Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Action Alert for Readers, In ALL 50 States: A Quick Survey/ Poll - Does Your State Notify Its Registered Sex Offenders of Their Legal Restrictions and Regulations or Not?

09/06/14- 10AM (EST) Update: 
In 3 days this one post has been clicked on/to by more than 300 viewers. 

But so far I have only received answers to the poll from Florida and Illinois (two senders) readers. 

I REALLY need those of you who have read the quick survey (below) to send me the answers for YOUR state so I can build an accurate and complete 50 state spreadsheet. 

Please, please take 10 minutes out of your day if you are from any state other than Virginia, Florida or Illinois and answer the below questions.  
Thank you very, very much! 


Original Post:
As the readers here in Virginia know for 5 out of the last 6 Virginia General Assembly sessions one of my Top 8 Legislative Goals has been a Dissemination of Information Bill. Basically the Virginia State Police (the monitor and manager of RSO’s in Virginia) would have a full list of current legal restrictions and regulations (State and Federal) available at registration and when new laws pass and go in effect on July 1st they would update the list and disperse it to all RSO’s. This would eliminate needless violations that carry a felony punishment.

Back in 2010 an article on how the Commonwealth makes no effort to advise Virginia’s RSO of their legal obligations but are quick to charge them with a felony if they fail to abide by them stated that New Mexico spells out the restrictions on a website, while North Carolina and Indiana, require offenders to read over a list of the laws and sign that they understand it while in the presence of a law enforcement officer. And in Kentucky, offenders receive a notice each time a law changes. Of course this was 4 years ago so who knows what they do in 2014. 

So I’ve decide to find out how all 50 States handle this issue and this is where I need your help. 

If you know how your state (not including Virginia as I already know we don’t do it here) notifies it Registered Sex Offenders of their State, County or City legal obligations please send me the answers to the below questions so I can build a complete spreadsheet. 

  1. What State are you answering about?
  2. Do the authorities disperse the legal restrictions and regulations to RSO’s in writing there?
i)      If they do, how often are they dispersed? (once a year, twice a year)
ii)    If they do, does the RSO have to ask for a copy or are they automatically given?
iii)  If they do, is the list in easily understandable terms (you can do this, you can’t do that) or in full legal statutes?
iv)   If they do, does the RSO have to sign something to prove receipt and full understanding of the list? 
  1. Do the authorities update the RSO when new laws are passed?
i)      If they do, is it done before the new law goes into effect or after? 

In the subject line of your email please type Answers to 50 State Survey so I can keep track of every response. 

Thank you for your assistance with this survey/poll so I can confidently tell the Virginia Legislators what States are already doing what I’ve been asking them to vote to do here in Virginia for the last 6 years! 

Mary Devoy