Monday, November 12, 2018

Getting Ready for the 2019 Virginia General Assembly Session

The 2019 Virginia General Assembly session begins in Richmond, VA 7 weeks from Wednesday.

This will be my 11th session as a volunteer advocate working for
data-driven reform of Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry and Laws.

The annual Virginia General Assembly is where new State laws are proposed, debated, voted on and passed onto the Governor to be signed into law, amended or vetoed.

2019 is an odd-year so we are looking at a Short-Session (claimed to be 30 calendar days, but it’s more like 45) as opposed to an even-year Long-Session (60 calendar days). Short sessions are at a very fast paced. The first full week of a Short-Session is full-steam ahead so important Action Items from me and Committee meetings for Legislation will be happening right away.

Five years ago, I posted How a Bill Becomes a Law in Virginia it outlines the process of a bill moving through the Virginia Legislature as well as the differences between a Short and a Long Session for followers to know what to expect. Including in a Short-Session House members (Delegates) are limited in the number of Bills / Legislation they can Patron / Sponsor, to 15. Virginia Senators have no limit on their Bill Sponsorship. There is no limit in either chamber (House or Senate) on Co-Sponsorship or Commending and Celebrating Resolutions.

The pre-filing of Bills for the upcoming 2019 session started back on July 16, 2018 because it’s a Short-Session, whereas in a Long-Session year filing begins in November. All drafts of Legislation must be submitted by VA Legislators to Legislative Services by 5PM on Monday December 3, 2018. This does NOT mean the Legislation /Bill is finalized or that we will ever see it in LIS, it’s just a step in the overall process.

In anticipation of the 2019 G.A. session I deleted the 2018 Virginia G.A. page and Committee Member page a few weeks ago. If anyone needs the information posted on that old page, I can email it just let me know.

Today I started the 2019 VA GA Committee page and the 2019 VA GA Bills / Legislation to Watch, Oppose or Support page (see Directory on right side of screen) this is where I’ll post all relevant Bills. At first the Legislation page may only be updated weekly but by the second week of January 2018 until the end of session that page will update daily, sometimes multiple times in a day.

All Virginia General Assembly Action Alerts will be in posts (not in a page) so you’ll see them as soon as you visit this blog.

During the 2019 session I will post numerous Action Alerts for everyone to act upon and many times there will be less than 24 hours notice of a bill being heard and my Action Alert posting.

If you don’t know you can find your one State Delegate and one State Senator .

Delegates and Senators listen to their constituents and they know if you’re a registered voter or not and if you are a voter then they listen much more intently. You should introduce yourself to them this month either via email or with a phone call.

As soon as a Bill /Legislation is posted in LIS that’s the time to take action.
To call or email your one Virginia Delegate and one Virginia Senator asking them to oppose, support or amend the Bill/Legislation.

Citizens can speak at a Sub-Committee hearing/meeting. Some Committees do not have Sub’s so citizens speak at those Full-Committees instead. Your statement is limited to 3 minutes, you must stay on topic (the Bill) or you will be stopped, you will also be stopped if you repeat statements made by earlier speakers and if large numbers of citizens show up to speak the Committee Chair will most likely tell citizens in-line you can’t make a 3 minute statement just give your name and state if you support or oppose the Bill. Yes, this isn’t right other State Legislatures will allow hours of public statements so every citizen who made the trip to the capital will actually be heard but that’s NOT how it works in Virginia.

Also, the Bill that you prepared to speak about could be amended or substituted at the hearing so your prepared statement is completely irrelevant. Copies of a Bill amendment or substitute are NOT posted online ahead of a hearing they are handed out on paper as the Bill is being discussed and a citizen has to read while listening to the discussion to figure out what has changed, do they still oppose it, support it or does it need an entirely different fix. The Sponsor / Patron knows hours, days even weeks ahead about the amendment or substitute but yet no effort is made to share the changes with the public this makes it very difficult for citizens to be prepared and knowledgeable.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Tuesday November 6, 2018 Election Day in Virginia

Election Day Update:
Just a reminder for approximately 83% (Violent) of Virginia Registered Sex Offenders. Virginia Code § 18.2-370.5. that prohibits you from being on School Property (if you haven’t petitioned the court for permission) does NOT prohibit you from voting on school property.

If your rights have been restored, go VOTE! 

Original Post:

Next Tuesday November 6th is Election Day. 

2018 is NOT an election for: 

  • Virginia House (every 2 years, next election is 2019)
  • Virginia Senate (every 4 years, next election is 2019)
  • Virginia Governor (every 4 years, next election is 2021)
  • Virginia Lieutenant Governor (every 4 years, next election is 2021)
  • Virginia Attorney General (every 4 years, next election is 2021) 

But there is a Special Election in the Virginia 8th District House because Delegate Greg Habeeb resigned,

There are many, many local elections across the state including Mayors, School Boards, Town /City Councils, Treasurers, Clerks of Court, Commonwealth Attorneys (Prosecutors) and Commissioners of the Revenue

There are also 2 Amendments to the State Constitution on the ballot:
Of the two U.S. Senate seats for Virginia one seat is on the ballot next week:

  • Corey A. Stewart – R
  • Timothy M. Kaine – D Incumbent
  • Matt J. Waters – L

Of the 11 U.S. House of Representatives seats for Virginia ALL are on the ballot next week and 2 Districts (5th and 6th) do NOT have an Incumbent running:


District 1:
  • Robert J. “Rob” Wittman – R Incumbent
  • Vangie A. Williams – D

District 2:

  • Scott W. Taylor – R Incumbent
  • Elaine G. Luria – D

District 3:

  • Robert C. “Bobby” Scott – D Incumbent

District 4:

  • Ryan A. McAdams – R
  • Donald McEachin – D Incumbent
  • Peter J. “Pete” Wells – L

District 5:

  • Denver L. Riggleman, III – R
  • Leslie C. Cockburn – D

District 6:

District 7:

  • Dave A. Brat – R Incumbent
  • Abigail A. Spanberger – D
  • Joseph B. Walton – L

District 8:

  • Thomas S. Oh – R
  • Donald S. Beyer, Jr. – D

District 9:

  • H. Morgan Griffith – R Incumbent
  • Anthony J. Flaccavento – D

District 10:

  • Barbara J. Comstock – R Incumbent
  • Jennifer T. Wexton – D           (if Senator Wexton wins this election then a Special Election for her 33rd District Virginia Senate seat will occur after the 2019 General Assembly has begun in January)
District 11:

  • Jeff A. Dove Jr. – R
  • Gerald Edward Connolly – D Incumbent
  • Stevan M. Porter – L

Even though your Virginia House (except the 8th) and Senate seats are not on the ballot next Tuesday you’ll have a say in a U.S. Senator, your U.S. Congressmember and possibly your local Commonwealth Attorney or others. 

If you are registered to vote in Virginia please, please vote on Tuesday for every seat listed on your ballot! 

Mary Davye Devoy 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Does Virginia Law Mandate Registered Sex Offenders Must Separately Register Online Accounts (like Twitter) if They’ve Already Registered the Email Address Attached to the Online Account?


Original Post:

Dear Virginia Delegates, Senators and Administration members,

Today (October 22, 2018) I received an email from a Virginia Non-Violent Registered Sex Offender (RSO) who is about to be released from VADOC Probation supervision.

They asked me this:

I plan to open a Twitter account once I am off probation, as I will be allowed to use social media. I also understand that Twitter is one of the few social media sites that does not forbid RSO’s. My question is this; do I need to register my twitter account with the State Police?

So, this should be an easy question, right? Sadly, it’s not.

Back in 2015 I had a Virginia Delegate (who is no longer a Delegate today) submit an Attorney General’s Opinion to find out what online information is and isn’t required to be registered by Virginia RSO’s per VA Code.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office claimed the inquiry was a “hypothetical” (see images above and below) and as such they declined to answer the submitted inquiry .

So, are Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia required to give the Virginia State Police every online account that is connected to an email address that they’ve already registered? Including but not limited to banking, investments, healthcare, shopping, news, job searches, alumnus information and social media?

Halloween and Virginia Registered Sex Offenders: The Do’s and Don’ts

Halloween 2018 is just 9 days away.

Which means Virginia news outlets will begin to run stories and write articles on Halloween Safety and Registered Sex Offenders (RSO).

By October 8th 2018 the Virginia State Police had already posted their annual Halloween Safety page which ONLY addresses Registered Sex Offenders, not costume/ mask safety, not using flashlights, not darting in front of traffic, just RSO’s.

When the facts are NOT one Registered Sex Offender in Any State has ever abducted or molested a child on Halloween. You can find old posts, articles and two papers on the topic at the very bottom of this post.

So, what Can and Can't Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) in Virginia legally do on and around the Halloween holiday?

Well it depends.  

  • If you or your loved-one are NOT under VADOC Probation supervision see I.
  • If you or your loved-one are currently under VADOC supervision see II.

Finally, will you/ your family possibly be visited by U.S. Marshal’s or the Virginia State Police before, on or after Halloween and what are your obligations? See III 

I-   In Virginia there are NO State or Local Laws prohibiting RSO’s from participating in Halloween activities (as long as they are NOT on school or daycare property or school-sponsored events).

RSO’s Can:

  1. Have their front door/porch lights on
  2. Decorate their door/home/yard
  3. Accompany their children, grand-children, step-children, step-grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins or ANY child trick-or-treating (but not at a school-sponsored event or at a daycare facility)
  4. Answer their own door and hand out candy
  5. Wear a costume
  6. Attend Halloween parties / events (but not at a school-sponsored event or at a daycare facility). 

II-   If the RSO is under Virginia’s Department of Correction Probation Supervision then there MAY be restrictions specific to THOSE RSO’s that they MUST follow or face a Probation Violation (a felony). These VADOC Halloween programs are known as Operation Trick-Not-Treat AND Operation Porch-Lights-Out. 

  1. Each VADOC Probation District handles Halloween differently and they are obligated to advise the RSO ahead of time of their restrictions or requirements which could include:
    - No decorations outside the RSO’s home or apartment
    - No exterior/door lights on from 5pm to 5am
    - Being “locked-down” inside their home from 5pm to 5am (you cannot leave your home or answer your door)
    - A mandate to attend “round-up” a Probation or Counseling meeting where the RSO may be required to submit to alcohol and/or drug testing, to watch a video or discuss their conviction (from 4pm to 9pm, trick or treating hours).
    - A sign posted on the RSO’s front door with an image of a pumpkin and text stating No Candy Here.
    All under the threat of being violated if the Probationer does not comply. 
  2. The VADOC Probation Officer could also stop by the RSO’s home to confirm they have followed the rules that District advised them of before October 31st 
Of course, not being able to have any exterior lights on your home/property on the biggest days of the year that teenagers are looking for someone to vandalize, the VADOC is setting our RSO’s up to be targets of vigilantes.
The VADOC claims to implement processes and policies that are data-driven and evidence based, these VADOC Halloween programs for RSO’s are NOT data-driven OR evidence based.

The VADOC also claims it supports the successful re-entry of former-offenders BACK into our communities and that they want to remove barriers but yet ALL empirical research on this issue over the last 15 years has concluded that Halloween is no more dangerous a day than any other day of the year for our children OR for RSO’s to reoffend.

These two VADOC Halloween programs are sold by the Administration to the public as a preventive measure, prevention is a noble goal but there is no crystal ball of future crimes or future perpetrators. The VADOC touts these programs every year with media-releases as a success, so in actuality the VADOC is perpetuating the urban myth that everyone on the Virginian State Police SO Registry is a dangerous Predator lying in wait for a child to enter into their trap. Before these VA-DOC programs existed (and since) there has NOT been one case of a Virginia Registered Sex Offender abducting, molesting or killing someone on Halloween. It’s 100% State-sponsored propaganda. 

III-   For those RSO’s who are NOT under VADOC supervision. 

In past years the Virginia State Police has partnered with the U.S. Marshal’s to do one of the two annual residential compliance checks for ANY RSO. They’ve done these on the day before Halloween, the day of and the day after. Your VSP Compliance Officer or Trooper could show up with an entourage in flak-jackets and with guns on their hips………to intentionally make a scene in front of your entire neighborhood, under the guise of “public safety”.

Remember as of August 31, 2017 Virginia supposedly become Federally certified (SMART Office) compliant Adam Walsh Act/SORNA State but that does NOT change any Virginia rules for RSO’s on Halloween.

I’ve heard from numerous parents, spouses and offenders over the years and when these U. S. Marshal lead compliance checks occur on the actual holiday it creates a terrible atmosphere for the kids in the residence, the holiday spirit is squashed and can NOT be revived.

As an RSO, if you are NOT under VADOC Probation and you are NOTWanted”, then you are NOT legally required to let the VSP Compliance Officer/Trooper OR U.S. Marshal’s enter your residence.

Also, if you were convicted in Virginia, still reside in Virginia AND are NOT “Wanted” then you are under NO obligation to answer any questions by U.S. Marshal’s.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

How Does a Bill Become a Law in Virginia?


Original Post:
It’s been 5 years since I last posted How a Bill Becomes a Law in Virginia.

Since I’ve been searching for Patron/Sponsors to carry one of my 3 Bills (Legislation) for the 2019 General Assembly session that begins on Wednesday January 9, 2019 I’ve decided to repost it.

Getting a Bill Sponsored is just the first step in a very long process.

2019 is an odd-year session so House Delegates are limited to a minimum of 15 Bills (not studies, not commemorating and not celebrating). Virginia Senators do not have a limit in even or odd years. Also there is NO limit for House or Senate members on Co-Sponsoring  Bills.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Action Item: Congressman George Holding of North Carolina-R introduced Amendment Number 11 to HR2- The 2018 Farm Bill to Ban People with Sexual Convictions From Accessing SNAP Benefits / Food Stamps

U.S. Congress HR2: Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (The Farm Bill 2018), Text:

On May 17, 2018, Congressman George Holding of North Carolina-R introduced Amendment Number 11 to Section 6:

The text of Congressman Holding’s amendment to Section 6 doesn’t seem to be an issue until you read his floor comments (image above), OMG!

Back in the 2014 the Farm Bill banned some (not all) 2014+ sexual convictions, this amendment increases the number of people being banned by a very large amount  because it goes back to convictions from decades ago. It doesn’t matter if person has successfully reintegrated back into society, it doesn’t matter that they’ve never reoffended and it doesn’t matter if they are or aren’t a Registered Sex Offender they will just be denied assistance no matter how much good they’ve done since their conviction and their spouse and children will be collateral damage.

HR2 passed out of the U.S. House on June 21, 2018.

It then passed out of the U.S. Senate with changes on June 28, 2018.

I’ve read the Senate changes and I do not believe they removed the May 17th Sec. 6 amendment.

I'm not an attorney and it's 1200+ pages of text.

The 2018 Farm Bill now waits for a vote or more amendments in the U.S. House.

No one ever expects to need government assistance but some day (if not today) you or your loved-one may need that help and if you don’t speak up now it’s a guarantee that SNAP won’t be available to you or them.

So please contact your one member of Congress TODAY and ask them to remove the Holding amendment before another floor vote is taken!

Fore Virginians: your U.S. Congress member will be listed below your Virginia Delegate and Senator.
For everyone else:

Thank you!

Mary Davye Devoy


Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Right to Worship: Does it Apply to Virginia’s 23,650+ Registered Sex Offenders OR Would it Actually Be a Felony?

Can Registered Sex Offenders legally worship in Virginia?

§ 18.2-370.5. - Sex offenses prohibiting entry onto school or other property
§ 18.2-370.2. - Sex offenses prohibiting proximity to children on School and Daycare Property

We don’t know, I’ve been trying to get an answer for 10 years.

Back in 2016 Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring refused/declined to answer an AG Opinion submitted for this very inquiry.

Guidelines for Virginia Attorney General Opinions are in VA Code here § 2.2-505.

AG Opinions can NOT be submitted by a citizen. Only by a Virginia Legislator, the Governor, a constitutional officer or the head of a state agency.

10 years is too long for Virginia RSO’s not to know if they can or cannot attend church!

Please call or email your one Virginia Delegate and one Virginia Senator and ask them both to file an AG Opinion for this very important question.

Also ask Governor Northam  to submit an AG Opinion request since no past or present Virginia Delegates or Senators nor the Virginia State Police has been able to say IF Registered Sex Offenders can or can legally attend church.

The answer to this question is NOT difficult. But if it's yes, it’s currently illegal/a felony (a Constitutional violation) for Virginia Registered Sex Offenders to attend church.....then we need legislation submitted for 2019 Virginia General Assembly session to add an exception to Virginia statute.

If you do send your State Representatives a request please let me ( know that you did and then what you hear back.

Thank you!

Mary Davye Devoy

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Last Month of RSO News

Every few days I add news article to the In the News Page and everyday I tweet out articles even if you aren’t on Twitter you can follow my feed. It's over on the right side of the page/screen, scroll down mid way and there it is.

Here are a few recent news pieces over the last 4 weeks that I wanted to make sure everyone sees.

Also in my Twitter Feed I’ve noted some of the recent meetings I’ve had across the State with Virginia Delegates and Senators looking for Patrons of Smart Legislation at the 2019 Virginia General Assembly and we have 4 more scheduled in the next 2 weeks

Mary Devoy


After passing a series of restrictive housing laws, Miami-Dade County faces an odd predicament: bands of nomadic sex offenders and a cat-and-mouse game to move them.
Part 1: No Mercy
Part 2: By the Book
Part 3: Cat and Mouse 

McNeil Island, the only residents are 214 dangerous sex offenders, October 3, 2018
Civil commitment centers, which exist in less than half of US states, are meant as a community safeguard, but they’re riddled with controversies 

Retroactivity in Sex Offender Law Appears to Divide High Court, October 2, 2018
Grundy v. U.S. 

'There was a lot of shame': Meet the sex offender ‘who is not a sex offender’, October 1, 2018
Equan Yunus was labeled a sex offender under a New York law for kidnapping a 14-year-old boy, even though no sex crime was committed – and now his case may go to the supreme court 

When Handing Out Candy To Trick-or-Treaters Means Risking Arrest, October 1, 2018
Lawyer seeks end to Halloween restrictions that target people convicted of sex offenses. 

Nevada to embark on new sex offender registry system, but critics say it’s overly harsh, September 30, 2018 

Argument preview: Justices face nondelegation challenge to federal sex-offender registration law, September 25, 2018
Grundy v. U.S. 

Parole granted to Virginia Beach man 27 years after conviction for rape he says he didn't commit (Virginia), September 25, 2018 

For some sex offenders, their deal with the state wasn’t really a deal (TX), September 22, 2018 

Judge to Nebraska: Keep juvenile sex offenders off registry, September 13, 2018 

In reversal, Virginia courts to allow defendants to see police reports, witness lists (Virginia), September 6, 2018 

Major changes to Virginia pretrial discovery rules adopted by Virginia Supreme Court, effective next year (Virginia), September 5, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders CAN Evacuate to an Emergency Shelter in a Hurricane

Just a reminder.

ALL (Non-Violent and Violent) Virginia RSO's (who are not under VADOC- Probation) CAN legally evacuate to a Virginia Emergency Shelter in a Hurricane or Flood.

BUT if you are currently under VADOC supervision you MUST check-in with your Probation Officer first, unfortunately they can tell you no.

If you do enter a Virginia Emergency Shelter for a temporary stay there is no legal requirement to register that location with the authorities because it is NOT your permanent address. There is also no legal requirement that you declare your RSO status to any employee of a local Shelter. But if a Shelter is being run by an organization like the Salvation Army or the Red Cross ( they could possibly have a policy banning RSO’s, if you ignore that policy you are not breaking the law BUT you could be ejected when they learn of your status.

Zone A in Virginia is under a mandatory evacuation order for Hurricane Florence which if ignored can carry a Class 1 Misdemeanor charge with a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail if enforced.

Stay Safe.

Mary Davye Devoy

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Virginia Department of Corrections Community-Based (Probation) Status Report 2018: Registered Sex Offenders Treatment, GPS Monitoring, Polygraphs and SVP Conditional Releases

The annual Virginia Department of Corrections Status Report for 2018 is now posted online.

In 2017 VADOC recidivism rate was 23.4% and in 2018 it dropped a full percent to

The VADOC has not tracked the recidivism rate of Registered Sex Offenders under Probation supervision since 2012.

The VADOC has not tracked the number of absconded Registered Sex Offenders under Probation supervision since 2012.

In 2017 VADOC supervised 64,679 people under Probation and Parole services in 2018 it dropped by 1.25% to 63,868. Of that total VADOC Probation population in 2017 3,909 were Registered Sex Offenders in 2018 it dropped by 5.09% to 3,710 RSO’s.

In 2017 VADOC spent $82,658 741 on Probation and Parole services in 2018 it increased by 2.85% to $85,011,303 even though the number of people decreased.

Sex Offender Assessment / Treatment:

Back in 2009 the VADOC had 25 Contracts /Vendors for Sex Offenders Assessment / Treatment. Every year the number has decreased to be just 9 in 2018. In 2009 the VADOC Sex Offender allocation was $1,366,900 and 10 years later it’s still somehow $1,367,000.

Sex Offender GPS:

From 2009 to 2012 the number of GPS leg-units on Registered Sex Offenders was unknown. In 2013 it was 436, in 2017 555 and in 2018 it’s 657 that’s a 18.38% increase in one year.

In 2009 the VADOC GPS monitoring of Registered Sex Offenders cost $2,001,994 in 2018 it’s now $4,261,281 for a total of $34,923,546 over last 10 years.

Sex Offender Polygraphs:

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

In 2019 Virginia Needs to Study the Efficacy of the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and All the Legal Restrictions, Regulations and Mandates

This morning:

1.  I deleted the 2018 Virginia General Assembly page because Bills for the 2019 General Assembly session are already being filed and I’ll start a new 2019 VA GA page in the next month or so. If anyone needs the information from the 2018 VA GA page or earlier VA GA pages just email me.

2. I’ve rewritten the Mission/Goals page , there are now 14 ½ Goals plus my main priority for the 2019 General Assembly session (image above).

Please contact your one Virginia Delegate and one Virginia Senator TODAY and ask them to Patron/Sponsor the Study Bill for the 2019 Virginia General Assembly! Also ask The Virginia Administration to support it!

Thank you!

Mary Davye Devoy

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

50 States of Registered Sex Offenders. Public v. Private Registries, Adults v. Juveniles, Classification System, Duration of Registration, Re-Registration Timeframe, Visiting Another State and Much More

After I initially posted the below I heard from a few folks.

1. Visiting in North Carolina is complicated and it varies from county to county, so please keep that in mind.

As for employer information being posted:
2. Oklahoma in the last 2 years (became AWA complaint on February 28, 2017) now posts all employer information.
3. Wyoming has a "more addresses" section and employers addresses (not company names) are listed now.

So I will be updating my spreadsheets to reflect these changes so keep in mind the below has not been revised.

I also found an article about North Dakota that I need to follow up on to confirm the data I have is still current.

If anyone sees anything that is incorrect please email me and I'll follow-up on the information you send and if the chart needs to be revised I will do so.


Original Post:
I maintain a very large chart of how all 50 States register "Sex Offenders" that is too wide and too long to post on Blogger.

Recently I updated the chart because of new laws passed in Nevada and Missouri that's when I realized I had not noted changes in Oregon or California.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

10 Years of Articles and Op/Ed’s, Here’s Some of Them

Every few years I get reflective about this advocacy, kind of like every March-May after I’ve finished a General Assembly session, I consider quitting all together. Some years I’ve come a lot closer to giving up than other years but it always happens to some degree.

These last 10 years and 10 Virginia General Assembly Sessions have been a real learning experience.
Not only am I a volunteer advocate for Smart Sex Offender Reform but I’ve become the spokesperson for THE most hated group in society.

I've been shouted down, shamed and ignored by so many Virginia Delegates and Senators (current and past) publicly, privately and in print, most people would have walked away.

Defense is the majority of what I do, but offense is very, very necessary.