Offenders and you - volatile topic

youreitJuly 28, 2006

So, this sex offender is set to be released in Sacramento County today (new law here, the offender must be released back into his original territory), and everyone's going insane.

He's had more rehab than most others, but they're making more of a stink about him than most others, as well. He was set to be released in 2005, but they couldn't find anywhere for him to live.

I have many issues with this, but the main ones are a) if he's so terrible, why is he being released? And b) if he's served his time, why is he treated like he's still guilty?

Just to clarify, I think all sex-offenders should be wiped from the face of the earth. I just wonder why the ACLU isn't all over the backs of the powers that be when it comes to these offenders having served their time, yet still having to publicly announce what they've done, where they live, etc.

Ok, one more issue. Now there's that new law they're considering (already active and unworkable in Iowa) where the offenders have to live at least 2,000 feet from any school. That sends them out here to live with us in the boonies. Yippie, can't wait.

On that note, I really DO have a link. I found three offenders listed in my small, population-800 town, and 76 in the town where I shop and do everything else besides reside. How many do YOU have?


Here is a link that might be useful: National Sex Offender Public Registry

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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Thanks Brenda.
In case anyone didn't know, If you click on an offender in your zip code, and get the map of their location, then click on "mapping application" and type in your own street address, the map will show any offenders close within your street address.

I did a search on sex offenders in my neighborhood about a yr ago and there are two within a stones throw from my home! When I viewed their pictures, I recognized one of them from my neighbor convenience store.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:19PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey there. My DH did a search last month. I have no idea why. There were 3 registered sex offenders located within a city block of us and we are only a block away from 3 schools. All were located at intersections where foot traffic patterns direct the kids who don't take the buses. Recognising that the definition ranges from the 18 year old kid who went too far with his totally willing 16 year old girlfriend to hard core rapists and kiddy porn addicts, I still don't know who lives near me. This is a nice, established, well kept up middle class area with a good mix of young and old. The local law and order community along with the TV news people have recently been rumbling about sex offenders who have failed to register or have diddled the system about where they actually do live. One of the houses close to us has gone up for sale since then.
Brenda, The man you are talking about is still guilty. He has simply been punished according to the law. Punishment does not make an offender innocent. Sandy

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 3:46PM
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Ill be candid. California is a very liberal state and our legislators reflect this. Liberals have many fine qualities, strong enforcement against criminal behavior not being one of them. Less time should be spent wringing their hands fretting about the rights of criminals and more time spent on doing something to protect our children.

The problem of course is that many sex offenders are repeat offenders. There is no cure. We lock them up for X-amount of years, give them years of counseling and when released they are looking for your kids. As far as I'm concerned, they lost all their legal protections once they started preying on our kids.

A good start would be to approve Jessica's Law. This should have been done long ago but no, our legislators are concerned itÂs too tough and have been spending months working on ways to water it down. ItÂs only as public pressure increases that they suddenly find their backbone and take action, not because itÂs the right thing to do but because it means job security. As you can see, I donÂt hold our politicians, on either side, in high regard.

There are many flaws with residency reporting requirements and quite frankly I doubt how effective they are. The first and primary responsibility for protecting children belongs to parents. Remember that couple down in the San Diego area who lost their daughter to a predator neighbor? They had a "swinger" party at their home and were more interested in screwing someone elseÂs wife/husband than in protecting their child. They are pathetic examples of human excreta.

Even our own parole authority is working against us. Offenders are required to register with the local police within 5 days of moving. Parole officers are having a difficult time finding permanent housing for the tens of THOUSANDS of paroled sex offenders and so those bastards beat the law by moving the sex offender from one motel to another every 4 days or so and thus they donÂt have to report the fact that those bastards are living near you, me or a school. Â Mike

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 4:36PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

It's a good thing they have this registered sex offender map thingie. However, children are usually molested by someone they know. Teacher,coach,friend of the family, a close relatives boyfriend,step parent.... I just do the best I can to let my boys know they can tell me things and I will see to it they get protected. I also have my sons involved in activities that boost self esteem. Children with self esteem are less likely to be a target. Conversely, children that are less apt to tell or trust telling an adult are more likely to be a target.
The good news is that getting molested isn't something that can't be overcome. I've done everything I can to try and prevent this from happening to one of my boys but should it happen we'll do what we can to get them the help they need. PJ

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:52PM
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Here is my concern with "Jessica's Law". See story below. (Another point that was brought up in another article was that, if the released offenders end up homeless, they'll have nowhere to recharge the batteries for their GPS systems....)

Otherwise, I agree, everyone! PJ, I like your stance on it, defensive rather than offensive. Many folks are so worried about watching these guys that they don't pay attention to what's happening in their own home.


California's Future? Iowa Facing Tough "Jessica's Law" Fallout

As Californians prepare to vote on tough new state sex offender laws, another state is finding out that enforcing tighter restrictions on where released sex offenders can go come with disturbing problems of their own.

California's Jessica's Law, named after 9-year-old Florida murder victim Jessica Lunsford, was certified to appear on November's general election ballot back in April. The measure increases penalties for violent sex offenders and child molesters, prohibiting registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks while requiring GPS monitoring for life.

According to advocates, the measure would eventually force many released sex offenders out of urban centers into more rural areas away from most children.

However, angry lawmakers and country residents of Iowa argue a similar law is having a disturbing effect there, transforming rural areas into a dumping ground for convicted criminals.

"For us personally, it's pretty much been a nightmare," said Don Zeller, sheriff over the nearly 200,000 residents of eastern Iowa's Linn County.

Last year, Iowa enacted some of the toughest sexual predator laws in the nation, including barring sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or day care centers. Since then, Zeller said many released prisoners can't find housing that meets the criteria. With few legal places to stay, Zeller said many sex offenders end up living outside city limits and stop registering.

"We went from knowing about where 90 percent of the people were, to now, we're lucky if we know were 50, 55 percent of the people were," Zeller said. "I think it's created a situation that does make it worse."

On the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Linn County's largest city, the unassuming Ced-Rel Hotel is home to 21 registered sex offenders, making nearby residents extremely concerned.

"I don't have a sense of peace. I don't leave my kids home alone anymore," said Michele Costigan, who lives just yards away from the hotel. "I don't feel that's fair to those of us who live in the country. (The law) should protect all of us in the state of Iowa, not just the people who are living in towns or cities."

In May, Zeller and other Iowa law enforcement officials and prosecutors went before Iowa legislators, asking them to repeal residency requirements. However, Iowa Association of County Attorneys spokesman Corwin Ritchie said asking lawmakers to appear soft on crime, especially in an election year, is an uphill battle.

"We've been hammering on legislators to say, think about it, do what's right, please don't think of politics," Ritchie said. Some legislators, including the law's author, state senator Jerry Behn, said they understand the concerns of rural residents. Behn said he thinks the fallout of the residency ban shows it may not have been the best answer to the problem.

"I don't blame them. I'd be scared to death too," Behn said. "I was never married to the 2000 foot distance. It was an arbitrary figure. I welcome comments from law enforcement on how to make it better."

With a law meant to fix the problem of sexually violent predators facing increasing debate, Behn said California needs to consider Iowa's example carefully before voting Jessica's Law into place.

"Perhaps that (2000 foot) distance is too far, perhaps it's not as manageable as we'd hoped it would be," Behn said.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 9:46AM
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jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

I have a MAJOR PROBLEM with the way they compile and categorize the entire sex offender database to begin with -- at least here in South Carolina (I'm not sure if they do it the same way everywhere, or not).

The list of people whose pictures, names and addresses SHOULD be listed in these databases SHOULD be violent people who represent a danger to the community, right? Rapists, child molestors, and so forth... But I looked through the ENTIRE LISTING for my county (about 300 names, pictures and addresses), and only a HANDFUL of them fell into these categories. A great many of them were people convicted of something like public indecency (flashing or exposing themselves in public, for instance), or in some cases, simply having CUSTODY of a minor without the parent's permission -- in the case of a couple of women on the list, it was easy to see they were relatives who perhaps wanted time with a niece or granddaughter, or maybe even felt the child was in danger and took him or her, temporarily, and there was no sexual contact... Or in some cases, the people on the database simply had Playboy or Penthouse magazines, or similar material, out in the open in their homes, where the children could, and presumably DID see them. There's also the issue of high-school seniors convicted of statutory rape for having consensual sex with their high-school sophomore girlfriends... that sort of thing.

Now I'm NOT saying any of this stuff is RIGHT, or that none of these people didn't break the law, at least technically. BUT I think these databases have OVER-REACTED and in so doing made themselves essentially useless, or at least greatly lessened their usefulness and impact... By listing hundreds, even THOUSANDS of people per county as "registered sex offenders," complete with their pictures and addresses on a public database, but not even putting them in some sort of order -- in other words at least categorizing them by the SERIOUSNESS of their crime -- which the database I looked at did not, the effect is to dilute the impact. It leaves us with REAMS of people to look at and be paranoid about, rather than seeing just the names and faces of the REAL THREATS.

(I know this is a fictional show, but it illustrates how ridiculous things can be: On an episode of "Boston Legal" last season, a group of roughly 300 women staged a political protest when they were basically being ignored by the local politicians by holding their signs and parading on the street topless. According to the show (and I don't know if this really IS the law in Massachussets, or not, but I think it is there and here), had they been convicted of their charge of public indecency for being topless in public -- even though it was a political protest -- they would have had to register as "sex offenders" and been barred from working with children... been in the database for life.)

I think if they're going to insist on continuing to do these registration databases, they should at least have two, maybe three LEVELS of database, with the forcible rapists and child molestors in a "Tier 1" category all by themselves, so we can look at the biggest threats first, rather than having to wade through every single listing to determine who's a real danger, and who just had a lapse in judgment.

Don't you?

P.S. If you'd like, sometime when it's not so late I'll see if I saved the link to the Spartanburg County database and list it here, just so everyone can see what I'm talking about, in case yours isn't the mess ours is.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 3:49AM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

Totally agree with you Jeff.... Predators yes others no.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 1:08AM
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Yeah, it's not perfect, to be sure. But I'm glad they even have the database at all.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 9:32AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Good point, Jeff. I have loads o' sex offenders living near me since we are urban. Also, I have several clients that are sex offenders, as well. The dbase comes in very handy for me to know who I'm working with!!!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 11:23PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

The NY times newspaper has an article today about the ways pedophiles use the internet to support each other and how they are attempting to make adult-child sex legal. It includes such information as the jewelry worn by them to identify themselves and their preferences to each other and the tactics they use to reach their victims. They are attempting to make inroads on resistance to their activities through political means. It's 5 screens but it is very interesting and informative without being offensive. Their methods should attract our attention. Very scary that so many of them have the same sort of disconnect in their thinking. It's worth your time to read it. Sandy

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 6:43PM
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The (good? bad?) thing about the internet is that it not only exposes more of those with that "disconnect" in their thinking, but it brings them together to...what? Plan pedophile camps, share newsletters and "tips"?

Unfortunately, there's some sort of disconnect when it comes to the law, namely constitutional law, whereby people are allowed to form groups such as these, even though the groups' themes center around a certain level of hatred/attraction which eventually can and/or will cause harm to other groups or individuals (i.e., children, non-causasian, women, etc.) After all, what is the KKK all about?

But until someone is hurt, nothing can be done. There's nothing preventative about the law. And that makes me sad and frustrated and angry.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 11:07AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

How's this for a disconnect. There are 0 hits for my zip code in the national data base. Don't think so. Gotta find out why. Sandy

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 3:56PM
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