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Saturday, July 30, 2016

NY Times: Punishment That Doesn’t Fit the Crime By Eric Berkowitz


Opinion: Punishment That Doesn’t Fit the Crime, July 30, 2016
By Eric Berkowitz

San Francisco — When Matthew Grottalio was 10 years old, he and his older brother initiated a touching “game” with their 8-year-old sister. “None of us knew what we were doing,” he said, and he soon forgot about the episode. But later that year, 1998, his sister’s teacher found out and notified the authorities. Just weeks after Matthew’s 11th birthday, police officers handcuffed him outside his fifth-grade classroom. 

Matthew and his parents agreed to a guilty plea in exchange for two years of probation, which he spent in a foster home. (His brother also pleaded guilty.) When he returned to his family, they were stunned to learn that he was listed on the Texas sex offender registry website, and would be for 10 years. He was just 13 years old. Neighbors threw a Molotov cocktail at his house and shot and killed his family’s dog. Local newspapers listed him by name along with adult sex offender “monsters” in the area. 

He soon “hated life, hated everybody.” Their sons’ ordeals shattered their parents’ marriage of two decades. Matthew dropped out of high school, ran away, was homeless for two years, sank into drugs and served time for burglary and parole violations. 

His decade on the registry had ended by 2011, but internet searches continued to show him on the list — and still do. Even worse, his parole included restrictions suitable to a serial child rapist. He was barred from any unsupervised and unapproved contacts with people under 17, and from any contact with his sister, who was by then an adult. (She says she never considered him a threat.) He also was barred from contact with the children of the woman he married in 2013. Even contact with the baby the couple had together was in limbo until he passed a sex offender evaluation.
 

PROTECT’s Virginia Child Protection Accountability System is Intentionally 'Hazardous' to Virginia Judge’s Careers

PROTECT (which is based out of Tennessee) has favorite Virginia Legislators to get Their Legislation proposed at the annual VA General Assembly session for their Legislative Liaison Camille Cooper (who resides in VA). 

This is the same organization who’s PROTECT Act in Washington D.C. has allowed for administrative warrants for sexual charges across the country and who lobby for Alicia’s Law from state-to-state. 

They take great pride in strong-arming, having their supporters flood Legislators phone lines, and shaming Legislators in Committee meetings and to the media who don’t immediately side with PROTECT. PROTECT’s supporters regularly leave Facebook messages suggesting death by the States or by the public, physical castration and forced organ donation for RSO’s and PROTECT allows such vigilante and criminal comments to remain on their site. PROTECT itself has gleefully stated that RSO’s who are sent to prison will get what’s coming to them by being raped by other inmates. Nice, huh? 

Since starting this blog in 2013 I have mentioned Camille Cooper a few times:
Ø       November 5, 2015            http://goo.gl/Kd1ZEX
Ø       August 29, 2015                http://goo.gl/IdJ5Mi
Ø       April 25, 2014                     http://goo.gl/KM9UbY
Ø       December 8, 2013            http://goo.gl/M4KVsT 

Well a few years back (in 2012) PROTECT got a Bill passed to create the Virginia Child Protection Accountability System. Everyone (Legislators, Governor, Virginia Judges, etc) knew that the data gathered from this “system” would be used against Virginia Judges by PROTECT during the Judges reappointment hearings by the General Assembly if PROTECT didn’t like the sentences being given by the judges in sex crime cases. I sat in the 2012 Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission meetings while the Judges discussed the true intent of the new law/system and I posted about those meetings on my old website which is no longer accessible. Now in 2016/2017 PROTECT is in Minnesota trying to get the same system implemented.

2 days ago on PROTECT’s Facebook page they posted a message to their supporters and then a second message the next day on how Judges have in fact changed their sentencing because of the Virginia Accountability System, not because the evidence or defendant warrant the change. 
 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Action Item: It’s Time to Eliminate the Virginia State Police USPS Certified Letters for Registered Sex Offender Re-Registrations and Save Half a Million Dollars Each Year




This post is Part 7 of If You Risk Nothing, You Gain Nothing…. http://goo.gl/r4QhA6. 

#12 of my 28 Legislative Fixes (or Goals) has always been to eliminate the Virginia State Police USPS Certified Letters for Registered Sex Offender Re-Registrations which would save the State more than Half a Million Dollars EVERY year. 

Instead of the VSP printing, processing and mailing USPS certified letters to every Virginia RSO 1-4 times per year we’d move to a rotating schedule for re-registration based on the RSO’s DOB. 

In 2015 postage for Virginia State Police SO re-registration letters was $10.48 per letter, for a total of  $584,333.00 on JUST postage to mail out 55,757 USPS Certified re-registration letters to our RSO’s the cost of printing and stuffing is an unknown. 

For the last 8 years there have been numerous examples of re-registration letters never arriving at their destination (for a myriad of reasons beyond the recipient’s control) or arriving with less than 2 days to comply that I have previously posted about on this blog (http://goo.gl/v3CCBx , http://goo.gl/5KDbVY , http://goo.gl/jtfmIk) and/or emailed the Virginia Legislators about. Plus………. back in 2010 or 2011 the Virginia State Police arbitrarily REMOVED the next re-registration date from every RSO’s VSP online posting so RSO’s can no longer look up when to expect their next letter. Without their certified letter in-hand the VSP and local police/sheriff’s will NOT allow them to re-register. 

There are States that set the re-registration months for their RSO’s based on their date-of-birth, their last name and how often they must register. Then the RSO knows year-in-and-year-out when their re-registration is due and it never changes. 

Virginia could easily switch to a rotating re-registration system with preset re-registration dates.
  1. Those with last names beginning with A-L register from the 1st to the 15th of the month.
  2. Those with last names beginning with M-Z register from the 16th to the last day of the month.
  3. The below list would be posted on the VSP website.
  4. The below list would be handed out during VSP Residency Checks and In-Barrack Re-registrations for 6 to 9 months notifying all RSO’s that re-registration letters will stop going out and the first batch of handouts would have the start date of no more letters being mailed out.
  5. Copies of the below list would be stacked on the counter at every VSP Barracks.
  6. And the next re-registration due date for all RSO’s would be put back on every Offenders VSP On-line Posting.
  7. Some Offenders might re-register back-to back months when it first starts and some may go a bit longer than 6 or 12 months but it will all even out after the first year.
 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Child Porn Gets Longer Sentences than Rape, Molestation - By Jessica DaSilva



In the U.S. those who view/posses Child Pornography receive longer prison sentences than those who molest, rape and/or torture the child who is in the Child Pornography (see below article). 

I agree with everything in the article below…… but I also believe there is another reason why the viewers get charged and convicted much more heavily. 

It’s because there are more Viewers/Possessors than there are Producers/Molesters and the U.S. wants to capture, convict and label the larger population.  

Where do I get that from? 

Well in the last 10 years the U.S. hasn’t taken ANY significant steps to eliminate Child Pornography on the Internet, they’ve actually commandeered some existing Child Pornography websites and then operated them calling them ‘stings’ to be able to convict more viewers. Whereas the UK in the last 3 years has taken MANY significant steps to reduce and hopefully one day eliminate all online Child Pornography. 

The U.S. isn’t interested in eliminating online Child Pornography; if they were they’d be following the UK’s lead or maybe even leading the way for the UK 

Convictions, Funding, Grants and Press releases touting Online Sexual Predators Captured is a business for Prosecutors, Judges, Politicians, DOC’s, DOC-Vendors, U.S. Marshal’s, ICAC’s, Victims Groups. 

It’s become too big; the U.S. has become dependent on it. How? We churn the viewers/possessors through the Federal and State courts, then onto prison, if ever released then into probation, court-ordered therapy, GPS monitoring, polygraphs, PPG tests, then the court-fines today include ICAC and Victim Grant funding support, Federal laws allow for Victim-Restitution……………………..and then they are dumped onto one of the 50 State Sex Offender Registries for that State to monitor and manage (most likely for life) and if the RSO makes one administrative mistake they face a new felony and are churned through the entire system all over again. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 

Mary Devoy
  

Child Porn Gets Longer Sentences than Rape, Molestation, July 27, 2016
By Jessica DaSilva

Discrepancies in sentencing for sexual offenses often reflect the difficulty prosecutors face in trying contact crimes versus pornography possession at both the state and federal levels, several law professors told Bloomberg BNA.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

TheHill.com: Marking Kids for Life on Sex Offender Registries - By Nicole Pittman, Eli Lehrer, Stacie Rumenap


Marking kids for life on sex offender registries, July 25, 2016
By Nicole Pittman, Eli Lehrer, Stacie Rumenap

For decades, our country has been putting children as young as 8 years old on sex-offender registries. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are registered for things they did as kids, their entire lives tainted by youthful indiscretions as common as streaking or teenage Romeo and Juliet romances.  

While lawmakers may not have been aware of the destructive consequences when they the passed registration laws, including the federal Adam Walsh Act, that include kids from the juvenile courts, new research confirms, definitively, registering youth is not an effective response — under any circumstance. It doesn’t make the community safer and it certainly doesn’t get at the root of the problem.  Yet, 39 states and the federal government continue to do it. This July, lawmakers will markup the Adam Walsh Act, and it’s time to correct course. 
 

Lenore Skenazy: Bogus ‘Sex Offender’ Labels are Ruining Lives


The Virginia State Police (official monitor and manager of Virginia RSO’s) does NOT track the number of juveniles on the VSP Sex Offender Registry which means the number of children each year mandated to publicly register as Violent Sex Offenders for life is unknown. 

Just this past Saturday I sent an email to all 138 (2 vacant seats at the moment) Virginia Legislators with a rundown of how other States handle juveniles convicted of sex crimes and 2 proposals to reform juvenile registration in Virginia, I received some positive replies that same day.  
 
We must continue to work towards reform in Virginia!

Mary Devoy

 
Bogus ‘sex offender’ labels are ruining lives, July 25, 2016
By Lenore Skenazy

What’s the most common age of sex-offenders? 

It’s not a trick question, but unless you follow this stuff closely you’ll almost certainly answer wrong. 

In fact, most people are shocked to learn that the most common age of people charged with a sex offense isn’t a creepy 39, or 51. 

It’s 14. 

That’s right. As the US Bureau of Justice reports: “The single age with the greatest number of offenders from the perspective of law enforcement was age 14.” 
 

Editorial: A Chance to Get Sex Offender Laws (in Illinois) Right


A year ago I wrote an editorial that Virginia needs to study the last 20 years of the VSP Sex Offender Registry and all the laws directed towards those listed on it.  

Since then I’ve been lobbying the Virginia Legislature to do just that. 

I’ve also posted (http://goo.gl/S1SEpa  http://goo.gl/lNkGg5 ) about Connecticut because they’ve given themselves 2.5 years to study their Sex Offender Registry. 

Well, now Illinois has a Bill sitting on the Governors desk (see editorial below) waiting to be signed that would create a Task Force to study how their Sex Offender Registry could be improved. 

Come on Virginia, it’s time for us to take a serious look at the last 21 years of our Sex Offender Registry and all the restrictions and regulations that have been implemented since it’s creation.  

Mary Devoy
 

Editorial: A chance to get sex offender laws right, July 25, 2016

When the 19-year-old son of Tonia Maloney of Downstate Fairview Heights had sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend, he was forced to register as a sex offender. He was a legal adult and she was a minor. 

Police told his employer to fire him, and when he found a job in a new town, the police there ran him off, too. 
 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Virginia Senator Uses VSP Registry Data to Shame Volunteer Advocate and Her Husband to Committee Members During General Assembly Hearings


Starting in May 2016 I began requesting meetings with 14 Virginia Delegates and Senators, some were newly elected, some have been around for a couple years and some I have been trying to get a meeting with for the last 5 years. 

From mid-May to today of the 14 requests I have sat down with 5 Virginia Legislators for 30 to 60 minutes and my husband was able to attend 3 of those meetings with me. 

I am pleased to say that all 5 of these meetings went very well and we’ve had some very bad meetings with Virginia Legislators or their Legislative Assistants over the last 7 years…..so I know a bad meeting when it happens. 

Of the remaining 9 requests that I have made, 2 have flat-out refused to meet with me because I’m not their constituent. It was funny because I ran into one of them this past Monday while we were waiting to go into a meeting and I reintroduced myself to him because he acted like he had no idea who I was or what my platform is about.  

1 other out of the 9 replied that they only schedule meetings during session, so I’ll be scheduling a meeting with her in January 2017. 

I will continue to try to get the other 6 requests booked before Thanksgiving, 2 of them I’ve been trying to meet with for the last 7 years. 

I considered posting which Virginia Delegates/Senators have flat-out refused to meet with me or the ones who just give me the run-around year in and year out........thinking that perhaps those of you who are their constituents could contact them and ask them to meet with me but I’ve decided against that. I will just keep chiseling-away at them and hope one day they will agree to a meeting with me on reforming the VSP Registry and our sexual statutes. 

BUT I am going to name one Virginia Legislator here today because I have learned just how petty and juvenile they have been towards me and my husband during Senate Courts of Justice Committee meetings over the years. 

I was advised by a Virginia Senator that their colleague Senator Tom Garrett (who is currently running for the U.S. Congress) has pulled up my husbands VSP Registry photograph during past GA session Senate Courts of Justice Committee meetings and showed it to the other members of the Committee while I’m speaking to the Committee or while my husband was speaking to the Committee (because I was down the hall covering a House Committee meeting). 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Did You Watch the Documentary Pervert Park on PBS?


Did you get to watch the documentary Pervert Park on PBS earlier this week? 

I did and if you didn’t I highly recommend you catch it on PBS.com while it’s still available until August 10th. After that you’ll have to wait for it to come out on DVD and as of today there is no known release date. 

Mary
 

Watch Pervert Park 53:44 -                                    http://www.pbs.org/video/2365798976/
Watch Filmmakers Interview 17:29 -                http://www.pbs.org/video/2365800372/ 

 

November 8th 2016: Special Election for Two Virginia Senate Seats, 1st and 5th Districts


Why are there two Virginia Senate seats on the ballot during the November 8, 2016 Federal Election? 

  1. On April 5, 2016            Virginia Senator John Miller of the 1st District died.
  2. On May 3, 2016             Virginia Senator Kenneth Alexander of the 5th District was elected Mayor of Norfolk. 
The Virginia Board of Elections recently posted the candidates for the November 8th elections. 

Virginia Senate 1st District includes:
·         Hampton City (Part)
·         Newport News City (Part)
·         York County (Part)
·         Williamsburg City
·         James City County (Part)
·         Suffolk City (Part) 
 

Do You Know Who the Congressional Candidates in Your District Are for the November 8th 2016 Election?


First, a few quick reminders for everyone: 

There are 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (Congress) and 100 members of the U.S. Senate. 

November 2016 is not an election year for any of the 140 State Representative seats in Virginia, or the Governor or the Attorney General but it is a year for almost all of our Federal Representatives in Washington D.C. 

Virginia has a total of 11 Congressional Districts/Seats and one of them represents you! Virginia also has 2 Senate Districts/Seats in Washington D.C. and they both represent you! 

Do you know who your Congress Member is? (Look them up; they’ll be the last one on the page).   

Members of U.S. Congress run for re-election every two years and members of the U.S. Senate run every 6 years. 

OK……. 

                There are two Virginia Congressional Representatives who are retiring at the end of 2016:  
1.       Robert Hurt-              R                            the 5th District of Virginia
2.      Scott Rigell-                R                             the 2nd District of Virginia 

And after the June 14th Primary Virginia Congressman J. Randy Forbes-R the 4th District of Virginia lost the GOP nominee so his 4th District seat will be filled by a new Representative. 

The remaining Virginia Congressional Representatives all running for re-election this November and they are: 

3.      Donald Beyer -          D                             the  8th District of Virginia
4.      Dave Brat -                R                              the 7th District of Virginia
5.      Barbara Comstock-  R                              the 10th District of Virginia
6.      Gerry Connolly-        D                             the 11th District of Virginia
7.       Bob Goodlatte-         R                              the 6th District of Virginia
8.      Morgan Griffith-       R                             the 9th District of Virginia
9.      Bobby Scott-              D                             the 3rd District of Virginia
10.   Robert Wittman-     R                            the 1st District of Virginia                       

Neither of Virginia’s U.S. Senators is up for reelection in 2016. Senator Tim Kaine-D doesn’t run again until 2018 and Senator Mark Warner-D doesn’t run again until 2020. 

The Virginia Board of Elections recently posted the candidates for the November 8th elections. 

The non-incumbent House candidates are:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

NCMEC’s RSO Counts: What State Adds the Most Registered Sex Offenders to Their Registry Every Month, Week and Day? How About the Least?

Since the NCMEC June 2016 RSO Map came out on July 6th and I broke down those numbers into per capita I was wondering how much each states growth fluctuated according to NCMEC.
 
I wondered what each States per month, per week and per day RSO growth rate is. AND how does NCMEC’s RSO’s growth rate compare to the States population growth rate and their incarceration rate.
 
So I charted all of it (see below).
 
Did you know according to NCMEC that….
  1. Florida added an average of 299 Registered Sex Offenders to their Registry every month making them #1 in RSO growth compared to their #4 overall population growth and their #3 incarceration rate.
  2. Texas added an average of 296 Registered Sex Offenders to their Registry every month making them #2 in RSO growth which is the same for their overall population growth and their #1 in incarceration rates.
  3. Pennsylvania added an average of 150 Registered Sex Offenders to their Registry every month making them #3 in RSO growth compared to their #6 overall population growth and their #5 incarceration rate.
  4. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Vermont and Wyoming had no Registry growth in the last 12 months
  5. Oregon is #6 in RSO growth for the last 12 months but they are #27 in both overall population growth and incarceration rate.
  6. Ohio is #43 in RSO growth for the last 12 months but they are #7 in both overall population growth and incarceration rate.
  7. Michigan is #9 across all 3 counts.
  8. Virginia has 2.62% of the entire country’s RSO count, is #10 in RSO growth in the last 12 months, #10 in incarceration and #12 in overall population growth.
 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Virginia: They've been living in shacks by the water in Norfolk. Now they have to go — but where? By Eric Hartley


As a Registered Sex Offender the Veteran’s Affair Housing voucher proposal below is a false hope, RSO’s do NOT qualify. 

If any Re-entry folks who check this blog can help this compliant RSO in Norfolk find a new location please use the contact information at the end of the article. 

Thank you. 

Mary Devoy 

 

They've been living in shacks by the water in Norfolk. Now they have to go — but where? July 9, 2016
By Eric Hartley

NORFOLK -Officially, the prime spit of waterfront property off the Campostella Bridge – valued at $1.6 million – has been vacant for years.

A plan to build 246 apartments there, approved by the city in 2011, fell through. 

But unbeknownst to the owners, the land has already been occupied. 

Gina Gallegos and her boyfriend, Phil Routson, arrived 18 months ago and claimed a large clearing in the trees. Gino Linn Reid has lived next door, deeper into the woods, for four years. 

By most definitions, they’re homeless. But the homes they’ve made just east of the bridge on the south side of the Elizabeth River go far beyond tents in the woods. 

Routson built a shack out of leftover pallets from cabinet and lumber stores down the road and bought a gas generator for power. Reid, a registered sex offender who’s spent 16 years in prison , made a frame from driftwood and draped it with tarps. Inside, he has carpets, a gas grill, two couches, a sink, a battery-operated TV and a small tent – where he sleeps. Outside are stone steps and a brick walkway. 
 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Sundance Award Documentary 'Pervert Park' on Pinellas Sex Offenders comes to PBS Monday July 11th


As of today the documentary Pervert Park (This unflinching documentary examines the often-difficult lives of convicted sex offenders, who must cope with vilification and severe restrictions on their public movements long after their sentences have been served) has an unknown release date on Netflix, so if you want you can catch it next Monday way  before it’s available on DVD. 

Mary Devoy
 

Documentary 'Pervert Park' on Pinellas sex offenders comes to PBS, July 8, 2016
By Steve Persall

Pervert Park casts an unblinking eye on these residents, describing their crimes upon children, or else falling for online stings. A few suggest they could do it again. 

The documentary, debuting Monday on PBS, asks viewers to empathize with them, adjusting to pariah life after prison.

"The goal was just to give these people a voice," filmmaker Frida Barkfors said by telephone from Denmark, where she and collaborating husband Lasse live. 

"Then whatever you hear as an audience, what you choose to take with you, or whatever emotion you feel is completely up to you." 

The filmmakers' daring approach to the topic earned Pervert Park a Special Jury Award for Impact at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. 

"Normally (the topic is) presented in a black and white perspective, very one-dimensional," she said. "We wanted to make it more complex, because that's what reality is." 
 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

50 States Per Capita for Registered Sex Offenders, As of June 2016 Oregon is #1 and Virginia is #22


I am so over Excel charts! This is my last chart for a while folks. 

Since the NCMEC June 2016 Map came out yesterday, the per capita chart I made during the 2016 Virginia GA session per the request of a Virginia Delegate needed to be revised. 

NCMEC gives the 100,000 per capita numbers but that really doesn’t mean much to most folks, they need something a bit more tangible. So I took the idea from my Virginia State Police Registry Growth chart where I calculate 1 out of every Adult Male in the State. 

Now, not every Registered Sex Offender is a Male, in Virginia approximately 5% of the VSP Registry is female. 

Also not every Registered Sex Offender is an adult; there are juveniles in most States who are Registered Sex Offenders. Plus there are States with Private Registries and NCMEC doesn’t state anywhere if their official count is including juveniles or private lists. Finally NCMEC claims their Registered Sex Offender count does NOT include incarcerated Registered Sex Offenders, well what about civilly committed SVP’s? We don’t know. 

So this Per Capita Chart (see below) is as good as the NCMEC data is. 

There aren’t any big changes in per capita since December 2015 but I’ve included that chart too for anyone who is interested in comparing them. 

Oregon is still #1 per capita for Registered Sex Offenders. One out of every 140 person is an RSO and one out of every 53 Adult Male is a Registered Sex Offender. 

New Mexico moved up the most by 3 spots and South Carolina dropped the most by 7 spots. 

Maryland is the lowest US State (not US Territory) at #52. One out of every 855 person is an RSO and one out of every 321 Adult Male is a Registered Sex Offender.