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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Action Alert: Virginia Bills SB510- Senator Barbara Favola AND HB48- Delegate Marcus Simon to Restrict (Retroactively) Virginians Convicted of Misdemeanors from Possessing or Transporting Firearms

 

Update January 10, 2014: 

Companion Bill SB510 has the same issue as I notified you all of below for the House version. 

Mary 
 

Original Post:

Today I’m going to post about HB48 patroned by Delegate-Elect Simon. Former Delegate Jim Scott proposed the exact same bill in 2013 HB1410, it failed. 

HB48 proposes:
§ 18.2-308.1:6. Possession of firearms following certain criminal convictions; penalty. 

A. Any person who knowingly and intentionally possesses or transports any firearm, or who knowingly and intentionally possesses, transports, or carries about his person any weapon described in subsection A of § 18.2-308, within a five-year period following his conviction for (i) stalking in violation of § 18.2-60.3, (ii) sexual battery in violation of § 18.2-67.4, (iii) assault and battery of a family or household member in violation of § 18.2-57.2 that results in serious bodily injury, or (iv) any offense substantially similar to clause (i), (ii), or (iii) in the laws of any other state or of the United States is guilty of a Class 6 felony. 

B. The provisions of subsection C of § 18.2-308.2 regarding petitioning a circuit court for a permit to possess, transport, or carry a firearm shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to a person subject to the prohibitions of this section. 

I understand that the intent of Delegate Elect Simon’s 2014 HB48 as it was with Delegate Scott’s version is to align with Federal law, but as with all States their laws and penalties can’t always coincide with Federal mandates. 

I had 4 concerns with the 2013 version and I have the same four concerns with this 2014 carbon-copy.

1-      Sexual Battery is a misdemeanor in Virginia and this bill proposes a felony punishment. We can’t create restrictions against certain citizens who have a misdemeanor conviction that threaten a new felony!

There was supposed to be a “re-draft” of the 2013 version that would have made it a new misdemeanor crime instead of a felony for those were previously convicted of Sexual Battery (for this very reason) but the redraft was never posted nor voted on by the Sub-committee.

If HB48 moves forward during the 2014 session the same amendment would be needed.

2-     There is no start date of July 1, 2014 for this bill if it becomes law. This bill would be retroactive for citizens who were convicted 4 years, 11 months ago or less instead of being applied to those convicted after this coming July. If they are currently gun owners and hunters they will be unknowingly committing a felony because we know the Commonwealth will not notify them ahead of time of the change in law.

By not having a start date this bill is a violation of ex post facto. 
 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Action Alert: Virginia Bills SB454-Senator Mark Obenshain AND HB235- Delegate Rob Bell - Would Both be Applied Retroactively to Those Affected, Denying Them Due Process and Violating Ex Post Facto

 
 
Update January 10, 2014: 
Companion Bill SB454 has the same issue as I notified you all of below for the House version. 
Mary
 
Original Post:
 
A new bill that posted today in LIS for the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session requires immediate attention. 

HB235 proposed by Delegate Rob Bell does NOT have a start date of July 1, 2014; this means as currently written this proposed mandate to register as a Violent Sex Offender for life would be retroactive not just beginning for those convicted on or after July 1, 2014. So anyone convicted in 2010, 2005, 2000, 1997 or maybe even earlier would be denied due process if this bill remains as-is and becomes law.  

These “New” Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) would now be required to abide by the ever changing and expanding restrictions and regulations imposed upon Virginia’s RSO’s and any slip up no matter how minor or unintended carries a Felony charge. A new felony charge is NOT just an administrative change, it is 100% punitive. 

How many of these “New” RSO’s who have not committed a new crime in years or even decades would now receive a certified letter to register every 90 days, would now need a VSP Compliance Officer to visit their residence twice a year and confirm their employment every time it changes, to take their photo every two years plus all the address, phone number, vehicle and email additions and subtractions over then next 20, 30, 40 or 50 years will there be? A fiscal impact statement with an actual count of how many Virginians with an old conviction and who have re-entered society successfully years ago, is necessary to know how much more money and more resources will now be wasted on these people who paid their court order debt to society years ago and were NOT required to register or to be monitored for a lifetime. 

How many Virginians if this bill passes would not be permitted to drop off or pick up their own children or grandchildren from daycare or school? How many would now loose a job or a career they’ve held for years because their current employer won’t want to be listed on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. Without a job these Virginians will not be able to provide for themselves or their family.

How many Virginians who would become an RSO will be evicted from their rental property or not be allowed to renew their lease because no landlord wants to deal with the other tenants complaining about an RSO living next door or upstairs? Without a home for themselves or their families many spouses and significant others of these "New" RSO’s will crack under the stress and leave. The support system and family dynamic for most of these Virginians will disappear as soon as this bill becomes law.  

Citizens of the Commonwealth who have not committed a new crime in years, who have the second lowest recidivism rate of all crimes, who are living their lives, supporting and raising their families will be arbitrarily penalized by this bill. The collateral consequences of registration trickle down to their spouses, their parents, their significant others, their roommates, their children, their employers and their landlords. 
 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Gangster to Greyhounds: The Past, Present and Future of Offender Registration By Elizabeth Reiner Platt - NYU School of Law

 
It’s free to read and it’s only 56 pages long.
Mary 

Gangster to Greyhounds: The Past, Present and Future of Offender Registration
by Elizabeth Reiner Platt  New York University School of Law December 2013:  http://socialchangenyu.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/platt.pdf 

Contrary to popular belief, offender registries are not a recent phenomenon. Offender registries are government-controlled systems that track the movements and other activities of certain persons with criminal convictions. While today they are most commonly used for sex offenders, registries have been adopted
since the 1930s to regulate persons convicted of a wide variety of offenses including embezzlement, arson, and drug crimes. Early registries were widely criticized as ineffective and overly punitive, and many were eliminated through litigation or legislative repeals. Others simply fell into disuse over the course of the 20th century. Now, there is a growing body of research that demonstrates that
modern sex offender registries are similarly ineffective at reducing crime. Sex offender registries are costly, vastly overbroad, and error-ridden. Even worse, the overwhelming stigma of public notification provisions may actually increase recidivism among offenders.2 Despite their repeated history of failure, enthusiasm for publicly available, internet-based registries for every offense imaginable has only grown in recent years. There have been proposals across the country to register those found guilty of animal abuse, arson, drug offenses, domestic violence, and even failure to pay child support. Existing registries are
expanding and becoming increasingly punitive. Without a concerted effort to stop the tide of offender registration, we are at risk of repeating past mistakes on a much larger and more treacherous scale.
Offender registries are backwards, punitive measures that do not make communities safer. Unfortunately, those in favor of more nuanced, data-driven methods of reducing violence and sexual abuse face substantial barriers in overcoming precedent from years when registries were far narrower in scope than they are today. Advocates must work to distinguish current registries from their predecessors, educate legislators and the public on the ineffectiveness and perverse consequences of offender registries, and continue to conduct research to determine what actually works to prevent harm. While it is an uphill battle, we may take comfort that the facts are on our side.

I. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................728
II. THE HISTORY OF EARLY REGISTRIES, 1930S–1980S....................................729
III.MODERN REGISTRIES .............................................................................................736
A. The Rebirth of Registries: Sex Offender Registries of the 1990s........736
B. Current and Proposed Non-Sex Offender Registries ............................738
IV. POLICY ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE ADOPTION OF REGISTRIES ...........742
A. Legislative and Public Support for Offender Registries.........................742
B. Intent of Offender Registries ..................................................................745
1. Informing Individuals About Criminals in Their Neighborhood.......745
2. Strengthening Police Ability to Solve Crime. ....................................747
3. Deterring Offenders............................................................................747
4. Limiting Access to Victims. ...............................................................748
5. Creating an Additional Penalty to Crime...........................................749
C. Efficacy............................................................................. ............................749
1. Studies Show that Registration and Notification Laws Do Not Prevent Crime .............750
2. The Myth of the Incurable Offender...................................................753
3. Registries Are Both Overinclusive and Underinclusive ....................754
4. Direct and Collateral Consequences of Registration .........................759
a. Stigma, Ostracism, and Violence...........................................759
b. Employment Discrimination and Restrictions......................761
c. Housing Discrimination and Restrictions on Residency and Movement..........762
d. Restrictions on Privacy and Speech.......................................763
e. Additional Consequences........................................................763
f. Effect on Children and Families..............................................764
g. Juvenile Sex Offenders ...........................................................764
5. Unintended Consequences of Registries ................................765
 

HB195: Virginia Delegate David Ramadan Proposes the State Police Establish a "Supplemental Registry" to the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry to Include Persons Who Committed Offenses that Would Require Registration if the Offense Occurred Today


Yesterday a few bills posted in LIS (for the upcoming 2014 Virginia General Assembly session) that I will be following but one in particular is standing above all others (see below). 

I am waiting to hear from the patron (left a message) on exactly what the intent of this bill is and who Robby is.

I’m pretty darn sure once I hear the full explanation I will be opposing this bill but until then I will wait to get all the facts. 

If any reader is a constituent of Delegate Ramadan and you are wondering why this bill has been submitted and what it’s real intention is, please reach out to his district office in the next 2 weeks before all the representative convene in Richmond. 

If the explanation you are given about HB195 is undesirable or absolutely ridiculous (as I am currently concluding), tell the Delegate you oppose it. 

There will be more to come on this bill and most likely many action alerts with bullet points on why HB195 should NOT become law in Virginia. 

Stay tuned! 

Mary 

HB195 :    Supplement to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry
                            (Robby's Rule) 

Sponsor/ Patron:                                        David I. Ramadan
Co-Sponsor(s)/ Co-Patron(s):              None Yet 

Brief Explanation / Bill Summary as Introduced:
Requires the Superintendent of State Police to establish and maintain a supplement to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry that would include the names of persons who have committed offenses that would require registration if the offense occurred today, but who are not otherwise required to register. Any attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may submit a request to the Department of State Police to include a person on the supplement to the Registry. Upon receipt of a request, the Department of State Police must confirm whether the person should be included on the supplement to the Registry. 

Read Full Text or Track Bill Status on Virginia General Assembly Website: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+sum+HB195 

Read Full Text, Track Bill Status, Cast Your Vote or Read/Leave Public Comment on Richmond Sunlight Website:   http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2014/hb195/ 

Bill History:
  • 12/24/13  House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14100923D
  • 12/24/13  House: Committee Referral Pending

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2014 Book by Virginia Commonwealth University Assistant Professor Christina Mancini - Sex Crime, Offenders, and Society: A Critical Look at Sexual Offending and Policy

 
For a month and a half I had been waiting for a new book Sex Crime, Offenders, and Society: A Critical Look at Sexual Offending and Policy by Virginia Commonwealth University Assistant Professor Christina Mancini to be released. 

I even emailed with Asst. Professor Mancini 2 weeks ago advising her of my advocacy here in Virginia and my anticipation to receive her book. 

Over the last 5 years I have read more than 30 of the books listed here on Sex Offenders, Registries, Restrictions, Collateral Consequences, Policies, On-line Crimes and Civil Commitment of SVP’s. Not including the additional books I’ve read on America’s Justice System, Prosecutorial Misconduct, the Medias Role in Hype, Myth and Hysteria in Moral Panics plus False Accusations or Memories. 

Two days ago on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, Mancini’s book arrived and I put aside Prosecution Complex: America's Race to Convict and Its Impact on the Innocent and immediately began reading, I finished it early this morning.  

I am going to highlight some areas of the book in this post and I hope after reading it, you will add this book to your reading list for 2014. 

Part I -The Nature and Extent of Sex Offending and Prominent Theoretical Explanations
Chapter 1 - Sex Crimes and Offenders
Chapter 2 - Measuring Sex Crime
Including:
·         Official Data Collection
·         Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)
·         National Incident- Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
·         Unofficial Data Collection
·         National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
·         National Women’s Study (NWS) and National Women’s Study- Replication (NWS- R)
·         National Violence against Women Survey (NVAWS)
·         National College Women Sexual Victimization (NCWSV) Study
·         National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)
·         National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV)
Chapter 3 - Sex Crime Patterns and Trends
Including:
·         Data Examining General Sexual Offending and Victimization
·         UCR Data
·         NCVS Data
·         Other National Surveys of Adult Women
·         Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
·         National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS)
·         NatSCEV
Chapter 4 - Prominent Theoretical Explanations
Including:
·         Biological Perspective
·         Hormone Production
·         Neurophysiological Functioning
·         Social Learning Theories
·         Differential Association
·         Neutralization/Drift
·         Feminist Perspective
·         Patriarchy
·         Rape Culture
Part II - Societal Responses to Sexual Offending
Chapter 5 - Societal Myths (and Facts) about Sex Offenders
Chapter 6 - Public Attitudes toward Sex Offenders
Chapter 7 - Historical Emergence of Sex Offender Laws in the U.S.
Part III - Sex Crime Policy and Reform
Chapter 8 - Logic and Efficacy of Sex Offender Laws
Chapter 9 - Methods to Assess Sex Offender Recidivism and Treatment Needs
Including:
·         Static-99/Static-2002
·         Stable-2007/Acute-2007
·         Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSOST-R)/
·         Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-3 (MnSOST-3)
·         Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II (J-SOAP-II)
·         Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism (ERASOR)
·         Sex Offender Risk Assessment Controversies
Chapter 10 - National Variation in Sex Crime Reforms
Chapter 11 - Legal Challenges to Sex Crime Laws
Chapter 12 - The Future of Sex Crime Policy  

On Tables 10.1 and 10.2 there are errors, I have advised Professor Mancini. 

While reading this book I noted that numerous phrases and summaries made by the author are in fact the same stances and statements I have been making to Virginia lawmakers and Commissions for years. But here is a researcher, an educator, someone with a Ph.D backing up the claims that many Virginia Legislators have scoffed at, discredited and ignored because I was the deliverer of the information. 

I was extremely please this book is not a duplicate of so many already written books on this topic. It does include the history of public registries including Megan’s Law, the Wetterling Act, Adam Walsh Act, etc but as with any book on this topic some background is needed for those who are reading their first book on these issues. 

This is the first book to cover a 34 (1976-2010) year span of sex crimes in the U.S. shows not only are sex crimes down but they dropped before the creation of the public Sex Offender registries and all the restrictions and regulations were implemented. So the perception by Victims groups that sex crimes have increased over the last 20 years that there is an epidemic is false. Then there are groups who’ve claimed that the creation of the registries and laws is what has reduced recidivists and first-time offenders, they too are false based on the 34 year time-frame the drop had already occurred. 

As most of us know Victim’s groups beat the drum of unreported and under-reported crimes, that only a very small portion of sex crimes are ever reported, investigated and result in a conviction. Well again Professor Mancini covers all the “unofficial” reporting methods created in the 1990’s by Crime, Violence, Victim’s, Sexual Violence and Women’s Groups to capture what they call the “dark figure of crime”.  

It turns out that the trend /percentage of “unreported” assaults are very much in-line with the “reported” crimes for both adults and for children. And again there is not an epidemic of sex crimes reported or unreported. 

Another issue I have not read in other publications is the Rape Shield Laws; this is an issue I mention regularly when meeting with Virginia lawmakers.  

Victims groups when pushing for the Rape Shield Laws claimed the changes to evidence and testimony removed “non-relevant facts” from the proceedings, protected the identity of the victim and allowed for the reporting of a crime without any time constraints or limitations.  

Missing from the Rape Shield portion of this book is the shift of the burden of proof being put on the defendant and no longer on the prosecution, that an accusation is entered into evidence (even though it is NOT evidence), that no corroboration (witnesses, physical evidence, specific dates, times, places,) is required to be given by the victim or produced by the prosecution, that a polygraph is no longer required to be taken by the victim because they should be believed no matter what and the insistence of a polygraph means the State doubts their claim (but yet the State still pushes the defendant to submit to a polygraph)and the overall standards of guilt were lowered resulting in an environment of  guilty until your defense attorney proves your innocence (more than 93% of charges are settled with a plea deal) creating many more felons and lifelong Sex Offenders in the Commonwealth. 

Over the years numerous reporters have made misleading statements to their readers that the Virginia Age of Consent is 15 years old. But yet numerous 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 year olds have been prosecuted for sex crimes and labeled a Sex Offender for life with consenting partners ranging from 14 to 17 years old.  

If the Virginia Age of Consent (which is the age in which all sex is consensual with anyone above that age) was actually 15 years old then these acts would not be crimes. So where is the disconnect? 
 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

January 21, 2014 Virginia Special Election for Herring’s Senate Seat in 33rd District

 
On December 18, 2013 after the recount for Virginia’s next Attorney General Senator Mark Obenshain conceded and Senator Mark Herring was declared the winner. 

This means Senator Herring’s seat for the 33rd District is now vacant. 

Governor Bob McDonnell has selected January 21, 2014 as the Special Election date for this seat to be filled. 

Don’t confuse this Special Election with the January 7, 2014 Special Election for House 11th District Seat and Senate 6th District Seat. 

The 2014 Virginia General Assembly begins on January 8, 2014 in Richmond so the winner of this election will miss the first 2-2.5 weeks of session and will have to hit the ground running. It also means that they will be allowed to submit bills after the cut-off date as they are a late comer to session so their particular political party could use them to propose any last minute agendas. 

Do you live in the 33rd  District?  

If you aren’t sure look up your District /Current State Delegate and Senator by your address and if it shows Mark Herring then you do. 

The candidates for the January 21, 2014 Special Election are:
Senate 33rd District
Jennifer Wexton                                               (D)                         www.wextonforstatesenate.com
John Whitbeck                                                 (R)                          www.johnwhitbeck.com
               Former Republican Delegate Joe May       (I)                           www.joemayforva.com 

Candidates: http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/Files/Cast%20Your%20Ballot/Candidate%20List/01212014CL_SOV33.pdf

If you live in this district and are a registered voter, please read up on the candidates. 

Do you have family members or friends in this district? 

You should contact the candidate(s), introduce yourself, tell them what issues concern you and let them know you will be voting on January 21st . Have your family and friends do the same. 

Be sure that your voice is heard on January 21, 2014. VOTE! 

Mary

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I'm Just a Bill, Waiting to Become a Law Someday

In anticipation of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session I wanted to take everyone back in time with a little School House Rock. This is about Federal Legislation and Federal Representatives (Congress) but it’s the same process as what happens at a State level. 
 

 
Do You know How a Bill Becomes a Law in Virginia? 

Do you know who your State Representatives are? 

Are You Ready for 2014 Virginia General Assembly? 

Most laws affecting Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) are State laws, not Federal.  

Do You know where RSO related 2014 Proposed Legislation can be found on this blog?

Action Alert: Virginia Bill HB136, Prohibiting Employment for RSO’s


Usually I would wait until January before I begin posts about specific Bills for the upcoming 2014 Virginia General Assembly session but for 2 days this bill has been nagging at me. 

The Bill I’m discussing today is HB136 . Now this is the type of bill I would normally not give a second thought to but if you read the below you’ll see the red area that caught my attention. 

Requires any navigator, any navigator's subgrantee or partner organization, certain of their employees or volunteers, and any certified application counselor to be licensed by the State Corporation Commission if the person provides advice, guidance, or other assistance with regard to health benefit plans under the provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Conditions for licensure of these exchange assistors include completing a training program, passing an examination, and submitting a criminal history. Grounds for the Commission to refuse to issue or renew a license, or to revoke or suspend a license, include being convicted of a felony involving fraud, misuse of funds, or misuse of information, being required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry, and knowingly providing inaccurate information to uninsured persons regarding premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. The bill makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to provide information that the person obtained while acting as an exchange assistor to any political party or political organization for purposes related to voter registration, to disclose a social security number or any other personal information of any individual that was obtained while acting as an exchange assistor, or to encourage or direct an individual to knowingly make any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations to an exchange or government agency in connection with an application for health insurance coverage, enrollment in a health benefit program, or a subsidy provided under the federal act.

This bill that outlines the Navigators and Exchange Assistors licensing and regulation for the Virginia Health Insurance Exchange does not prohibit these citizens from becoming a Navigator or an Assistor. 

  • Convicted of murder
  • Convicted of selling illegal drugs
  • Convicted of using illegal drugs
  • Convicted of selling illegal weapons
  • Convicted of using illegal weapons
  • Convicted of robbery
  • Convicted of larceny
  • Convicted of selling stolen property
  • Convicted of vehicle theft 
It doesn’t ban All Felons from becoming a Navigator or an Assistor. 

It doesn’t ban All Virginians convicted of Misdemeanors from becoming a Navigator or an Assistor. 

BUT, HB136 does propose that any Virginian who registers as a Sex Offender can not be a Navigator or an Assistors, which includes felonies and misdemeanors. Plus fraud, misuse of funds, or misuse of information which is vague and could be left open to interpretation. I'm not saying its right to exclude people convicted of these three crimes, but at least it’s relevant to being an insurance navigator where as being an RSO and navigating citizens through the insurance process are not connected, at all! 

WHY is Delegate Robert G. Marshall picking on the 20,300+ Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia? 

I thought well maybe there are Federal guidelines already in place and RSO’s have already been singled out and maybe Delegate Marshall is just following the mandated guidelines, I searched the web and found no such restriction.  

Employment is a requirement of probation, employment is also necessary to provide housing, clothing and food for yourself and for your family. 

In Virginia we publicly shame Employers and Companies who hire the best candidate for a job who also happens to be a Registered Sex Offender. We post the Employer/Company name and address on the offenders registry listing so that customers, clients, contractors and anonymous callers can harass and condemn the Employer for hiring a Registered Virginian. Because of this most Employers automatically refuse to hire RSO’s or after a few weeks from hiring decide the public humiliation and constant harassment isn’t worth it, and they fire the RSO.

RSO’s are already legislatively banned from working at schools, daycares, coaching, driving school buses, tow trucks and charters of minors plus holding an elected state position. Then there are businesses that do background checks to weed out the RSO’s but would never admit to it and then there are companies with “No RSO” policies that do admit to it.

Self-employment is usually the only option for a Registered Sex Offender as no employer or company wants  to be bothered, but three years ago the Federal Government banned all RSO’s from being allowed to obtain Small Business Loans, including the misdemeanors. According to the lawmakers and most citizens if you must register as an RSO then you are all the same. 

Barriers like this one in HB136 are not just cruel but they make a successful re-entry back into society nearly impossible.

There is no justified motive to ban RSO’s from applying to the Navigator positions; this proposal is based on false perception, prejudice, hate and vindictiveness. 

Prolonging unjust treatment or control over a group is oppression and that’s what the patron of HB136 is attempting to do oppress a segment of the Commonwealth just because he doesn’t like them not because these positions create a danger to society.

Registered Sex Offenders are any easy target; they make a perfect punching-bag and stepping-stone all in one for career Legislators. I’ve witnessed this first hand for the last 5 years. A veritable parade of malicious, callus, intolerant, apathetic, fear-mongering, myth-based proposals by egomaniacs who crave the feeling of moral superiority at any cost and today that cost is another job opportunity being taken away from citizens and families already struggling to survive.

This bill should be called: 

The Yet Another Job that Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) are Legislatively Banned from Having for No Particular Reason, but it Sounds Reasonable and Who in their Right Mind Would Ever Oppose it Bill of 2014. 

Governor McDonnell’s Administration claimed to support the successful re-entry of ex-offenders, removing the barriers that exist so they can become productive members of society. HB136 is not assisting ex-offenders in the Commonwealth it is tightening the noose that is already around the necks of 20,300 RSO’s because of all the previous restrictions and regulations put in place by both State and Federal lawmakers.

HB136 needs to be amended so that any Virginian can apply for a Navigator or Assistors position, equal opportunity for all not just for those Virginia lawmakers personally deem worthy.

Email or call your one State Delegate and your one State Senator asking them to propose an amendment removing the RSO prohibition from HB136. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Devoy