Friday, September 25, 2015

Action Item Against Any Legislation from the October 2015 VSP Report -The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registry Requirements on Public Safety

This year the Virginia Legislature did NOT move forward a bill SJ282 for the Virginia Secretary of Homeland Security to study the Virginia Sex Offender Registry.  

The Virginia State Crime Commission or even an independent group like the Governors Parole Review Commission would have been a better choice in my opinion but a thorough study (9+ months) of the last 20 years of the Virginia State Police (VSP) Registry, the regulations and the restrictions by an unbiased group is what Virginia deserved, like Connecticut is doing. Where public meetings are held, experts in the field of Sex Offender sentencing, treatment and reintegration present research and proven processes and where members of the public can make comments. 

Well, that’s all a distant dream now. 

The Virginia State Police has whipped together a report to the Governor AND the Senate Committee on Rules that they have the gall to title The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registry Requirements on Public Safety$file/RD247.pdf
As of December 2015 the DLS link no longer works as the document has been removed from the Internet. The Full Report can be read here 
In the end the VSP has used this report cloaked under the extremely misleading title as their wish-list for the state of Virginia to be become certified as Federal Adam Walsh Act/SORNA compliant by the SMART Office and to make their job (the VSP) easier by removing all those annoying “trigger dates” (when the law became the law and applies to RSO’s from then on but not before). 

Also the Department that is tasked with the monitoring and managing of the Registry and those listed upon it is the very last group that should pull together a report on its "effectiveness". Outside sources should be evaluating the VSP, our Registry, our RSO’s and our laws. 

You don’t put somebody in charge of a job, when they have a conflict of interest. 

Now, I’m not saying this report is not worthy of consideration BUT I find approximately 75% of it to be biased. (I cover the specific points below) 

I have asked the Governor’s office and all the Virginia Legislators running for re-election in November not to react with knee-jerk legislation in January 2016. 

I have asked them all to take this report and form a 12-30 month study of the Virginia Sex Offender Registry by a multidisciplinary group like the Parole Commission. Where experts from all points of this field give presentations to the group and proposals and solutions are discussed and considered. 

I am asking all of you to please contact Governor McAuliffe asking him to form this Commission or Taskforce to begin an extensive study in 2016 AND to veto any legislation that passes the G.A. January-March 2016 that comes from this VSP Report until a thorough study is complete. Ask Governor McAuliffe