Advocates for sex offenders will convene in Los Angeles for the 5th Annual National Reform Sex Offender Laws conference from August 29 through September 1. The focus of the conference is the reform of existing sex offender laws throughout the nation that deny the civil rights of more than 750,000 sex offenders and members of their families and the necessity for sexual offense laws that are rooted in facts and backed by evidence-based research.
Reform Sex Offense Laws, Inc., is a national civil rights organization with contacts and affiliated groups in forty states, D.C., and the Philippines. Organized officially in 2007, RSOL has had a national conference each of the past four years. This year’s conference, the fifth, is being held in Los Angeles, California, August 29-Sept. 1. Early bird activities begin on the 29th with the official opening keynote speech Friday morning, August 30.
“Justice for All: A Conference to Reform Sexual Offense Laws,” will include individual speakers and panels of experts on topics such as residency restrictions, meeting with legislators, and the retroactive application of laws to individuals convicted 50 years or more ago. There are more than 100,000 registered sex offenders in the state of California, including more than 11,000 in Los Angeles County.
“An important topic to be discussed at the conference will be a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that ruled that registration of sex offenders is not punishment, but merely an administrative requirement,” stated Janice Bellucci, President of California RSOL. “Subsequent to that decision, there is overwhelming evidence to prove that public registration is not a simple administrative requirement but indeed punishment. Registration of sex offenders has resulted in unemployment, homelessness, and even vigilante violence. This decision must be overturned.”
The conference will officially begin on Friday, August 30, with a presentation by keynote speaker Alex Landon, a prominent criminal defense attorney. Landon is co-author of the book A Parallel Universe, which analyzes sex offender issues from both legal and human perspectives. Landon is also former president of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and is a current board member of the California Reform Sex Offender Laws (CA RSOL) organization. In his presentation, “Finding the Answers,” he will ask and answer the difficult questions that are at the heart of RSOL’s advocacy.
“This is an excellent opportunity for registrants and family members of registrants to learn about the laws and policies that affect their daily lives,” stated Brenda Jones, Executive Director of the national RSOL organization. Past national conferences have been held in Boston, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Albuquerque.
Additional featured speakers are:
- Catherine Carpenter, criminal defense attorney and professor of law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles; Doctor
- Suzonne Kline, former administrator of Florida’s Sexually Violent Predator Program; and
- Doctor Clare Ann Ruth-Heffelbower, Founding Program Director of Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) at the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno Pacific University.
Carpenter’s primary focus of scholarship is on issues pertaining to sex offender registration laws and sex crimes. Her presentation is “Sexual Offense Laws and Constitutionality” and will explore the spiraling nature of sexual offense laws and the lack of constitutional foundations underpinning them.
Dr. Kline is currently in private practice specializing in forensic evaluation, risk assessment, sexual offenders, and the provision of expert testimony regarding effective sexual offender management. She will foc_us on developing effective sex offender management practices using risk-based assessment to make risk-based decisions regarding public safety in her presentation, “Public Policy and Risk-Based Assessment.”
Ruth-Heffelbower is a former minister and has been involved in restorative justice work for more than 30 years. She helped to found the COSA program in 2007 with a start-up grant from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Her presentation, “Restorative Justice and Sexual Offenders,” will give an overview of restorative justice principles with a focus on Circles of Support and Accountability.
Workshops and presentations for the three days of the conference cover the full gamut of topics centered around a fact-based advocacy.
Online registration for the conference is available here. The cost to register is $100 per person, with an early bird discount available through July 31. Additional information about the conference, including hotel accommodations and presentation overviews, can be found here and at California Reform Sex Offender Laws.
8 Thoughts to “Advocates Seeking to Reform Sex Offender Registry Laws to Convene in Los Angeles”
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I’m a convicted sex offender. I committed a sex crime in 2002 and was sentenced to 41/2 years to 10 years in prison. I ended up spending 8 years in prison. I was released in Jan. 2010. I have since completed 2 years parole which completed the maximum time of my sentence. However I’m still to register on the sex offender register for the rest of my life. I was 22 at the time of my offense. I will be 36 in June.
I was arrested yesterday 3-19-2014 for two felony warrants, for failing to report my employment. I now have two more felonies because I can only work for temporary services who may over look felonies. Point is, I’m sent to different sites by this agency and without thought I go to work. Is that a felony charge that constitutes a warrant where multiple sheriffs surround my home with my three young children and fiance with weapons drawn? May I add that I’m in “compliance with my address, vehicle, and current registry as a whole. Arresting officers told me “they don’t know what I could be doing at work.” Am I ever really free?
Hey Sherman, I am a sex offender and I am very sorry to hear that but the way things go is that the United States of America discriminates against the sex offender and labels them with this scarlet letter for the rest of their life.
Its a law for the Government and people with that power don’t want to back down it makes them look weak. God knows you paid the penalty but for all sex offenders we are the property of the state for the rest of our lives.
Therefore anything we do from now until we die will go against us. Even if we get drunk in public. We are all vulnerable for any hate group.
Its a sad state of affairs when the state has the right to protect its citizens but the sex offender is not a citizen in their eyes. If they were they would not put us on the register after we did our time.
So about all you got my friend is God because Government thinks your a scum bag just like I am. Its very said when the murderer is better than the sex offender. So I’m afraid yours and my life are just screwed for the time being.
you are one of the lucky ones My husband was sentenced to 9yrs back in 1992 and was released after 4 and a half yrs, was out for 6 months the a parole violation put him back in and now he is in a State hospital and has no idea when he might get out.
I feel for him. I was there and understand how hard it is to leave there but not impossible, through legal ways and sometimes through treatment freedom does take place its not often but it does take place and now since people are learning the real re-offence percentage rate rather than what was formally told more people are getting out. There is hope.
Ida, I was at Coalinga for four years. I was released in April 2012 and work with men at Coalinga to help them get out. I have two counties and three Public Defenders who have hired me to help their clients at Coalinga. Please contact me at email@example.com.
Rick, I would enjoy connecting with you. I was at CSH for four years. I was released April 2012, and now help other men to prepare to get out.
I believe we are “Family by circumstance,” and that requires we help each other. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am 64 and was convicted in 1973 while attending college for resembling the rapist. served 2 1/2 years paroled 1 yr. and for thirty five years not required to register. in 1995 San Bernadino sherrif dept. due to the “patriot act” arrest me and hold me with no charges and tell me I will be arrested again if I don’t register for life…. to the point money hungry attorney’s ask for 7,0000-$10,000 to go to court to request the 45yr. old registration be discontinued…..I’m disabled and unable to pay this kind of fee. what a world (prison planet we live in)…for those who remember “dragnet drama” “a million stories in the naked city, this is just one of them”!!! Any advocate atty. please feel free to respond(760) 912-0113
parole currently incarcerated in a California prison on a sex crime regarding Pimpin, prostitution, and a minor. I was sentenced to 22 years for aiding and abetting my younger cousin who had a minor working for him and sharing a home with me. sex offenders have been excluded from participating in every incentive based program that is available to the rest of the prison population such as milestones for participating in self help programs such as NA or college also the increased time credits and the 50% parole board incentive. What has been overlooked by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is the fact that all the sex offenders that have been excluded from the incentive based programs have release dates and will one day return to their communities. But at this rate they won’t be rehabilitated is this a wise strategy by the state? I think not, I’m sure the public rather have rehabilitated sex offenders in the community. However, regardless of the fact that my case requires registration and that I’ve been excluded from receiving incentives that even a murderer qualifies for I earned 3 college degrees and numerous certifications for participating or completing self help programs and I still cant get any relief. something needs to be done in prisons that everything is equal (whats good for a killer should also be good for a sex offender) if a murderer can get out of prison early for going to college why can’t a sex offender?