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Oskaar
04-06-2006, 07:14 AM
Since there is a thread going that has been referencing this issue here is a link to a National Sex Offender's Registry that has information on registered offenders who may be close to you and yours. The list is certainly not comprehensive yet, but there are map locations to known sex offenders in a fairly large percentage of the Continental US.

Here's the National Link:
http://www.familywatchdog.us/

Here's the California Megan's Law Website:
http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/

Here's a link to resources and state by state databases on sex offenders:
http://www.sexualoffenders.com/

Take a look, you may be surprised to see how many of these low-lifes are in your neighborhood.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Pewter_of_Deodar
04-06-2006, 09:49 AM
I do have to make one comment, and it's not that the registry is bad, but that some people are on it for really trivial things, like flashing at their high school. I had maybe a half-dozen friends that ran naked through our cafeteria in high school back when streaking was a fad. I'd hate to think that today they would be marked for life and under the restrictions that rapists and child molesters face. Anyone else know more than I do about this?

Oskaar
04-06-2006, 09:58 AM
There's action in California to re-classify certain types of "sexual offenses" in the ilk of college pranks, etc. In Laguna Niguel there is an annual tradition of "mooning" the Metrolink Train on a certain date. There are generally close to or even over a hundred people that line up next to the track and moon en masse the train as it passes. It's an accepted yearly event by everyone except the OC Sheriff's. So that, along with some other harmless college pranks have raised awareness here that there needs to be some line of reckoning between true sexual offenders, and "cross-dressing college hijinks" kind of offenses.

One thing to note is that the database does delineate between publishable and non-publishalbe types of offenses. Whatever criteron they use is a mystery to me, but I looked up a couple of folks who I know were written up for running through a mall in the buff. They weren't listed anywhere so maybe the database has already been filtered on that type of criteria.

cheers,

Oskaar

Brewboy
04-06-2006, 11:02 AM
Here's a link that is very useful, and works in 42 states (so far).

Type in your address, and it will show you a Google map, pinpointing your location, and the location of any registered sex offenders near the location.

Clicking on the offender's pinpoint will show the exact address and a photo of the offender. And, at least in Wisconsin, clicking again on the link will take you to the WI State Dept of Corrections site, listing the crime and conviction date, whether or not he/she is still under custody/supervision, and whether or not he/she is compliant with his registration status.

http://www.mapsexoffenders.com/

It's useful...to an extent. It only shows you where the people that were convicted live. I don't think it's only simple paranoia to assume that there are at least as many people out there, living free and easy simply because they haven't been caught yet. But still, more knowledge is better than less.

Good luck and happy brewing!
Trevor

Pewter_of_Deodar
04-06-2006, 12:25 PM
Oskaar,

The local example here is that some 17 or 18 year old high school senior mooned or flashed a group of other high school students which happened to have a 14 year old female minor in it.

I don't know much about the list but does the publishable vs. non-publishable classification remove their names from the public list as well? If not, it seems like having names without crimes would create a "fear of the unknown" that would punish the "mooner" by leaving the uncertainty that he might have done something much more serious. But then again, "mooning" probably goes into the records as something like a "class 3 sexual misdemeanor" or such that leaves NO clue as to what actually happened...

But the changes are a good step in the right direction...

Peace,
Pewter

Brewboy
04-06-2006, 12:38 PM
Here in Wisconsin's searchable listing, you can't get the exact crime, but it does list 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd-, or 4th- degree assault, and if it involved a child or not. (I also found several listings of "exposing harmful materials to a child"..that's a little vague..pornography? flashing?...but still, it's good to know at least this much.)

More precise information would be better, but this is a start.

kash
04-06-2006, 05:41 PM
I have a pretty well developed avocation in this field and have discussed RSO databases and their uses to a great degree. That's not to say that I'm some expert, but rather that I've been in on plenty of discussions about them and have been around that block.

RSO databases are a great tool for you and your kids. Just as parents probably have rules regarding most things, I've found that progressive parents use RSO databases in some mannor according to the following guidelines. "We've looked at the map, and we're not to talk to anyone from or go into the houses that are on that map."

Little discussion has to go into the why's, and when a kid is old enought to understand, then the parent can explain whatever or however they're comfortable with. Really, RSO databases aren't intended to whip up some sort of hysteria, but rather add to the knowledge base to help keep your kids safe.

Additionaly, RSO databases can help make home buying decisions or school choices. Routes to and from school can be checked if a child walks to school. It's really nothing more than common sense in the digital age. An RSO database isn't intended to be somesort of scarlet letter but rather just another tool in the tool box.

To the point of "college prank"; Mooning or streaking can indeed be an innocious bit of rebelion and if that's the case, then your state legislatures should be motivated to create specific charges seperate from the type of flashing that isn't innocious. I think it's more of a situation of local morality creating a harsher enviornment to pranks than it is lacking laws. Streaking through campus is bound to be interpreted differently by judges.

Holly
04-07-2006, 01:19 AM
I have rather strong opinions about the sex offender registry, for rather personal reasons.

1. Why just sex offenders??? why not every low life scumbag who ever got on the wrong side of the law????? I understand the worry about parents and pedophiles. But sorry, I am a hell of a lot more worried about the drug addict that is a repeat offender of other crimes, the robber etc. That to me is a hell of a lot more relevant to buying a home, to allowing my kids to walk to and from school, to who I will be friends with.

2. If there is going to be a registry, then it needs to be a hell of a lot more precise, with complete and total disclosure of the totality of the proceedings. There is a BIG difference between the offenses. The sex offender registry at least in UT doesn't discriminate the streaker from the pedophile (castration or death) or the person who was played by someone trying to enact a sick revenge. So when you pull it up, guess what, the misdemeanors are right next to the multiple count felons. I have a friend whose father is a repeat pedophile, though the psychiatrists say he isn't. Whenever her father moves, she personally takes pains to distribute this information to new neighbors. There are corrections officers who are sex offenders. CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS. Gee what does that say about the legal system??

Oh there is so much more I want to say, but it is just not my place.
H.

kash
04-07-2006, 08:25 AM
#1) Well, here's a good start. If you truly want all criminals listed then write your congressmen and have them work out the legislation. However it's a little more complected than that. RSO's have to keep updating their address per the terms of their release. Not all other criminals are required to do this.

This makes sense for several reasons. The chief among them is the high incidence of repeat offense among RSO's. When it comes to repeat offenses, the garden variety murderer is an altar boy compared to a rapist. Additionally, most (I think) states require RSO's to go through their parole system. Many other criminals such as burglars or robbers aren't paroled if they serve their full sentences.

Just as a side note, if anyone does look up their neighborhood RSO's and find that their not living at the listed address, I've found that many police are quite receptive to hearing about this. In many instances, this is a parole violation that will land them back in jail. I know of one lady that checked out the address's of her entire zip code and wound up having about half of the RSO's bounced back into the clink. For the couple days she spent doing some research she netted about 30 parole violations.

#2)Not to sound trite, but so what if the misdemeanors are listed with the felons? I think most people know the difference (at least in theory, if not the specifics between 4th and 5th degree sexual assault). Also, I think many people don't split hairs like the legal system does. Most understand that often plea bargains result in a reduced charge rather than stating what actually happened. Also, court and conviction transcripts are available to anyone that takes the time to look at the particulars. There is complete and total disclosure. Our court system is an open one, anyone that cares enough can request everything down to the transcripts made by the court reporter. Sure, those details aren't online but there are plenty of good reasons for them not to be too. Namely, Victims rights. I think it would be really messed up to have a complete victim list for every RSO. THAT would be wrong. I don't have any issues with misdemeanors being listed with felons on RSO lists.

Even if someone is on the list as a result of a "sick revenge", that has more to do with poor representation at their trial than the usefulness of RSO lists. These people have been convicted, served their time and as a condition of their release must report on this list. I don't see where their rights are being infringed on. They've been convicted. Part of the sentence is being on the list. Being on the list seems to be the least of the penalties when compared to prison time.

It seems weird to me that if you find no fault in your friend's actions, that you would have issues with an RSO list that is only there for those that are proactive enough to actually look up the information. Don't get me wrong, I think what your friend is doing is brave but it's completly different than the passive RSO online listing.

Holly
04-07-2006, 01:18 PM
Kash, you make some good points I hadn't really thought through - You are right that most people don't understand the degrees of punishment - they understand felony vs. misdemeanor but not the shades of grey related to the sentences and offenses. And the legaleze included with the registry listings of offenses can be daunting and misunderstood.

I also think the fact that other offenders DON'T always go through the parole system etc is a flaw in the system. I know someone-a sex offender- who served their time via work release, completed their probation successfully so is off parole...so why/how is that any different than another offender fulfilling a full court mandated sentence? Why should they be tracked when others aren't? Why should they have to remain on the list AFTER they have completed the probationary part of their sentence? What the registry does is extends their sentence to 10 years. Regardless of the degree of the offense. Is that right?

As for the sick revenge cases - as I got exposed to this whole issue, I learned of multiplepeople - professionals and educated people - who the system had screwed because of misrepresentation during the trial and issues with the law enforcement end of the judicial process, and so they are on the lists. Have had their lives seriously impacted because the legal system failed them - again they have served their time, but the punishment continues because of the lists.

Talk about issues with the legal system - did you know that one burb in UT tried to pass a law preventing sex offenders for entering public parks? How in the hell would that be monitored? tracked?

As for my friend and what she does - the reason I don't find it objectionable is that this man has been a repeat offender, but the legal system has neglected to punish him. He should be incarcerated - permanently, but the legal system has deemed that even with some of the acts that have been committed he is not a pedophile that has permanently damaged - physically and mentally - numerous children related to him and not.

kash
04-07-2006, 02:43 PM
Kash, you make some good points I hadn't really thought through - You are right that most people don't understand the degrees of punishment - they understand felony vs. misdemeanor but not the shades of grey related to the sentences and offenses. And the legaleze included with the registry listings of offenses can be daunting and misunderstood.
Sure, I agree. But I don't think that every John Doe needs or wants to know every facet of every crime. I didn't say they don't understand the difference, quite the opposite. What I meant to say, and will now say more plainly is; Most people don't care about the differences or nuances between sex offenses. It's enough for John Doe to know that there just are RSO's in the neighborhood. Most everyone understands that what someone is convicted for often has little to do with the actual crime. Plea bargins change the offense, often prosecuters will charge an offender such that a victim doesn't have to testify. John Doe understands this and doesn't place much stock in the numerous varities of sex offences.

Think of it as a "yield" traffic sign. A driver doesn't want to know about every accident that ever happened on that corner that caused a yield sign to be put up. The driver just wants a heads up to watch out for potential danger around the bend. I think that is the intent of online RSO listings, or at least the practical use of them.


I also think the fact that other offenders DON'T always go through the parole system etc is a flaw in the system. I know someone-a sex offender- who served their time via work release, completed their probation successfully so is off parole...so why/how is that any different than another offender fulfilling a full court mandated sentence?
Lotsa questions here, I'll try and address them one at a time; How is this different? I'd say that most people consider sex crimes to be worse than property crimes. Also, if a judge orders that as part of the accepted sentence that a convict not *insert condition here* then the offender is agreeing to the sentence. Usually, or perhaps often, an offender might be charged with a greater crime and as part of a plea bargin a lesser charge is accepted with some conditions. As in "never visit public parks". The offender may well have had the option of refusing the deal and instead take the harsher charge.


Why should they be tracked when others aren't? Again, many people think that sex crimes are worse than property crimes and harsher sentences are just. Also the ability to keep databases is a relative new one to courts. It's the information age. Years ago a judge might well have made a conditional sentence such as, "You may never seek employement as a teacher ever again". And if the convict accepted such, and later was caught violating the agreement, then they'd be facing that judge again. It's just easier to track now. The internet makes public records much more accessable.


Why should they have to remain on the list AFTER they have completed the probationary part of their sentence? What the registry does is extends their sentence to 10 years. Regardless of the degree of the offense. Is that right?
It all goes back to the deal that was struck or perhaps to manditory sentencing guidelines. In many cases partiular offenses carry manditory minimum sentences and conditions such as RSO listing. You ask, "Is it right?", well, it's the law and there are plenty of examples of poorly written laws, I'll not pretend to defend all of them. I would argue that it sure seems to be what the population wants. Stiffer sentences for sex crimes seems to be the buzz word. Even you seem to agree with that, yet rapists are let out with short time and other seemingly lesser offenses have have much stricter jail times.


As for the sick revenge cases - as I got exposed to this whole issue, I learned of multiplepeople - professionals and educated people - who the system had screwed because of misrepresentation during the trial and issues with the law enforcement end of the judicial process, and so they are on the lists. Have had their lives seriously impacted because the legal system failed them - again they have served their time, but the punishment continues because of the lists.

First off I'd like to address the comment, "professionals and educated people". Just who do you think that sex offenders are? They're from all walks of life. You can't assume that sex offenders are only unemployed drifers wearing a trench coat. Sex offenders are Doctors, lawyers... heck even the Deputy of Homeland Security just got busted for soliciting what he thought was a child online. A person's education or vocation does nothing to remove them from the potential pretator pool. Strangely enough, it's almost the opposite. Sex offenders, particularly those that target children, are often the most crafty, manipulative, intellegent criminals out there. Some studies suggest that child predators often have 100 or more victims before being caught. To get away with it for so long, they aren't exactly dumb. Pathological, sociopathic, yes, but not uneducated.

I really have little sympathy for those that complain about being on the list. To me it's similar to every person in jail claiming to be innocent. Sure they are. Poor babies. If it's one thing that most sex crime criminals have in common it's the ability to deny, obfuscate, misdirect, place blame, fault the system and cry crocodile tears. Where is the continuing punishment of being on the list? It's bogus. The records are public, they were found guilty. The only thing an online list does is make the research easier for John Doe. All those convicted sex offenders are easily found with a public records search. When I hear about some contrived "continued punishment" it makes me laugh, they just want the truth buried behind some difficult to navigate, seldom used corrections database.

In essence, I say tough nuggies. They need to live with the crime they've been convicted of. No more sweeping it under the rug. No more believing their sweetly spoken lies.



Talk about issues with the legal system - did you know that one burb in UT tried to pass a law preventing sex offenders for entering public parks? How in the hell would that be monitored? tracked?
While I wouldn't object to haveing dangerous felons GPS tagged for life I don't think this measure was intended on creating a big brother to track these criminals. Instead it's probably a nice way to revoke their parole or make an "add on" charge for future actions. In any case, this would be an example of a state legislature attempting to create a sentence guideline. That isn't odd, and neither is a judge ordering a criminal to stay away from certian public areas. Ask anyone that's had a DUI, they've most likely been ordered to stay away from any place that serves alcohol. This isn't really very strange at all.


As for my friend and what she does - the reason I don't find it objectionable is that this man has been a repeat offender, but the legal system has neglected to punish him. He should be incarcerated - permanently, but the legal system has deemed that even with some of the acts that have been committed he is not a pedophile that has permanently damaged - physically and mentally - numerous children related to him and not.

I don't find it objectionable at all either. Rather I wish that more individuals went to a wee bit of effort to inform and protect their neighbors. However, I might caution her that flyering a neighborhood with libelous information might wind her up in hot water. Not knowing the particulars I'll only comment further that "provable truth is the absolute defense against libel". If she has facts on her side, then I say "go girl".

chiashurb
04-09-2006, 07:20 PM
A few data that may influence people's opinions on sex offender registries, which often seem to be based on the idea that Sex Offenders are dangersous felons who are very likely to reoffend after they get out of prison:

The national bureau of justice statistics reports that:
"Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders."
"Of the 9,691 male sex offenders released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, 5.3% were rearrested for a new sex crime within 3 years of release."
Compare to:
"Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime."

That's 5.3% sex-crime recidivism (and that's arrests, not charges or convictions), compared to 67.5% general felony recidivism. If you subtract the 5.3% sex-crime recidivism rate from the overall recidivism rate of sex offenders, you find that sex offenders are about half as likely to commit a second non-sexual felony or serious misdemeanor as those whose first felony was not a sex crime.

See http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/crimoff.htm