Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lets welcome the DOC to my blog

To stay complient with the WI SORP, I have registered my blog with the DOC so we might have a new viewer of our page, lets welcome Sorp

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This is an article about a district attorney that got way with sexual assault. Why should he be treated any differently?|newswell|text|GPG-News|s

Make sure that you make comments on this post

artical from JEFF FITZGERALD State Rep.

By JEFF FITZGERALD State Rep. | Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2011 11:12 pm | 
No matter how you say it, $3.6 billion is an astronomical number. Yet that is the gap that the state of Wisconsin must close in the upcoming two-year budget. As the budget process moves forward and public hearings begin, it's important to realize just how big of a figure that is.
It's also important to remember that we told voters in November that we would close that gap without raising taxes or fees and without mass layoffs. We are also going to do it without raids on segregated funds and through honest budgeting instead of accounting gimmicks and political tricks that have been used in the past.
Dealing with the budget deficit, which we are constitutionally bound to do, will require difficult decisions. We are committed to making those decisions now rather than putting them off for another day. But make no mistake, making Wisconsin fiscally healthy once again will require shared sacrifice.
Let's get back to that $3.6 billion. To close it we could do what Gov. Jim Doyle and Democrats did two years ago - raise taxes. To fill the budget hole, we would have to raise the statewide sales tax by more than 50 percent. We are taxed enough in Wisconsin and burdening families even more is unacceptable.
What about raising personal income taxes? They would have to be jacked up by nearly 30 percent across all income brackets. Tax the rich? To close the massive budget gap the state's top income tax bracket would have to be fifteen times larger than it already is. That would be devastating to job creation because it would affect most small business owners.
Not only are tax increases out of the question, so are fee increases. This budget hole is so enormous, a nearly $500 increase in the vehicle registration fee would be needed. Are you a hunter? Can you imagine the cost of a deer license soaring to $3,500? It would have to in order to close the $3.6 billion hole.
We will look at budget cuts in every department of state government. But to give you an idea of what we're up against, if we shutdown every prison in the state for two years, we would only be two-thirds of the way to $3.6 billion. The same goes for every University of Wisconsin system college or facility in the technical college system. Closing them for two years would only get us halfway there.
Obviously these are extreme examples but the point is clear, the mindset has to change in order for us to do what voters told us to- balance our books and put Wisconsin back to work.
We can't just cut our way to fiscal health, however. We also need to shed regulations and make it easier for job creators to expand and grow our way out of the situation we are in. Only then will we be able to create the jobs our state desperately needs. Job creation remains our number one focus.
I look forward to hearing from you as the budget hearings begin and the process moves forward. If you have any questions regarding this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact me at P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708, or call me direct at (608) 266-2540. You can also e-mail me at

Sunday, March 27, 2011

intresting read....

I was reading this and it was an eye opener. If this teacher was male, what would have happened to the teacher?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brandishing the Mark of Cain: Defects in the Adam Walsh Act

Brandishing the Mark of Cain:
Defects in the Adam Walsh Act
Professor of Law,
Faulkner University
Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 107–110, ISSN 1053-9867 electronic ISSN
©2008 Vera Institute of Justice. All rights reserved. Please direct requests for permission to
photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press’s Rights
and Permissions website, DOI: 10.1525/
Branding a person a sex offender is the most damning label available in modern society. No
other term evokes such universal disgust. The label sex offender carries a significant burden.
All states require those deemed sex offenders to register on a regular basis with local law
enforcement so that the community where they live and work can be notified of their presence.1
They may have to put signs in their yard announcing their new status as outcasts or even have
special license plates on their vehicles to further distinguish them from the rest of society.2
Failure to comply with any of these requirements is a crime, often a felony.3 On top of that,
nearly half of the states have some form of residence and/or employment restrictions that follow
those declared sex offenders for as long as they are required to register.4 So when the
government brands someone a sex offender, it is a serious action. Given the severe consequences
that flow from having this label, the process by which a person receives it should be scrutinized.
There actually ought to be a process, not just an automatic action. In the haste to mark those
convicted of sex-related crimes as deviant, the constitutional rights of those individuals
are often ignored. Regardless of how we may feel about a person’s actions, he or she is still
entitled to protections and processes guaranteed in the Constitution, in particular in the
Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.
This Article will explore how and when the sex offender label is attached. It will consider some
alternative methods to accomplishing the governmental objective of providing notice to the
community while at the same time respecting individual rights. Because the social stigma is
so great, the brush used to mark sex offenders needs to be precise. Not every person
convicted of a sex crime should
be designated a sex offender. With the passage of the
2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act,5 the
federal government has forced states to broaden their
strokes against sex offenders without considering the need
for process and fairness. This significantly increases the
number of people who will be considered sex offenders
and increases the time they have to wear that brand.6
I. Sticks and Stones
What is the big deal with the term sex offender? Did the
offender not commit a sex-related crime? Is it not just an
exercise in the obvious to call someone a sex offender after
he or she is convicted of a sex crime? If the term were
merely name-calling, then it would not be as significant. A
sex offender by any other name would not be as frightening.
But other crimes do not become the identity of the
person like sex offenses do. You never see a headline in
the newspaper that describes a person as a drug offender
or bank robber or thief. But you do see headlines like SEX
the labels drug offender or even violent offender not mean
the same to us? Fear is the reason. Fear that those who
commit sex-related crimes can never purge their desire to
act out. Even if that were true, that fear alone would not
warrant special treatment of the sex offender. But the government
has gone too far in its use of this term. It is more
than an identification that requires remedial action.7 It
means more than what this person did. It now refers to
who they are and what they will do in the future. It is a
mark much like the mark placed on the forehead of Cain
by God after he was banished for killing his brother.8
Except that mark was to tell others to stay away from Cain
to protect Cain. The sex offender label is to mark those
that society should avoid to protect society. Because once
people are marked as sex offenders they are branded dangerous,
poisonous, and hopeless. And just like Cain, they
are destined to live life as fugitives and vagabonds.9
II. Who Gets the Label?
With congressional passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection
Act, the federal government has strong-armed the
states into a tier system for classifying sex offenders.10
While many states already had a tiered system, the new
federal guidelines expand who gets the sex offender label
and for how long. To avoid the financial penalties of noncompliance,
states are scrambling to adopt the provisions
of the Act before the 2009 deadline. In their haste to get
the law on the books, procedural constitutional concerns
are swept under the rug, if not ignored completely.
As written, the Adam Walsh Act requires all individuals
convicted of sex-related crimes to be classified into one of
three sex offender tiers based on the seriousness of the
crime.11 It does not matter if it is your one and only sex
crime. One infraction is enough to become a sex offender.
Once is enough to earn the burden of being labeled a sex
offender and to carry that label for a minimum of fifteen
years (or ten years with good behavior). Any sex-related
crime, even those committed by children fourteen years old,
will beget the label. There is no pass given for first-time
offenders and no mechanism for negotiating away the label.
It even reaches back to cover those whose crimes were committed
before the Adam Walsh Act was adopted. Prior
offenders are subject to being reclassified not based on their
behavior after conviction but because of the crime committed.
The label is automatic. The only issue is what tier.
The three tiers set forth the period of time an offender
is required to register as a sex offender. Depending on
other sex-offender regulations in the state, a person who
must register as a sex offender may also be subject to residence
and employment restrictions that could severely
limit his or her freedom. Tier one, the lowest tier, requires
registration and notification for fifteen years. Tier two, the
middle tier, requires registration for twenty-five years. Tier
three requires lifetime registration. If a tier-one sex
offender has a clean record for ten years, then the final five
years of the registration may be eliminated. A tier-three
offender can, after twenty-five years of having a clean
record, reduce his or her labeling to twenty-five years.
Other than that, there is no provision for reduction or
waiver of the sex offender label. There is no provision for
tier-two offenders to reduce their twenty-five-year registration
If the classifications correlate to punishment, then this
would make sense, as more serious crimes are fairly punished
more severely than minor infractions. But the sex
offender classification is not intended for punishment; it
is for regulation. If it were presented as punishment, then
it would violate ex post facto laws. If it were punishment,
then it would far outpace any other sentence enhancement,
punishing misdemeanor crimes as if they were
serious felonies. If it were considered punishment, there
would be no hesitation to strike it down as cruel and
unusual. So it cannot be deemed punishment—not if it is
to be constitutional.
The declared purpose of the classification system is for
protection from future acts, not punishment for prior acts.
In such case, some process of determining the alleged
dangerousness of each sex offender should take place.
Somehow it has to be determined what risk an individual
poses to society. We have to treat consensual encounters
differently than nonconsensual ones. We should treat nonviolent
crimes differently than violent crimes. Yet
according to the Adam Walsh Act, all of the above will
spend a significant portion of their lives under the yoke of
the sex offender label. If we do not take the time to see
who really is a danger to society, we are treating all offenders
as having the exact same inability to repent. In fact, we
are treating those convicted of sex-related crimes as if they
will never repent. A one-size-fits-all approach means that
we are over-regulating the vast majority of those convicted
of sex offenses.
108 F E D E R A L S ENT ENC ING R E P O RT E R • VO L . 2 1 , NO. 2 • D E C EMB E R 2
III. How Do They Get the Label?
According to the Adam Walsh Act, the process by which a
person is deemed a sex offender is no process at all. He or
she is declared a sex offender upon conviction of a designated
offense that involves sex, a minor, or both. There is
no hearing. No witnesses are called, and no evidence is
presented. There is no evaluation. There is no analysis.
There is nothing that a defendant can do to avoid receiving
the label. It is automatic. There is no process. It is merely
a foregone conclusion that all people convicted of a sex
crime be labeled as sex offenders. The only question is
which tier. Skipping to that step with no process in
between puts too many people under the scrutiny of sex
offender registration. No one gets to discuss whether a
particular defendant should be there at all. The assumption
that all people convicted of a sex crime should be
branded a sex offender is defective. That defect reveals a
fundamental unfairness in the sex offender labeling
process of the Adam Walsh Act.
Automatic labeling was not the case in all states prior
to the Adam Walsh Act. In fact, there was a lot of variety in
determining who got the sex offender label. While most
states went with the automatic approach for low-level sex
offenders, some states gave the judge the discretion, others
the jury, and still others a commission that assessed
defendants to determine sex offender rankings. There may
have been an opportunity to call and cross-examine witnesses.
In most cases, a two- or three-tiered system existed
with the distinction typically between a sex offender and a
violent sex offender and/or sexual predator. The distinction
between being labeled a sexual offender and being
labeled a sexual predator and/or sexually violent predator
was not significant and related to the time period of registration.
12 In that sense it was similar to what is set forth in
the Adam Walsh Act. However, a few states considered
civil detention for those placed in the highest tier, such as
someone deemed a “sexually violent predator.”13 There is
process for civil commitment. Why not for all sex offender
The trend, as promoted by the Adam Walsh Act, is to
remove any individual assessment. The delineation of
tiers based solely on the particular offense of conviction
removes any discussion about the facts and circumstances
of a particular case. While states are not required to adopt
word-for-word the Adam Walsh Act, they are required to
substantially comply with it. There does not seem to be
any discretion for the states to add process if it opens the
possibility that all those convicted of sex crimes would not
get branded.
IV. A Better Approach
The sex offender brand is here to stay. It is far too political
an issue to just go away. But the way it is allocated should
change. It is possible that it could be used to serve a legitimate
governmental interest without unduly restricting
individual liberty. There is a constitutional need for
A better approach for sex offender identification would
be based on the premise that the sex offender label is a
punishment in and of itself. It carries a stigma, but more
important, it is the first step toward future crime not
related at all to sex.14 As punishment, courts would have to
treat it just like any other sentence enhancement. Courts
would be required to find facts that would indicate a need
for enhancement for each particular defendant. Following
the requirements of the Apprendi and Booker line of
cases,15 facts would have to be produced for a jury to find a
person a tier-two or tier-three sex offender—or better yet, a
sex offender at all. The goal of this new process would be
to make sure we only label the deviants that deserve the
sex offender label.
Being a sex offender should be a crime all its own. A
separate charge should have to be made for being a sex
offender, much like being a prior or persistent felony
offender. That way, the sex offender status could be a tool
for prosecutors to use at their discretion. They could use it
to label only those who truly deserve the label. It could be
negotiated away or not even considered at all in most circumstances.
If an accused were found guilty of being a sex
offender, then that conviction would serve as a sentence
enhancement much like being a persistent felony
offender. Being a sex offender would increase punishment
by forcing the accused to follow all of the restrictions currently
forced on sex offenders. There would be a jury trial
for the proof as required by Apprendi and Booker, and the
jury would need to find not only that the accused committed
a sex crime, but also that he or she is likely to offend
again. While not ideal, this approach at least gives a defendant
a chance to fight being branded a sex offender.
Also, there should be a notice requirement, in the
spirit of Boykin v. Alabama,16 for those pleading guilty to a
sex offense. Courts should be required to put on the
record that the defendant will be labeled a sex offender, or
subject to being given this label. Courts should be
required to detail the ramifications of such labeling,
including the length of the branding and the residence
and employment restrictions that accompany the label.
Such notice should be given so that before a plea is
entered, it is clear that the offender is freely and voluntarily
accepting this burden. The notice needs to include the
fact that the crime they plead guilty to may subject them to
the sex offender label in the future, especially if they move
to a different state.
V. Obstacles to Change
There are two primary obstacles that hinder change in this
area. The first is a refusal at this point to acknowledge that
post-conviction, post-probation, post-release restrictions of
liberty, like the registration requirements and the residence
and employment restrictions that flow from
mandatory registration, are punitive and not merely regulatory.
Until the post-release restrictions are treated as
actual punishments, there will be no judicial relief. So
long as the sex offender labeling process is considered reg-
ulatory and not punishment, it will remain civil in nature
and subject to lower scrutiny. However, courts are beginning
to scrutinize the Adam Walsh Act. As more courts
look at the issue objectively, they will find problems that
should be corrected no matter how politically unpopular it
may be to do so.17
The second obstacle is the belief that these scarlet letter
laws actually make us safer. There is no better example of
the politics of fear than the Adam Walsh Act. Listed at the
beginning of the act are the names, ages, home states, and
years of disappearance of seventeen children who were
abducted and killed or are still missing. The fear that sex
offenders are prowling after our children motivates this
kind of drastic legislation. After all, what politician does not
want to protect children? The issue is not whether sex
offenders should be punished. But there is no evidence to
support the view that these measures actually make us
safer. These laws are too broad, too far-reaching, and too
expensive for states to adequately follow. What the evidence
does show is that these laws have a devastating effect on
offenders, making recovery more difficult. If sex offenders
cannot assimilate back into society, then we have created a
class of outcast outlaws. What else can they do then but
reoffend? The politics of fear will push this issue into the
courts, where hopefully common sense will prevail.
1 Some sex offenders may be required to verify their information
as often as every ninety days.
2 See Ben Jones, States May Require Sex Offenders to Use Special
License Plates, USA TODAY, May 2, 2007, available at
tags_N.htm (reporting on proposals in Alabama,
Ohio, and Wisconsin that would require special license plates
for sex offenders); Cuero City Council Approves Sex Offender
Yard Signs, available at
forums/101/17977/174223.html (reporting that, in March
2006, Cuero, Texas, passed a city ordinance requiring “highrisk”
sex offenders to place two-by-two signs in their yards
announcing they are sex offenders ).
3 In Alabama, for instance, the failure to register is punishable
by up to ten years and up to a $250,000 fine. ALA. CODE § 15-
20-26(h) (2008).
4 See, e.g., GA. CODE ANN. § 42-1-15(a) (2006).
5 Pub. L. No. 109-248, 120 Stat. 587 (2006).
6 See, e.g., Peter Hirschfeld, Issues of Cost, Content Arise over
State’s Sex Offender Registry, BARRE MONTPELIER TIMES ARGUS,
Oct. 21, 2008, available at
1002/NEWS01. The lower threshold of the Adam Walsh Act
will require all 2,400 of the Vermont’s sex offenders to register,
whereas previously only 400 were required to do so. Id.
7 See, e.g., In re Gant, No. 1-08-11, 2008 WL 4455589, at *6
(Ohio Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2008) (holding that registration and
verification provisions are remedial in nature and do not violate
the ban on retroactive laws).
8 Genesis 4:15 (New King James) (“And the Lord set a mark on
Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”).
9 Genesis 4:12 (New King James).
10 42 U.S.C. § 16901 (2006).
11 42 U.S.C. § 16911 (2)-(4) (2006).
12 A sex offender typically will be subject to registration requirements,
as well as employment and residence restrictions, for
at least ten to fifteen years, while a second- or third-tier designation
increases the registration period to twenty-five years
or life.
13 See, e.g., IOWA CODE §§ 229A.1-229A.16 (2008).
14 Failing to report or otherwise violating reporting requirements,
residence restrictions or employment restrictions are
strict liability crimes that apply only to sex offenders.
110 F E D E R A L S ENT ENC ING R E P O RT E R • VO L . 2 1 , NO. 2 • D E C EMB E R 2
15 Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); United States v.
Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).
16 395 U.S. 238 (1969).
17 See, e.g., Abigail Goldman, New Sex Offender Laws Could Rise Out
of Limbo, LAS VEGAS SUN, Oct. 8, 2008 (reporting that three
courts in Nevada have acted to halt proceedings under the Adam
Walsh Act as they consider the constitutionality of the law).
The following paper may give you some statistics, from California, to put to good use!
U.S. News: Sex-Registry Flaws Stand Out
Ryan Knutson, Justin Scheck. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Sep 3,
2009. pg. A.5
Abstract (Summary)
There are now so many people on the registry it's difficult for law enforcement to effectively
track them all, and "it's more helpful for law enforcement to know . . . who the highest-risk
offenders are," said Janet Neeley, a deputy California attorney general and member of the state's
sex offender board.
» Jump to indexing (document details)
Full Text
(721 words)
(c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further
reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
The case of Phillip Garrido, who allegedly held Jaycee Dugard in his backyard for 18 years
despite monthly law-enforcement visits, is forcing California officials to acknowledge a
fundamental problem with the state's sex-offender registry: The list keeps expanding, while the
number of officials who monitor sex offenders has grown at a much slower rate.
There are now so many people on the registry it's difficult for law enforcement to effectively
track them all, and "it's more helpful for law enforcement to know . . . who the highest-risk
offenders are," said Janet Neeley, a deputy California attorney general and member of the state's
sex offender board.
A December study of roughly 20,000 registered sex offenders on parole in California found
9% posed a "high risk" of reoffending, and 29% posed a "moderate-high" to "high" risk,
said Ms. Neeley. But law-enforcement officials and academics say vast resources are spent
monitoring nonviolent offenders rather than keeping closer tabs on more-dangerous ones.
California's sex-offender registry has ballooned to more than 90,000 people now from about
45,000 in 1994, according to the California attorney general's office. Not only has the number of
law-enforcement officers failed to keep pace, but recent state budget cuts have forced some local
agencies to cut officers assigned to sex offenders, according to the California Commission on
Peace Officer Standards and Training.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, for example, said funding cuts have forced it to field
only five officers dedicated to tracking sex offenders in the county, down from eight officers five
years ago.
Last year, California's Sex Offender Management Board criticized the system as it stands
in a 225-page assessment, highlighting failures in the collection and analysis of data on sex
offenders. It's "difficult if not impossible" to track the effectiveness of registry laws, the
report said.
Mr. Garrido, who allegedly kidnapped the 11-year-old girl in 1991, was considered high-risk
because of a 1977 conviction for rape and kidnapping. But he received about the same number
of visits from officers at his Antioch, Calif., home as the 200 or so other sex offenders in
Antioch and adjacent Pittsburg, said the Contra Costa County Sheriff, even though many weren't
convicted of violent offenses. During dozens of visits to Mr. Garrido's home, authorities never
found the tents and shacks hidden behind a backyard fence.
The growing sex-offender list can dilute the amount of attention on the most dangerous
offenders, said Nora Demleitner, the dean of Hofstra University Law School who studies
sentencing. Some sex offenders "tend to be not dangerous at all," she said. "You have them
register as sex offenders, so when you're law enforcement, all these people look the same. If you
had much more focused sex-offender laws, maybe they would have been bothered to go into the
shack" in Mr. Garrido's back yard.
California has been trying to sharpen its focus, but federal and state laws passed in 2006 offer
conflicting rules for monitoring sex offenders, Ms. Neeley said.
Under its law, California has chosen to use a program called Static 99, which categorizes sex
offenders based on their likelihood to reoffend. To predict risk, it looks at things like the nature
of the crime, the offender's relationship with the victim and whether the offender has been able
to form long-term intimate relationships. But the system hasn't been introduced by most local
jurisdictions for those convicted before 2007.
Provisions in the federal Adam Walsh Act aim to move monitoring in the opposite direction, so
that it's based solely on an offender's type of conviction, not on a complex assessment of risk.
That's problematic, said Jill Levenson, an associate professor at Lynn University in Florida who
studies sex-offender registries, since it "overestimates risk for most people, and underestimates
risk for people who pleaded down," or struck plea deals by admitting to lower-level crimes.
Now, the state Sex Offender Management Board is recommending that California forgo some
federal funds and not adopt the law, which would add to the number of crimes requiring
"There is no available evidence to indicate that expanding California's list of registerable
crimes would promote public safety," the board wrote in a recommendation, noting the
federal law would create at least $32 million in costs to the attorney general's office and
law-enforcement agencies without improving the system.
Credit: By Ryan Knutson and Justin Scheck

The Vilification of Sex Offenders: Do Laws Targeting Sex

Good Read...

Green Bay sex offender home called model for other communities

Below is an article that talks about TLP's for sexual offenders in the Green Bay area. Some makes sence, but placing this many RSO's in this small of an area i dont know if it the best idea, but it is atlease a place for this class of offender to go... what do you think

Friday, March 25, 2011

re-entry progams

The following is a intresting article that talks about re-entry programs for offenders being released from prison and shows what are the most important things needed for a successful reintergration back into the community after release from an institution.

I am currently working on creating a data base of programs and organizations that will help RSO's in this process. If you know of any programs that might help us, please let me know. I will need the name of the orgamization, how they help, and an email and possibly a contact name that i can email and see if they would be willing to be added to out list. I would like to get a big list with anything that will help RSO's reintergrate. The programs are out there, we just need to find all of them.  make a post or send an email, your help would be greatly appreciated on this.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

facts of sexual offenders

The “Stranger
Danger” Myth
In 93% of child sexual abuse
cases, the child knows the person
who commits the abuse. Only 7%
are strangers and as many as 47%
are family or extended family.
(National Sex Offender Public Website,
US Department of Justice)

of new sex offenses
are committed by
someone NOT
already on a sex
offender registry.
(Bureau of Justice
Statistics, 2006)

Number of states that provide enough information on
online registries for the public to be able to interpret
the charge and the age of both the registrant and the
victim. (Justice Policy Institute)

Adam Walsh Act Fact
Reclassification of sex offenders is based solely
on the offense of conviction. One’s likelihood
to re-offend will no longer be considered. In
Ohio, highest-risk offenders (sexual predators)
went from 18% to 54% after being reclassified
as Tier III offenders under the AWA; Sheriffs’
workloads estimated to increase by 60%.
(Ohio Public Defender’s Office)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You are not alone

Are you a sexual offender, is one of your family members, or close friends?  You are not alone, within the next few years everyone will know a sexual offender, weather a close friend, a family member, or a co-worker. Unless there is change to the laws, everyone will know one, so what do you do to change that, you could sit back and let the world pass you by, or you could stand up and speak out on the injustices you see. Not everyone will like this, but the power is up to you. You don't have to make it your life mission to try to change the world, all you have to do is spend a little time and educate yourself about sex offenders. It is you, the citizens of this great state that ultimatly creat the laws. You might not do it yourself, but you put the people at be in power to create the laws that over see your state. You the citizen of this great state pay for these laws, by paying the state workers, your state legislators, and for all the programs that our legislators make that oversee the supervision, incarceration, and other restritions. These programs have a very high costs, and there are a lot of studies that show that some of these programs are not effective at stopping the victimizations of men, women, and children of this state. So you ask what to do? Speak out to the powers at be, call your legislators and challenge them, give them your personal thoughts and experiences of the sex offenders that you have come into contact with, let them know about the injustices that you have scene agianst this class of offender, and challenge them to work on making better laws that would do more to protect the great citizens of this state as well as protecting the rights of the offenders.
It does not take much to contact your legislators, just pick up the phone and call, or send an email with your thoughs and concerns. You don't have to give them a complete history, just make it short and sweet. It is your right as a citizen of this state to speak out, so use this right! A couple of hours of your time is worth it if it stops just one person from becomming a victim, and it can be done in a way that will save the tax payers millions of dollars every year.

Thank you for your time and consideration..

Next Up: Register Murderers

Next Up: Register Murderers

Saturday, March 19, 2011

intresting artical

December 2009, Page 20

Registering Harm: The Adam Walsh Act and Juvenile Sex Offender Registration
By Nastassia Walsh; Tracy Velazquez

When members of Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA) in 2006, their intention was to keep children and families safe from violent sexual predators. Through Title I of the AWA — the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) — policymakers sought to increase penalties for sex offenses and the information available to the public on people convicted of sex offenses. However, in this push to target people who may actually pose a significant danger to the public, policymakers may end up doing more harm than good. This is particularly the case when it comes to youth who have been convicted of sex offenses. SORNA is unlikely to increase public safety, and its provisions requiring long-term or lifetime registration are particularly damaging and inappropriate for young people convicted of a sex offense. Although Ohio is the only state currently in compliance with SORNA, a number of states are working to fully implement the Act.

Provisions Regarding People Convicted of Sex Offenses
The Adam Walsh Act was passed to protect children by creating federal standards for various offenses. SORNA, Title I of the AWA, expands federal guidelines regarding what is classified as a sex offense;1 increases penalties for sex offenses adjudicated in federal courts;2 provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States;3 standardizes (to three days) the time allowed for registrants to report changes in address or other status;4 creates a national registry for people convicted of sex offenses from these state registries;5 and requires that the registry be available on the Internet.6 While the federal government cannot mandate that states implement the provisions of SORNA, states will be penalized 10 percent of their federal Justice Assistance Grant funds if they do not implement SORNA.7 The original July 2009 deadline for implementation has been extended by one year.

While there has been previous federal legislation addressing registration and community notification of people convicted of sex offenses, SORNA represents the first time the federal government has stipulated that children be placed on registries. Youth ages 14 and up must be put on the registry if prosecuted and convicted as an adult or (a) if he or she is 14 or older at the time of the offense and (b) he or she is adjudicated delinquent for an offense comparable or more serious than “aggravated sexual abuse” or adjudicated delinquent for a sex act with any victim under the age of 12.8 The only exception is a “Romeo and Juliet” clause, which excludes from registration youth who engage in consensual intercourse when they are no more than four years older than the other party and the other party is at least 13 years old.9

SORNA Will Not Make Children Safer
There is little evidence that registries and notification systems for people convicted of sex offenses are effective ways of improving public safety or deterring future sex offenses. To date, only one study has been able to correlate registration with reduced recidivism. This reduction was confined to perpetrators known to the victims; there was no correlation to offenses by strangers, the primary focus of community notification.10 Not only does SORNA explicitly indicate that members of the public have access to a searchable Internet registry of people convicted of sex offenses, but it also requires notification directly to various agencies in the registered person’s community.

Studies indicate that any slight improvement in public safety due to increased awareness of potential predators is likely offset by the harm done by “branding” people.11 Being on a registry can hinder access to the sort of re-entry and preventative services needed to lead a stable life. The links between barriers to education, employment, housing, and treatment and involvement in the criminal justice system have been well documented.12 Barriers to these basic services can inhibit a person from being successful in the community, and may actually encourage delinquent behavior.13

Community notification and registry laws also exacerbate the stress felt by any person released from prison; such stress can trigger new offenses.14 It appears that there is a basis for this stress. In addition to the day-to-day difficulties of living in the community that people convicted of sex offenses may face, there have been numerous reports of vigilantism against people on the sex offender registry, including harassment, threats, and even murders.15 A qualitative study found that 47 percent of people surveyed had been harassed in person and 28 percent had received threatening phone calls as a result of being on the sex offender registry; 16 percent had been assaulted.16

Above and beyond the effectiveness of community notification and registries, SORNA is unlikely to reduce sexual crimes against children because its provisions are primarily targeted at “stranger danger.” As the chart in Figure 1 shows, in 93 percent of sexual assaults on children, a family member or acquaintance victimizes the child. Therefore, even if SORNA implementation were to result in a 10 percent decrease in victimizations of children by strangers, this would only result in a total decrease in sexual assaults of less than one percent.

Registration and community notification laws are aimed at reducing the chances that someone will commit another sex offense because there is a misunderstanding that people who commit sex offenses have high recidivism rates. However, research demonstrates that people convicted of sexual offenses are not likely to commit new sex offenses. A meta-analysis of 61 separate studies on patterns of recidivism for people convicted of sex offenses concluded that 13.4 percent of the 23,393 individuals in the study committed a new sexual offense.17

A large-scale study on recidivism by the U.S. Department of Justice found that for people released from prison after being convicted of any offense, not just sex offenses, 67.5 percent will be re-arrested for any new offense within three years. The recidivism rates for people convicted of sex offenses in this study were considerably lower:18 while 46 percent of people convicted of rape were re-arrested for any offense within three years of release, just 2.3 percent were re-arrested for rape. Only 5.3 percent of people released from prison after being convicted of any sex offense were re-arrested for another sex offense within three years.19 In other words, recidivism rates of people convicted of sex offenses are lower than the national average for all offenses. Focusing on this small population can take resources away from law enforcement and may be more likely to result in people “feeling safe” rather than having a real impact on public safety.

Including Youth on Sex Offender Registries
What is wrong with including youth as young as 14 in SORNA provisions? Youth who commit offenses should be held appropriately accountable. However, placing youth on sex offender registries is counterproductive both for the person and for society.

Requiring youth to register does not improve public safety and may make it worse. Placement on a registry can be detrimental to a young person’s development, making it difficult to progress through school and to participate in appropriate adolescent activities. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count Data Book keeps tally of “disconnected” youth (youth who are not working or in school) as a factor in child well-being. In other words, the young people who are connected to school or work are generally expected to have better life outcomes.20 Youth who are labeled “sex offenders” often experience rejection from peer groups and adults. They are therefore more likely to associate with delinquent or troubled peers and less likely to be attached to social institutions such as schools and churches.21 Youth who are detached from normative social institutions may be more likely to engage in illegal behavior.

Youth sex offending is different from adult sex offending. Young people are still developing physically and emotionally and are thus highly amenable to change. Research by mental health professionals working with youth who commit sex offenses indicates that the nature and intention of youthful sexual experimentation is not considered predatory or aggressive.

According to the National Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth, the vast majority of youth sex offenses are manifestations of nonsexual feelings. Youth engage in fewer abusive behaviors over shorter periods of time and engage in less aggressive sexual behavior.22 Youth rarely eroticize aggression and are rarely aroused by child sex stimuli. Most youth behavior that is categorized as a sex offense is activity that mental health professionals do not label as predatory.23 Therefore, using an adult registration system for youth does not fit, likely has no public safety benefit, and therefore should not be applied to youth.

Youth who commit a sex offense are unlikely to commit sex offenses as adults. A 2005 study that reviewed youth recidivism rates in 27 states found that 55 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system for any offense were re-arrested within one year and 24 percent were re-imprisoned for any offense, not just sexual offenses.24 In contrast, a 2002 review of 25 studies concerning juvenile sex offense recidivism rates reveals that youth who commit sex offenses have a 1.8–12.8 percent chance of re-arrest and a 1.7–18 percent chance of reconviction for another sex offense.25 The recidivism rate of youth who commit sex offenses is low compared to other offenses.

A 2007 review of a longitudinal data set of three cohorts of youth in Wisconsin found that of men who had contact with police for a sex offense as youth, only 8.5 percent had contact with police for a sex offense as adults.26 In other words, more than nine out of 10 times, the arrest of a youth for a sex offense is a one-time event. The study also showed that youth who have committed a sex offense are no different from youth who commit other nonsexual offenses and would likely benefit from similar interventions. It goes on to say that putting youth on sex offender registries “would have little effect on the prevention of sex crimes and, thus, do little to protect the public.”

Youth registration can have damaging collateral affects on families. According to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, “SORNA as applied to youth will disrupt families and communities across the nation because SORNA does not just stigmatize youth; it stigmatizes the entire family.”27 In the frequent case where the victimization is by a family member, having that person on the sex offense registry will not protect the victim and may cause other detrimental effects to the family.28 Having a family member on the registry puts an extra burden on the family, who may wish to aid or support their loved one as the family member struggles to get back on his or her feet after being released from prison. Although most people released after being convicted of a sex offense do not have this sort of family support, “for those who do, such relationships are severely strained under the thumb of such laws because the community’s ostracism of the individual now often extends to anyone willing to support or assist him or her.”29 Having support and a place to stay while trying to regain their lives can be critical for offenders when trying to keep them from repeating past behaviors.

Registries and community notification have the power to push individuals and whole families out of stable housing. This can be extremely detrimental to young people who are trying to complete their education and find adequate employment. As many states are now also imposing residency restrictions on people convicted of sex offenses, youth on registries may find they cannot live with their families and must support themselves at an early age.

Additionally, placing a family member on the registry may inadvertently identify the victim, often causing embarrassment and shame. And the threat of having a family member on the sex offender registry may lead some families to resist reporting sexual abuse, both for fear of public reproach and out of concern for the long-term consequences for the individual. In this case, the victim and the offending family member may not receive the treatment they need. Reports in New Jersey and Colorado suggest a decrease in the reporting of both incest offenses and juvenile sex offenses by victims and family members who do not want to deal with the impact of public notification on their family.30

Finally, the safety of both the individual on the registry and others in the family might be compromised. Being listed on an Internet Web site makes youth vulnerable to others who might prey on children. A study of 183 people participating in sex offense treatment in Florida found that approximately 19 percent reported that other members of their household had been “threatened, harassed, assaulted, injured, or suffered property damage” as a result of living with someone on the sex offender registry.31

The psychological and emotional impacts of registration are magnified in youth. For youth, registries and notification systems are particularly damaging to developing brains,32 increase the risk of suicide, alienate a youth from school and community, and raise barriers to successful participation in society.33 Research on adolescent brain development indicates that youth are particularly vulnerable to the stigma and isolation that registration and notification create.34 To be labeled and therefore self-identified as a “sex offender” as a child will likely permanently undermine a person’s self-worth and create lasting mental health problems such as depression and substance abuse. In many cases, being on a sex offender registry locks a person out of participation in residential treatment facilities.

Placing youth on sex offense registries is contrary to the purpose of the juvenile justice system. The juvenile justice system was founded on the premise that youth are different from adults and need to be held accountable in age-appropriate ways. As the U.S. Supreme Court recognized in Roper v. Simmons,35 the landmark case that outlawed the juvenile death penalty, children are categorically less culpable for their actions than adults. This should mean that the state cannot punish children in the same manner it uses to punish adults, particularly because the part of a young person’s brain that deals with judgment and risk assessment is not fully formed. Since their brains are still developing, youth are even more amenable to appropriate and effective treatment.36 Juvenile court judges are experts in assessing the culpability and rehabilitative potential of young people, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system typically receive more treatment and rehabilitative services than they would if they were treated as adults.37

The juvenile justice system was also intended to ensure that participation in delinquent acts did not interrupt adult pursuits of employment, education, and other endeavors. Posting a youth on a national public registry undermines that provision of the juvenile court. SORNA requires that youth adjudicated in the juvenile justice system of certain offenses be placed on sex offender registries, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Requiring youth to register as sex offenders is contrary to the very principles of the juvenile justice system.

Next Steps for Advocates
The prevention of sexual violence should be a priority for policymakers and the criminal and juvenile justice systems. And youth should be held appropriately accountable for their actions. However, the registration and community notification of youth convicted of sex offenses is unlikely to improve public safety, can have a lifetime of negative effects on a young person, and often penalizes an entire family. Placing a young person, or any person, on a public sex offense registry lowers the ability to lead a productive life in the community, makes it difficult to maintain employment or obtain an education, and often restricts housing options. Additionally, youth who are on public registries have personal information displayed for everyone to see, which may put them or their families at risk.

Some states are beginning to recognize that SORNA will have little or no public safety benefit and may come at a huge cost, both to state budgets and to people on the registry, especially youth. As of October 2009, the Department of Justice has declared that only one state (Ohio) is in substantial compliance with the Adam Walsh Act.38 Moreover, on May 26, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder granted a one-year extension to states to give them additional time to comply with SORNA. The new compliance deadline is July 27, 2010. Some groups are advocating that congressional hearings be held and the Act’s implementation be suspended. It is imperative that the public, policymakers, and the courts become informed about the negative effects of the Act and why youth should not be placed on either state or federal sex offender registries.

Advocates in states that are considering whether to comply with the Adam Walsh Act can help policymakers and court officials understand the potential impact of compliance.

  • Determine what the state laws are. It is likely that complying with AWA will overstep laws already in place and require new policies that will impact the state budget. It is likely to be extremely expensive for a state to comply — far more than the penalty the federal government will impose for not complying.
  • Evaluate whether including children as young as 14 on public registries comports with the state’s juvenile justice system. Will publicly identifying these children and their families undermine the state system? Will such a registry foreclose therapeutic and rehabilitative options for that child?
  • Advocates in states that have decided to comply with the Adam Walsh Act should ensure that practice follows policy, particularly in the courtroom.
  • Ensure that placing children on a public registry does not violate the state constitution, especially with regard to a child’s right to treatment, privacy, rehabilitation, and due process.39
  • Ensure that no child 13 or younger is placed on a public registry for any reason.40
  • Ensure that no individual is placed on the registry for consensual sexual contact, as long as the victim is at least 13 years old and the offender is no more than four years older than the victim.41
  • Ensure that the state has developed procedures for children placed on the registry to petition for removal 25 years after the date of their adjudication.42
  • Ensure that the state is prepared to meet its legal obligations to provide for the educational, mental health, and rehabilitative needs of children who are publicly labeled as sex offenders.
Advocates everywhere can promote strategies that prevent sexual violence. For example, advocates can push for a comprehensive continuum of interventions for children and families that are at risk or in crisis that includes mental health services, youth development programming, and vocational and educational programs.

Research shows that the majority of children who experience sexual violence are abused by family members or other people known to them and their parents. Advocates can support training for teachers, social workers, coaches, and the faith-based community so that they can better recognize the signs of sexual abuse in children. Moreover, advocates can support programs for children that explain what to do if they are being sexually abused or are at risk of being abused.

For too long, public policies around sex offending have been driven by politics and false perceptions. The Adam Walsh Act and SORNA provide one example — one that will have particularly toxic results, especially for youth. Hopefully, everyone involved can begin to move past emotion and rhetoric and start to put in place more rational, effective policies for all.

1. 42 U.S.C. § 16911.
2. 42 U.S.C. § 16911(5)A(iii).
3. 42 U.S.C. § 16911.
4. 42 U.S.C. § 16913(c).
5. 42 U.S.C. § 16920.
6. 42 U.S.C. § 16918(a).
7. 42 U.S.C. § 16925.
8. “Aggravated sexual abuse” (18 U.S.C.
§ 2241) covers: (a) engaging in a sex act with another by force or threat of serious violence; (b) a sexual act by rendering unconscious or involuntary drugging; or (c) engaging in a sexual act with a child under 12 (see 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c)).
9. 42 U.S.C. § 16911(5)(C).
10. J.J. Prescott & Jonah E. Rockoff, Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 13803 (2008) ( papers/w13803).
11. Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the Comm. on the Judiciary, 109th Cong. (June 9, 2005) (testimony of Fred Berlin, M.D., Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University).
12. Robert G. Zevitz & M.A. Farkas, Sex Offender Community Notification: Managing High-Risk Criminals or Exacting Further Vengeance?, 18 Behav. Sci. Law 375-391 (2000); Justice Policy Institute, Housing and Public Safety (2007); Justice Policy Institute, Education and Public Safety (2007); Justice Policy Institute, Employment, Wages and Public Safety (2007).
13. Id.
14. William Edwards & Christopher Hensley, Contextualizing Sex Offender Management Legislation and Policy: Evaluating the Problem of Latent Consequences in Community Notification Laws, 45 Int’l J. Offender Therapy and Comp. Criminology 83, 89 (2001).
15. Sex Offender’s Home Is Burned, N.Y. Times, July 13, 1993; Glenn Adams, Maine Killings Raise Questions About Sex Offender Registries, San Diego Union-Trib., April 17, 2006; Jerry DeMarco, Innocent Man Beaten, Mistaken for Sex Offender, The Record (Bergen County, NJ), January 11, 1995; Robert Hanley, Shots Fired at the House of a Rapist, N.Y. Times, June 17, 1998.
16. Richard Tewksbury, Collateral Consequences of Sex Offender Registration, 21 J. Contemp. Crim. Just. 67-81 (2005).
17. R. Karl Hanson & Monique T. Bussiere, Predicting Relapse: A Meta-Analysis of Sexual Offender Recidivism Studies, 66 J. Consulting Clinical Psychology 348-362 (1998).
18. Patrick A. Langan & David J. Levin, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 (2002), available at
19. Patrick A. Langan, Erica L. Schmitt & Matthew R. Durose, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released From Prison in 1994 (2003), available at
20. Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2008 Kids Count Data Book (2008).
21. Franklin E. Zimring, et al., Sexual Delinquency in Racine: Does Early Sex Offending Predict Later Sex Offending in Youth and Young Adulthood?, 6 Criminology & Pub. Pol’y 507-534 (2007).
22. Nat’l Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth, Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juveniles Who Have Sexually Offended: A Review of the Professional Literature Report (2001).
23. J.A. Hunter, D.W. Goodwin & J.V. Becker, The Relationship Between Phallometrically Measured Deviant Sexual Arousal and Clinical Characteristics in Juvenile Sexual Offenders, 32 Behav. Research Therapy 533-538 (1994); J.V. Becker, J.A. Hunter, R.M. Stein & M.S. Kaplan, Factors Associated With Erection in Adolescent Sex Offenders, 11 J. Psychopathology & Behav. Assessment 353-363 (1989); American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) (1994).
24. Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Recidivism in Virginia, DJJ Research Quarterly (2005); cited in Howard N. Snyder & Melissa Sickmund, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report (2006), available at (re-arrest: 55 percent of juveniles released from facilities in Florida, New York, and Virginia were re-arrested within one year; re-conviction/re-adjudication: 33 percent of youth released from detention centers in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Virginia were re-convicted or re-adjudicated within one year; re-incarceration/re-confinement: 24 percent of juveniles released from facilities in Florida, Maryland, and Virginia were re-incarcerated during the 12-month follow-up period).
25. Michael F. Caldwell, What We Do Not Know About Juvenile Sexual Re-Offense Risk, 7 Child Maltreatment 291-302 (2002).
26. Franklin E. Zimring, et al., supra note 21, see Figure 7.
27. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Comments on Proposed Guidelines to Interpret and Implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) (2007), available at
28. Jill S. Levenson & Leo P. Cotter, The Impact of Megan’s Law on Sex Offender Reintegration, 21 J. Contemp. Crim. Just. 49-66 (2005); 18 U.S.C. § 16911(5)(c), cited in Lori McPherson, Practitioner’s Guide to the Adam Walsh Act (2007), available at
29. William Edwards & Christopher Hensley, supra note 14, at 90.
30. Robert E. Freeman-Longo, Prevention or Problem?, 8 Sexual Abuse: J. Research Treatment (1996), cited in William Edwards & Christopher Hensley, supra note 14.
31. Jill S. Levenson & Leo P. Cotter, The Impact of Sex Offender Residence Restrictions: 1,000 Feet From Danger or One Step From Absurd?, 49 Int’l J. Offender Therapy Comparative Criminology 178-205 (2005).
32. Franklin E. Zimring, et al., supra note 21.
33. Sarah Tofte, Human Rights Watch, No Easy Answers (2007), available at
34. Franklin E. Zimring, et al., supra note 21.
35. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005).
36. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, The Effective Legal Management of Juvenile Sex Offenders (2000), available at
37. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, Issue Brief 5: The Changing Borders of Juvenile Justice: Transfer of Adolescents to Adult Criminal Court (2008), available at
39. 42 U.S.C. § 16925(b).
40. 42 U.S.C. § 16911(8).
41. 42 U.S.C. § 16911(5)(C).
42. 42 U.S.C. § 16915(b).

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