from a variety of viewpoints will gather to examine current criminal justice
policies in Virginia.
The goal is to identify opportunities to improve safety, lower costs, and
examine policies that assist individuals with criminal records. Questions
include: Under current law, how well is justice being served? Are there
opportunities to improve the system for all?
join the Charles Koch Institute, the National Association of Criminal Defense
Lawyers, and a number of distinguished experts for panel discussions about
these timely and relevant issues.
Virginia State Crime Commission met
for the second time this year back on November 10, 2016, I
did not attend this meeting which means I missed the open discussion,
questions, additional action items and any idea of which direction (pro or con)
that eachpresentation ended on. And since Virginia does not live stream or video record
ANY open meetings or even our General Assembly Committee’s.... citizens can not go back
to review what was discussed and who appeared to be in favor or opposed what was
Restitution presentation has a lot of very interesting information. Including court data, facts about
our current process, all the current issues (like not being allowed to pay w/ a
debit or a credit card), the current amount of restitution in VA being paid and the amount that's delinquent, all the VA Departments / Groups that play a role in our current
process, the current penalties for non-payment, what other States do
to collect restitution, a recent VA
Supreme Court issuance that takes effect this coming February and the 14
VSCC proposals for reform.
method listed under “other States collection of restitution” in the presentation is Kiosk machines.
I have been proposing Sex Offender Re-Registration Kiosk machines
at all VSP locations and local sheriff/police stations for a while.
years I have been contacted by RSO’s, their spouses, their parents, their
children, their significant others, their grandparents and even their
roommates. I have been told stories of inopportune VSP residency checks that
have spoiled birthday parties, graduation gatherings, picnics, Halloween and
the list goes on.
In Virginia the Virginia
State Police (the official monitor and manager of Registered Sex Offenders who
are NOT incarcerated and who are NOT under VA-DOC Probation supervision) per VA
Code must physically verify each Registered Sex Offender’s residence semi-annually
(twice a year) and these checks are unannounced.
next few weeks these 4 new members will be assigned to Committees by the
Speaker of the House which could include either Courts of Justice Committees
which hear the majority of RSO Bills.
live in one of these Districts that have a new State Representative, be sure to
reach out to them via email or phone and introduce yourself as their
constituent. Let them know you’ll be monitoring the 2017 General Assembly, what
they patron and how they vote. Also be sure to sign up for their email
newsletters and if you’re on social media follow them to stay current on their
positions and platforms.
live in one of the 3 Districts that have a new US Representative, be sure to reach
out to them via email or phone and introduce yourself as their constituent.
When their new US
Congressional websites go live in January 2017, sign up for their email newsletters.
you live in one of the 3 State District’s that now has a vacant seat keep a
close eye on the upcoming Special Election and when it’s held, go VOTE!
Back on July
9, 2015 I posted about the Virginia State Police (VSP) website, VSP Locations(for years Icalled them Barracks but I was recently corrected
by a retired VSP member) hours of operation, VSP Sex Offender Help-Line hours
of operation and VSP observed holidays.
and a half later the VSP website still does not post VSP location hours
of operation OR observed holidays. Also the VSP locations do not post
hours of operation OR observed holidays on their front-doors OR at the main
website also does not post the phone number 804-674-2825 OR the hours of operation for the VSP Sex Offender Help Desk
(Hotline). Despite my multiple requests directly to the VSP to add this crucial
information to their website and locations.
Grady and Leibowitz recommend the following significant changes in America’s Sex
Offender Registries, all based on evidence:
Juveniles should be dropped
from “sex offender” registries – Remove All
Juveniles from VA’s Registry Goal
The length of registration
should be guided by risk assessment research- Goal #4get rid of
VA’s 2-Tiered Conviction Based System and move towards a 3, 4 or 5 Tiered
Risk-Based System http://goo.gl/nZPtFP
Discretion should be returned
to judges In VA:
Eliminate the multitude of “Sexual” Mandatory Minimums AND VA’s law that
prohibits a conviction that includes SO registration from being excluded
in a plead deal.
Residency restrictions should
be abolished- Abolish
VA’s Myth-Based Residency RestrictionsMy Goal #7 http://goo.gl/re29t3
recommendations are based upon several factors, including that while
“registries make people feel safer, the data indicate that their actual
effectiveness in preventing sexual recidivism is quite weak”. The report also
notes that federal government data show that “having to register as a sex
offender did not lead to significant reductions in sex offense recidivism”.
to the report, the “unique label of sex offender” profoundly obstructs the
ability of a registrant to successfully re-enter society due to employment
difficulties, housing disruption, relationship loss, threats and harassment as
well as property damage. The report also states that registrants often suffer
from “psychosocial symptoms” such as shame, stigma, isolation, anxiety,
depression, and hopelessness. Further, these impacts often extend to family
members who report “financial, practical, social and psychological effects” as
well as threats and harassment by community members and social rejection of
children by teachers and classmates.
you list “Notorious Cases” including photographs and names of Virginians who
were convicted years ago? By doing this the Winchester Star has made their
ability to retain housing and employment for a successful reentry back into our
communities an impossible feat.
Registered Sex Offenders is providing a pubic service, listing compliant RSO’s
is counterproductive. If they lose their rental or their job because of the publicity
you made then they can not pay for their Probation Services, their Court Fees,
their mandated SO therapy, their mandated polygraphs, GPS monitoring, their
Victim Restitution not to mention food, clothing and housing.
Virginia State Policewho monitor our
RSO’s and who own the data on the Registry from which you took this information
does NOT randomly list compliant RSO’s on their website, their Facebook page or
their Twitter account. WHY? Because it guarantees they will fail on their
"Mark B." (a pseudonym) is a Virginia RSO that contacted me 6+ months ago, and I notified all 140 Virginia Legislators, the VADOC and the Administration of how his listing on the VSP Registry and his VADOC Probation restrictions were barriers that make successful re-entries for VA's RSO's and him an impossible goal.
Mary Public Sex Offender Registry
System: Ineffective and Wasteful, October 31, 2016
Mark B. was convicted of a sexual crime, served 13 months in prison and put on
the public sex offender registry. Fearing he would be unemployable at any
meaningful job, Mark started his own company traveling to antique shows to take
old-fashioned photos for people. The business was successful, and he was proud
to provide for his family and be a contributing member of society.
it fell apart. An unknown person sent anonymous emails to his largest clients
telling them of his status and sending a link to his public registry listing.
The resulting emails to Mark severing the business relationships alluded to
"public safety" and "parent concerns." The anonymous emails
continued, and Mark faced bankruptcy. He is slowly rebuilding, but living every
day fearing his new accounts and the old ones he still has will receive a
similar email and cancel as the others did.
of the public sex offender registry say it's needed to help parents protect
their children from sexual predators, but there is no evidence it does that.
Very few registrants meet the criteria for predation. Furthermore, the vast
majority of sexual crimes, especially against children, are committed not by
those on the registry. They're committed by those close to the victims in
trusted, often familial, positions. Re-offense by those on the registry living
in the community has always been, across the board, in single digits before Megan's Law and afterwards.