Families Affirming Community Safety (FACTS)

December 17, 2009

Expert: LB 285 a Threat to Public Safety

Filed under: Child Safety — stfacts @ 3:05 pm
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By Stephen Skulsky, PhD

The author is an Omaha clinical psychologist and nationally recognized expert on sex offenders. The State of Nebraska and criminal justice system officials routinely call on him to evaluate sex offenders.

The State of Nebraska would be making a costly and dangerous mistake if it implements the sex offender management and tracking protocol outlined in LB 285.

A recently filed federal lawsuit appropriately calls into question the constitutionality of LB 285. I will leave it to the courts to decide that question.

My concern is the safety of our communities. Safety is best served by the current system in Nebraska, under which scientific and law enforcement expertise determines a registrant’s risk of reoffending.

Tossing that system out and replacing it with the “one-size-fits-all” approach of LB 285 means that truly dangerous sex offenders like Phillip Garrido (kidnapper of Jaycee Lee Dugard) will be able to “hide in plain sight” on a public web registry that lists all sex offenders regardless of their level of risk. California has some of the most stringent sex offender laws in the nation, and all sources agree that Garrido escaped law enforcement attention because the system was distracted and overly burdened by tracking registrants who posed little or no risk.

I have evaluated hundreds of sex offenders. I know that there are low-risk registrants capable of succeeding in therapy.

LB 285 will have the effect of isolating, degrading and putting in danger these registrants who pose little risk, as well as inflicting harm upon their families. Low-risk registrants should be required to receive therapy and they should be integrated into society. This is the most effective means of preventing recidivism.

LB 285 could actually have the effect of making it more likely that a low-risk registrant would reoffend. Why? Because the law’s shaming and degrading treatment of low-risk registrants could cost them their jobs. It further could drive them away from seeking therapy and discourage them from compliance with registration laws.

By using a misguided “one-size-fits-all” approach and ignoring expert and law enforcement judgment as to the risk posed by a particular sex offender, LB 285 represents a clear and present threat to public safety. It also is a threat to the families of thousands of registrants who long ago completed their sentences, succeeded in therapy and have become productive, respected, taxpaying members of our communities.

LB 285 Will Make Nebraska More Dangerous

Filed under: Child Safety — constitutionaldefense @ 10:43 am
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Phillip Garrido, who kidnapped Jayce Dugard and assaulted her for 18 years, was in 100% compliance with some of the toughest ‘sex offender’ legislation in the country, including GPS monitoring AT THE TIME of her abduction.  Every expert on this case has agreed that the over burdened system is THE reason he was able to get away with this.  Every recommendation has been that registrants who do not pose an elevated risk, need to be off the registry so they can focus on the dangerous registrants.

California (the state where this occurred) has over 90,000 registered ‘sex offenders’.  A recent study showed that 9% (about 8,000) were dangerous.  Another approximately 20% were moderately dangerous, but still in treatment, meaning their risk was being lowered.  The other 71% had no elevated risk of danger to the public.  So nearly 65,000 registrants were being monitored that posed no elevated risk.  And if they implement Adam Walsh Act, that number will not only increase dramatically, but most of the non dangerous registrants will be on there for life.  That will make the situation exponentially worse in 10 to 15 years.

Another study showed that the offender classification system used in LB 285 fails to protect the public and in fact increases the danger.

The true danger of laws like this is that they ‘hide’ the dangerous registrants, allowing them more freedom to commit their vile deeds.  Laws like this, meant to protect children, actually over burden the State Patrol to such a degree, that it is easier for predators to ‘hide’ in the system.

MYTH #1: “SEX OFFENDERS WILL ALWAYS KEEP OFFENDING.”
MYTH #2: “TREATMENT DOESN’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.”
MYTH #3: “THE GREATEST THREAT TO OUR CHILDREN COMES FROM STRANGERS.”
MYTH #4: “BANNING SEX OFFENDERS FROM PLACES WHERE CHILDREN CONGREGATE WILL SIGNIFICANTLY PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.”
MYTH #5: “TOUGHER LEGISLATION IS THE ONLY SOLUTION.”
MYTH #6: “THE ONLY WAY TO DEAL WITH THEM IS PUT THEM BEHIND BARS.”
MYTH #7: “MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES ARE EFFECTIVE AND WILL HELP PROTECT SOCIETY.”
MYTH #8: “SEX OFFENDER REGISTRIES ARE NECESSARY TO PROTECT SOCIETY.”
MYTH #9: “TRACKING DEVICES ARE A PRACTICAL AND JUST MEANS FOR KEEPING SEX OFFENDERS UNDER SURVEILLANCE.”
MYTH #10: “THE EXPERTS SAY THAT STRONG, REPRESSIVE MEASURES ARE NECESSARY TO KEEP SEX OFFENDERS FROM RE-OFFENDING.”

http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org/materials/10myths.php

Myth – All sex offenders are child molesters and all child molesters are predators.
Myth – Strangers are lurking at school bus stops or around playgrounds looking for children to molest.
Myth – Depraved adults commit all sex crimes.
Myth – Men who molest boys are homosexuals or bisexual.
Myth – Sex offenders have the highest recidivism rate (some quote 95%) and allowing them back into society is a mistake.

http://www.ipce.info/newsletters/e_22/2_1_myths_and_facts.htm

General mythology, including the economic costs.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/25866

Once a ‘sex offender’, always a ‘sex offender’?  This study shows that this common myth is completely unfounded.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/58732032586098h3/

December 16, 2009

Families Affirming Community Safety (FACTS)

Families Affirming Community Safety (FACTS) exists to ensure that our communities are safe and that Nebraskans are not lulled into a false sense of security by laws like LB 285.  The law is supposed to keep children safe. However, if implemented, LB 285 will allow truly dangerous ‘sex offenders’ like Phillip Garrido (kidnapper of Jaycee Lee Dugard) to “hide in plain sight” on a public web registry that lists all registrants regardless of their level of risk. California has some of the most stringent registry laws in the nation, and all sources agree that Garrido escaped law enforcement attention because the system was distracted and overly burdened by tracking registrants who posed little or no risk.

LB 285 does away with Nebraska’s system of using psychological and law enforcement expertise to assess a registrant’s risk of reoffending. Instead, all registrants — some of whom did not even have victims — will be on the registry, rendering it useless in protecting community safety.

With this website, FACTS intends to share accurate information and alert the public to the dangers posed by LB 285. If the law is implemented, we would not want any Nebraska registrant to inadvertently fail to comply for lack of information. Under LB 285, the proposed conditions are so burdensome for both the registrant and the registrant’s family that compliance is difficult at best, even for those who intend to comply.

The law also could place burdens on employers because it criminalizes commonly used communication means such as text messaging. A professional who is an registrant would be committing a felony simply by receiving a work-related text message, or a text message from his wife asking him to buy a loaf of bread on the way home from work.

By using a misguided “one-size-fits-all” approach and ignoring expert and law enforcement judgment as to the risk posed by a particular registrant, LB 285 represents a clear and present threat to public safety. It also is a threat to the families of thousands of registrants who long ago completed their sentences, succeeded in therapy and have become productive, respected, taxpaying members of our communities.

December 10, 2009

Ethical Treatment for All Youth

Human Rights Watch did a 2 year study on ‘sex offender’ Registry laws.   The results are rather shocking.  United States is quickly lowering itself to human rights abuse country such as North Korea and Iran.

Registrants and their families have been hounded from their homes, had rocks thrown through their home windows, and feces left on their front doorsteps. They have been assaulted, stabbed, and had their homes burned by neighbors or strangers who discovered their status as a previously convicted sex offender. At least four registrants have been targeted and killed (two in 2006 and two in 2005) by strangers who found their names and addresses through online registries.

http://www.ethicaltreatment.org/news.htm

So what is worse, having a ‘sex offender’ in your neighborhood, or having your neighborhood turn into a harbor of hate.

What if that ‘sex offender’ never even touched or hurt anyone?

Patty Wetterling says it’s gone too far!

Patty Wetterling was the driving force behind the creation of the ‘sex offender’ registry.  Now with Adam Walsh Act, she is actively petitioning to stop registries, because they have gone too far.  She is now focusing her efforts to stop the tide, because it’s doing more harm than good.

To take a person who has dedicated her life to stopping child exploitation, and turn her into campaigning AGAINST Adam Walsh Act should be a major red flag to all politicians.  She hired an attorney to fight Adam Walsh Act in Ohio, and in Omaha we have been in contact with her attorney to fight in Nebraska as well.

“Everybody wants to out-tough the next legislator. ‘I’m tough on crime,’ ‘No, I’m even more tough.’ It’s all about ego and boastfulness,” says Wetterling.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/06/11/sexoffender1/

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