is dedicated to the memory of Alex. He cared deeply about the
and enjoyed nothing more than being asked to write an article for an upcoming edition. His retirement left a gap in our hearts and our lives; the sadness at his passing is only mitigated by the knowledge that he is now at rest and at peace.
My name is Stephanie Tabashneck and I am a doctoral student at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in Boston, Massachusetts. I am conducting a study about the impact of the sex offender registry on juveniles who have sexually offended.
I am asking the parents or legal guardians of juveniles on the public, on-line sex offender registry to complete a survey. Participants must be over the age of 18 and must have a child on the sex offender registry. Completing the survey should take 15 to 30 minutes. There is no follow-up survey or additional requirements.
In appreciation of the time you spent assisting me in completing this study, you may choose to enter into a raffle for a $20 Amazon gift card. Instructions for entering the raffle will be found at the end of the survey.
Parent or Legal Guardian of a child on the public, on-line sex offender registry;
If you are interested in completing the survey, please go to the following website:
Please pass this information on to others who meet the criteria.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
We are thrilled to welcome two new state organizers to our RSOL family. The new Georgia group, Georgia Rising, is in the capable hands of Laurie Jones, and the newly formed Utah RSOL is being led by Vicki. Laurie wanted to introduce herself personally in this greeting:
I am honored to be chosen as the Georgia RSOL Organizer and plan to hit the ground running. I have been involved in this fight since 2007 and focused much of my energies in working with and creating support sites for family members with incarcerated loved ones and RSO's. My goal is to work to influence change in hearts, minds, and laws in the state of Georgia. I am looking forward to building my new group, Georgia Rising, into a place of support, information, and a vehicle of hope for anyone affected by the SO laws. Our website, Georgiarising.com, is in the design and set-up process and will be on-line and available as soon as possible to begin our first membership drive.
FAC President Gail and Julius, Executive Board member, met with members on the Judiciary House committee. They also had a meeting with the governor’s analysts for public safety. Our FAC team also was joined by Dr. Imhof. It was noted that our state has nothing on the analysis of efforts and effects of legislation. Information provided included Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) reports and National Institute of Justice studies. Follow up notes of appreciation were sent to all legislative contacts.
Amendment: As a result of meetings with some of the Representatives, agreement was reached that a piece of legislation regarding the possession of child pornography would be sponsored as an amendment to Bill 437. The bill in its current language would make video voyeurism a 2nd degree felony. It is also written in as a sex crime which would bring all the consequences that currently fall under a sex crime sentence and would result in mandatory sentences of 5 years per child in any image viewed. The amendment is intended to change sentencing for those who have had no control of the content separated as a purely possession offense. The amendment has the following goals: 1) to separate out purely possession; 2) change pure possession of cp from a 3rd degree felony to a 1st degree misdemeanor; and 3) offer a diversion program as an alternative sentencing option to incarceration by using the current diversion program FS 948.08.
Gail and Vicki had the opportunity to speak at the Senate hearing on the companion bill. You can view this session and the excellent job that both FAC representatives did testifying at:
Illinois is back in session. We have several people testifying at various hearings, and we have even more filling out witness slips opposing all legislation. Some have passed various committee; some have died. Once session is over, we'll let everyone know how it went. Cross your fingers for us!
Hello Again! February has brought about not only the hopes of spring but changes in the current laws for Indiana. This year we have already accomplished many things: 1) We now have a newsletter going out bi monthly, 2) a website and 3) have already killed bills that would have drastically hurt ALL registrants and required registration for past, present and future registrants' information to remain permanent on a public website with no way of purging it off. 4) INRSOL has also been featured in three articles this month focusing on the residency restrictions and the negative outcomes.
This summer, we will be attending a study commission that will be talking about implementing AWA in Indiana. We will be gearing up with packets to present to all Representatives and Senators. In March, I have been invited to be on a committee of ministers, PO's, judges, Mayor's and homeless re-entry project leaders. This committee will meet monthly to help registrants find housing, mentor ship and employment. More importantly, we will be focusing on how to integrate registrants in to society. In addition, I have been invited by a group of registrants to come and speak to them about INRSOL. This group meets every other Friday night and offers friendships and support to registrants. I will keep you posted on this support group as it develops an affiliation with INRSOL. Lastly, we still have a presence with Indiana Cure who meets on the fourth Saturday of each month at 38th and Meridian. This is a great group who is fighting for law reform; they offer a support to all types of offenders. It's a great group to gain friends and support. I invite all of you to come and mingle!
I have been encouraging members to step up and join our fight. We need EVERYONE to take charge and volunteer their time, talents, monetary donations or stamps to continue reaching out to those who need our support. We look forward to hearing from you!
Please send all correspondence to:
PO Box 501
Westfield, IN 46074
General Assembly Session is in full swing now, with quite a mix of proposed laws before us. By far the most "interesting" one has been a proposed animal abuser registry. The testimonies were so much like the ones we heard when they were pushing the AWA: tear-jerking stories of abuse; animals can't speak for themselves; there's a known correlation with domestic abuse; and people just want to know if their neighbor is an abuser so they can "keep a closer eye" on their pets. It's not about stigma, they say. This bill gave our members a great opportunity to come and testify on the damage and abuses that happen with a public registry.
We're supporting a bill that would create a misdemeanor offense for "Romeo & Juliet" convictions and put these persons on a law-enforcement-only registry for ten years (rather than 25 years on the public registry.) We're also supporting one that would pull persons with kidnapping-only convictions off the registry. Both of these would apply retroactively.
Another bill we're fighting would add property of "community-based organizations" to the list of places registered persons are not allowed to enter. The problems with this one are so blatantly obvious that we're hoping for an "easy kill."
At our state-wide meeting in Urbana, we had almost 30 people listening and asking questions of an attorney who is helping move two cases challenging the retroactive increases in registry requirements that hit us in 2010. Some folks drove hours to get to this meeting in western Maryland; next month's meeting will be in Centreville, on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
As the General assembly session continues in Missouri, we are pleased to have a new bill, HB1700 . It is still going through some final preparations before it is voted upon in the House of Representatives. It will reform the current sex offender laws in Missouri through:
- tiers 1 and 2 non public registry
- tiers 3 and 4 public registry
Our supporters are working in earnest, contacting their Representatives telling them to vote YES on HB1700. We still have a long road ahead of us. We are encouraged and hopeful for success in Missouri.
For a summary of HB1700, go to:
New Jersey Fair
NJ FAIR has been very busy over the past month, with communicating with a variety of organizations and clinicians. We have also been sponsored into ATSA. And we have not stopped in our efforts to educate our leaders regarding SORNA and removing both low and some medium risk RFSOs from Parole Supervision for life. This act alone would save the taxpayer approximately $17M and keep our communities safer by freeing up time from our overloaded POs.
Our monthly meeting was good; when new members show up, it starts new conversations and bring new energy to NJFAIR. We are hopeful that our efforts will be successful.
However, we do have an urgent call to action with a bill that, we believe, violates both the 8th and 5th amendments. We will be testifying and are waiting to hear from a couple of our attorneys regarding this bill. In either case, the bill does spread fear to the family and encourages isolation rather than family involvement, which greatly impacts recidivism.
We are getting lots of people involved here in Oklahoma as the legislative session has been underway for nearly a month. Two of the group traveled to the capitol and had some successful meetings with legislators.
We have about 20 bills this year including carryovers from 2011. The 2011 bills aren't expected to move much this session, and we're focusing on the newly introduced bills, which are worse since it's election year.
The key bills for us are:
HB3049 preventing Aggravated offenders from living with children
HB2437 raising the victim age limit to 18 for the 500 foot loitering restriction (passed first committee)
SB1355 requiring a court order for removal from the registry
HB3050 preventing registrants from changing their names, raising the victim age limit to 18 for the loitering restriction
HB2506 full retro-activity of registration requirements (it currently stops at 1989)
HB2190 Civil Commitment
SB1365 adds state parks to the 500 foot loitering restriction
Things are becoming very exciting here. We don't have many members yet, but those we have are very excited and very dedicated to the cause. Things are going well with the reporter who is doing an article about us, and he wants to sit in on one of our meetings. I am putting a meeting together for next month and also going to try to get a group to the state house in Columbia to speak on some of the new bills and their unconsidered and long reaching effects on all of society.
We once again we are stagnant here in Tennessee.
Our legislators are in full swing; some of the things on their agenda this year are:
After July 1,2012, commercial licenses [truck drivers, taxis etc.] cannot be obtained nor renewed by anyone on the registry.
Folks on the registry can not live within 1000 feet of a nursing home.
Juveniles will be added to the on-line registry.
Inmates with sexual convictions will not be permitted outgoing mail to their victims or victims' families; this would prevent communication in a consensual relationship and with one's own family in incest situations.
Persons on the registry must now pay for their DNA test.
We are not able to get to Nashville to fight these laws, and even if we could, the judiciary committees are by invitation only.