We are deleting our OLD "Civil Commitment" blog, and replacing it with a newer designed blog titled "Civil Commitment: Sex Offenders+" which covers all 23 jurisdictions that have laws which can commit folks following a prison sentence. This is now the ONLY place on the Internet providing such coverage.
Today if you access the old blog, it will tell you it is PRIVATE (soon to be deleted). Everything that was in it was transferred to either our "Sex Offender Court Decisions" blog or to the NEW "Civil Commitment: Sex Offenders+" blog.
Over the next few hours we will make changes in the menu system linking the blogs together, so please bear with us. Hopefully, all changes will be completed by later tonight.
For now have a great day & a better tomorrow.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Vote NO, these ordinances protect no one!5-20-2013 Florida:
ORLANDO -- There may soon be new protections in Orlando to keep sex offenders away from kids.
Orlando City leaders are set to vote on a new sex offender ordinance at a city council meeting this afternoon.
Right now, current law said sex offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or day care center. The new ordinance would push that boundary to 1,500 feet within Orlando’s city limits and would only apply to sex offenders whose victims are under the age of 16.
Sex offenders who currently live inside that 1,500 foot boundary would not have to move, but once that moved outside the area, they could not move back in.
“We looked at ordinances around the state that have been tested in terms of what’s fair and right now we feel this is a good balance,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
There are some who are concerned about the proposal.
The owner of a local real estate company specializing in finding housing for sex offenders said he believes the new law would eventually push more sex offenders into being homeless. ..Source.. by Kristen Kane, Reporter
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Another 18K thrown down the drain, a FREE blog could do everything and not soak taxpayers pocketbooks. What a waste of money! Knowing where people sleep for a few hours of a day, does nothing to prevent future sex crimes.5-18-2013 Florida:
Florida Legislature allocates $18K to update FDLE's Sex Offender, Predator database search
Change is coming to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Sex Offender and Predator database following a Local 10 investigation.
You will soon be able to search for registered sex offenders and predators listed by the college or university they attend or work at. Currently, you can only search the database by name or neighborhood.
The Florida Legislature allocated $18,000 to update FDLE's computer program.
State records show more than 100 registered sex offenders attend or work on campuses in South Florida.
It took Local 10 weeks to get a list, and only after we requested it.
Students who Local 10 interviewed said they had no idea the information even existed.
"I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention," said State Senator Eleanor Sobel. "You do not know who is on your college campus, you do not know who is in your class, you do not know who is in your study group, you do not know who you are having a drink with."
The Texas Department of Public Safety has a link on their website that allows users to search for sex offenders by campus.
Because the Florida Department of Law Enforcement already tracks that information, Sobel and Local 10 wanted to know why it couldn't be done here.
"We met with the FDLE -- they didn't need a law, they didn't need statutory changes," said Sobel. "All they needed was a little bit of money to put it on their website."
The money becomes available July 1.
The Florida Sheriff's Association and Florida Police Chief's Association supported the measure brought to their attention by Sobel. ..Source.. by Jeff Weinsier
Friday, May 17, 2013
HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Child molestation, statutory rape, sexual battery, they're all classified as sex crimes. Those convicted will live with their felony record until they die and must remain on the state's sex-offender registry. It's a list that's designed to keep you and your family safe and aware. Part of keeping communities safe is for local law enforcement agencies to determine how many sex offenders are really living where they say they are, and track down those who are not.
Sheriff's departments across the state are committed to making sure streets are safe and offenders are not violating any laws. Right now, the violators are few and far between, but investigators say it takes a team working together on a daily basis to keep those felons in compliance and keep others from becoming innocent victims.
As he knocks on a neighborhood door, Investigator Keith Burton explains, "I have a report from the DPS that he's not living where his registered address is."
Hinds County has one of the largest populations of sex offenders in our state, steadily increasing over the years to the current 515 registered. Investigator Keith Burton with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department says less than two percent of those offenders are in violation. He says they either have not paid their $5 fee to re-register at the 90 day mark, or are in such bad health they are unable to leave their home to re-register. Burton is appointed solely to this division, responsible for all 515 offenders making certain they are in compliance with the guidelines.
"Apparently, nobody is home. It's an empty house, but we will do further investigation to find out," says Burton.
Once back in the office Burton is able to use animated maps to determine if this location or any other locations occupied by sex offenders are in violation.
" A sex offender is not allowed to live within 1,500 feet of a school, a park, a swimming pool or any recreational faculty utilized by persons under the age of 18. And that applies to all sex offenders," says Burton.
Deputy Eric Fox with the Rankin County Sheriff's Office says all information is critical in keeping track of offenders and eliminating their threat to society, including vehicle information such as tag numbers and the car make and model.
"We're not going to put up with it. We give them the game plan up front. We tell them all the plays, all the rules and if they can't follow them, then the sheriff has a place for them to stay," states Fox. "So, we are checking on an offender that, he transferred from another state and he was convicted for molesting a 9-year-old girl and he's compliant today."
Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey says 366 sex offenders are registered in that county.
"I don't want everybody to be scared saying that Rankin County is full of sex offenders because only 152 of these are on the street actually living in the county. The rest are incarcerated either in our jail, at the state prison or at Whitfield. But, the way the law is set up right now, we have to claim the ones that are incarcerated," explains Sheriff Bailey.
Fox says, "We go in and talk to them, make sure they're living where they said they were at according to their registry. If they work, we make sure all that information is updated with the sheriff's office."
It's a tedious job that takes much time to keep residents from becoming victims. Sheriff Bailey says it's his ultimate goal to keep you and your children safe.
" The most common offender on a sex crime against a child is a trusted family member or trusted family friend that was asked to take care of the child or keep the child. So, you know, check them out real good before you trust your child with them," said Bailey.
At this time, the sheriff says 100 percent of the sex offenders in Rankin County are compliant. As for Madison County, the chief deputy says it has 70 offenders, two of whom are non-compliant due to health reasons.
If you look on the online registry you may find an instance where a sex offender is living closer than 1,500 feet from a school or daycare, but according to Mississippi law, any sex offender who has lived at an address before July 1, 2006, that person is allowed to stay at their home. Also, if a school or daycare is built next to a sex offender's home, that person does not have to move.
In January 2014, new laws are expected to be on the books, one of which states sex offenders will have to live more than 3,000 feet away from a school or daycare. ..Source.. by WLOX13.com
I just moved to a new house. Shortly after moving in, I found out that a previous tenant had been a registered sex offender with his address (now my address) listed. Although the state sex offender registry rightfully has delisted my address, it is still listed on private Internet registries who have not responded to my request to remove my address. One site, Offendex.com, even wants me to pay them 200 dollars, otherwise they will NEVER take it off! I really don't have the money for a lawyer to fight this, but I've had two windows broken and my car key-scratched, as well as get late-night honks and shouts of "pervert!" all the time, and I'm frankly scared for my family's safety. Local law enforcement is powerless to do anything. What can I do?
Contact the attorney general's consumer protection office and see if they can help or point you in the right direction. It is almost extortion to make you pay to have information corrected. The sex offender's name and associated address is supposed to be the information supplied to the public not an address. You may have an injury suit and if a personal injury attorney took the case, they work for a percentage of anything collected, not an upfront fee. ..Source.. By LawGuru
CLAY COUNTY, Mo. – It’s possible a registered sex offender accused by Clay County authorities of coaching a youth basketball team in violation of state law may not actually be doing anything illegal.
Darin Mason has been on the Missouri sex offender registry for more than a decade and for the past nine years he’s been coaching a youth basketball team in Platte County with apparently no interference from authorities.
Because Mason coached games across the county line in Liberty, Clay County is now trying to keep him from coaching but the law they are using seems to be up for interpretation.
Mason pleaded guilty in 2001 to having sex with a 15-year-old girl on his Oak Park High basketball team. Over the years parents have brought Mason’s sex offender status and his job as a coach to the attention of police and prosecutors in Platte County.
FOX 4 asked why prosecutor Eric Zhand never brought charges, he declined comment. But in 2011, when asked the same question by the Kansas City Star, Zahnd said prosecutors have had a hard time applying 2009 legislation prohibiting sex offenders from serving as an athletic coach, manager or trainer for youth retroactively. Meaning Mason’s guilty please came before the law. Local criminal defense attorney David Langston, who’s not involved with the case weighed in on Wednesday.
“I believe that Eric Zahnd in Platte Co. does believe that the statute is not applicable because of the Phillips case, Doe v Phillips which makes it retroactive which they say is not appropriate, not legal,” said Langston.
And while Zahnd may be right, Clay County Prosecutor Dan White’s spokesman Jim Roberts says they believe they have a case and are going to try. A move Langston agrees with.
“I believe that according to the law …. the simple answer to that is no. And I believe that the overlay of the federal law over the state law, that you must register, and from what vie reviewed and the information that I have, he signed a new agreement when he registered the last time,” Langston said.
According to court documents, a year ago Mason signed an agreement saying he would not coach youth under the age of 17. But according to Clay County he did anyway. Now it may be up to a judge to decide if that’s in Mason’s legal rights.
Mason’s felony charge is punishable with up to four years in prison.
Mason is currently out on bond. ..Source.. by Macradee Aegerter
Thursday, May 16, 2013
State lawmakers from both political parties are lining up behind bills to allow limited public access to information on Level 1 sex offenders and give the state Sex Offender Registry Board new power to update risk levels assigned to such convicts.
The proposed changes are driven by the case of John Burbine, a Wakefield man and Level 1 sex offender who was charged late last year with sexually abusing more than a dozen children at his wife’s unlicensed day care business.
Legislators said the case highlighted loopholes in the state’s Sex Offender Registry.
A reform bill introduced by Sen. Katherine Clark and Rep. Paul Brodeur, both Melrose Democrats, has garnered support from 27 bipartisan cosponsors.
Leaders of the House and Senate have both said that updating the state’s Sex Offender Registry is a top priority this legislative session, according to Clark, who is the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
“I am very hopeful we’re going to be able to move significant legislation forward quickly,” she said.
There is a slew of other bills aimed at accomplishing the same or similar changes. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, is lead sponsor of another reform proposal with backing from 26 lawmakers from both parties, including Clark. He also is sponsoring six other bills on behalf of Protect Mass. Children, a group that wants stronger sexual predator ...continued... by David Riley
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – A man listed as a registered predatory sex offender is living just hundreds of feet from an elementary school.
An alert KATU viewer emailed the newsroom, saying Jeffrey Kevin Hanson lived at 936 S.W. Agee in McMinnville.
According to the Oregon Sex Offender Registry, Hanson does live there. He was convicted of "sex abuse one" in 1986, targeting juvenile males that were known to him.
While the information is easily found on the state database, the database only lists offenders like Hanson who are considered "predatory" or those who are considered "sexually violent."
So, not everyone who is a registered sex offender is listed there.
Hanson lives just yards from Columbus Elementary School.
Sgt. Tim Symons, with the McMinnville Police Department, said they're aware of Hanson.
"We are aware of him and where he is living at. We do have information as far as who he is and what kinds of things he's done in the past," Symons said.
McMinnville police also said they've had a couple of questions regarding Hanson and his location in recent weeks. But he is in compliance with all current Oregon law.
There's no stipulation under Oregon law that restricts where Hanson can live unless he is under supervision, which he is not.
"He's not currently on supervision, which would potentially dictate the distance that he would be able to live from a school or a playground or something along those lines," said Symons.
So what does Hanson have to say about living so close to an elementary school?
"Well, after I lost my job at Boeing a couple years ago, I came to stay with my parents who've owned their home for 11 years," he said.
And what does he have to say to neighbors who might access the registry and find out he's in the neighborhood?
"Well, yeah, it was one 26 years, almost 27 years ago," he said. "I can't imagine they'd have any concern."
He also said he is out of a job and his unemployment ran out. And he has no other choice than to live with his parents.
Unlike other states, including Washington, Oregon does not classify sex offenders. A bill currently in the Legislature to do just that has been heard, but it's in committee.
Each case is looked at individually with rules applied depending on a number of things, including the type of offense. ..Source by Mary Loos KATU News and KATU.com Staff
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Corrections officials are alerting judges throughout Colorado that errors appear to have resulted in early, improper release dates from prison for hundreds of prisoners they sentenced.
The judges are reviewing the case files so they can decide which of those already released from incarceration should be returned to prison to serve out the longer sentences required by state law.
Other cases involve prisoners who are on the verge of release who may now see their sentences extended.
These are the early results of an audit still underway by the Colorado Department of Corrections. Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered the department to conduct the audit after it was disclosed that a parolee believed to have murdered corrections chief Tom Clements was released from prison early because of a clerical error.
The audit, so far, has found "serious questions" in the sentences of 349 individuals either already released from prison or scheduled for release, corrections officials said. Of those, judges have amended sentences in 56 cases.
The errors occurred for a variety of reasons. In some cases, judicial clerks may have given incorrect sentences to the corrections department. In others, corrections officials may have interpreted sentences incorrectly. A full breakdown is not yet available on how the errors occurred.
The audit still is in the preliminary stages and is not expected to be finished until July. The state has identified 8,415 individuals whose sentences need reviews, with at least 2,500 warranting a more intensive look. About a fifth of the intensive reviews have been completed.
If the current error rate continues, "serious" sentencing flaws could be detected ...continued... by Christopher N. Osher
The registry is behind everyone's suspicions and thoughts!5-15-2013 Massachusetts:
Framingham Police said the man reported by Hemenway PTO parents and mentioned in an alert by the school principal has been confirmed as not a registered sex offender.
Framingham Police said the man reported by parents and mentioned in an alert by a school principal has been confirmed as not a registered sex offender, said Framingham Police Lt. Ron Brandolini.
The Framingham Police school resource officer McGrath and the Police Safety Division, through an investigation, have confirmed that the individual seen yesterday on the bench by the PTO member was mistakenly identified and is not the registered sex offender from Framingham’s register sex offender list, said Brandolini.
Police have confirmed that the individual has no criminal history, said Brandolini.
Police investigated and determined that the property in question, where the benches are located are on Heritage House, which is private property and that the individual who was mistakenly identified is a resident of that complex and is lawfully present using the benches located there, said Brandolini.
On Monday, Hemenway Elementary School Principal Lucia Laguarda sent out an alert to parents that there was a report of an "individual that was suspected of being a registered sex offender waiting at the bench located between the Heritage House and Hemenway School."
The principal told parents that the "location is a public bus stop and it is within the legal distance of the school, if in fact it is this individual."
The K-5 elementary school principal told parents in her alert she has asked the Framingham Police safety officers to follow up with school administration on the report.
On Monday Framingham Police said there was a report of a "level 3 sex offender on that bench in the morning," from a citizen. Police also said they were investigating and monitoring the situation. ..Source.. by Susan Petroni
5-15-2013 South Dakota:
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota law prohibiting convicted sex offenders from circulating petitions is being used to prosecute a Rapid City man banned from petitioning on county property more than a year ago.
Dallas Krausch, 75, is on the state's Sex Offender Registry because of a conviction for having sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl in Pennington County in 1986. He was hired to circulate petitions for several years, and at one point he said it was his only source of income. But his allegedly aggressive approach drew complaints at the Pennington County Courthouse in 2011, and that November, county commissioners barred him from circulating petitions on county property.
Krausch is now being prosecuted for allegedly collecting petition signatures on April 11 at the Rapid City Public Library, the Rapid City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/16zmFZd ). His arrest came four days after he was asked to leave the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, where he also was circulating a petition, according to police reports.
Defense attorney Dennis Groff said in court Tuesday that he is working with prosecutors to resolve the charges against his client, who faces two misdemeanor counts. Krausch could face up to two years in jail and $4,000 in fines if convicted.
The Legislature passed a law last year prohibiting convicted sex offenders from circulating petitions. It was proposed by legislators from Pennington County, and some said the law specifically targeted Krausch. Supporters stressed the importance of keeping personal information, such as addresses, out of the hands of potential predators. ..Source.. by Chron.com
Monday, May 13, 2013
Yes, the situation is upsetting, but when did it become a crime for a "sex offender" to TRY to access a military base? Are sex offenders now barred from watching air shows and the like if on a military base?5-13-2013 Florida:
Man says mistake was devastating, humiliating
Andrew Flaherty recently moved to Jacksonville last year from out of state. He’s legally blind and can’t drive, but did as the law requires and got a Florida Identification Card.
But as he visited banks, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, he noticed things didn't seem right and Floridians weren’t showing the southern hospitality he had heard so much about.
"Even when my brother from Hawaii came to visit me, he said, 'You got a dark cloud over you for some reason,'" said Flaherty.
This past March, it became clear, when Flaherty and his brother tried to get onto the base at NAS Jacksonville.
“When we gave the ID they told us to pull over and about 30 minutes later, an officer approached our vehicle and said there’s a Florida statute on my ID that said I’m a sexual offender,” explained Flaherty.
It’s a crime for sex offender to try and get on military bases.
“Wow, I was completely floored,” explained Flaherty. “I’ve never been accused, much less convicted of something that horrible.”
We checked and Flaherty’s background is clean. The problem was his Florida ID card. In the bottom right corner it says 943.0435 FS. It’s a statute that means the person on the ID is a convicted sexual offender.
“Who has formed this opinion of me, that I am a sexual offender?” asked Flaherty.
Flaherty believes it was a simple mistake, with terrible damage. He has hired Jacksonville attorney John Phillips to look over what happened.
“Here’s a man that did nothing wrong, lives on the absolute right side of life and all of a sudden has been called the worst of the worst,” said Phillips.
Channel 4 did its own investigating and looked for answers, taking Flaherty’s situation to the people who gave him the ID in the first place: the Duval County Tax Collector’s Office.
“It was not an intentional thing. It was a mistake, absolutely. Human error,” explained Sherry Hall, Duval County deputy tax collector.
Hall says one of the clerks accidentally clicked the wrong box when creating Flaherty’s ID. They use a state computer program to make the cards and there are a series of boxes to click, which classify people as organ donors, insulin dependent and sex offenders.
Once we brought Flaherty's problem to their attention, the Tax Collector's Office took action. Hall says they let their employees know what happened and will train them on ways to avoid it. They also are working with the state to possibly make the program a little more fail-safe, so this doesn’t happen again. And now Flaherty's new ID is clean, just like his record.
“We absolutely apologize that this error caused him any issues at all. We have corrected this issue since it occurred. We are certainly very sorry he was the recipient of this mistake,” said Hall.
Hall adds that this is the first time a mistake like this has ever happened in her office, but she says the markings on the IDs and licenses are important.
Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson says police need to know who they’re dealing with and having the statute clearly labeled certainly helps.
Flaherty says he couldn't agree more, but thinks clerks need to be more careful so no one else is wrongly accused.
“I hope that this lets everyone know that this is possible. And if it happened to you, you need to go and get this changed,” said Flaherty. ..Source.. by Vic Micolucci, Mobile journalist