Monday, September 11, 2017

In Virginia if an Emergency is Declared, Registered Sex Offenders Will NOT be banned from Emergency Shelters

September 10, 2018 Update:

I’ve seen a spike in views of this post this week so I’m adding an update.

All 4 Bills from the 2018 Virginia General Assembly that were amended to allow Virginia Emergency Shelters (fire, flood, tornado, earthquake or hurricane) to deny entry to All Registered Sex Offenders (even juveniles, elderly and Non-Violent) failed to become law. Here are old posts about those Bills:
March 10, 2018 , March 6, 2018 , February 23, 2018 , February 18, 2018 , February 11, 2018 , February 8, 2018 , February 7, 2018 , January 22, 2018 , January 16, 2018 , December 20, 2017 , November 30, 2017

Virginia RSO's are still allowed to evacuate to an Emergency Shelter as a temporary residence and there is no action the RSO must take per law. But any RSO under VADOC supervision (Probationer) does have to abide by their individual rules.



Where Florida counties sheltered sex offenders during Irma, September 13, 2017

Florida sheriff sued after threatening to scour hurricane shelters for criminals, September 11, 2017

Sex Offenders in Emergency Shelters, September 7, 2017

Original Post:

What if parts of Virginia were under a Hurricane Warning or Severe Flooding?

What if a Tornado or an Earthquake hit and people needed to stay in local shelters?

These natural disasters are all possibilities in Virginia.

What if you’re a Registered Sex Offender?

In the last few days we’ve heard and read about how badly Florida has handled sheltering Registered Sex Offenders amid Hurricane Irma.

During Hurricane Irma, Registered Sex Offenders Struggle To Find Shelter, September 10, 2017 

Florida Sex Offenders Told to Seek Shelter in Jails and Prisons, or Leave State During Hurricane Irma, September 10, 2017 

Florida sheriff faces lawsuit for offering to shelter wanted criminals in jail during Hurricane Irma, September 10, 2017

Weathering a Hurricane in Prison, September 9, 2017 

Pasco To Provide Hurricane Shelter Space For Sex Offenders, September 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma: After sheriff threatens arrests at shelters, will others take sex offenders or fugitives? September 8, 2017

When Do You Move Prisoners Out of a Storm’s Path? September 8, 2017
Texas waited until after Harvey hit. Now it’s Florida’s turn

When Escaping a Hurricane Means Risking Jail, September 7, 2017
A Florida sheriff department's plan to check warrants at shelters could risk lives among evacuees and first responders alike. 

Polk sheriff says criminals, sex offenders not welcome at hurricane shelters, September 6, 2017
LEOs will be checking IDs at shelters

Louisiana, Hurricane Harvey
Residents Concerned about Proposed Sex Offender Hurricane Shelter, September 6, 2017
A new state law requires that registered sex offenders are housed apart from everyone else in evacuations

Back on July 7, 2015 I emailed Virginia Deputy Secretary of Public Safety, Tonya Chapman and asked her at the request of a mother would Virginia Registered Sex Offenders (Non-Violent and Violent) be allowed or would they be banned from Virginia Emergency Shelters whether they are on or off school property.

This was the answer I received:
When an emergency is declared by the Governor to open a state shelter, a Virginia Registered Sex Offender would be admitted to the shelter the same as any other person needing shelter during a declared emergency event.

I have retained this 2015 email if the issue ever arises in Virginia.

So, for Virginians who have been wondering or worried about this particular situation, you need not worry.

Mary Davye Devoy