Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

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Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

Post by Justice4all on Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:56 pm

Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

By John Simerman/ Contra Costa Times
Posted: 02/17/2010 01:00:39 AM PST

SACRAMENTO -- California's free-swinging approach to laws aimed at sex offenders has made thousands of them homeless, bloated the parolee database and spawned costly programs with little evidence they make residents safer, according to members of a state board that recommended several changes Tuesday.

Those laws also failed to help nab Phillip Garrido, the paroled rapist accused of abducting Jaycee Dugard, said lawmakers at a Capitol hearing Tuesday.

Just what they figure to do about it remains uncertain. A handful of state lawmakers at the hearing openly mulled the political risks of a "soft on crime" tag.

Homelessness has spread among the parolees, said Matthew Cate, secretary of corrections and rehabilitation. More than a quarter of the 8,750 offenders on parole are transient, and another 900 are at large, he said.

Before Jessica's Law, which barred sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children regularly gather, fewer than 100 were homeless.

In San Francisco, which is blanketed with the 2,000-foot zones, 84 percent of paroled sex offenders are homeless, he said.

The state Sex Offender Management Board, which issued the report, cites studies showing that kind of instability increases the risk of another sex offense.

GPS can help parole agents keep track, Cate said, but he admitted the state agency has struggled with the technology. Garrido's parole agent ignored dozens of alarms that the parolee's GPS anklet failed to send a signal.

Cate said about 7,100 parolee sex offenders have GPS anklets, at a cost of more than $55 million a year.

Again expressing regret for the agency's handling of the Garrido case, Cate cited several changes made since, including more training for agents, a new level of parole management and closer scrutiny of GPS signals.

Some lawmakers asked whether some of the money would be better spent on treatment. The state has largely ignored treatment, despite studies that show it significantly reduces recidivism, said Tom Tobin, a Contra Costa County psychologist and board member.

"Treatment is not coddling sex offenders. It's tough. Most sex offenders don't like it," he said. "It isn't a cure. It isn't magic. It doesn't have a positive outcome in all cases. But what does?"

Cate said the agency plans to spend $8 million on a pilot program for 800 high-risk offenders that includes treatment and other services to keep them from reoffending.

The 16-member board includes representatives of law enforcement, prosecutors, state corrections, victim advocates, county probation and treatment providers.

Their report recommends several changes to focus more attention on high-risk offenders.

Among them:

* Instead of barring all sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, as Jessica's Law does, apply it to only the most serious offenders, with loitering restrictions for all.

* Use GPS monitoring only with some form of community supervision.

* Create a routine treatment program for all sex offenders under supervision.

Deputy Attorney General Janet Neeley, who helped create the parolee database, said the state should distinguish risk levels among all sex offenders and, like most other states, limit the time low-risk offenders stay on the registry. Now, they remain there for life.

That would shrink the parolee database and give residents more useful information, she said.

State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, recalled being labeled "pure evil" by his own party when he balked at tough residency restrictions for sex offenders, before 70 percent of voters backed them in 2006.

"How we untie this knot now, I can tell you, is not going to be easy," he said.


http://www.thereporter.com/wirenews/ci_14416061
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Re: Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

Post by Justice4all on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:08 pm

The lawmakers should be worried about being labeled "soft on crime." It's often been proven that sex offenders can't be rehabilitated. High-risk sex offenders shouldn't be let out of prison, then you wouldn't have to worry about paying for GPS monitoring, or them being homless and reoffending.
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Re: Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

Post by pi-girl on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:20 pm

I still say if they have to be let out, put them all on a deserted island together with no way to leave and let them offend each other. Mad

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Re: Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

Post by eva on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:58 pm

I have to ask myself, how would I feel ABOUT THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM (or lack thereof) if my child were assaulted by a sex offender who had been released from prison.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002456680_sexoffender30m.html


Killings of 2 Bellingham sex offenders may have been by vigilante, police say

Last Friday night, a man claiming to be an FBI agent dropped in on three Level 3 sex offenders living together, supposedly to warn them...

By Jonathan Martin and Maureen O'Hagan

Seattle Times staff reporters

BELLINGHAM — Last Friday night, a man claiming to be an FBI agent dropped in on three Level 3 sex offenders living together, supposedly to warn them of an Internet "hit list" targeting sex offenders.

The man was not an FBI agent, but he may have been enforcing a hit list of his own creation.

Two of the roommates were found dead early Saturday of gunshot wounds, and Bellingham police are investigating a crime that authorities say may be one of the nation's most serious cases of vigilantism aimed at sex offenders.

The killings also highlight a potential problem about Washington's 1990 law requiring sex offenders to register their addresses so the public can keep track of them.

Bellingham Police Chief Randall Carroll said it is too early to conclude that Hank Eisses, 49, and Victor Vasquez, 68, were killed because they were sex offenders. Police released a sketch of the suspect, who is still at large.

But Carroll noted that their address — and descriptions of their crimes — were posted on the city's Web site, and if someone used that information to target Eisses and Vasquez, it could have a broad impact.

"Certainly if sex offenders were targeted and attacked because of their offense, the Legislature could decide they could repeal our sex-offender notification law," Carroll said.

Eisses owned the house where the killings took place, and had rented rooms for the past three years to Vasquez and James Russell, 42.

Russell was there the night the suspect showed up, but he soon left to go to work. When he returned about 3 a.m., he told police, he found his roommates dead. Based on their estimated time of death, and the fact that Russell was at work, he is not considered a suspect, according to police. Results of an autopsy are expected later this week, Carroll said.

Vasquez was convicted in 1991 of molesting several relatives. According to court documents, his victims endured regular abuse, sexual and otherwise. He was on Department of Corrections supervision at the time of the murder.

Russell was convicted in 1994 of molesting a 3-year-old girl, and released from DOC supervision about three weeks ago after serving 5 ½ years in prison.

While the public is understandably concerned about sex crimes, Kit Bail, a DOC official, said the three men have been quiet, law-abiding offenders while living together. None of the three had violated supervision conditions, she said, and none had reoffended.

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"In a sense, they are a success story," said Bail, the DOC's field supervisor for Whatcom County. "These guys were doing fine. They were employed. They were living according to the conditions."

The killings, she said, should "not be the basis on which we change the laws on registration, but if it is a vigilante act, it gives one pause. It gives me concern about other Level 3 sex offenders living responsibly — or even irresponsibly — in the community. Murder is not the response anywhere."


More at link...
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Re: Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

Post by Guest on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:34 pm

Still thinking a research centre for disease/cancer studies with a possible location in the Antarctica, is the best way to go.. Its a win win....human rats. Why not have these monsters contribute in saving lives, instead of letting them continue to harm lives....

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Re: Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

Post by eva on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:52 pm

I think chemical castration, but I will keep my thoughts to myself.
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Re: Sexual offender laws seen as flawed

Post by Piper on Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:58 pm

I've thought long and hard, for a very long time, on what to do with these "people", if you can call them that. I have quite a few ideas myself.
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