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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

CURE-SORT Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants - Sex Offenders Restored through Treatment


Be sure to visit the new site over at CURE-SORT http://www.cure-sort.org ! 

Sex Offenders Restored through Treatment (SORT), a non-profit organization under IRC section 501(c)(3), is an issue chapter of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) that works to provide information, resources, contacts, and support to individuals, families, defense attorneys, treatment providers, public media, legislators, law enforcement personnel, and other professionals who work with or are interested in issues of sexual abuse and its prevention. 

They have a blog, they cover assessment, treatment, resources, books and civil commitment of SVP’s including the CURE C.C. Newsletter. 

Mary Devoy
 


Welcome to our new site. It is a new look under an updated name from May 2013, and yet we are the same organization, seeking a restorative approach to sexual abuse for all parties involved.

The Board of CURE-SORT, and as we were previously known as Sex Abuse Treatment Alliance (SATA), held long discussions about our mission and objectives, and the path that we were following to accomplish them.

As a result of those discussions, we decided to change the name to CURE-SORT in recognition of our role as an issue chapter of International CURE, a long-time national prison reform organization, and our emphasis on treatment of those who display inappropriate sexual behavior and perform acts of illegal sexual behavior.

In making this decision, we realized that our presence on the Internet, which is the foremost place for individuals to seek information and assistance, the previous SATA-SORT website was not up to the standards that we expected.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Two Virginia Governors Have Pulled “Legislative Switcheroo’s” Prior to the One Day Veto Session, How is this Not a Violation of Our Legislative System in an Open Government?

Hey? Where'd the Bill that Failed During Session Go?
SB262 (Alicia’s Law) failed to pass during the 2014 General Assembly session, but Governor McAuliffe took the text from SB262 and inserted into SB14 for the one day veto session and now it will become law. 

I did not oppose SB262 at this year’s session, I have never taken a stance against Alicia’s Law and I’m still not.
 
BUT…………… I am questioning the “highly creative maneuver” of Governor Terry McAuliffe as PROTECT called it in yesterdays email-blast and on their Facebook page.
  • A bill that failed to pass through both chambers during the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session SB262 (Alicia’s Law) patroned by Senator Deeds officially died.
  • A separate bill SB14 (Sodomy/Crimes Against Nature) sponsored by Senator Garrett passed out of both chambers and headed to the Governor for his signature.
  • Prior to the one day Reconvened Session (aka The Veto Session) schedule for Wednesday April 23, 2014 the Governor planned an amendment for SB14. But yet the text of his amendment was NEVER posted on the LIS website for anyone to read ahead of time, to understand what the proposal would do or to oppose it if they determined it needed opposing. I checked on April 22 and it was NOT posted.
  • The veto session arrives on April 23rd, the House and Senate are given the Governors Amendment to SB14 which is the body of SB262 (having nothing to do with sodomy or crimes against nature) that the Legislature did not approve of during session and it passes. It will now become law.
See article below for more on this “highly creative maneuver”. 

Now before those of you who aren’t Terry McAuliffe fans jump to a conclusion....... know this. 

In 2013 I publicly opposed HB1751 patroned by Delegate Miller. It and its Senate companion SB1182 patroned by Senator Vogel failed to pass both chambers during session. The Senate version was left to die in the Finance Committee and the House version went to “conference” and failed to pass the House. They were both officially dead. 

But prior to the 2013 one day Reconvened Session then Governor Bob McDonnell took the text from HB1751/SB1182 and inserted it into the SB1033 (Juvenile and adult facilities; punishment for certain offenses committed within facilities) sponsored by Senator Reeves. Nothing was posted online ahead of time to read, to understand what the proposal would do or to determine if opposition was needed. The same proposal that failed to pass during the public annual session where citizens can speak for and against bills was now slipped into a different bill for a one day session and it became law and the public was none the wiser. 

I didn’t find out about the 2013 “Governor Swicharoo” until later in the autumn when a reporter was working on an article and contacted me. 

How can an amendment that failed as one bill just be slipped in as an amendment to a different bill that was already passed (without this text) after session, with no public notice, no public debate and it becomes law? 

This is how laws are passed in the Commonwealth. Wheeling and dealing behind the scenes as an after-the-fact addition so it would go through unopposed and unnoticed by the public in a one-day-veto-session that doesn’t allow for edits or time to properly discuss the additions and everyone just wants to go home. 

All the letters, email’s phone calls, public statements and long debates during session, in an open government are all thrown out the window. None of it matters because the Governor (whatever political party he/she belongs to) can cut and paste a dead bill into a bill that has made it to his/her desk.

If the 2013 bill wasn’t for harsher penalties against Sexually Violent Predators and the 2014 bill wasn’t to fund Internet Crimes Against Children would such an unethical (oh excuse me) “highly creative maneuver” have been allowed by the Legislature?  

For a moment consider the Virginia House is NOT a GOP majority. That the House and the Senate are both Democrat majorities and that the Governor’s Switcharoo was for limiting the total number of firearms citizens can own.  Text taken from a bill that died during session and now inserted into an unrelated and innocuous  firearm bill. No text is published before the veto session, no notice goes out about the changes to the bill, the public has no say during a veto session and the majority (House and Senate ) accept the Governors amendment.

Would this even be a possibility, no it wouldn’t. Because there would be protests in the streets, the media would go nuts and because passing a law that failed during session under the cover of night and after the fact is not how a democracy works.  

Except when it’s sex crimes! Then all bets are off and all rules of a democracy are suspended. If it's claimed that it will save a child or detain a sexual predator, who is going to argue against it or the manner that was used to pass it? No one!
 
Mary Devoy
 

State measure will boost funding for crime task force in Bedford County
By Alicia Petska                April 23, 2014

A proposal to boost funding for Virginia’s Internet Crimes Against Children Fund passed Wednesday after supporters launched an 11th-hour attempt to save it. 
 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Decision in Paroline v. United States: U.S. Supreme Court Ruled One Possessor Who Had Two Images of “Amy” Can Not be Forced to Pay $3.4 Million in Restitution

 
 
Update: 

Grier Weeks of PROTECT: How Congress can really raise the stakes for child pornography crimes, May 6, 2014
Paroline v. U.S
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/judicial/205356-how-congress-can-really-raise-the-stakes-for-child-pornography#ixzz30z38ICmO
Legislation is set to be introduced Wednesday May 7, 2014 by Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
 
What Happened to Child Pornography Victims in the Supreme Court, April 28, 2014
Will Congress fix (quickly? ever? wisely?) the "puzzle of paying Amy" after Paroline? April 26, 2014
 
The Puzzle of Paying Amy, April 25, 2014
Congress has to fix the problem with restitution for child pornography victims that stumped the Supreme Court.
Original Post:
 
Back on January 23, 2014 I posted about this case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and its importance in past and future restitution cases for those convicted of child pornography possession, NOT the producers/creators who physically abuse the children depicted. I also posted on February 12th  two great articles on America’s misguided child pornography laws. 

Today the U.S. Supreme Court Justices in a 5-4 ruling made the correct decision on excessive restitution rulings for those who are convicted of possessing images. 
 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014: Virginia Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council Met and Discussed HJ96 the Two and a Half Year Study on Current Exemptions Allowed for FOIA Requests

 
2014’s HJR96 directs the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Council to study the 100-170 current exemptions in Virginia Code over the next 2.5 years (completed by December 2016) to determine if some of the exemptions should  be eliminated or revised. 

Today (April 22, 2014) the VA FOIA Council held its first meeting of 2014 where they discussed the planned process and outline for HJR96 for 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

I attended today’s meeting my first ever. I learned a few points today that I did not know about when it comes to FOIA requests in VA and I also learned that most citizens expect the FOIA Council to assist them when they are having issues getting their requested information from the county, city or state departments like being the “FOIA Police”. That is NOT their role at all as I found out 2 years ago when I reached out to them with the denials I was receiving from the Virginia State Police. In the end it’s up to the citizens of Virginia to file and fund a court challenge in instances of FOIA denials, refusals or excessive fees. Most citizens do not have the knowledge, the time or the resources to force implementation of the FOIA laws but yet that is our current system and it doesn’t look like it will be changing anytime in the future. 

Finally I addressed the Council during the public comment portion of today’s meeting. 

Here is my statement: 

Council Members, 

I’m excited that HJ96 allows an opportunity for the Virginia FOIA Council to look into more than 100 exemptions and I would like to bring one of those exemptions to your attention today…….as it is NOT being applied consistently. 

Statute 2.2-3706(H) that was re-codified in July 2013 and it is now found at 2.2-3706(A)(2)(k) 

k. Records of the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry maintained by the Department of State Police pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 9.1-900 et seq.) of Title 9.1, including information obtained from state, local, and regional officials, except to the extent that information is required to be posted on the Internet pursuant to § 9.1-913; and 

The statute states that the release of certain records can be categorized into three actions
1.       must be released
2.       may be released
3.       can not be released
……….leaving complete discretion in the hands of the Virginia State Police (VSP). 

Over the last 4 years I have made 4 separate FOIA requests for Registry data and except for my very first request, ALL have been denied. 

The most recent example I have to share with you is from October 2013… It was denied solely on the basis that the information may be disclosed by the custodian in his or her discretion. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday 2014: What Forgiveness is Not, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Reverend Mpho Tutu

Christianity: What forgiveness is not
April 18, 2014
By Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Reverend Mpho Tutu

Editor's note: We all need to forgive, and there are many of us who need forgiveness. The question is, how do we forgive? In their new book, "The Book of Forgiving," Archbishop Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu share their experiences, the stories of others who have inspired them, and what they have learned about the process of forgiving, to help all of us learn the answer to this. And, they are calling YOU to join the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge, to join them in undertaking the path for healing ourselves and our world. 

Often when we are suffering from loss or harm of some kind, forgiving can seem too overwhelming, too complicated, to even consider.  

How do we forgive if there has been no apology or explanation for why someone has hurt us so? How do we think of forgiving when we feel the person has not done anything to “deserve” our forgiveness? Where do we even start? 

The work of forgiveness is not easy. Perhaps you have already tried to forgive someone and just couldn’t do it.  

Perhaps you have forgiven and the person did not show remorse or change his or her behavior or own up to his or her offenses—and you find yourself unforgiving all over again. 

Forgiveness is not an effortless act for any of us, and it does not serve anyone to minimize the complexity involved in the work of forgiving.  

It is best to break our forgiving down into bite-size pieces, and begin from wherever we are standing.  

- Tell your story for as long as you need to.
- Name your hurts until they no longer pierce your heart.
- Grant forgiveness when you are ready to let go of a past that cannot be changed. Reconcile or release the relationship as you choose. 

Forgiving is not easy, but it is the path to healing.  

It was not easy for Nelson Mandela to spend twenty-seven years in prison, but when people say to me what a waste it was, I say no, it was not a waste.  

It took twenty-seven years for him to be transformed from an angry, unforgiving young radical into an icon of reconciliation, forgiveness, and honor who could go on to lead a country back from the brink of civil war and self-destruction. 

Our suffering, our pain, and our losses have the power to transform us.  

It does not always feel just, nor is it easy, but we have seen that, with time, great good can come from great sorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Second Chances and Redemption: Ellen DeGeneres See Past the Label and Into the Heart of an RSO Who Feeds the Homeless as He was Once Homeless and Hungry.

 

Ellen DeGeneres was yelling for him — Derrick Walton, c'mon down. He ran down the Los Angeles studio steps, sat in the big chair on her national talk show and was cheered as a former homeless man who closes his Chef D's Rock Power Pizza every Monday to feed the homeless and needy. 

And, for the second time in a week on her show, being handed a giant $10,000 check. 

What DeGeneres didn't ask him about April 11 was his place on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. They didn't talk about his years as a stripper or selling drugs. 

That's what Walton wanted to talk about earlier this week, back in his restaurant. 

"The past is not who you are. That's big in Iowa. Put you in a category, and that's who you are," said Walton, 47. "But my message is where you're at, you don't have to stay." 

It's Easter season, and he believes in resurrection, a rebirth of spirit and hope, but he doesn't go to church regularly. 

"This is my church," he says, sitting in his 1,800-square-foot restaurant, smaller than many homes. "I'm here open to close every day and on Monday feeding the homeless. I call them my special people. 

"It's about relationships, not religion. It's a relationship with Christ, who died on the cross and rose again. Jesus gave his life so we could give to others." 

Biblical and inspirational messages fill the restaurant walls. But he's not about to preach how to believe or in what way. 

This is what he does. 

He wanders through the restaurant Monday, stopping at each table, crammed into two tiny rooms on one side of the restaurant with a handful of booths on the other. On people's plates are ham and scalloped potatoes, corn and rolls. They are eating and smiling through various ailments and disappointments. 

There's jobless Jennifer Larson-Fox with her 9-year-old son who says, "It helps a lot because we don't have a lot to eat." 

There's April Schatz with epilepsy that she battles every day, so severe she can't remember 75% of what happened the day before. So she keeps a folded piece of paper in her pocket to write everything down. 

There's Regina Romeo eating with her 13-year-old son. She faces surgery on her foot and has no job because she can't work with the pain. 

"One step at a time," Walton told Romeo. "I'm just glad you're here." 

Volunteers, one who has traveled more than two hours from Waverly, Iowa, huddle around him. 
 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Action Alert: 7 Proposals for 2015! Contact Your One Virginia Delegate, One Virginia Senator, Attorney General Mark Herring and Governor Terry McAuliffe Asking Them to Sponsor or Find Sponsors Today!

 
For 6 years I have been asking the Virginia Legislators to sponsor some “good” bills based on facts and empirical evidence as opposed to the legislation that they are used to sponsoring based on myth, fear and hate. 

It is time they hear their constituents ask for these reasonable changes, to ask them to patron/sponsor a bill for the next session.

The 2015 Virginia General Assembly session doesn’t begin until January 14th but the 100 Delegates and the 40 Senators will have already decided much of the legislation that they plan to sponsor by this summer .

2015 will be a short-session year and that means the Virginia Delegates are limited to a maximum of 15 bills, that’s it! Senators do not have a maximum bill limit in short session years.

November 2014 is not an election year (at the state level) so Virginia Delegates and Senators will be meeting with constituents, lobbyists and advocates earlier than if it were an election year and all will be vying for one of those 15 slots.  

The Governor and the Attorney General have their own Legislative Agendas each session, known as “Administration Bills” . So they too are looking for Delegates and Senators to patron/sponsor their bills leaving less opportunities for constituents and advocates. 

Today, I am asking all of you to contact your one Delegate and one Senator in the next 6 weeks (before June 1st). 

From 7 of the below goal, select one or two that speaks to you the most and ask your representatives to sponsor a bill proposing the change. You can ask them in a phone call, in an email or in an in-person appointment at their district office (near you). 

Do you know who your representatives are? If not, look them up Virginia Delegates and Senators.  
 
If you are feeling industrious you could also contact the Governor Terry McAuliffe
1111 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219  
804-786-2211

The Attorney General Mark Herring 900 East Main Street Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-2071
asking them to add one or two of the below proposals to their 2015 Legislative Agenda.  

The top 7 goals from my overall list of 25 in no particular order are:
  • Remove the Employer/Company name of Offenders from the VSP Public Sex Offender Registry
  • Written notice needs to be given of all current and new legal restrictions /regulations for RSO’s
  • Procedural changes to Offender Registration to make compliance attainable based on VSP operational hours
  • Implement a 3-Tier Risk-Based Classification System as opposed to our current 2-Tiered Conviction Based System
  • Form a Virginia Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) to take the politics out of policy
  • Compliant Non-Violent Offenders should be automatically removed on 15 Year Anniversary instead of petitioning the court
  • Repeal Virginia’s 21-Day (to Recant) Rule
When you send e-mails or leave voice-mails to your representatives:


  • They must be factual, don’t make numbers or facts up. If you don’t know or you aren’t sure about specific points say that and tell them you’ll get back to them with the information and be sure you do! Then next time do some prep work ahead of time so you’ll be better prepared.
  • Emails should not be any longer than a one page Word document with standard margins and font. If your email is longer than one page, edit it and if needed edit again.
  • You can be blunt but don’t be rude, condescending or threatening. Be polite, professional and respectful. Caller fined for profane message to AG’s office(Virginia), April 21, 2014  http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/caller-fined-for-profane-message-to-ag-s-office/article_94def2d2-c99a-11e3-9481-001a4bcf6878.html
  • Your request should be about public safety and citizens in general, not about your personal plight. Keep it about others, the public and the children of the Commonwealth
  • Whining is a waste of time; they don't want to hear it and anything else you’ve said will be ignored
After you call, email or meet with them, follow up a few weeks later looking for an answer. 

If they decline to be a patron/sponsor, find out why. What are their issues, concerns hesitations?

Now you know if their concerns can be addressed they may patron a bill in the future. And even if they won’t patron it if another lawmaker does your representative may not automatically vote against it but consider a vote for it because of the knowledge you imparted on this issue. 

Also if they decline to be a patron/sponsor let them know you will ask them again next year and perhaps the year after that. Advise them this is an issue that will not go away and neither will you. 

Below you will find more details on each of these goals so you can build your email or prepare for your phone call or appointment. 

There are some issues we’ve all experienced that can only be fixed with court challenges BUT there are many of the issues we all have encountered as RSO’s or the loved ones of an RSO that can be fixed with legislation. But without proposed legislation (bills) at the yearly legislative session that only happens because someone requested it reform will never happen. If we don’t speak up, make the request then nothing will ever change. 

Standing on the sidelines helps no one. 

If you’re uncomfortable about this issue, the more you talk about it the more comfortable you’ll become. 

This action item is a step forward and you can do it from the security of your home if you like, start small but at least start advocating. 

Thank you!
 
Mary Devoy 

1) Remove the Employer/Company Name of Offenders from the VSP Public Sex Offender Registry so Virginia Employers aren’t being shamed for hiring the best candidate or participating in the successful re-entry of former offenders across the Commonwealth. 

Today, 29 states currently do not list any employer information publicly.  

Virginia is one of only 6 states that publicly list both the employer name and the address. 

Back in 2012 Kansas and in September 2013 Texas removed ALL employment information from their public registries. 
 

Recidivism (Re-offense) Rates for U.S. Registered Sex Offenders: Myth v. Reality - New Page Added Today

 
I am regularly asked (by reporters) for recidivism data on Registered Sex Offenders because the common misconception is RSO’s have the highest re-offense rate of any conviction. That’s because they’ve heard some Legislators and Victim’s Advocates falsely claim a 100% re-offense rate for far too long. 

Today I decided to make a dedicated page on this topic. 

It is Recidivism (Re-Offense) Rates for Registered Sex Offenders off to the right side under Directory. 

If anyone sees any missing information or links that should be included on the new page please send me an email and I will add the missing details to the page. 

Thank you for following this blog. 

Mary Devoy

Monday, April 14, 2014

Guess What the #1 Fiscal Impact Request for Proposed Legislation was at the 2014 General Assembly? That’s Right, Sex Offenders Again! #1 for 7 out of 10 years.

 
Today (April 14, 2013) was the first of four meetings for the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission (VCSC). 

Back on March 11, 2014 I posted the 2014 meeting dates AND the last 9 years of Virginia General Assembly Proposed Legislation Fiscal Impact Statements including the #1, #2 and #3 bill requests from Virginia’s Delegates and Senators. 

The Presentations  from today’s meeting have not yet been loaded on the VCSC website (it usually take a week or more) you’ll be able to read everything that was covered.  

The first VCSC meeting of the year includes a review of all bills from the General Assembly session that had to do with sentencing changes and any requests of studies or research by the VCSC, then suggestions for additional work and studies for the year. They also announce any new members which included H.F. Haymore, Jr., Clerk, Linda L. Bryant and Rosemary Trible, plus Senator Marsh has retaken the Senate seat after the shift of power in the Virginia Senate from January. 

Below I have compiled all of today’s numbers along side the last 9 years of numbers.

There was a lengthy discussion about the PROTECT report  that disagreed with the December 2013 VCSC recommendation to reduce the sentencing guidelines for possession of child pornography. Out of the five 2013 VCSC recommendations there was an increase in the on-line solicitation of a minor (Recommendation #1) and PROTECT had no issue with the VCSC raising a sentence but when it came to lowering a sentence they rushed to find a Delegate (Bell-HB504) and a Senator (McDougle-SB433) to patron companion legislation to stop the decrease from occurring and they passed adding a two year delay for the VCSC to hold an in-depth study on the issue. 

At one point in the meeting it seemed as though the inevitability that Camille Cooper would still disagree with the new data and fight a decrease in sentencing guidelines all over again didn’t seem to be worth the lengthy time and cost to the Commission that a dedicated 2 year study would require. So I stood up and pointed out that if they don't do it then when they recommend future decreases more bills will just be filed or maybe they will just stop recommending decreases in sexual crimes  all together because they won't be accepted by Camille Cooper of PROTECT and a battle will be waged at future sessions. That this is the VCSC’s role, to study and adjust the guidelines whether it's up (increase) or down (decrease) and it would be a real tragedy if they caved because for the first time in 18 or 19 years someone fought a recommendation of theirs and kind of won. Facts and data should be more important than political pressure. They decided to investigate what the cost of the study would actually be to the Commission and to re-discuss doing the study at the next meeting on June 9th.

An outline of how the Commission was thinking of approaching the 2 year study is in the Power Point presentation from today, as I mentioned above it was not yet available on the VCSC website when this post was ready. For those of you who are interested keep checking their site.

Recently the Justice Policy Institute released a very interesting report on Virginia titled Billion Dollar Divide: Virginia's Sentencing, Corrections and Criminal Justice Challenge that I posted here. I had wondered if this report would be mentioned at today’s meeting, it wasn’t. 

Finally I have been attending the VCSC meetings since November 2009 (missing 2 or 3 of those 18 meetings) and during that time not one member of the press/media has ever attended, until today. I’ll be keeping an eye out for an article or two in the future. 

Mary Devoy
 
Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission Fiscal Impact Summaries for Proposed Legislation By Year

The Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission (VCSC) is not a Legislative branch like the Virginia State Crime Commission (VSCC). 

The VCSC is a Judicial branch, they mainly conduct studies and gather data on sentencing guidelines in Virginia. They hold 4 public meetings per year, the meetings begin at 10am and usually end by 12-noon. 

Members of the VCSC are http://www.vcsc.virginia.gov/about.html .

A little known fact for most citizens is if the VCSC decides to change a sentence guideline for any crime a bill does not need to be submitted at the yearly General Assembly session in Richmond. The proposed change is just listed in the annual VCSC December report and unless a Delegate or Senator sponsors a bill in-time for the January session to NOT to allow the VCSC change to take effect that upcoming July it automatically becomes law with no discussion, debate or media attention.

Per Virginia law § 30-19.1:4:
v      As of July 1, 2000 the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission must prepare a fiscal impact statement for any bill that would result in a net increase in the population of offenders housed in state adult correctional facilities (prisons). 
v      As of July 1, 2002, the impact statement must:
§         Include an analysis of the impact on local and regional jails as well as state and local community corrections programs; and
§         Detail any necessary adjustments to the sentencing guidelines 
v      The Commission must estimate the increase in annual operating costs for prison facilities that would result if the proposal is enacted
§         A six-year projection is required
§         The highest single-year increase in operating costs is identified
§         This amount must be printed on the face of the bill 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bloomberg – Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial on Teen Sexting Was an Uneducated and Vindictive Rant

 
Dear Margaret Carlson, 

I have read your recent OpEd that was picked up by the Richmond Times Dispatch (my local newspaper).  Sexting: Teens trade naked selfies for mug shots, April 12, 2014

I will first address the portions of your piece where I agree with you (#1 and #2).
  1. Today’s teenagers who have grown up with Internet access, social media websites and electronic devices that take photos and videos do not think before they take an image, post and share it. 
This is because the human brain is not fully developed until we are in our 20’s so teenagers and young adults do not consider the outcome or consequences of their sporadic actions. Their “urge to share” as you mentioned is not because they are reckless, it’s because that portion of the brain is not fully developed.  

Children are not small adults and should not be treated as such by our criminal justice system, but it seems you think they should. 

  1. Parents should be much more involved in what their children are doing on-line and off-line. That includes adding parental controls to devices for minors.
Parents are not their children’s friends; they are their parents and need to take that role seriously.  

In your piece you referenced the recent Fairfax, VA sexting case and an Illinois case. 

I have been following the Fairfax, VA case closely.
·        Local teens investigated for “sexting” , April 8, 2014
·        ACLU questions validity of massive child pornography investigation in Louisa, April 4, 2014
http://www.nbc12.com/story/25169010/aclu-questions-validity-of-massive-child-pornography-investigation-in-louisa
·        Authorities bust massive teen sexting spree, over 100 teens involved, April 4, 2014

In 2014 alone we’ve had two other cases make the news here in Virginia.
·        Chesterfield youth could face child porn charges for ‘sexting’, March 14, 2014
·        James City teen's tweet a criminal act or poor judgement? February 6, 2014

Now I’m going to address where you ran completely off-the-tracks with your OpEd.