the rewards that come with it. "Dad, this week I got the highest number of points of all the kids in the program. They gave me an hour of Nintendo, some coupons for McDonald's and now they tell me they might let me spend a half hour walking around the mall by myself."
 
For some reason, I get aggravated when he brags about all the points he racks up for good behavior. "Look, Tom, I'm glad to hear you're going well, but you must understand this isn't a game. These little prizes are meant to help you get in the habit of staying in control of yourself. And this business about going to the mall--they're testing you. They're giving you more freedom to see if you're able to handle it, because someday you're going to have to."
 
"Dad, I know it's not a game." His voice is flat. I think he's heard speeches like this before--probably from me. I wish I had more confidence that all his trouble is behind him.
 
We pull off the highway and head into town. Despite the medication, I think he's becoming tense.
 
We are a few days late complying with the new law requiring sex offenders to register with their local police. There had been some uncertainty about whether he had to register and if so where: in the town of the facility where he has been in treatment for the last seven months, or in the community where his family lives and where he will probably return eventually, unless he regresses and demonstrates that he's still not safe to live with. After various discussions with social workers, probation officers and police, the ruling is in: He definitely has to register, and he should do it in the town he's from.
 
He looks around with interest as we drive down Main Street. There have been a few changes since he was last here: New stores have opened, a Chinese restaurant has changed hands, some new condominiums are going up. There's the high school, where he would be a freshman if he hadn't done a few things to scare the daylights out of everyone. And now we're at the police station.
 
We walk up to the front desk and an officer strolls over to meet us.
 
"May I help you?"
 
"He (not `my son') has to sign up for the sex offender registry."
 
"Come around back. Sergeant, can I talk to you for a minute?"
 
We are directed to a private office where the sergeant soon joins us to help fill out the paperwork. It's straightforward stuff: name, date of birth, home address. Identifying marks: none. Offense: indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Sign below.
 
While we're filling out the form, the officer makes a few entries in his computer. When I'm not sure how to refer to the residential center, he suggests we list it as Tom's work address. As usual, he's very helpful. The police always have been cordial to me and my wife since my son first began drawing their attention years ago for stealing.
 
The paperwork complete, we are escorted down a hallway until we come to a large sign reading "NO WEAPONS BEYOND THIS POINT." I see a few holding cells; it's also the place for fingerprints and photos. Here we meet an old acquaintance, Inspector Gillespie, who had investigated Tom's arrest. He gives Tom a friendly pep talk, showing a completely different side than the last time they met.
 
"Hang in there, champ! You see, things are coming together, you just had to get your feet on the ground. This is no big deal, OK?" He turns toward me. "How's he doing?"
 
"He's in residential treatment. They say he's doing well and might be coming home in six months or so. We're keeping our fingers crossed."
 
"Well, I've been working with kids for 27 years. You have any questions, you call me anytime. How's your wife doing?"
 
"I'd say it has been harder for her than for me. This new thing has been difficult for her to deal with."
 
"Well, tell her to hang in there, OK?"
 
While he's getting the fingerprint kit ready, my attention is drawn to the cells behind us.
 
"Mind if I have a look back here?"
 
"You go right ahead."
 
I stick my head in. There's a metal shelf and one blanket. I wonder if guests cover themselves with the blanket or use it for padding. Maybe they fold it in half and do both. There's also a metal toilet in one corner with a tiny sink built into the top. How do they keep everything so clean?
 
When I return, Gillespie is holding a Polaroid camera and is positioning Tom against the wall in front of a red backdrop. Tom has the same pleasant half smile he shows in his soccer and football pictures. "OK, you're looking good--hold it! One more--that's great!"
 
And that does it. The procedure is complete and we're free to go. Before we leave, I ask Tom to wait on a bench while I speak to the sergeant for a minute.
 
"What's up?" he asks.
 
"What will be done with this information?"
 
"Well, it's going to be put in the registry, and if people are concerned that any sex offenders might be living in their area, they have a right to come up here and have a look at it. That doesn't mean they can give his name to the papers or do anything illegal like throw rocks at your house." "Yeah, but I heard on the radio that they now have different categories for offenders, and the ones classified as high risk could have their pictures posted all over town and the police could go door-to-door warning people about them."
 
"I'd say that's about right," the officer says. "They haven't given us any guidelines yet, but when they do, we'll have to follow them. If they tell us to put up billboards with somebody's picture on it, that's what we'll have to do."
 
"I'll tell you what bothers me," I say. "He's on probation for something he did when he was 13, and I think they could label him a high risk because of it. We've got him in residential treatment and it was rough going at first, but they say he's doing better now and I hope it's true. Would it be right for him to come home and be a complete outcast? Of course, he's still going to be a risk, there's no doubt about that."
 
"I have mixed feelings about the new law, too," the officer says. "I can tell you that the board doing the classifying has thousands of cases to go through and it could be months before they get to him. For now, he'll just be listed in the registry."
 
I tell him, "I ask myself, what happens if, God forbid, he goes out and does it again, and massive publicity about him could have prevented it? On the other hand, how could he live a normal life with people pointing fingers and yelling `That's him!' everywhere he goes? Is it fair for him to be subjected to that?"
 
The officer puts on his glasses and studies some papers that explain how the law works. "OK, it says here there's an appeal process. You have 30 days to take it up with the board. I'd say that would be the way to go."
 
"I just don't want people to despise him." I think to myself; He's adopted and nobody knows what genes he inherited or what might have happened to him before he came to us. Still, I know that doesn't excuse what he did. "I'm sorry to be taking so much of your time--it's not always easy to figure out what to do."
 
"That's quite all right," he says. "If you ever have any questions, just give us a call. We`re here when you need us."
 
During the drive back, Tom and I make plans for next weekend. The Topsfield Fair and a climb up Mt. Monadnock are possibilities. While we talk, I'm also trying to anticipate the next crisis and how best to handle it. As always, I must factor in public safety, the right approach for dealing with Tom and what I believe is a worthwhile goal of keeping our family intact. Will I get it right? I haven't found any instruction manuals for this sort of thing.
 
We arrive back at the center in time for lunch. Following the rules, I bring him in and deliver him to a staff member.
 
"See you next week, Tom."
 
"Say hi to Mom. Tell her I love her."
 
"Will do. Stay out of trouble."
 
"I will."
 
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
 
Source:  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1996-12-01-9612010089-story.html
 


Join Judith Levine and Emily Horowitz for a conversation via Zoom about Judith’s new book THE FEMINIST AND THE SEX OFFENDER (Verso, 2020)

Register Here

Date And Time
Fri, February 5, 2021
11:10 AM – 12:10 PM EST
Add to Calendar

About this Event

The following virtual event is sponsored by the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice at St. Francis College . This event is open to the public.

For more info, contact Emily Horowitz, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice; Department Chair, Sociology and Criminal Justice, by email: ehorowitz@sfc.edu

At the heart of the conspiracy theory that stirred many in the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 was the lie that a cabal of Democratic and "deep state" pedophiles are trafficking and killing thousands of children. A demented "Save the Children" campaign led to a near coup d'etat and the death of five people. This is what people fighting for fairness for "sex offenders" are up against. How can feminism help us understand the hatred of the "sex offender"? How can social justice movements work together to end personal, political, and state violence?

The Feminist and the Sex Offender, co-authored by Judith Levine & Erica Meiners, makes a powerful feminist case for accountability without punishment and sexual safety and pleasure without injustice.

With analytical clarity and narrative force, The Feminist and the Sex Offender contends with two problems that are typically siloed in the era of #MeToo and mass incarceration: sexual and gender violence, on the one hand, and the state’s unjust, ineffective, and soul-destroying response to it on the other. Is it possible to confront the culture of abuse? Is it possible to hold harm-doers accountable without recourse to a criminal justice system that redoubles injuries, fails survivors, and retrenches the conditions that made such abuse possible?

Drawing on interviews, extensive research, reportage, and history, The Feminist and the Sex Offender develops an intersectional feminist approach to ending sexual violence. It maps with considerable detail the unjust sex offender regime while highlighting the alternatives we urgently need.


Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Up

Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Up Paperback – December 2, 2020 by Janice M Bellucci J.D. (Author)

Available on Amazon

Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Up Paperback – December 2, 2020

The Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) is dedicated to protecting the Constitution by restoring the civil rights of registrants and their families through education, legislation and litigation.WE BELIEVE:

1. No sexual abuse is ever acceptable.

2. Sex offense laws and policies should be based on sound research and common sense, not fear, panic or paranoia.

3. Current laws and policies that paint all sex offenders with one broad brush are counter-productive, wasteful, and cause needless harm.

4. The public sex offender registry and residency restriction laws do not protect children but instead ostracize and dehumanize individuals and their families.

5. Money spent on purely punitive measures would be better used for prevention, healing, and rehabilitation.

More information regarding ACSOL is available online at www.all4consolaws.org


EMOTIONAL SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS

Emotional Support Group phone conference meetings:

These are not the same as monthly ACSOL phone conference meetings. They provide registrants and their loved ones with an opportunity to discuss personal challenges and share their experiences, strengths and hopes, with each other. They are held for those convicted of a sex offense and their loved ones. They are based upon the format of 12 Step meetings. There are TWO phone Emotional Support Group phone conference meetings per month.

If you want to attend the conference calls then email your name, phone, and the best times to call you to Alex (the group leader) at emotionalsupportgroup@all4consolaws.org


NARSOL Live Litigation Summit November 19 & 20th

NARSOL - National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws

NARSOL Live Litigation Summit November 19 & 20th

Fresh on the heels of our record-setting summer NARSOL LIVE web event, the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws will soon be hosting a NARSOL LIVE Litigation Summit on November 19 & 21, 2020. This live virtual event will feature dynamic attorney presenters speaking on the hottest topics in registry litigation, giving us updates and insights to the key court cases recently decided or currently in play that could have electrifying implications for the future of the registry.

Our presenters include:
  • Paul Dubbeling, Civil Rights Attorney & NARSOL General Counsel
  • Erica Dubno, Post-Conviction Counsel
  • Aaron Marcus, Civil Rights Attorney
  • Adele Nicholas, Civil Rights Attorney
  • Paul Reingold, Civil Rights Attorney & Law Professor Emeritus
  • Mark Yurachek, Post-Conviction & Appeals Attorney
We look forward to providing you with this next installment in our series of World-Class Events to educate, energize, and empower our members and supporters nationwide. The path to registry reform/abolishment starts with knowledge, and we know you’ll find the NARSOL LIVE Litigation Summit a great way to provide you with the critical information you need to be better informed and a more effective advocate for criminal justice reform change.

YouTube - NARSOL Live Litigation Summit November 19 & 20th

NARSOL opposes dehumanizing registries and works to eliminate discrimination, banishment, and vigilantism against persons accused or convicted of sexual offenses through the use of impact litigation, public education, legislative advocacy, and media outreach in order to reintegrate and reconcile affected individuals and restore their constitutional rights.


Restorative Action Alliance Kick Off

Restorative Action Alliance Kick Off

Direct Link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/restorative-action-alliance-launch-tickets-117906989981?aff=erelexpmlt

 

Virtual Panel Discussion:

Confronting Sexual Harm, Ending State Violence

Saturday June 20th 2020 at 10amEST

Virtual Panel Discussion: Confronting Sexual Harm, Ending State Violence

Good Evening,
I would like to share some information with you in regard to an upcoming webinar that @EndtheRegistry and I will be hosting next Saturday, June 20 at 10 am. 

This free virtual event will feature a discussion with Judith Levine and Erica Meiners, authors of the recently released book, The Feminist and the Sex Offender - Confronting Sexual Harm and Ending State Violence. The conversation will feature concepts from the book, as well as the voices of those impacted by both sexual harm and the criminal legal system, including the impact of significant racial disparities. 

You are so important to the dialogue around criminal justice reform, ending sexual violence and public registration issues and I wanted to personally invite you to listen in.

The link to sign up to receive the access link is available here:

http://www.bit.ly/ConfrontingSexualHarm

All the Best, 

Amber Vlangas

amberspeaksup@gmail.com

www.amberspeaksup.com 


Safe and Just Michigan -The Evidence Based Case for Ending Sex Offender Registries

Safe and Just Michigan

Our friends at Safe and Just Michigan hosted The Evidence Based Case for Ending Sex Offender Registries on May 28th 2020.

This learning webinar is 1.5 hours short.

It is a must see, so the ideas presented find a way to be further discussed and implemented throughout the country and at a federal level.

 

Direct Link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQUJR9X-kvM

 

Monday Speaker: Amber Vlangas

Amber Vlangas Picture 1

As a member of a justice-impacted family, Amber Vlangas is a civil rights activist, survivor, speaker and advocate of reimagining our criminal justice system. Ms. Vlangas is a graduate student pursuing a degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Law and Public Policy at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. Her research interests and life-experience center around the impacts of public registration requirements and offender management practices on the reintegration of returning citizens, violence prevention and the safety of our communities. She is a strong believer in the power of human connections and effective storytelling to create positive change.

Ms. Vlangas is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has over 20 years of experience in marketing, fundraising and public relations for a variety of nonprofit and public organizations. She has participated at the grassroots level with the ACLU Smart Justice Campaign, Center for Rational Justice Studies and the Healing Connections Restorative Justice Conference. She is a frequent speaker and panelist for presentations that explore the collateral consequences of criminal convictions and public registries. She is currently a member of the Employment Subcommittee of Connecticut’s Council to Study the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record. Ms. Vlangas lives in small-town Connecticut with her husband and four children. 

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PLEASE JOIN US THIS MONDAY 06/08/2020!

Click Here to Join the Conference Call!

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Call for Research Participants ~ Impacts of Sex Offender Legislation

I am writing to request your cooperation with a research project entitled “Contextualizing the Experiences of Sexual Offenders.” I am pursuing, and which is attached to this email. My name is Lisa Anne Zilney and I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University. I am conducting a study dealing with the experiences of registered sexual offenders who accept a plea deal. Most sexual offenders who accept a plea deal must register with the sexual offender registry. To date, there are no studies that look at the long-term and short-term impacts or the coercive nature of plea deals. Given that innocent individuals sometimes plead guilty, and that people who accept plea deals are not always aware of collateral consequences, understanding the experiences and perceptions of sex offenders can contextualize factors that make them more or less inclined to accept plea deals. This study also examines the impacts of community notification and registration, and residency restrictions on the lives of registered offenders after a plea.

The study will consist of a short quantitative survey, as well as an in-depth, qualitative interview conducted over the phone. Interviews will be kept completely confidential!

Findings of this research will have policy implications for how to reintegrate sexual offenders successfully into the community after incarceration and how to minimize the labeling effects of criminal justice sanctions for the offender. It is my sincerest hope that you will encourage members who meet the criterion of this study to contact me for participation!

This email requests that you post this call for participation on your website and/or distribute the request for participants via email to your members. Please find the call for participation attached as both a word and pdf document.

I would be more than willing to address any concerns you have about this project or answer any questions!

[Download the study's flyer here]

~Sincerely,

Lisa Anne Zilney, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Montclair State University
Justice Studies Department, 349 Dickson Hall
Montclair, NJ 07043

ACLU Michigan - BREAKING NEWS!

MEDIA CONTACT

Dana Chicklas, (734) 945-8857, dchicklas@aclumich.org
FEBRUARY 14, 2020
ACLU Generic Web Graphics-02.png
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DETROIT –  The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) applauds today’s decision by U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland to provide relief for registrants on the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA). In today’s ruling, Judge Cleland ordered that if the legislature does not bring the law into compliance with constitutional requirements, the state will no longer be able to enforce the law against pre-2011 registrants.

“Unless and until decisive action is taken by the Michigan legislature, no provisions of SORA may be enforced against [pre-2011 registrants] ex post facto subclasses,” Judge Cleland wrote.

Today’s decision follows several prior rulings: two 2015 rulings by Judge Cleland which found many parts of SORA unconstitutional and a 2016 ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that it is unconstitutional to impose new severe restrictions on people who have past convictions. When the state continued to enforce the law despite the court rulings, the ACLU, with the University of Michigan Clinical Law Program and the Oliver Law Group, brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of Michigan’s registrants arguing that the state had to follow the earlier rulings.

“Today’s decision is a win for the public safety of Michigan communities,” said Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan. “The registry is an ineffective and bloated system that makes Michigan communities less safe by making it more difficult for survivors to report abuse, sabotaging people’s efforts to reenter society, and wasting scarce police resources on hyper-technicalities. Today’s decision means that lawmakers must finally do their jobs and pass evidence-based laws that better serve everyone. Michigan families deserve true reform that prioritizes public safety and prevention, not a failed registry.”

In May 2019, Judge Cleland ruled that significant portions of SORA cannot be applied to pre-2011 registrants, but deferred further relief to give the legislature time to bring SORA into compliance with the constitution.  The Michigan legislature has not passed a new, constitutional SORA law.

Judge Cleland wrote: “Making these determinations invites pure speculation on the part of the court and could result in a system in which different versions of SORA apply to different classes of registrants, which would create an administrative nightmare for law enforcement and registrants alike.”

Under today’s ruling, registrants whose offenses pre-date April 12, 2011 will be removed from the registry unless the legislature rewrites the law before judgment is entered in the case. The parties must provide a proposed judgment by March 13 and the judgment will include a 60-day period before entry.

“We urge the Michigan Legislature to focus on what actually works to reduce sexual offending,” said Paul Reingold, law professor at the University of Michigan and co-counsel on the case. “The legislature will now need to overhaul the SORA law, and can do so is a way that is rooted in research and prioritizes prevention, support for survivors, and the successful re-entry of those who have already served time. The legislature has a responsibility to act quickly in order to provide relief to the 44,000 registrants who continue to be unfairly punished by these unconstitutional laws.”

In addition to barring retroactive enforcement of the law against pre-2011 registrants, Judge Cleland’s decision finds that SORA’s exclusion zones, which bar registrants from living, working or spending time in areas around schools, are unconstitutionally vague for all registrants because they cannot determine where they can and cannot be.  The decision also protects registrants from being prosecuted for accidentally violating SORA’s complicated, technical requirements, and bars enforcement of certain unclear reporting requirements.

Judge Cleland wrote: “Without the 2011 amendments, SORA registrants and law enforcement officials have no guidance for who must register, what events must be reported, where registrants must report, how often registrants must report, or when registrants become eligible for removal from the registry. Michigan law makes clear that SORA cannot be enforced given such glaring omissions.”

A legislative workgroup met in the summer of 2019 to discuss possible SORA revisions, and the American Law Institute, the nation’s leading independent organization that drafts model legislation, also recently released a draft registry law.

Case background and corresponding documents are at:
https://www.aclumich.org/en/SORA
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FLASH ALERT - Class Action | Ex Post Facto | Void for Vagueness | First Amendment

View this in another page.

 

Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center

 

FLASH ALERT

John Doe et al. v. Richard Snyder et al. (E.D. Mich. 2020)
Class Action | Ex Post Facto | Void for Vagueness | First Amendment

On February 14th, 2020, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued a significant ruling in the case of John Doe et al. v. Richard Snyder et al.

The litigation was brought by the Michigan ACLU in the wake of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' opinion in Does v. Snyder (6th Cir. 2016), and sought to enforce those constitutional claims. The present litigation involved two classes of plaintiffs: people who had committed their offenses prior to 2011 and were required to register, as well as any person required to register as a sex offender in Michigan.

The ruling permanently enjoins Michigan authorities from enforcing any aspect of Michigan's sex offense registry to people who were required to register and who had committed their offenses prior to 2011 on Ex Post Facto grounds. 

Additionally, the ruling prohibits Michigan authorities from enforcing a number of other aspects of its registration scheme against any person required to register--such as banishment zones and requirements to turn over communication-related information to authorities--on Due Process and First Amendment grounds.

Please click here for additional information, including a copy of the opinion itself.

The Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law collects and disseminates information about cases on issues of sexual violence policy, and facilitates communication, sharing, and the development of strategies among the lawyers, advocates and academics who seek a more sensible and effective public policy on sexual violence prevention.

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center, All rights reserved.

 

Sex Offender Laws Are Broken. These Women Are Working To Fix Them. – Reason.com

Dear Friends,

Please take a minute to read the article in REASON Magazine.

https://reason.com/2020/01/18/sex-offender-laws-are-broken-these-women-are-working-to-fix-them/

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE!

On May 29 and 30, 2020 The Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) will host the 4th annual conference E.P.I.C.: Empowered People Inspiring Change. The Conference will take place at the beautiful Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, CA.

The 2020 keynote speaker will be Justin Brooks, Director of California Innocence Project. Mr. Brooks worked to overturn the conviction of Brian Banks who was wrongly convicted, imprisoned for 5 years, and listed on the sex offender registry for a sex crime he didn’t commit.

Social justice leader Dr. Alissa Ackerman and civil rights attorney Aaron Marcus will also be presenting, as well as Chance Oberstein, ACSOL President, and Janice Bellucci, ACSOL Executive Director.

There are more details about the 2020 Conference on the ACSOL website https://all4consolaws.org/2020conference/

Check it out and then make plans to attend!

Potentially exciting development on Halloween sign case.

Butts County Sheriff, Gary Long, is appealing the District Court’s Ruling that placing signs on the properties of persons required to register violates their First Amendment Right!

If you recall, Sheriff Long was enjoined from placing signs saying, “NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS!! A COMMUNITY SAFETY MESSAGE FROM BUTTS COUNTY SHERIFF GARY LONG.” at the homes of people on the sex offender registry in Butts County, Georgia during the week of Halloween.

The decision was a great win, so why is it exciting that he is appealing? Because Florida and Alabama share the same federal appellate circuit as Georgia. A potential win in the 11th Circuit would mean that the decision would become binding precedent in a Florida District Court. So, say someone in Duval wanted to bring a lawsuit challenging their Halloween Sign ordinance, they could rely on the 11th Circuit Case as case law.

It’s important to remember that appeals can take a while, so another Halloween might pass before any decision on their appeal is rendered. Also, it’s important to remember that cases can go either way – while we feel the registrant plaintiffs have a very strong argument and should win, any appeal is a risk. All that said, we’re excited by the potential of this appeal and we will certainly be watching the case.

- Link

A Collateral Damage Research Study

WAR - Women Against Registry

== UPDATE ==

For those that have shown interest in the Capella University research study, thank you. I was informed that our researcher has received approximately 20 potential participants and has contacted each of them for evaluation screening. She does not need any further respondents at this time. Again, thank you for your interest.

=============

We are writing to tell you of an opportunity to participate in a research study conducted by Cheryl Welch, a PhD candidate at Capella University. Study subjects will be the parents of adult sons or daughters who have been incarcerated for CP. Participants anonymity will be protected and subjects will receive a $30 gift card as appreciation for their participation.

Please carefully read the blue text in the PDF for further details about qualifying.  The study is only looking for ten participants so, if you are interested, you should act quickly.

If you would like to participate, please send an email to the following address: Click to Email and please write "STUDY" in the subject line.

Want to learne more?
Download the full PDF here.


Tech Companies Reported Over 45 Million Child Porn Images & Videos on Their Platforms Last Year

Porn, in some form, has existed for as long as humans have. While it has drastically evolved over time to be what it is today—from caveman drawings to free and accessible hardcore HD videos available 24/7 online—the difference that seems to have had the biggest effect on culture-at-large is access.

We have the rapid improvement of technology, namely the internet and all devices that supply us with access to the internet, to thank for that. Although the internet definitely has major upsides, it also has a very dark side.

Follow this link to continue reading:

https://fightthenewdrug.org/tech-companies-reported-over-45-million-child-porn-last-year/


The Dobbs Wire:  Is the sex offense registry growing or shrinking?

Hard to tell because the long-time keeper of the national statistics, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), has stopped updating the figures!

Every six months for many years NCMEC put a new 50 state map online with the latest numbers.  The updated statistics are now months overdue. NCMEC didn’t respond to our questions but we managed to get a reporter for a major media outlet to query them.

The word came back – NCMEC confirmed that it no longer updates the map.  The reporter, unfortunately, never filed a story, and NCMEC has not announced the change.   So you heard it here first – with 900,000 listings and counting, several million people directly impacted -- the figures have gone missing.  NCMEC is a private entity that gets the bulk of its funding from the federal government, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars over the years.  NCMEC is also the group that incited public fears over ‘stranger danger.’  Losing the statistics is lousy but there might be a silver lining – this failure by NCMEC may prompt the federal government to step in and keep tabs on the official blacklist.  The US Department of Justice ought to take on this task because these numbers should not be entrusted to a private group that has other agendas.

If you have any ideas drop us a line:

info@thedobbswire.com 

Below is our dispatch from Dec. 2018 with the last figures released by NCMEC.

 

–Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire

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The Dobbs Wire: More than 912,000 on government blacklists – sex offense registry listings INCREASE 4.8% in the last year

The Dobbs Wire has produced a new chart with the latest sex offense registry statistics for every state and Washington DC, along with figures from 2017. One key indicator continues to *increase* -- the total number on blacklists is now 912,643. That’s a 4.8% climb in the last 12 months! 42,001 listings have been added since 2017.

These government blacklists produce no benefit to public safety but they sure pack a punch. Life shattering consequences include routine harassment, discrimination and even vigilante attacks. Are such lists needed? That’s a public discussion that needs to happen.

Oddly, the federal government doesn’t track the numbers; a federally funded non-profit organization does: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) updates an online map with the statistics every six months, those figures are the best available although their accuracy has been questioned.

Have a look at the attachment, our new chart.

-Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire Dec. 12, 2018


ACTION ALERT

 Members and Supporters

I am working on a project that I hope to finish tonight on early Monday. For this project it is important for me to find one or more people that have suffered the loss of a loved one due to suicide or have a loved one that attempted suicide, in both cases because they were entrapped in some form of sting operation either by authorities or vigilantes.

If you or someone you know matches this description, please contact me by email or phone as soon as possible. I will be up late tonight working on this project so please respond even if it is late tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Contact me at:

Click to Email

636.208.5949

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

 Trauma and Sexual Abuse

Dr. Melissa Grady at Catholic University and Dr. Jill Levenson at Barry University are conducting a study aimed at understanding the role of trauma and later sexual offending.


Since many of our readers may have a history of sexually offending, please consider participating in the web-based survey that should take approximately 15 -20 minutes. Please forward the link to others who may be willing to participate in the study.

The survey is at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QZBTMVS


For questions, please email grady@cua.edu or call 202.319.4387.


Experiences When In Relationship With A Registered Sex Offender


University of Nevada, Reno is also conducting research to better understand the experiences of those who have been in a relationship with someone who is on a sex offender registry. This is the first ever national-level survey to gather data solely from spouses and partners of people on the sex offender registry.

If you or someone you know is in a relationship with a registrant, please participate in the study and forward it to others who can help with the research. It is expected that the research may aid in further understanding how registration and related policies affect spouses and partners of individuals listed on a sex offender registry.

The survey is at:

http://unrcfr.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b1oK7ZdF53PbGbX

For questions, please email sornaproject@gmail.com or call 775.784.4345.


Registry Matters Podcast

You'll be interested in three cases recently reviewed on the Registry Matters podcast. One addressed blanket GPS monitoring, another with Internet prohibitions and a third with the First Amendment and an elected official attempting to restrain the speech of one of our advocates.

University of Nevada Reno: Research Project

The University of Nevada Reno is conducting a research project and this is your opportunity to offer you insight. The intention is to distribute a survey link, which is below, to partners and spouse of registered offenders to assess how they feel registration and notification policies impact their lives. They hope to gather information about the unintended consequences of these policies.

SORNA POLICY PROJECT

Have you ever been in a relationship with a registered sexual offender? If so, we are interested in hearing from you. We know that individuals who have been or are currently in relationships with registered sexual offenders may experience a unique set of challenges and experiences. We want to learn more about your own personal experiences, how this has affected you, and how you feel about current sex offender policies.

This is the first ever national-level survey to gather data solely from spouses and partners of registered sexual offenders. This is your chance to share your voice and address the issues that are affecting you!

If interested, please click the link below to learn more. The first 300 participants will be entered into a raffle for (2) $100 and (6) $50 Amazon gift cards.

http://unrcfr.co1.qualtrics. com/jfe/form/SV_ b1oK7ZdF53PbGbX

Tribeca Film Festival: UNTOUCHABLE

 
Tribeca Film FestivaL: UNTOUCHABLE
Dear Friends,
It has been a long road. From the homeless encampments of South Miami to the Tribeca Film Festival, UNTOUCHABLE has been a labor of love for nearly five years now. I’m writing to you to tell you that finally, it is being released to the public on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Kanopy.
I remain enormously proud of this film. While we knew going in that creating a balanced, complex portrait of the most reviled people in our society might create barriers to its commercial viability, I stand by every frame of what I hope is a film you will watch, consider, and then wildly post and tweet about.
The publicity we’ve gotten since announcing the VOD release has been universally laudatory: And, at least as of this writing, we’re still at 100 percent on rotten tomatoes. Not bad. Here are squibs from two reviews just from the last couple of days:
"UNTOUCHABLE is an incredible example of what documentaries at their best can be - not just informative, but balanced and thought-provoking despite covering very difficult to watch and complicated subject matter.” —Aaron White, Feelin' Film
"An eye-opening look at a thorny topic... Feige’s documentary resounds with sympathy….and open(s) up a dialogue about a hot-button subject that, it contends, is far less open-and-shut than most assume." —Nick Schager, Daily Beast
On behalf of our entire team, I also want to thank the law professors, social scientists, and the small army of concerned academics in many disciplines who have purchased the film for research and teaching. Likewise, the stream of screening requests from hundreds of community activists has kept us busy for the better part of two years.
As I once told my producer, Rebecca, I see making a documentary film as creating a little engine of social change. You build it and set it free in the world. We’re about to set it free. I hope by watching, engaging and thinking about this difficult subject you’ll help bring some nuance and complexity to a difficult subject that is too often painted only in black and white.
So below is the official release information. Please, click view, think, talk tweet, post, and e-mail, and maybe just maybe, word of mouth and your personal endorsements can give this film the life I hope it can have.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all.
Excelsior.
David


Stream it now on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play.
Untouchable, the award-winning documentary that takes an unflinching look at sex offenders, the laws used to punish them, and the people behind the making of those laws, is now available for personal streaming on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Look for it also at your public or institutional library that subscribes to Kanopy.

Untouchable

Untouchable

Untouchable

This award-winning documentary (Tribeca Film Festival - Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award) explodes conventional thinking on this topic with data showing that current sex-offender laws and systems of punishment aren't making us any safer.
It's the first documentary to challenge deeply help public perceptions with new and compelling social science research. Untouchable takes you deep into our criminal justice system to reveal the complicated truth behind the explosive growth of what has become one of America’s largest punishment systems.

UNTOUCHABLE

Community Screenings

Please note that individual streams do not include the rights for community screenings. For a screening in any public, theatrical, or semi-theatrical venue, with or without admission charge, please contact us at outreach@untouchablefilm.com
“Exceptional and important… one of the most impressive documentaries I have ever seen.” — Jonathan Leaf, Forbes
"Untouchable does what great documentaries do." — Daniel Glenn, Film Forward
"This film explores the very darkest corner of our legal system, choosing to shine a compassionate light on the pain and complexity of the issue. Untouchable does an excellent job of highlighting the gulf between social science and our current laws and policies in this area. " — CAROL STEIKER, Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
( read more reviews here)

UNTOUCHABLE INSTITUTIONAL LICENSING DVD with PPR $460 (includes shipping) Closed captions/scene selection
DVD w DSL and PPR $600 (includes shipping)
For a free online preview or further information contact Jeff Tamblyn, Outreach Producer Outreach@unconditionalfilm.com
Order online now, with credit card, Paypal or check.