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Sunday, August 6, 2017

50 States: Which States Publicly Post an RSO’s Enrollment in College/University and Which Ones Don’t?


Two days ago I found this paper, Variations in State Sex Offender Statutes: Implications for U.S. Higher Education
By Bradley Cluster

Now many of you may remember back in 2016 VA Delegate Rob Bell proposed HB628 which would add Employer information to what is posted on the Virginia State Police (VSP) Sex Offender Registry, something the VSP had been doing without Legislature permission for 8 or 9 years AND it would add the enrollment at Higher Institutions of Education to be posted on the VSP Registry. At that time it seemed that the VSP had already been posting some RSO’s college information online but maybe not every RSO’s including online (not campus) enrollment. With the passage of the 2016 Bill the VSP would have the VA Legislatures permission/instruction to do so. 

As many of you may remember I had numerous Action Items against the 2016 Bill
But in the end it passed. 

Since then I have heard from a handful of RSO's across the State and the denial rate for admission sounds as though it’s increased even for online enrollment. But there is no way to know for sure even though the VSP has the numbers of enrolled RSO’s from the prior years to today when asked for this data (plus homelessness, self employment, unemployment, juveniles, senior citizens and race) via FOIA they deny the request. 

The above paper is interesting but what I found most interesting is the list of States that DO NOT publicly lists an RSO’s enrollment in an Institute of Higher Education.  As with the list of States that DO NOT publicly lists an RSO’s Employer information OR Juveniles and Misdemeanor Offenses it has no bearing in being Federal certified as Adam Walsh Act compliant. 

No Internet Listing of Institute of Higher Education:
  1. Arizona          
  2. Arkansas
  3. Colorado*      
  4. California
  5. Florida*
  6. Georgia
  7. Idaho 
  8. Illinois
  9. Iowa
  10. Kentucky
  11. Minnesota
  12. Montana 
  13. New Jersey
  14. New Mexico
  15. New York
  16. North Carolina
  17. North Dakota
  18. Oklahoma*
  19. Oregon           
  20. Rhode Island
  21. South Dakota*
  22. Vermont
  23. Washington
  24. Wisconsin
* The State is Certified Federal Adam Walsh Act AWA/SORNA compliant by the SMART Office, as of February 2017
 

Now that I know this I have decided to add Remove Institute of Higher Education from the VSP Registry to my list of Legislative Goals. I just have to decide if I add it after Goal #1 (to remove the Employer info) or at the bottom as Goal #14. 

Without a college degree all former-offenders are more like to re-offend, why has the Virginia Legislature chosen to single-out those listed on the VSP Registry ? 
 


Without a college degree most Registered Sex Offenders will be guaranteed a subsistence of a revolving door of jobs not careers in low pay, public sector work; such as fast-food, convenience stores, grocery stores and cheap labor. Plus the rate of unemployment for RSO’s will remain high. 

No career and no money not only lowers self-esteem, tears apart families, prevents former-offenders from paying court-fines, and restitution but leads to future crimes and new victims. 

By publically posting enrollment of  Virginia’s RSO’s who are working to better themselves, the State of Virginia has mandated a counter-productive barrier that is resulting in students being denied enrollment for no other reason than their posting on the VSP Registry. 

Please contact your one Virginia Delegate and you one Senator THIS month and ask them to sponsor legislation (a Bill) for the 2018 Virginia General Assembly session to remove the college information from the VSP Registry allowing former-offenders to obtain a college degree and successful reenter back into our communities across the Commonwealth. 

Thank you. 

Mary Davye Devoy