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Friday, April 21, 2017

Legislative Goal #12 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Add Sexual Misdemeanor Convictions to Virginia’s Writs of Actual Innocence


And the final Goal to be posted is…………….Goal #12; Add Sexual Misdemeanor convictions to Virginia’s Writs of Actual Innocence. 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.  
 

Legislative Goal #11 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Repeal OR Amend Virginia’s 21-Day (to Recant) Rule


I’ve decided to wrap up the posting of Legislative Goals today. 

Goal #11; Repeal OR Amend Virginia’s 21-Day (to Recant) Rule. 
 

Legislative Goal #10 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Discern Teen-to-Teen Image Creation and Sharing (Sexting) in VA Code from REAL Child Pornography


Another Goal for today is #10; Discern consensual Teen-to-Teen image creation and sharing (Sexting) in VA Code from REAL Child Pornography in Virginia. 

This issue has been previously studied by the Virginia State Crime Commission but they determined that Commonwealth Attorneys were using good discretion and should be allowed to continue charging felonies where they liked. 

Sadly, there have been too many cases of felony child pornography charges filed by C.A.’s against teenagers who did not use any force, threat, intimidation or extortion across the State and the highest age group is the 13-14 year olds (see above chart). Virginia Code must be amended to prevent these life destroying charges from ruining young lives in the Commonwealth. 
 

Legislative Goal #9 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Modernize the Virginia State Police Registration Process. Plus better communications with RSO’s and for the VSP to Track/Share the data that THEY gather every year.


Today’s Goal is #9, and it has 3 parts.
  1. It’s time to modernize the VSP Registry, re-registration system and data entry.
  2. Better and more accurate communication from the VSP to our RSO’s
  3. Additional data that is already gathered by the VSP should be available either through FOIA OR included in the annual VSP Sex Offender Monitoring Report.
If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.
 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Legislative Goal #8 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Eliminate the USPS Certified letters for VSP Re-Registration and Implement a Repeating/Rotating Schedule Based on the RSO’s DOB and Last Name


Today’s Goal is #8, Eliminate the USPS Certified letters for Virginia State Police (VSP) Re-Registration and implement a repeating/rotating schedule based on all Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) DOB and last name.  

Officially this Goal could be incorporated with upcoming Goal #9, but #9 will cost a lot of money whereas #8 will save the State money. So that is why I have separated them. 

The Virginia State Police could save more than half a million dollars every year for a few years by implementing Goal #8 and then take that savings to put towards Goal #9. Yes, I know that’s not how allocated Budget monies for the VSP works, but the reality is they’d save money for a few years and then reallocate it for modernizing the current system.
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Legislative Goal #7 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Virginia Should Establish a Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB)


Today’s Goal is #7; Virginia should establish a Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.  

You could make your request via email, via phone or even schedule a meeting with your Delegate and Senator to discuss the issues that concern you as their constituent and then propose a Bill or two at that meeting.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pope Francis 2017 Easter Homily


Over the last few years I have posted the Easter and/or Christmas Homily’s by Pope Francis if they have struck a cord with me when it comes to being an advocate for an unpopular and extremely difficult platform. 

This years Easter homily has two sections that I feel captures what those listed on the U.S. Sex Offender Registries experience but also for their loved ones who are also sacrificed under the guise of public safety. 
  • “Their faces mirror the faces of women, mothers, who weep as they see the lives of their children crushed by massive corruption that strips them of their rights and shatters their dreams.  By daily acts of selfishness that crucify and then bury people’s hopes.  By paralyzing and barren bureaucracies that stand in the way of change.  In their grief, those two women reflect the faces of all those who, walking the streets of our cities, behold human dignity crucified”. 
  • Break down all the walls that keep us locked in our sterile pessimism, in our carefully constructed ivory towers that isolate us from life in our compulsive need for security and in boundless ambition that can make us compromise the dignity of others”.
 
Below is the entire homily. 

Happy Easter, everyone. 

Mary Devoy

 
Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Easter Vigil
15 April 2017

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/04/15/pope_francis_homily_at_easter_vigil,_2017/1306003

“After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb” (Mt 28:1).  We can picture them as they went on their way…  They walked like people going to a cemetery, with uncertain and weary steps, like those who find it hard to believe that this is how it all ended.  We can picture their faces, pale and tearful.  And their question: can Love have truly died?

Unlike the disciples, the women are present – just as they had been present as the Master breathed his last on the cross, and then, with Joseph of Arimathea, as he was laid in the tomb.  Two women who did not run away, who remained steadfast, who faced life as it is and who knew the bitter taste of injustice.  We see them there, before the tomb, filled with grief but equally incapable of accepting that things must always end this way.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Legislative Goal #6 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Repeal Virginia’s Myth-Based, Hate-Driven Residency Restriction Statute § 18.2-370.3.


Today’s Goal is #6, Repeal Virginia’s myth-based, hate-driven Residency Restriction Statute. 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.  

You could make your request via email, via phone or even schedule a meeting with your Delegate and Senator to discuss the issues that concern you as their constituent and then propose a Bill or two at that meeting.  

If they decline to Patron/Sponsor the Bill, ask them why 

If their concerns can be addressed, address it. If not let them know you’ll be in a touch again in a month or 2, then pick a different goal and ask them to sponsor that new proposal and if they decline, again ask them why.
 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Legislative Goal #5 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia –Determine if the Violent Registered Sex Offenders Can OR Can NOT worship in Virginia and if they CAN’T, Add an Exemption to Virginia Code for Places of Worship


Today’s Goal is #5, Determine if the Violent Registered Sex Offenders Can OR Can NOT worship in Virginia…..AND if they CAN’T, Add an exemption to Virginia Code for “Places of Worship”. 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.  

You could make your request via email, via phone or even schedule a meeting with your Delegate and Senator to discuss the issues that concern you as their constituent and then propose a Bill or two at that meeting.  

If they decline to Patron/Sponsor the Bill, ask them why.
 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Legislative Goal #4 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Move Misdemeanor/Non-Violent and Juveniles RSO’s to a Private Registry AND Automatically Remove Them Both After a Reasonable Time-frame of Perfect Compliance


Today’s Goal is #4; Move Misdemeanor/Non-Violent and Juveniles RSO’s to a Private Registry AND automatically remove them both after a reasonable time-frame (see below) of perfect compliance. 

This Goal (#4) is needed only until Goal #3 can be fulfilled in its entirety.  

This Goal (#4) is the easiest, fastest and cheapest part of Goal #3 so if there is push-back on Goal #3; Goal #4 is a compromise for the meantime. 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.   

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Legislative Goal #3 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Implement a 4 Tier/Level Risk-Based Classification System for the VSP Sex Offender Registry, Instead of the Current 2-Level Conviction Based System


Today’s Goal is #3; implement a 4 Tier/Level Risk-Based Classification System for the VSP Sex Offender Registry.  

It’s probably the most extensive Goal, the most expensive goal and I believe it’s the most important goal even though I don’ t have it listed as #1. 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.  

You could make your request via email, via phone or even schedule a meeting with your Delegate and Senator to discuss the issues that concern you as their constituent and then propose a Bill or two at that meeting.  

If they decline to Patron/Sponsor the Bill, ask them why 

If their concerns can be addressed, address them. If not let them know you’ll be in a touch again in a month or 2, then pick a different goal and ask them to sponsor that new proposal and if they decline, again ask them why. If their new concerns for the second request can be addressed, address them.
 

Monday, April 3, 2017

One Type of Legislation Has Been Continuously Filed by Virginia Legislators EVERY Year for the last 13 General Assembly Sessions Whereas Other Categories Come and Go. Can You Guess the Category?


 
Today was the first Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission meeting of 2017; they usually hold 4 meetings per year and I always attend the first one because that’s’ where they discuss Legislation from the most recent General Assembly session. The VCSC website will post the presentations/data from today’s meeting online at some point in the next few days but right now it’s not online. 

The first VCSC meeting always includes how many Bills (legislation) were filed and in what categories they fell into. 

Now the VCSC tracks the Bills that have Fiscal Impact Statements (FIS) because their staff has to provide the statements prior to, during and after session. More on FIS requirements is below for anyone who is interested. The VCSC also captures the most popular (highest count) Bills w/ an FIS, and that’s varied from year to year sometimes they document just the Top 3 types of Bills and other years it’s the Top 9. 

Not every Bill has a financial cost which means a FIS would not be needed, so the VCSC’s annual count of Bills by Type/Category is not the grand total for each category, in fact some categories show zero but that doesn’t mean there weren’t Bills in those categories that year. Either the Bill count with FIS’s was so low they didn’t make the Top 3-10 List OR there were Bills in that category but they had NO FIS.  

Every year for the last 13 Virginia General Assembly sessions the category of “Sex Offender” has had a high enough number of Bills being filed the VCSC has included them in their GA wrap-up presentation. NO other category of Legislation in Virginia in the last 13 sessions has made the VCSC count EVERY YEAR, except "Sex Offender".  

Is this surprising? No. In fact a VCSC staffer said to me today when I held my spreadsheet (while it was missing the 2017 data) up to him, that sounds about right. I know Virginia Delegates and Senators love to target the “Sex Offenders”, it’s usually any easy vote, to sail through with little discussion or opposition. 

The problem is “Sex Offender” legislation should NOT be the most requested type of Bill in Virginia because:
·         9 out of 10 sex crimes that happened last year, that will happen this year and that will happen next year in the Commonwealth will be committed by someone known to the victim, not a stranger.
·         96-98% of sex crimes that happened last year, that will happen this year and that will happen next year in the Commonwealth will be committed by someone who is NOT a Registered Sex Offender, listed on the VSP Registry. 

Yet Virginia Delegates and Senators are filing Sex Offender Bills year-in-and-year-out while claiming to target those already convicted of a crime because they will do it again when in reality the recidivism rate for Registered Sex Offenders is the second lowest of ALL crimes. 
 

March 2017 Goal Brochure: Virginia Deserves a Smarter Sex Offender Registry


Update:
A revised Goal Brochure is now posted here, the April 2017 version is below.

Original Post:

Last week (before I received the 2016 VSP costs) I designed and ordered a new Restoring Integrity to Virginia SO Registry Goal brochure (see below) since my last brochure was for the 2014 VA General Assembly. 

As 2017 moves along I will add the 2016 VSP costs and then the 2017 RSO count right before the 2018 Virginia General Assembly begins next January for those copies. My brochures always have a date at the bottom of a panel so you know how current it is. 

You might notice the order of Goals in this new brochure is a bit different than the order from the Legislative Goal page but that’s because these brochures are read by Legislators, the media, Victim’s advocates and citizens who aren’t familiar with the Virginia Registry so I start the brochure with goals they are more likely to agree with so hopefully they will continue to read the list instead of putting the brochure down.
 

Restoring Integrity to Virginia Sex Offender Registry April 2017 Dos and Don’t Brochure


This past weekend I updated and ordered a new Restoring Integrity to Virginia SO Registry Dos and Don’ts brochure (see below) since the last version was from January 2015. This 2017 version is wider, so I was able to add more restrictions and regulations than the original had.