Thursday, April 28, 2016

On April 23rd Virginia State Police & US Marshal’s Conducted Operation “Check and Balance” in Tidewater Area for Registered Sex Offenders Who are NOT Wanted, NOT Absconded and NOT Considered Non-Compliant

The Virginia State Police (VSP) who is the official monitor and manager of Virginia Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) who are NOT incarcerated and who are not under VA-DOC supervision are required by Virginia law to show up at every RSO’s residence two times per year. If an RSO changes their address, then the VSP goes out to confirm that change. If an RSO changes their employer information, then the VSP goes out to confirm that change. The total number of in-person checks done every year is noted in the VSP’s annual Sex Offender Monitoring Report . 

The VA-DOC is supposedly responsible for the residential and employment checks of RSO's under VA-DOC supervision but the VSP has been known to do residential checks too. 

Any RSO who is Non-Compliant, Wanted or Missing/Absconded deserves US Marshal involvement, but RSO's who are simply under VSP and VA-DOC supervision, do NOT! 

For US Marshal’s to jump in and do spot checks on compliant RSO's is a waste of Federal resources and every time they do these "sweeps" they send out a media report to hype up the fact that RSO's are in our communities and we should fear them all. 

Has anyone seen one of these "sweeps"? Multiple vehicles pull up at an RSO's address/place of work and US Marshal's in flak-jackets with weapons on their hips along with VSP folks swarm. It appears like a crime is in process and it attracts the attention of everyone in the area. Not only is the RSO a spectacle in this but their spouse, parents, room-mates and children are too. These sweeps have occurred during family reunions, picnics, birthday parties and holidays (Halloween). This intimating and unnecessary display of force by Federal and State authorities for Virginians who are NOT wanted or absconded keeps these citizens from ever being able to successfully become contributing members of society because their neighbors, family, co-workers and employers see such an operation and add more distance because they are embarrassed and their fear has been re-elevated, for no justified reason. 

How many of these RSO's actually lose their job after one of these spectacles occurs?  

The employers and the co-workers never want to have to experience that again so the RSO is let-go, not for non-compliance but because of the chaos the VSP and US Marshal's create for our RSO's with these "sweeps".  

Employment for RSO's is critical in keeping recidivism rates low and yet these "sweeps" that the US Marshal’s claim is keeping society safe is actually taking stable Offenders and making them unstable which makes society less safe. 

In this particular sweep 200 Virginia RSO's (Offenders) were checked, 165 were confirmed compliant and 22 were "non-verified", this could mean they were at work, at school, at the store or on vacation when the US Marshal’s arrived, this does NOT mean they have done anything wrong. So of the 13 Offenders left of the 200 if they are non-compliant it would be for one of 2 reasons.  
  1. It could be a VSP, VA-DOC or local authority’s error like I have posted about numerous times on my blog, shared with Virginia Legislators, the Administration and Virginia over the last 8 years.
  2. Or it could be intentional by the Offender.
Either way the end result will be felony charges and most likely a new conviction for the Offender, if it was intentional then they deserve the consequences but if it was an administrative error which occurs way too often within the VSP, VA-DOC or local authorities then the Offender has become collateral damage of the current registry system that I have been saying need reform for the last 8 years. But it all makes for good news, the details of these sweeps, who is actually being intimated and shamed (spouses, children, co-workers) and that “non-compliance” could be the fault of the VSP or VADOC not of the Offender is never noted as its inconsequential to the public.  

Mary Devoy

U.S. Marshals, state police unable to locate 22 convicted sex offenders in Hampton Roads, April 28, 2016