March 4, 2015

Town of Penfield pushes ahead with sex offenders restriction law despite court ruling

See also: Penfield Holds Public Hearing On New Sex Offender Bill
3-5-15 New York:

Despite a state Court of Appeals ruling, the Town of Penfield is full speed ahead with a local law to restrict where sex offenders can live. There's apparent unanimous support for it and there's also a plan to counteract that court ruling. But we had this question for the town supervisor: If the local law is illegal, as it would be right now, is it right to pursue it?

Greg Kamp runs the Penfield Little League program. He's confident the law will create a safer environment for kids. "I'm very confident that this law would make it safer for kids in Penfield," says Kamp.

Kamp supports the proposed Penfield law that would prohibit sex offenders from living up to 2,000 feet from parks, schools and public buildings. There was a public hearing on the law Wednesday; four people spoke in favor of it. This all became an issue when a convicted sex offender from Seattle moved into a Penfield neighborhood earlier this year. But a recent court ruling prohibited local governments from creating such laws. So is it right to pursue this law, if it would currently be illegal? The town supervisor says yes.

"We're not looking to upset our friends in Albany," says Supervisor Tony LaFountain. "Certainly we'll respect the fact that the Court of Appeals had their ruling."

Instead, the town is behind an effort to override the court's ruling through a new state law. That law passed through the Senate last week after a push from Senator Rich Funke. It now sits in the state Assembly. If passed, municipalities would be able to craft their own laws restricting sex offenders.

"Very enthusiastically supported and endorsed," says Supervisor LaFountain. "And we're hoping we get the same thing from the Assembly."

But if the law doesn't get passed? LaFountain says, "If we don't, the Town of Penfield didn't put me into office to break the law. So we will have to comply with the current law." ..Source.. by Chris Horvatits

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House looks at sex offender long-term care

3-4-15 Iowa:

A bill offered in the Iowa House last week would establish “one or more” facilities that may cause concern for residents of any community in which such a facility is operated.

House File 399 was offered Wednesday by state Rep. Helen Miller (D-Fort Dodge) and co-sponsored by 12 of her Democratic colleagues. It requires the Iowa Department of Human Services to establish at least one facility in Iowa to provide housing and care to Tier II and Tier III sex offenders in need of “medical and personal care,” but are unable to be admitted to a private facility due to their status as sex offenders.

The type of care would be typical of that provided at a residential care facility, a nursing home, or in an assisted living center. The bill would allow DHS to “use or establish a state facility” – a possible new role for the soon-to-be-shuttered mental health institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant – or contract with a private provider.

HF 399 provides for an application and verification process for DHS, as well as a process to determine payment options. Medicaid is declared to be the payor of last resort.

The Iowa Nurses Association, the Iowa School Nurses Organization, and AFSCME Iowa Council 61 all support the proposed legislation. The Iowa Department on Aging, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Office, the Iowa Council of Health Care Centers, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Iowa Medical Society, the Justice Reform Consortium, AARP of Iowa, the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Iowa Behavioral Health Association, the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Iowa Primary Care Association are all “undecided” on the bill. ..Source.. byBob Eschliman

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White collar crime registration

3-4-15 Utah:

The House Law Enforcement committee passed H-B 378, which authorizes the attorney general’s office to set up a registry for convicted fraudsters, much like a sex offender registry.

The bill goes to the full House for debate. ..Source.. by Fox13 News

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Changes coming to Jessica's Law

3-4-15 California:

The California Supreme Court made a change to Jessica's Law this week.

In 2006, California voters approved Jessica's Law, a measure that prevents sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, but this week's move by the court, may redefine the term "safe Neighborhood."

"Once an individual has committed a sex offense, against a child, they lose their freedom, lose their rights. They should stay locked up," said Dianne Jacob.

San Diego County Board Supervisor's Chair Dianne Jacob is not alone in her strong opinions, but the court ruled (GREAT RULING) blanket restrictions on where paroled sex offenders can live, violate the offenders rights.

It came after a lower court found sex offenders were banned from almost all housing units in San Diego.

They cannot find housing, they do not have access to services, they have to leave their families, and so they end up on the street.

"As a mom it is disturbing, but as a citizen, everybody has rights and deserves a second chance," said Seda Dogan.

"I for one, am worried that it's an experiment to have a sex offender out in the community who might re-offend one of our kids. That's scary," said Bonnie.

Dumanis said San Diegans would be kept safe. But how? Through their safe team, whose members check up on every single sex offender, even those who are homeless.

Also through the sex offender task force, and frankly parents have responsibility in this.

"The most important thing for any parent is to have a conversation with their children. Be vigilant. Go on Megan's Law List and check to see who's in the neighborhood," said Bonnie.

Jim Parys said, " I have a 15-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son. It's a concern of mine. I go online and to that website to track. I've done that before."

Is it a sign of the times to research neighbors before moving in, or keep taps on new neighbors?

It is about keeping families safe.

If there is a strong belief that a sex offender will re-offend, a parole officer can impose the 2,000-foot-rule, preventing them form living near schools and parks, but it would have to be presented and approved on a case by case basis. ..Source.. by KUSI News

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March 3, 2015

Letter from owner of sex offender house angers neighbors

3-3-15 North Carolina:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Controversy continues to stir over a house on McAlpine Lane in Charlotte. The Second Chance Transition Program used the building to house violent sex offenders. While those offenders are now gone, it's a recent letter explaining the decision to neighbors that is inflaming residents.

NBC Charlotte found Risa and Darryl White just as they received the letter addressed from J.M. Miller, who said he is the new program director at Bradley-Reid Corporation and co-owner of 4932 McAlpine Lane. After telling residents the sex offenders have moved, he told them they shouldn't take credit for it. "The petitions, the media, the harassment, the slander, none of it meant or caused ANYTHING."

Then later in the letter Miller said, "This is my final warning and attempt at common peace. Anything further will be met with opposition."

The Whites said the letter was unprofessional.

"Rather than saying we made a mistake and we did something different, they're going to attack the people who tried to protect their neighborhood," said Darryl White, a nearby resident.

Fellow neighbor Jody Watts said the letter had negative message.

"It was a very threatening letter. The obvious statement was that we're going to do what we're going to do with this house regardless of what your position is on it," said Watts.

The letter said the home will now be used as a transitional home for those trying to get back on their feet and none of these people will be felons. Neighbors claim the house may be functioning illegally and they will seek to get the city business permit revoked.

"We want peace in our neighborhood. We want everything to run smooth. We want to be able to have cookouts and be in our yards without feeling threatened," said Watts.

NBC Charlotte reached out to J.M. Miller for a comment and the company he works for Bradley-Reid Corporation. They did not give us a response. ..Copy of letter here at Source.. by Dustin Wilson

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March 1, 2015

Lawmakers debate lifting sex offender residency restrictions

See also: It's time to abolish where sex offenders can't live
3-1-15 New Hampshire:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire's legislature is once again debating measures that would ban municipalities from restricting where sex offenders can live, even as some other states are making such restrictions tougher.

The legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is expected to send the proposals to the full House this week. The House last year supported the ban on residency restrictions by a vote of 231-97, but the Senate killed the bill by consigning it to an interim study.

New Hampshire state police support eliminating residency restrictions, saying they make it harder to keep track of offenders. Some citizens at a public hearing in January — the bills' only public airing — said they're adamantly opposed.

Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a Manchester Democrat, predicts the measure will again fail in the senate.

"We're talking about two significant situations — sex offenders and sex offenders against children — that touch the core of society," D'Allesandro said.

State Trooper Rebecca Eder-Linell, who maintains the state's sex offender database, says the restrictions make it harder to monitor the state's 2,700 sex offenders.

"They go underground," she said.

New Hampshire communities that have residency restrictions typically bar sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, playground and other places where children gather.

Derry Republican Rep. Katherine Prudhomme-O'Brien vowed to vote against banning residency restrictions, saying most of her constituents "would consider it preposterous."

Derry resident David Lowe agreed.

"I'm appalled that anyone would introduce a bill like this," Lowe said. "We need to protect our kids."

Devon Chaffee, executive director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, said five municipalities still have residency restrictions: Tilton, Holderness, Bridgewater, Northfield and Boscawen. Tilton will vote on whether to repeal its ordinance at this spring's town meeting.

"They don't work and they don't protect children," Chaffee said of the restrictions.

The civil liberties union won lawsuits that challenged the constitutionality of residency restrictions in Dover in 2009 and Franklin in 2012. The Franklin restrictions were struck down in 2012; Dover's in 2009.

New Hampshire's proposal to ban residency restrictions runs contrary to recent legislation in other states. Last year alone, Alabama, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Tennessee all added tightened residency restrictions. North Carolina, for instance, added Boys and Girls Clubs of America to the 1,000-foot zone where sex offenders can't live. Connecticut last year formed a task force to create zones to protect senior citizens.

"If you're forbidden from living where you have an opportunity to live ... you go back to living under a bridge," the bill's lead sponsor, Rep. Tim Robertson, a Keene Democrat, testified. He said the restrictions often prevent offenders from living with family members who can provide a support system.

Robertson is also sponsoring a bill that would eliminate the $50 fee sex offenders must pay to register with police annually or when they move. He says the fee discourages registration.

"A guy coming out of prison as a sex offender is going to have a hard time getting a job, a harder time finding some place to live," Robertson said. ..Source.. by Fosters.com

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Sen. Murphy Passes First Bill Regarding Sex Offenders

The more I rad these Lawmaker proposals, the more I think Lawmakers are stalking former sex offenders. Maybe a basis for some smart lawyer to take on these proposals in court.
3-1-15 New York:

The state Senate has passed two bills, including one co-sponsored by Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown). One would allow a municipal local option to restrict residency for sex offenders. The other, authored by Murphy, would make it unlawful for a convicted sex offender to reside near his victim. Discussion of so-called "child safety zone" legislation recently shot to the forefront after a state appellate court decision striking down municipal laws to enact residency requirements for sex offenders.

However, those involved in the issue for years celebrated a significant legislative victory in Albany. "Yet, what we've learned is while child safety zones may create a sense of security, many sexual assaults against children are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. Victims should not have to tolerate the emotional distress that coming into contact with their abuser may cause," Sen. Murphy said.

Murphy began his advocacy for child safety zones in 2007 with an organization known as Keeping Westchester Safe. He served on the State Assembly Sex Offender Watch Task Force, responsible for the genesis of the idea, pushing for its adoption in several counties, including Putnam, which he now represents.

The courts struck down those initial laws, ruling a municipality could not pre-empt the state Division of Criminal Justice Services on sex offender placement, leading to the first statewide proposals for a child safety zone fix.

The bill Sen. Murphy authored is his first legislation to pass the state Senate. It addresses expert concerns that child safety zone laws alone are not enough to protect victims. It restricts sex offenders from residing within 1,500 feet of victims' residences. The bill Murphy co-sponsored allows localities to legally provide residency requirements for sex offenders. "I hope the State Assembly will move quickly to pass both these laws to protect victims and so our towns and counties finally have the option to legally define sex offender-free zones, such as schools, bus stops, child care facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields, dance studios and other facilities that attract children. So we can say to sexual predators, 'Find someplace else to live,'" he said. ..Source.. by Cassandra Huerta

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February 27, 2015

Bellone Provides Status on Community Protection Act in Aftermath of Recent Court of Appeals Ruling

I think there is a MAJOR problem with statistics cited by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for the SORTS program:
((10-2-13 Police Arrest Registered Sex Offender For Allegedly Exposing Himself To Kids On L.I.))....((2-12-13 Arrest for Sex Offender Violation))....((2-3-13 Police Arrest a Sex Offender For Public Lewdness In East Northport ))....((Also see hundreds reported by Laura Ahern and Suffolk Police in news article following this one below..3-13-2014 Report: Sex offender tracking in Suffolk has improved..))
Thats 3 arrests (plus hundreds in article below) of registered sex offenders, 2013-2014 Suffolk news reports, and there are more. Belltone cites 12 arrests in the 4-years prior (2009-2012) and ZERO since the enactment of his law. Do we believe the media or the lawmaker? OH one more thing, Parents for Megans Law cites several arrests and cites the SORTS Tip program for solving these cases. Clearly something is wrong here...
2-27-15 New York:

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by members of the Suffolk County Legislature, Suffolk County Police Department and Parents for Megan’s Law to announce the status of the County’s Community Protection Act (CPA) in the aftermath of the recent state Court of Appeals decision that repeals local residency restriction laws for sex offenders. The CPA, which was implemented in 2013(February according to news report), was the nation’s first public-private partnership to help protect residents against sexual violence.

“Sexual violence knows no boundaries and could affect all of us regardless of age and gender, and must come to an end,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “In light of the recent court decision, we are reminding our residents that Suffolk County has and will continue to enforce the nation’s toughest monitoring, enforcement and verification program.”

“This plan is comprehensive and it works, and the success of this program is in large part due to the dedication of County Executive Bellone, his staff, our Suffolk County legislators and our positive working relationship with Suffolk’s finest, the Suffolk County Police Department,” said Laura Ahearn, Executive Director for Parents for Megan’s Law. “We appreciate their ongoing commitment to this program and to our mutual goal of protecting the most vulnerable.”

“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Suffolk County Legislator Robert Calarco (7th District), “What we have accomplished in Suffolk County is a very proactive approach to dealing with this problem and reducing recidivism.”

“The Community Protection Act is working as we have an extraordinary level of monitoring,” said Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman (2nd District), “Zero recidivism is unbelievable as Suffolk County is now a safer place to live.”

“We have a phenomenal Special Victims Unit in the Suffolk County Police Department, and outstanding leadership by Parents for Megan’s Law,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning (3rd District). “This partnership helps us to make sure that we know where sex offenders live in Suffolk County.

“This is the strongest law in the country right here in Suffolk County,” said Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (6thDistrict). “There is a resource – Parents for Megan’s Law – that our residents can utilize to not only fully understand the issue of sex offenders in our community but to assist in the enforcement of the Community Protection Act.”

Since the implementation of the Community Protection Act, there are no reported cases with the Suffolk County Police Department of Suffolk County registered sex offenders reoffending in the County, a 100% reduction of sex offender recidivism. In the four years prior to the Community Protection Act being passed, there were 12 arrests of Suffolk County registered sex offenders for reoffending within the County.

The enforcement aspect of the program has lead to the Suffolk County Police Department making 44 arrests of those who are on the sex offender registry list for failure to comply. Also, nearly 100% of sex offender registrants were brought into compliance for failures to register home addresses, and 92% of Level 2 and 3 offenders were brought into compliance for failures to register work addresses. The public-private partnership will continue to extensively monitor the registry to ensure that all sex offenders are in compliance with County law.

Parents for Megan’s Law additionally highlighted that due to the Community Protection Act, more than 100 registered sex offenders in Suffolk County were removed from Facebook. Parents for Megan’s Law’s hotline, which is staffed by retired law enforcement personnel, has processed over 17,000 phone calls in the past 22 months to assist County residents. ..Source.. by LongIslandExchange.com




Report: Sex offender tracking in Suffolk has improved

3-13-2014 By LAURA FIGUEROA

A year after Suffolk lawmakers passed a law to intensify monitoring of registered sex offenders, a nonprofit found dozens of offenders who had provided inaccurate addresses and more than 140 others who violated rules requiring them to update their photos on a state registry.

Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law, contracted by the county last February to monitor more than 900 registered sex offenders, told lawmakers Thursday that the increased scrutiny has led to an increase in arrests for violating state reporting requirements.

"The Suffolk County [sex-offender] registry is more up to date than it's ever been," Ahearn said.

Last year's Community Protection Act, which was backed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, provided Ahearn's group with $2.7 million over three years to track sex offenders in the county and create community awareness programs. The measure also shut down controversial trailers that Suffolk had used to house more than 30 homeless sex offenders on the East End. Offenders were placed in county homeless shelters instead.

As of this February, there were 1,005 registered sex offenders in Suffolk, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice.

Parents for Megan's Law has hired seven investigators -- all retired law enforcement officers -- who verify home and work addresses. The investigators also monitor social media to determine if registered offenders have set up unauthorized accounts. Under state law, offenders must register email addresses and any social media accounts.

Ahearn said to date the group has forwarded 182 tips to Suffolk police for offenders who were in possible violation of Internet regulations including not registering email addresses.

Suffolk Police Chief of Detectives William Madigan told lawmakers that the tips forwarded by the nonprofit have led to an increase in arrests against registered offenders who have violated state reporting requirements.

In 2012, Suffolk police reported 156 arrests of sex offenders. Last year [2013], that number was 204, Madigan said.

"This partnership is a force multiplier," Madigan said. "We have more people now looking at the offenders."

There are currently 34 registered homeless sex offenders in Suffolk. They are required to call the department nightly to check in with their shelter location, Madigan said.

Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) said he was concerned that homeless offenders might be clustered in low-income communities, and requested an update on their locations.

"We have people who have committed crimes of a sexual nature and we don't know where they are," Gregory said. "My concern is those people will be . . . put in low-income and minority communities more so than other communities."

Madigan said detectives had "vetted" and approved 45 shelter locations "dispersed" throughout the county, and would investigate any reports of more than one homeless offender per shelter.

Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) lauded the nonprofit's efforts, saying tracking has improved.

"I know this is something our residents get worried about," Hahn said. "It's an incredible improvement over what we've been doing in the past." ..Source.. ...

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February 26, 2015

Bill aims to require evaluations to determine likelihood of sex offenders reoffending

A curfew for CERTAIN sex offenders? The water they are drinking has to be tainted..or spiked w/something!
2-26-15 Florida:

Two bills in the Florida legislature, SB 336 and HB 387, would require a convicted sex offender to be evaluated to determine the likelihood that person may reoffend.

Action News law and safety expert Dale Carson said there are already mental evaluations available for convicted sex offenders but the proposed law reinforces the policy by requiring it of the courts.

"The difficulty in that is that human behavior is not predictable," Carson said. "I don't care what specialist you go to. The real determinant of human behavior is prior conduct."

"I prefer to know that my children are safe and anybody else's children," Laney Rosendale said.

Rosendale is pregnant with her first child and said she wants the safeguards in place to protect her baby.

"Kids are walking around down here and they can get snatched up and you don't know who anybody is on this city," Rosendale said.

Donald Smith was already a convicted sex offender when he was accused of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in 2013.

The proposed bill also changes the curfew for sex offenders who have committed crimes against children under the age of 15 to a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. window.

"The only way really to protect our children from access by pedophiles, by sexual offenders is to know where they are, know who they're with and know what's going on," Carson said. ..Source.. by ActionNewsJax.com

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