Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vera Institute Report on Collateral Consequences of Felony Convictions: All But 9 States (Virginia Being One of the 9) Have Taken Steps to Limit the “Damage” to Former Offenders (and their families) to Reintegrate Successfully Back Into Our Communities

Report: Most States 'Rethinking' Collateral Consequences

All but nine states have taken steps since 2009 to limit the damage that having a criminal record can cause for those who have already served time, according to a new report from the Vera Institute of Justice. 

An individual's criminal history can disrupt access to social benefits, limit employment opportunities and certain civil rights, but between 2009 and 2014, 41 states and the District of Columbia passed 155 bills designed "to mitigate the burden of collateral consequences for individuals with certain criminal convictions," according to the report. 

Researchers for the report right that "states have pursued seven broad approaches" to "rethinking the collateral consequences of conviction": 

The National Missing and Exploited (NCMEC) Official Bi-Annual U.S. Sex Offender Count Jumped by 44,618 in 6 Months Approximately the Same Growth They've Claimed For the Last 3-4 Years. How Does That Work Out?

Back in June I posted about the National Missing and Exploited (NCMEC) official bi-annual US Sex Offender counts, I was questioning their accuracy for the last 9 years. Early on there were huge jumps, then almost no total growth for 3-4 years (June 2010-716,750 , June 2011-739,853 , July 2012-722,499  and May 2013-751,538 ) while Virginia consistently added an average of 21 new people to our Registry every week and then California’s counts dropped significantly from 2012 to June 2104. None of it made sense!

A One Year Investigation into How Law Enforcement Conducts Controversial Sex “Predator” Stings

Well worth the long read (see the below article). 

Makes me wonder how many Virginians who’ve been swept up in these Internet stings run by local jurisdictions and the ICAC’s of Southern and Northern Virginia and are sent to prison plus labeled a Violent Sex Offender on the VSP Registry for life weren’t actually doing anything illegal or were contacted over and over again by someone misrepresenting themselves? The State has the grant money year after year, not only are they required to use it but if they can claim these programs are successful then they’ll get more money next year from additional resources. 

All while our Virginia State & Federal Legislators/Officials claim it’s protecting our children from those "deviant, heinous Sexual Predators" using it as fodder for their re-election campaigns. 

But do they..... really? 


Investigating the Investigators, December 29, 2014
By Noah Pransky

TAMPA BAY, Florida - A drawn-out struggle to obtain public records has started to yield results for 10 Investigates, as local agencies have started releasing limited records – and providing insight – regarding how law enforcement conducts controversial sex "predator" stings.