July 5, 2011

Many sex offenders unemployed, increasing risk of re-offending

7-5-2011 Oklahoma:

On a list of more than 330 registered sex offenders in Tulsa, nearly 40 percent are listed as unemployed, disabled or retired, records show.

Authorities say that it can be difficult for sex offenders to find a job. And with residency restrictions that make a majority of the city off limits, such instability can increase the risk of re-offending for some offenders.

"It is difficult to find employment just because of the misconceptions that every sex offender is a child molester or that every sex offender is a rapist and that is not the case," Tulsa Police Sgt. John Adams said.

"If they don't find employment and don't find housing there is not a lot else for them to do besides just hang out. If they can't find a job, they can't pay for counseling."

Law officers and legislators alike would like to see a study on Oklahoma's laws governing sex offenders to ensure that they are working as intended.

Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, has requested an interim study on the issue at the request of law officers and members of the Oklahoma Coalition for Sex Offender Management.

Randy Lopp, a licensed professional counselor who is a member of the group, said the study was requested in the interest of public safety in Oklahoma.

He said that most people agree that there are definitely some sex offenders who require the strictest monitoring regarding where they live and work. However, not all of the offenders required to register fall into that category.

The law states that sex offenders cannot "work with or provide services to children or to work on school premises, or for any person or business who offers or provides services to children or contracts for work to be performed on school premises." It also prevents sex offenders from working on ice cream trucks.

Tulsa's list of sex offenders shows that many get jobs in the food industry. Lopp said that many of them also do landscaping, mowing and day labor.

"It is difficult for folks to find a job. We encourage people to keep trying and tell them that looking for a job is a full-time job. They are also often underemployed. Employers are just fearful of hiring any offenders, not only sex offenders," Lopp said.

"Obviously, the whole problem with the sex offender issue is trying to find a place to stay and a place to work is very hard. There is research out there that shows this creates a lifestyle instability," Lopp said. "That makes it difficult to maintain any kind of standard of living. If they can't be near family or support it increases the risks re-offending, rather than decreasing the risks."

Study urged on effects of federal law

Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, has requested a study on the effects of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act and its impact on Oklahoma's public safety.

Passed in 2006, the Act organizes sex offenders into three tiers, creates a national sex offender registry and instructs each state and territory to apply the same criteria for posting offender data on the Internet. That data includes the offender's name, address, date of birth, place of employment and photograph.

The request for an interim study was made to address these concerns, a letter from McDaniel shows:

The act requires that states have a tier system placing registered sex offenders in tiers. High-risk offenders must register for life, moderate-risk offenders for 25 years and low-risk offenders for 15 years. The act requires that the tiers be based on the offense of record, rather than risk of re-offense.

The act requires the registry to include the offender's place of employment. This could have an impact on the offender's ability to find stable employment. A lack of stable employment may increase the offender's risk to the community.

The act requires states include children as young as 14 on registries, often for the rest of their lives.

Failure to comply with the act would prevent Oklahoma from obtaining Byrne Justice Assistant Grant funding. However, The Justice Policy Institute finds that the first-year cost of implementing the act outweighs the cost of losing the grant.

The interim study may also address other issues such as residency restrictions, which has some unintended consequences.
..Source.. by Nicole Marshall


Anonymous said...

The Adam Walsh Act will bankrupt this country plain and simple.

Just another SO said...

Here again is an example of how these "non-punitive" laws are continuing to punish sex offenders after they have left prison. Unemployment,and not being able to find housing are just the tips of the iceburg. WE are made into public pariha, this century's version of the unclean leper.

What is it going to take to prove to people that these laws are unfair, expensivel, and unconstitutional? The AWA and SORNA are causing 100's of times more harm then any good they could possibly create. SO's are people, and more importantly, they are American Citizens. If we are required to bear the headache's of that citzenry, such as taxes and such; then we should also be afforded the same legal rights as the rest of the citizenry. this includes the right to "FAIR AND EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW". We have served our time as handed down by the courts, and should be free of any further obligation to the system. We deserve the right to take back our lives and try to rebuild. AWA and SORNA, in many cases, unconstitutionally deny us any possibility to do that.

One can only hope that the next administration will be made aware of the facts, and will remedy the situation by striking these unconstitutional laws from the books.

Daniel Goichman said...

Shhhhh! The US Govt. doesn't want you to catch their secret. They don't want sex offenders to be employed, happy, and working. They don't want any sex offenders to live a normal life again. They don't want any sex offenders to have money. That is why they won't take anyone off the registry. There is no proof that half a million people are still dangerous. dont let the secret get out that sex offenders are not dangerous. keep the secret quiet.

Anonymous said...

The chances of registered offenders ever being successfull AFTER paying thier debt to society are very slim.Impediments,such as listed in this article are no revelation to anyone.Especially to our lawmakers and sex offender management entities.The very sad, but true, reality is most people in our country believe all registered offenders should be executed on the spot! The rationale used in today's system would be similar to the following: A person drinks alcohol one day. Two days later they drive a car. So the government will predict that this person will commit a felony DUI and kill a child so therefore must be monitored and publicly identified for LIFE! Bottom line: Change is comming. However,it is imperative we never become complacent in our efforts for reform.

Anonymous said...

I 'don't know if there are any counties other than Benzie claiming that they need to collect a $45.00 fee to send in for processing the finger/palm printing. There is NO MANDATED FEE for the processing of the new prints.

Anonymous said...

As has been stated many time over, we have paid our debt to society but that is not good enough. We must be punished from now on, not just by our government but by our own community. Our rights have been taken away and with out enough money to chalenge the laws what can be done? No one wants to listen to the truth if it is not hot and juicey its not worth hearing. I for one an sick of Oklahoma but can not afford to move. Then other states are getting over on SO's just as bad or worst. Our licenses are branded with sex offender on them 3 spots so when you are out in public trying to conduct business you are OUTED! People look at you like you have something contagious. I just look at them and smile. Thank them and tell them to have a good day. Those of us that have to take treament are reminded every week of our past and have to tell the details of it also each week. Some have been in there for over 5 years and are still considered High Risk. It is like brain washing. If you don't go to treatment you are threatened with going back to prison for non compliance! And the state used to help pay for the treatment which is required for over 3 years or more at $40.00 per pop. Then they stopped the funding but continue to help those that are on drugs and alcohol, but only require they go for 6 to 8 weeks to get a certificate then they are done. Wow are they cured? By no means they usually go out that very night and have a drink. I have seen this with my own eyes. How many SO's have gone out and reoffended since released from prison? Not many and as time goes on it seems that those getting caught are the ones that are stand up citizens. Wake up America our government is out of control!