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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 Virginia G.A. Session: Rob Buswell’s Next Anti-Sex Offender Bill Will Be to Prohibit RSO’s from Obtaining a “Kids First” License Plate from the Virginia DMV


Update: 

HB305  (for Rob Buswell) has just posted in LIS, sponsored by Delegate Marcus Simon. 

Mary Devoy
 

Original Post:

It seems Rob Buswell isn’t done with getting the VSP Supplemental Registry passed into law he’s now an advocate against Virginia RSO’s “protecting today’s children”. 

On the Robby’s Rule 2015 Facebook page today he has made this announcement:
Hi I wanted to thank you all for your support of this page and the law YOU helped to create. The core group of people that worked on this are now working on a new bill for the upcoming session. Our next bill’s goal is to make the KIDS FIRST license plates not available to those individuals on the Sex Offenders Registry. Believe it or not, some offenders do put these plates on their cars. The picture below is just one example. We hope that you will continue to support this page and join us over at our new page. Search FB "Put A Child's Safety First" https://www.facebook.com/VAkids1st Give us a Like and share. We are Adult Surviviors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. We try to protect today's children. 

So I visited Mr. Buswell’s Put a Childs Safety First /Kids First Facebook page:
In Virginia, we have a variety of vanity plates. For example, if a military veteran earned a Bronze Star they have the ability to have a license plate reflecting that. If you are not a veteran that received that medal you can’t have that vanity plate. Similarly, convicted sex offenders should not be allowed to present themselves as something they are not - kid friendly. 

How ridiculous! 

Virginia’s Kid’s First Vanity Plate is from the Family and Children's Trust Fund of Virginia to support Safe Kids Virginia is led by VCU Medical Center. So why can't an RSO support this organization? 

What’s next no bumper stickers for RSO’s who kids are honor roll students or who play for the local soccer team? Because if they are advertising that they are actually parents……….. that's dangerous to all kids? 

What about those family decals with the number of parents, kids and pets in the family, are we going to make it illegal for RSO’s to have these on their vehicle? 

Vanity Plates that Virginians pay extra money to own to support organizations, initiatives and Universities aren’t a government seal of approval it’s a personal expression (Freedom of Speech) that they are showing support for. I don’t have to prove I went to or graduated from UVA or Old Dominion University to have their license plate. I could have a Support the Chesapeake Bay plate and be the biggest litter-bug in the world. 

What about vehicles registered to an address of an RSO but the majority of the time the vehicles are driven by their spouse, their significant other, their parents or even their teenage children? Are all of these people going to be prohibited from having the vanity plate they chose because the RSO owns the vehicle that they drive? 

There are multiple types of Military/Veterans vanity plates available in Virginia and there are RSO’s who are also Veteran’s, is Mr. Buswell going to demand they give up their Military license plates too? 

I can’t wait to see who the sponsor of this “planned” Bill is. 

Looks like the 2016 Virginia session is going to be another lively one, I’m ready! 

Mary Davye Devoy

Virginia State Police “Supplemental” Sex Offender Registry (AKA Robby’s Rule) Which Passed the 2015 Legislative Session, Was Signed Into Law on July 1st and Was Mandated to be Online by January 1st 2016 is Now Viewable


Update:

VSP launches Sex Offender Supplemental Registry, December 31, 2015
Rob Buswell asked NBC12 to “withhold his identity” if he participated in a phone interview!

State Police launches supplement sex offender registry, December 31, 2015
5,604 names

State police publish supplement to sex offender registry online, December 31, 2015

New Virginia sex offender registry covers 1980-1994, December 31, 2015

Sex Offender Registry Extension is Now Available to the Public, December 31, 2015


Original Post:

As readers of this blog remember I did my best to fight against Robby’s Rule 2015 from becoming law but in the end I failed. 
 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Are Sex Offender Registries Cruel and Unusual Punishment? By Phil Locke


Are Sex Offender Registries Cruel and Unusual Punishment? December 29, 2015
By Phil Locke, Science and Technology Advisor, Ohio Innocence Project and Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic
 
Are there people who commit heinous sex crimes? Of course, and there are also people who commit heinous murders; and while a murderer is a murderer is a murderer, I submit that the percentage of sex offenders who are truly profound, violent, serial offenders is a tiny fraction of the total number of casual, one-time, often non-violent, and even unknowing people who commit a sexual transgression. However, the laws get written and enforced assuming that any sex offender is a wild-eyed, crazed, unstoppable sex fiend. It’s the way it is. The moral core of our society instills the belief that anything having to do with sex (outside the marital bedroom, in bed, at night, under the covers, with the lights out) is anathema; and combine this with the innate human predilection for revenge, and you wind up with our sex offender laws. Make no mistake – the people who are truly dangerous, violent, serial offenders need to be dealt with appropriately, and they need help. But why does some guy whose date lied to him about her age have to wind up on the sex offender registry for life, even after doing prison time? And the same applies when a vindictive spouse or ex-spouse gets the kids to lie about being molested; or when an angry ex-girlfriend makes a false claim of rape. 
 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

HB177 Patroned by Delegate Dave Albo: Adds Crimes Against Nature to an “Animal” AND to a Child by a Parent, Grandparent, Sibling, Step-Parent OR Step-Grandparent as Registrable Offenses in Virginia…. Retroactively!

2016 Virginia General Assembly "Do Over":
Convictions from 2005, maybe even 1995 would NOW require public registration as a Sex Offender!
Update: 

The longer I contemplate this proposal the more I’m questioning it. 

In 2005 Delegate Albo co-patroned HB2564 which added step-parents and step-grandparents to the Crimes Against Nature statute, but HB2564 did NOT require public registration as a Violent Sex Offender, why?  

The VSP Sex Offender Registry is supposed to alert the public to people with sexual convictions against other people as an administrative act, not a punitive one. 

How does adding people who have sexually assaulted animals (Bestiality) fit into that reasoning? 

In my opinion it doesn’t and in fact HB177 bloats an already water-downed VSP Registry that the public can not currently decipher who has been swept up by one-size-fits-all legislation and those who actually pose a threat to our citizens.

How does prohibiting a person convicted of animal abuse from loitering near a school or a daycare make any sense? Or demanding they update their email address within 30 minutes or their employer information within 3 days or face a felony? How does having the VSP visit their home twice a year and take their photo every two years make us safer? It doesn’t. 

If Virginia wants to create a separate VSP Animal Abuser Registry then people convicted of this offense could be placed on that list. But they do not belong on the VSP Sex Offender Registry and they should not be mandated under threat of a new felony to comply with the ever changing list of restrictions and regulations for our RSO’s. 

I know some readers think the more people added to public Registries will finally creating the tipping point for the Courts to rule them unconstitutional, so why not pile on more crimes and more people. But that’s flawed thinking; more ruined lives for people who have already paid their court-ordered debt to society being subjected to suffer the same fate you’re facing is wrong. That approach is almost crueler than our States thinking towards RSO’s. 

I have previously opposed additional Virginia Registries and if an Animal Abuser Registry comes up yet again, I will most likely oppose it based on facts. Until the success and efficacy of the 20-year old VSP Sex Offender Registry is fully studied by a Special Taskforce/Commission for longer than 6 months…..NO additional crimes should be added to the VSP Registry, no new restrictions/mandates should be proposed for our RSO’s and nothing that carries a Felony charge should EVER be retroactively applied to an RSO or any other former-offender!

So……… it appears I may have to stand in opposition to a Bill that I’m sure the patron will coin “The Bestiality Bill”, but I will oppose the points that need to be removed or amended even if it’s difficult, because it’s the right thing to do. 

Mary Devoy
 

Original Post:

HB177 patroned by Delegate Dave Albo posted today. 

At the moment I am NOT calling this an “Action Item”, I want to follow any press, co-patrons or companion bills for this proposal plus and additional bills Delegate Albo files that may be part of a larger plan, first. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Pope Francis' 2015 Christmas Eve Homily


Since beginning this blog in July 2013 I have posted Pope Francis’ New Year's messages and his Christmas & Easter homily’s for us all to take a brief break from these issues that are not just "political" but are a big part of all of our day-to-day lives and I hope for brief a moment you'll take time to reflect on something positive and peaceful. 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Mary Davye Devoy 
 

The following is the Vatican's official English translation of Pope Francis' Christmas Eve Mass homily, which he delivered in Italian.

"Tonight 'a great light' shines forth (Is 9:1); the light of Jesus' birth shines all about us. How true and timely are the words of the prophet Isaiah which we have just heard: 'You have brought abundant joy and great rejoicing' (9:2)! Our heart was already joyful in awaiting this moment; now that joy abounds and overflows, for the promise has been at last fulfilled. Joy and gladness are a sure sign that the message contained in the mystery of this night is truly from God.  

There is no room for doubt; let us leave that to the skeptics who, by looking to reason alone, never find the truth. There is no room for the indifference which reigns in the hearts of those unable to love for fear of losing something. All sadness has been banished, for the Child Jesus brings true comfort to every heart.
 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Action Item: Virginia Bill SB86 Needs a Start Date Added Otherwise Current Non-Violent RSO’s Will be Retroactively Re-Classified to Violent and Become “Lifers” with No Due Process


SB86 has just posted today, it’s been submitted by Virginia Senator Tom Garrett (who has recently announced he will run in 2016 for the open Congressional seat of retiring Representative Robert Hurt) for the upcoming 2016 Virginia General Assembly session. 

SB86 RAISES the penalty for sexual abuse (a defined term) of a child 13 or 14 years old from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony.  This is Senator Garrett’s third attempt to get this change passed into law…. in 2015 it was SB1138 and in 2014 it was SB442  both died in the Appropriations Committee due to it’s high cost.  But supposedly for the upcoming 2016 session there is plenty of money available so I’m thinking this time the proposal has a very good chance at passing through the Legislature. 

Now personally I do not oppose the increase in penalty if it is an adult being charged for this crime. When I originally stood up in 2014 with a list of concerns against the same proposal I asked that an age gap allowance for a perpetrator who is close in age to the victim and did NOT use force, threat or intimidation be added to the text. I was told by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee that an “age gap was not needed” because § 18.2-67.4:2 would only be used for adult (18 years and older) perpetrators so I did not bother making this request in 2015. 

BUT there is a VERY serious problem with SB86 that needs immediate attention. 

2016’s SB86 does NOT include an “effective date” of July 1, 2016; this means as currently written this proposal to increase the penalty for sexual abuse of a 13 or 14 year old from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony would be applied retroactive by the Virginia State Police. 

Anyone convicted of this crime since it’s inception in 2007 until June 30 2016 who was originally classified as Non-Violent Sex Offender will be elevated to a Violent Sex Offender, without ANY due process. 
 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Action Item: 8 Years Since the 1st Version the U.S Senate has Passed an International Megan’s Law Bill…. All Passports for U.S. RSO’s Would Need to be Reissued to Be Emblazed with the Words “Sex Offender”… This New Version Heads Back to the House (Congress) for Approval


eAdvocate: International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders' December 18, 2015

The Senate passed HR 515 formerly known as "International Megan's Law" with another NEW title "International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders" and added a section about Passports.

Essentially, all current passports for folks CONVICTED of a sex offense/s MUST be reissued, with the words "SEX OFFENDER" prominently displayed on the passport. And all new passports for folks convicted of sex offenses will be issued with same wording.

The Senate also added a section for appropriating funding ($6,000,000) for each of these years (2017-2019) to implement IML.

The Senate then sent the bill with changes back to the House for them to review and pass. It is very likely this will be on the FAST TRACK because lawmakers want to go home for Christmas break.

Advocates and their families and others need to immediately contact their U.S. House Representatives and object to the entire IML bill (and concept), and any other similar bills that may arise.

The FULL bill may be found HERE and the Senate Amendments HERE (The Corker amendment [Sen Bob Corker R-TN] in the Federal Register).
 

To Virginia Readers: 

Please send an email (or make a phone call) to our Virginia Congress members (see list belowTODAY!
 

Action Item: Support Virginia Bill SB11 To Remove the Employer Information of RSO’s From the VSP Online Registry a Current (and Significant) Barrier for a Successful Re-entry Back Into Society


Update: 

Howell Bill Aims to Remove Employer Name, Address from Sex Offender Registry, December 28, 2015
 

Original Post:

At the moment we have one “good” bill for the 2016 Virginia General Assembly session! 

SB11 - To Remove the Employer Information of RSO’s From Being Posted on the VSP Registry 

You Can Read the Full Bill Text or Track it’s Bill Status on Virginia General Assembly Website: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+sum+SB11 

OR 

You Can Track the Bill Status, Cast Your Vote or Read/Leave Public Comment on Richmond Sunlight Website: https://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2016/sb11/ 

Now before everyone gets too excited you need to know……this is NOT the first time this proposal has been made.
  1. In 2010 it was SB635  which passed the Virginia Senate Committee and then the Full-Chamber 40-0 but was then “killed” by the House Militia, Police and Safety Sub-Committee of 6.
  2. Then in 2012 it was HB413  which made it onto a hearing docket for the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-committee where the 8 members “Laid it on the table” instead of casting an official vote, to “kill” it.
I have looked for the specific piece of legislation (bill) somewhere between 2006 and 2008 (before I was an advocate) that placed/added the employer information online in Virginia; I can NOT find it anywhere which leads me to believe the VSP did it on their own with no direction from the Virginia Legislature. I have previously asked VSP Leadership about the change that occurred and I was NOT given any answer on how it was specifically implemented. 

As of December 2015:
  • 29 States do not list any employer information publicly; five of those States are Federal Adam Walsh Act AWA/SORNA compliant
  • 10 States publicly post just the address; eight of those are AWA/SORNA compliant
  • 5 States post the city, county and/or zip code; three of those are AWA/SORNA compliant
Why does this matter? 
Because possibly being Federal AWA/SORNA compliant (one day) has been one of the previous arguments made against this proposal by both the Virginia State Police (VSP) Legislative Liaisons and by some House Courts of Justice Committee members. This claim is FALSE!
 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The “Always Believe” Credo Pushes Us Farther Down the Already Very Slippery Slope of Sexual Assault, Consent, the Law, Due Process, and the Ability to Have Honest Conversations About All of It…..and Frankly We May Never Recover From the Damage That the Blind-Faith Advocates Have Demanded


An excellent piece that was just forwarded to me. 

Mary 

Shutting Down Conversations About Rape at Harvard Law, December 11, 2015
By Jeannie Suk

This is a piece on a subject about which I may soon be prevented from publishing, depending on how events unfold. Last month, near the time that CNN broadcast the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which focuses on four women who say their schools neglected their claims of sexual assault, I joined eighteen other Harvard Law School professors in signing a statement that criticized the film’s “unfair and misleading” portrayal of one case from several years ago. A black female law student accused a black male law student of sexually assaulting her and her white female friend. The accuser, Kamilah Willingham, has graduated from the law school and is featured in the film. The accused, Brandon Winston, who spent four years defending himself against charges of sexual misconduct, on campus and in criminal court, was ultimately cleared of sexual misconduct and has been permitted to reënroll. The group that signed the statement, which includes feminist, black, and leftist faculty, wrote that this was a just outcome. (The faculty, of which I’m a member, made the final decision not to dismiss Winston from the law school, after a contrary recommendation made by the school’s administrative board, but I rely only on public knowledge produced by the film and his criminal trial, and don’t draw on any confidential or internal information about the case.)
 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Virginia State Police 2016 Report: Monitoring of Sex Offenders Required to Comply with the Registry is Online..... As of November 2015 1 out of Every 143 Adult Male in Virginia is a Registered Sex Offender

Every year the Virginia State Police release the Monitoring of Sex Offenders Required to Comply with the Sex Offender Registry Requirements report. 

The 2016 Report  from the Virginia State Police (VSP) is now available on-line for those of you who are interested; I have also added it to this blogs VSP Report page. 

As of November 2015 1 out of every 143 Adult Males in Virginia is a Registered Sex Offender. 

Back in 2008 it was 1 out of every 207. 
 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Reminder (and an Action Item if You Run Into an Issue) of VSP Barracks and Hotline Hours During the 2015 Holiday Season: Registering, Re-Registering, Updating Your Data, Updating Your Photograph or Making an Inquiry as an RSO in Virginia Between Christmas and News Years Day


Back on July 9, 2015 I posted about the Virginia State Police (VSP) website, VSP Barracks hours of operation, VSP S.O. Helpline hours of operation and VSP observed holidays. 

The VSP website does not post VSP Barracks hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP Barracks doors or main desk do not post hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP website also does not post the phone number 804-674-2825 OR the hours of operation for the VSP Sex Offender Help Desk (Hotline). Despite my multiple requests directly to the VSP to add this crucial information to their website and locations. 

Leaving Virginia’s RSO’s to “guess” correctly or incorrectly under the threat of a felony. 

Last year I heard from an RSO who attempted to update a change in vehicle registration the previous year right before the Christmas and New Years holidays. He was advised by the Virginia State Police (VSP) who is the monitor and manager of the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and our RSO’s that from December 23 to the 31st no VSP location would be able to take his change in information and he should come back in January. 

Well in Virginia because there is NO electronic system our RSO’s MUST register ANY change of information in-person (if they move or become homeless, if they change their name, if they lose or start a  job part-time or full-time, if they enroll or un-enroll in school part-time or full-time, if they add or delete a phone number or if they buy or sell a vehicle) within 3 days (not 3 business days) or within 30 minutes (if they add or delete an email address, an instant messenger identifier or a chat identifier) per Virginia law.
 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Newsweek: The Other Side of the College Sexual Assault Crisis By Max Kutner


The Other Side of the College Sexual Assault Crisis, December 10, 2015
By Max Kutner  

When you are the most notorious alleged college rapist in the country, it takes a lot of guts to attend your graduation ceremony. 

For most of Columbia University’s Class of 2015, graduation day was an exuberant celebration of four years of hard work at one of the country’s most prestigious schools. For Paul Nungesser, it was yet another reminder of how alone he was on that storied campus, and how hated he was. He and his parents had agonized over whether to attend the ceremony because his classmate Emma Sulkowicz had accused him of raping her, and for more than eight months she had carried an extra-long twin-size mattress around campus, vowing to do so until he was expelled, or fled. Despite this very public shaming, Nungesser had stayed in school and earned his degree. But now he worried that people would boo him as he crossed the stage to claim his diploma, that reporters would hound him, that the image of him in his cap and gown would spread across the Internet. He also feared that Sulkowicz would lug that mattress onstage, even though Columbia had warned the seniors not to bring “large objects which could interfere with the proceedings or create discomfort to others.”

At the last minute, the family decided to attend. His parents flew in from Berlin, where they live and where Nungesser is from. His mother, Karin, recalls that on graduation day it was pouring rain “like it’s perhaps the last day of New York.”  

Despite the apocalyptic weather, a thousand students lined up in their blue caps and gowns, eager to take their prize. Nungesser wore a matching blue bow tie and khaki pants, while some of his classmates stuck red tape to their caps, part of a campus anti-sexual-violence organization called No Red Tape, co-founded by Sulkowicz.
 

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Announces: $110.4 Million to Expand Virginia’s Sexually Violent Predator Facility (Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation) to Address the Growing Population


Governor McAuliffe Announces $2.43 Billion Bond Package to Fund Key Research and Economic Development Projects
December 9, 2015

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget he will introduce on December 17th will include a $2.43 billion bond package to support key capital projects that will enhance Virginia’s technological research and economic development infrastructure.

The bond package represents the largest research-oriented capital investment in the Commonwealth’s history as well as the largest state investment in Virginia’s state parks.

The chief focus of the bond package will be strengthening research and workforce development in high-demand fields at Virginia’s four-year institutions of higher education and community colleges.

The bond package will also include funding for other key priorities like strengthening the Port of Virginia, serving Virginia veterans, enhancing Virginia’s state parks, transforming Virginia’s approach to juvenile corrections and protecting the Commonwealth’s natural assets.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Two 2016 Virginia General Assembly Pages to Keep an Eye On


The 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session begins on Wednesday January 13th  in Richmond, VA. 

To stay up-to-date on the 2016 session here are two new pages (on the right side of the screen) in the Directory that you need to know about. 
The 2016 Bill/Legislation page will be updated weekly for now and then as the session begins I will update it daily, possibly multiple times a day. 

The 2016 Committee Member page is based on the information available from the 2015 session but then we have 18 newly elected Legislators that don’t officially take office until January who still need to be assigned to Committees mid-January so that page is NOT complete.

If you missed my earlier post on Getting Ready for the 2016 Virginia Session including the options available for Tracking Bills go here http://goo.gl/fI8wvP. 

All Action Items, Alerts or Hearing Notices for the 2016 G.A. session will not be added to the GA Bill/Legislation page but instead they will be a “post” here on the Home page.  

Back on October 8th I mentioned in a post that I met with some Virginia Legislators over the summer to discuss “good” legislation for 2016 and I am expecting 1 to 4 bills to be sponsored in 2016. 

Thank you for you support and please, please take action on future Action Alerts ‘for’ and ‘against’ legislation.  

Mary Devoy


New Virginia Budget Portal
The new Virginia Budget Portal brings together budget resources from the General Assembly and other state agencies. Users can search resources to find content based on keywords and phrases; create spreadsheets and custom reports for printing or email. Visit the beta version of the Virginia Budget Portal.

The Online–Sex Predator Panic: Laws Against Online Luring Harm Children By Judith Levine


The Online–Sex Predator Panic
Laws Against Online Luring Harm Children
By Judith Levine
December 8, 2015
 

North Carolina’s Supreme Court just upheld a law making it a crime for a former sex offender to use social media that minors also use—that is, any social media. 

In New Hampshire a judge rejected the appeal of Owen Labrie’s conviction for using a computer to “lure” a fifteen-year-old girl into sex. If Labrie, the prep school senior whose rape trial made national headlines, had called the girl on the phone instead of making arrangements on Facebook and by text, he would not have been breaking the law. The computer-related conviction will put the nineteen-year-old on the sex offender registry for life; he could also serve years in prison.   

And the district attorney in Cañon City, Colorado, is mulling over whom, among a hundred or so high school students caught trading naked pictures of themselves via smartphone, to prosecute on child pornography charges. 

Laws such as these, against “electronic solicitation of a minor” and online trading of child pornography, are troublesome for many reasons. For one thing, they are easy to abuse in order to load on penalties when the state is frustrated by an acquittal or lesser conviction than it sought. That is what happened in New Hampshire, where Labrie was acquitted of felony sexual assault but found guilty of misdemeanor statutory rape. 

For another, because we all increasingly—and kids almost exclusively—rely on social media to conduct our family, social, business, and, yes, sexual lives, enforcement of these laws would require NSA-like blanket surveillance and would seriously damage freedom of speech. Indeed, challengers to North Carolina’s law argue that it is an unconstitutional curtailment of sex offenders’ First Amendment rights.

And then there are the patent absurdities created by such laws—signs that legislators, in search of novel ways to torture so-called sex offenders, have abandoned consideration of efficacy or justice. In the case of underage sexting, for instance, a person is both offender and victim at the same time.
 
But here is the deeper problem: the online offender statutes—not to mention press coverage, social analysis, education, parenting advice, and general fretting that go with them—are built on nothing but fear.

 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Soon to Be Released Books on Sex Offenders


As readers of this blog know I am always looking for new books, studies and reports on Sex Offender Registries, Laws, Restrictions, Treatment, Commitment, Forgiveness and Re-entry to read and I share them all on the Books, Studies and Reports page. 

I especially ramp up on the latest reading materials right before a General Assembly session. 

I recently came across 5 books and wanted to let anyone who is interested in staying current on this platform to be aware of them.
1.      Innovations and Advancements in Sex Offender Research By Wesley Jennings, November 2014
2.     Sex Crime (Crime and Society Series) By Terry Thomas, Re-Released December 2015 (Originally Published in 2005) 
3.     Treatment of Sex Offenders: Strengths and Weaknesses in Assessment and Intervention By D. Richard Laws Available February 2016
4.     Social Work with Sex Offenders: Making a Difference (Social Work in Practice) By Steve Myers Available April 2016      
5.     Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control (Critical Issues in Crime and Society) By Diana Rickard Available June 2016  

Mary

Sunday, December 6, 2015

TruTV Show: Adam Ruins Everything – Polygraphs are Pseudoscience

CBS This Morning December 5, 2015
 
Yesterday while watching the CBS Morning Show I learned about a new television show that uses comedy to skewer misconceptions. 

So last night we watched the first 6 episodes OnDemand, the premise is great..... take on myths, urban legends, fallacies and issues that you had no idea were built on lies, fear and/or to fill people’s pockets..... and he lampoons these misconceptions with facts, statistics and historical data (noted in upper right corner through each segment)! 
 
One segment was on polygraphs and I wanted to share.
Adam Ruins Everything - Why Lie Detectors Don't Detect Lies

Enjoy! 

Mary Devoy

Saturday, December 5, 2015

VA-DOC: What is the Recidivism Rate for Virginia’s RSO’s? What About for SVP’s? How Much Do RSO’s Pay for Polygraphs, How Often are They Mandated to Take Them and Does VA-DOC Require ANY Other Offenders to Submit to Polygraphs? What About GPS, How Much Do Virginia RSO’s Have to Pay?


On November 16, 2015 I submitted a FOIA request to the Virginia Department of Corrections and on December 4, 2015 I received their response. 

My submission was triggered after I reviewed and compared five years of the VA-DOC’s report “Continuing a Balanced Approach to Public Safety through the Healing Environment”. There were tally’s that I expected to be included in this report that weren’t and there were tallies that used to be reported back in 2011 that had not been documented for years. 

Virginia’s Recidivism Rate for former Offenders is tracked and published by the VA-DOC every year in 2012 it was 26.1% and in 2015 it was 22.8% within 3 years of release. 

The biggest question I had out of my 15 inquiries (see below) was what is the recidivism rate for Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) in Virginia?  In 2011 it was 22% of which 3.7% was a new sexual-offense and in 2012 it was 17.5% of which 2.14% was a new sexual-offense and then the VA-DOC stopped publishing this information in their annual report. Why? 

The second set of numbers that I really wanted to know was out of the total number (which the VA-DOC does track) of Sexually Violent Predators (SVP’s) who were conditionally released from Civil Commitment (Virginia Center Behavioral Rehabilitation -VCBR) how many violated the terms of their release (Probation)? 

And the third set of numbers/data that I really wanted to know was about the cost and regularity of “treatment” sessions and polygraphs. I have heard from many RSO’s over the last 8 years who have been required to pay excessive amounts for court-mandated treatment sessions, PPG tests, GPS Monitoring and Polygraphs. This is all on top of court costs, court fines, Probation fees (including drug-testing) and Victim Restitution while attempting to maintain employment as an RSO because your employer is posted on the VSP Registry. And I have also heard from RSO’s who were “violated” by their VA-DOC Probation Officer after they failed a polygraph, so I really wanted to know the VA-DOC Polygraph process and penalties.
 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Citizens, Advocates AND RSO’s Show Up at the Massachusetts General Assembly Session to Oppose “Feel Good” Sex Offender Bills, By Using Facts


For readers/supporters who have thought about coming to Richmond during our annual General Assembly session to speak ‘for’ and ‘against’ Sex Offender Legislation and always find a reason not to make the trip, you need to read the below article from Massachusetts. 

I’ve said it for 7 session and this coming January will be my 8th session, the more faces, voices and families that the Virginia Legislators see and hear from who are opposing these hate-based, knee-jerk and punitive bills the more quickly we will see reform happen. 

Showing up, speaking out and doing it year after year does make a difference while making an excuse on why you can’t (or won’t) attend Virginia G.A. hearings gives the Legislators the ability to ignore you, your family and the collateral consequences that come with ever new restriction, regulation and mandate. 

Once you take that first step of showing up, the rest is easy.  

Mary Devoy
 

Lawmakers weighing sex offender bills urged to consider supports, stigmas, December 2, 2015
By Katie Lannan
State House News Service
A host of bills dealing with sex offender registration encountered pushback Tuesday from advocates and offenders who urged lawmakers to consider whether the measures were meant to prevent recidivism or to serve as additional punishments.

BOSTON - A host of bills dealing with sex offender registration encountered pushback Tuesday from advocates and offenders who urged lawmakers to consider whether the measures were meant to prevent recidivism or to serve as additional punishments. 

Legislation now before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary includes measures that would establish restrictions on where certain sex offenders can live or spend time, and other proposals that would make more information available about some offenders.