Friday, January 23, 2015

New Book in April 2015 - Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us by Emily Horowitz

I just preordered my copy (see below)! I’ve also added it to the Books, Studies, Reports page. 

At the moment I’m 1/3 the way through The Autism Spectrum, Sexuality and the Law: What every parent and professional needs to know, an excellent read and the first I’ve found on this topic. 


Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us by Emily Horowitz
Release Date April 30, 2015 


Do sex offender laws protect children, or are they inherently unfair practices that, at their worst, promote vigilante justice? The latter, this book argues. By analyzing the social, political, historical, and cultural context surrounding the emergence of current sex offender policies and laws, the work shows how sex offenders have come to loom as greater-than-life monsters when, in many cases, that is not true at all. Looking at its subject from a fresh viewpoint, the book shares research and new analyses of data and qualitative evidence to show how sex-offender laws are not only ineffective, but engender destructive fear and anxiety.  

To help readers understand the impact of these laws, the author presents interviews with sex offenders and their families as they describe the day-to-day reality of living on the sex offender registry. Citing research and statistics, the book challenges the idea that sex offenders must be continually monitored and publicly identified because they are incurably predatory. Most important, the study shows that undue sex offender panic is preventing policymakers from addressing the true threats to children—poverty and growing inequality. 

Is It Illegal for a Virginia Registered Sex Offender to Use Facebook to Connect with Friends, Family and Loved Ones Across the Country?

Be sure to read the newest (January 2018) post on Facebook accounts for Virginia RSO's,

Original Post:

One of the more popular questions I get from readers is about having a Facebook account as an RSO in Virginia. 

Before I cover the law in Virginia let me first make a disclaimer. 

If you are under VADOC Probation supervision or under court-mandated Sex offender therapy you have a separate set of rules that you must follow that could result in criminal charges if you break them and you need to refer to your specific rules and not just Virginia law to confirm if you are in compliance. 


Virginia Code says under Registration Procedures for Sex Offenders
Section G - 30 minutes following any change of electronic mail address information, any instant message, chat or other Internet communication name or identity information that the person uses or intends to use 

Any changeincludes the creation or the deletion of any Email Address, Instant Messenger Name, Identity or Address. 

1. As an RSO in Virginia you must register EVERY email address you have access to, period! 

2. Virginia law does not require an RSO to register their social media accounts or chat-room accounts to the Virginia State Police (VSP) including but not limited to:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterist
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • eHarmony
3. In Virginia it is not a crime for an RSO to have a Facebook account, but in some other states it is

Note: Such laws have been overturned by the courts as unconstitutional:
o        Nebraska
o        Louisiana
o        California (email addresses too)
o        Indiana
o        North Carolina