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Friday, December 13, 2013

The 2014 Report from Virginia State Police on the Monitoring of Sex Offenders Required to Comply with the Registry

 
The 2014 January Virginia State Police report on Monitoring Sex Offenders is now available on-line for those of you who are interested, I have also added it to the VSP Report page.
 
I’m going to address a few very important points of the new 2014 Report in this post. 

1)   There is a very big difference in the 2014 Report compared to the 5 previous years and I wanted to take a moment to highlight the deviation that I don’t believe is an oversight but intentional to mislead readers of the growth of the Virginia Registry after I handed a 5 Years of Growth: Virginia Registry spreadsheet to a VSP Supervisor at a public meeting on June 20, 2013.  

As most of you know I have been tracking the growth of our registry by week and by month in addition to the ratios of Virginia’s population of adult males who are on our Registry. 

The 2009 through 2013 VSP Reports captured the total number of Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) in Virginia from December 1st. 

But the 2014 Report RSO total isn’t from December 1, 2013; it’s from October 16, 2013. 6 weeks shorter than any other year. 

Why does this matter? Because it’s not apples to apples. 

Anyone who assumes this total is 12 months of growth as the last 5 reports have been will incorrectly conclude that 2013 was the lowest growth year of RSO’s in Virginia in the last 6 years with an increase of 830. But the average weekly growth rate for the last 5 years has been 20 new Virginians. If the six weeks that were omitted by the VSP from the 2014 Report were included that would be 120 more RSO’s for a total of 950 new RSO’s in 2013 and that total would make 2013 the third highest year of growth in 6 years instead of the lowest. 

I’ve noted on my 2014 spreadsheet of Registry Growth that the VSP numbers are for 10.5 months /45 weeks with asterisks and I’ve made sure the weekly and monthly growth averages are calculated appropriately for this unusual deviation from past years.  

Which means the Virginia Registry is still on track to reach 25,000 RSO’s in 2018 or early 2019 and that would mean 1 out of every 126 Adult Males in Virginia would be an RSO. 

Accountability and accuracy is extremely important in this platform, for far too many years facts weren’t just ignored but never even mentioned. I’m not sure why this year the VSP chose to back track 6 weeks for the totals but I feel very confident it was an attempt to mislead readers. 

2)   On page 2 of the 2014 report it states: 

“During the past year, the SOIU troopers have initiated 2,798 criminal investigations, which is a 12 percent increase from the previous year.” 

The new July 2012 VSP Compliance Officers are “civilian employees” and only have  2 weeks of training as opposed to the VSP Troopers who used to do the RSO residence and employee checks. The Compliance Officers can not do a criminal investigation but instead direct a VSP Trooper that an RSO is out of compliance and the Trooper then must initiate an investigation and determine if a violation has occurred or if the Compliance Officer was overeager or incorrect.  

When the new Compliance Officer/ Civilian Employees positions were proposed at the 2012 Virginia General Assembly session I expressed a concern (http://wtvr.com/2012/04/06/civilians-will-soon-help-troopers-track-sex-offenders/ and http://hamptonroads.com/2012/03/sexoffender-checks-could-be-shifted-va-troopers ) of unnecessary and false investigations being filed by poorly trained or vindictive employees and as a result more investigations would cost the Commonwealth more money so creating the civilian employee positions with lower salaries instead of adding more Troopers who are better trained would in fact cost the State more money in the long run. 
 


I would wager the 12% increase in 2013 for RSO criminal investigation has to do with the civilian employees and not a hike in non-compliant RSO’s. 

Now some of you might say well there’s more RSO’s each year so maybe the increase is just the ebb and flow of the offender population. 

So I checked the 2013 Report (remember that July is when the civilian employees began doing checks) and there was a 16% increase of criminal investigations. 

So I checked the 2012 Report when only VSP Troopers were monitoring and managing Virginia’s Registered Offenders and there is no mention of an increase in criminal investigations being initiated. 

So I went back one more year to the 2011 Report and there is no mention of an increase in criminal investigations being initiated. 

The Reports didn’t note a rate of increase or decrease UNTIL the civilian employee positions were created, a coincidence or a symptom/consequence of allowing civilians to do a job that only Troopers should be doing? 

3) On page 4 of the 2014 report there are 2 new initiatives taken by the VSP in 2013 that did not occur in 2012. 

The one I am going to mention here is: 

·         VSP and U.S. Postal Service – VSP has conducted presentations at local post offices, explaining their critical role in delivering the certified letters to the registered offenders. 

From 2009 to 2012 numerous times I alerted the VSP, all 140 Virginia Legislators and the Office of Inspector General of multiple issues /cases of the VSP re-registration certified letters not being delivered by the local carriers.

I fully believe this 2013 VSP initiative to train the U.S. Postal employees of the importance of these letters arriving on-time or at-all is because of the multiple examples I was able to provide to all the lawmakers over a 4 year period. 

4)     In the 2009, 2010, 2011 and the 2012 VSP Reports after the total number of in-person verifications those reports stated: 

The offender compliance rate for verification is 99 percent. 

But in the 2013 Report and now the 2014 Report there is no notation of the percentage of Offender Compliance. Why?  

You would think the VSP would want to boast a 99% Offender Compliance rate. 

I have my theory of why it was omitted last year and now again for 2014. 

The perception of an impending threat or risk, keeping the fear and myth of a high re-offense and non-compliance rate within the communities keep support for harsher and newer restrictions at the yearly General Assembly session. 


So that’s my summary of the 2014 VSP Report on the Monitor of Virginia’s Sex Offenders compared to past years. 

Please read through it and older versions and come up with your own conclusions. 

2014 Report: Virginia State Police Monitoring of Sex Offenders Required to Comply with the Registry

Mary Devoy

Virginia Sex Offender Registry: 5 Years, 10 Months of Growth


 
December 1, 2008
December 1, 2009
December 1, 2010
December 1, 2011
December 1, 2012
October 16, 2013
Annual Average
Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) Incarcerated *
6,750
7,014
7,641
8,127
8,295
8,713
N/A
Registered Sex Offenders under Probation Supervision *
2,941
3,171
3,420
3,461
3,536
3,502
N/A
Registered Sex Offenders under VSP Supervision *
5,606
6,053
6,562
7,075
7,699
8,145
N/A
Total RSO's in Virginia *
15,297

16,238

17,623

18,663

19,530

20,360
N/A
RSO Increase from Previous Year
Not Known
941
1,385
1,040
867
830
1,013
Number of New RSO's Added to Virginia Registry Every Week
Not Known
18
27
20
17
18*
20
Number of New RSO's Added to Virginia Registry Every Month
Not Known
78
115
87
72
79**
88
Ratio of Virginians on the Registry
1 out of every 523
1 out of every 493
1 out of every 454
1 out of every 429
1 out of every 410
1 out of every 393
N/A
Ratio of Adult (18 year or older) Virginians on the  Registry
1 out of every 401
1 out of every 377
1 out of every 348
1 out of every 328
1 out of every 314
1 out of every 301
N/A
Ratio of Adult, Males on Virginia Registry **
1 out of every 207

1 out of every 195

1 out of every 179

1 out of every 169

1 out of every 162

1 out of every 155
N/A
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*        -January 1st Yearly Virginia State Police Report: Monitoring of Registered Sex Offenders for the Governor and General Assembly
**     - 95% of the Virginia Registry is Male per 2012 VA Crime Report. VSP declined to reply to both a February 2011 & a May 2012 FOIA request for Male v. Female totals.
***   -February 2011 FOIA
 
 
 
****   -October 2011 FOIA
 
 
 
*  -not 52 weeks like previous years, but 45 weeks
**  -not 12 months but 10.5 months
 
* - State Population Numbers taken from 2010 U.S. Census