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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Waiting for VSP Re-Registration Letter to Arrive and Only 7 Business Days to Comply with Virginia Law or Face a Felony Charge for Originally a Misdemeanor Conviction


Dear Virginia Delegates, Senators and Administration, 

Good evening. 

As many of you may remember from past years October is re-registration month for my husband who is a Non-Violent Registered Sex Offender on the VSP Registry and with that come all the what if’s. This year (every 2 years) his VSP photograph is due to be renewed those of you in office back in 2013 may remember my email to all of you titled The VSP refused to take my husbands photograph today which was not a pleasant experience. I go with him every year to see how our RSO’s are being treated and 2013 was a very bad year for the VSP for a check-up. 

The Virginia State Police mail out USPS certified letters every 30, 90 or 180 days OR annually (Non-Violent RSO’s) to those listed on the VSP Registry depending on their conviction and/or if they have any failures-to-register.  

In 2015 these VSP letters cost $10.48 each, 55,757 were mailed-out at a cost of $584,333 JUST for the postage.  
I’ve been proposing for a few years now, to eliminate these wasteful USPS letters, but so far no Virginia Legislator has been willing to propose the needed legislation because of Virginia Code.  

When the USPS delivery-person does have the letter they may or may not bother coming up to the door to see if the RSO is home to get the mandated signature. Only the RSO can sign for the certified-letter (not their spouse, parent, child or room-ate), so if the RSO is at work the letter sits at the local Post Office waiting to be picked up (during working hours). 

So by our estimates he has until October 20, 2016 to re-register or face a felony per Virginia statute. Remember the VSP Barracks hours of operation are Mon-Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm (during working hours for most RSO’s), no evenings no weekends and no holidays AND per VSP Policy without the USPS certified letter in-hand an RSO is NOT allowed to re-register OR submit to being photographed. 

According to a 2009 FOIA I submitted to the State Police we know that the certified letters are computer generated, in the event of a weekend or holiday the letters are printed AFTER, not before and they are taken to the Post Office 10-12 days prior to the due date, no adjustments are made for weekends or holidays and a due date could land on a weekend or a holiday 

So it’s 7:30PM on October 11th and our mail delivery has not yet arrived and yesterday was a holiday, Columbus Day. If our estimate of October 20th is correct that means ONLY 7 business days are left to receive the USPS letter (during business hours) AND to get to a VSP Barracks  (during business hours) for him to re-register OR he’ll face a felony charge. Let me remind you all he’s listed on the VSP Registry for a misdemeanor 
 
Plus he should be allowed to petition the courts for removal from the VSP Registry next October (2017) but because the 2008 Virginia Legislature decided 10 years wasn’t enough for Non-Violent RSO’s to be required to register and you all  increased it to 15 years which resulted in the Virginia State Police implementing that change in law as retroactive because you didn’t include a start date (§ 9.1-901. section C) for that change, we have a minimum  of 6 more re-registrations in our household which I’ll most likely share with you because history has shown us they don’t go smoothly. 

The majority of RSO’s in Virginia have to worry about these certified letter issues 4 times a year which is just horrific when you think about all the holidays and weekends not to mention retaining employment but being subjected to the VSP’s limited hours. 

So I’ll ask again, would any Virginia Delegate or Senator like to propose legislation at the upcoming 2017 Virginia General Assembly to finally eliminate these wasteful VSP Certified Letters and move to a rotating re-registration system based on an RSO’s DOB and last name? The state would save a minimum of half-a-million dollars every year. 

Any takers? 

If his VSP letter doesn’t arrive by this Friday, I’ll be sure to let you know because then he’d just have 4 business days to receive it and comply in-person at a VSP Barracks, or he faces a felony. Is this really how you intended the re-registration system in Virginia to work? 

Sincerely,

Mary Devoy