Registries cost millions; Accomplish nothing

By Steve Blow . . .

If the goal is more stigma and shame, the operation succeeds spectacularly.

For starters, the entrance is hidden around back of Dallas police headquarters, behind a rusting door, next to a small sign: “Sex Offender Registration Entrance Only.”

Inside, the atmosphere only gets worse. The dreary waiting room is almost always filled to capacity with people sitting glumly, waiting for hours to meet the strict reporting requirements of being a registered sex offender.

On the day I visited, a TV tuned to ESPN played high on one wall, but no one seemed to watch — except for a police detective, that is.

When he stepped into the waiting room to call the next man back for processing, the detective stood for several minutes to watch a sports story.

“You can see there’s no urgency,” Josh Gravens whispered to me across the waiting room. “A lot of these guys are in a hurry to get to their jobs, but he has time to watch ESPN. Very typical.”

Gravens is a registered sex offender himself. But on this day, he was there just to give me a glimpse of life on the registry. (Please see The Dallas Morning News for full story)

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    • #11682 Reply
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      Calvin J Stone

      Its a shame about what I’ve been reading. for me also being on that hell list. What gets me is sex offenders have to require what accounts that have online is a little extreme, and overboard. I know for a fact that I had a Facebook account and Facebook removed me do to be in on that registry. I spoke to a few lawyers about it they stated that they violated right but they also put it in their terms that if you’re a registered sex offender you have no right to be on Facebook. if a law enforcement agency is forcing people to register if they have online accounts or phone numbers they may need to reread the laws there is no such thing that requires them in federal law to do that if there is please feel free to show me those laws because maine doesn’t have those laws the only thing I’m required to do is my drivers license place of address place of work a picture and my fingerprints and even the cops here don’t even like the fact of doing all this all the time cuz it does take away what they’re trying to achieve the kicker is back in October I had to register and I was rushed out of there and forgot to sign my name on the form so the great state of Maine send me the form back to sign in or I would be convicted unless I sign the paperwork what gets me is that the officer rushed me out of there I even told him I needed to sign it and that’s what happens it’s just not Texas it’s all over the United States

    • #11683 Reply
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      Phil

      Facebook have fallen into the political farm of being sheep to the politicians. You can thank our former Connecticut goodie-two-shoes Att General Richard Blumenthal for that. Blumenthal is not a senator (lord help us!)
      He started attacking FB and MySpace for not doing checks on people who use their sites.
      Social media is the way of this age and the future. When you consider the thousands of people convicted of a sexual offense and the thousands more that get convicted each year (new crimes, not re-offenses) there’s gonna be a time when almost no one will be able to use social media.
      Someone should step up and fight this nonsense.

      1. If parents are worried about their kids, they need to be better parents and not expect the false sense of security of social media to be the baby sitters.

      2. Most all sexual offenses (and most of a consensual but illegal nature) that happened thru FB or other social media were from FIRST TIME OFFENDERS, so if they’re so worried about sex offenses happening to their kids, let’s just shut down social media entirely. Problem solved.

      3. EVERYONE has a right to use social media as it has gone from being just a way for friends/relatives to stay in touch to INFORMATIVE on many other life issues.

      Can someone (a damn good attorney) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring a lawsuit against Facebook for denying people their right to free speech, freedom of expression and freedom to stay in touch with friends/relatives from afar?
      I’ve even seen companies promoting their Facebook pages as the tool for filling out applications so banning someone from FB for a sexual offense is BOGUS. Tell FB to look into how many drug dealers are on their site, or home invaders, or car jackers and just start removing everyone who ever committed a crime. Otherwise, don’t remove anyone at all.

    • #11684 Reply
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      Calvin J Stone

      Yea no lawyer wants to do anything to help someone like us, unless they have money, its all about that green paper. God forbid if they put their reputation on the line.

    • #11685 Reply
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      Linda

      I can’t even fathom the scrutiny that a SO has to live with. It is awful as a parent to watch what one stupid mistake can cost. Time served, no probation but restrictions that just keep mounting. Someone has to take a stand that can actually make an impact. Sexual predators are one thing but offenders are something entirely different. What kind of jobs are out there for these people? My son is very bright and talented but no one will hire a SO.

    • #11686 Reply
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      Misty Dalton

      Does anyone know of any sex offender advocates in Cleveland, Ohio. A family member of mine is a sex offender and I truly feel that some laws are unfair and whatever I can do to help, I am willing to help

    • #11687 Reply
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      Richard Pruett

      There is supposed to be one for each state on this sight, but herein North Carolina, they don’t even answer e-mails, I am a N.C. registrant and all these people on all these hotlines keep telling me to be an advocate. I don’t know what it’s like in Ohio but here even other registrants wont even talk about being on the registry, much less being an advocate. Fair is getting stuff done to get registrants off the registry in Maryland, that are only still on there because of the more recent laws, which are exactly like me except I’m in the south, I just hope the north wins (again) ha ha

    • #11688 Reply
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      Richard Pruett

      The leaders in Washington shredded the rules of the constitution, to keep me on the registry, even after I done everything I was supposed to on the probation deal that I was scared into not only by the state but my not a rich and or famous man’s lawyer. God help me but with stuff like this, and Washington becoming more, and more like Hitler’s Nazi Germany, I’m not all that surprised when I see a rise in the number of people joining Organizations that the U.S. call the enemy.

    • #11689 Reply
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      Lisa

      My son, who has Aspergers Syndrome (Autism), was held in Dallas jail for 3 yrs on an attempted “solicitation” with a minor. This was on just a charge (not conviction). He had a court appointed attorney that convinced him to plead guilty, 2 yrs prison; and a 10 yr registration as a sex offender. Judge did not put any restrictions or boundaries; gave him time served because he had been sitting in Dallas Jail for so long. My son has the social development of a 12-year-old. His attorney knew he was autistic and was provided 20 yrs of documentation from various Mental Health Agencies, state facilities, and professionals who advocated for Brian. He did not have, and has not had, any history of sexual inappropriateness. I was prepared; begged the attorney not to plea Brian out because I wanted it to go to trial. While I was working out of town, the attorney convinced Brian to sign a plea. I was told I could not appeal because Brian signed the plea. No one can imagine the damage this has done to Brian and our family…It is difficult enough to have an adult son who is like a child; set up for failure in a broken school system, but a sex offender too?? The ten years of registration is over. It seemed like a hundred years, but we got through it. I, too, like Steve Blow, experienced the degradation of the register’s office in Dallas. I did not get a warm welcome from the officers and, of course, they didn’t understand a mother escorting her adult son to register. Brian is extremely vulnerable and easily targeted because of his severe social development challenges. So I had fears about him going by himself. What happen to my son could very easily happen again. It is truly a travesty of justice, and it damaged my son for life. I don’t know how the attorney responsible for this can sleep at night. I am interested in joining this advocacy and maybe can be part of something that could bring justice to those like my son and other victims.

    • #11690 Reply
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      Donna

      My son was arrested and convicted during bush jr’s presidency. Alberto Gonzales was the main culprit for setting the laws in motion. Very unforgiving laws, and many families and individual lives have been and are being destroyed. Even if it happens to one of their exclusive own, there are another set of rules which exempt them from public disgrace.

    • #11691 Reply
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      Teresa

      My name is Teresa. I have been reading the comments and noticed that the last reply was 1/2/15. Is there anyone out there that is still working on these laws..My son was arrested in October of 2004. He spent fouur years in prison. Was released on parole and is still on parole. He still has to register every three months and he is on Megan’s Law. He was fined $19000.00. He has paid all but $8000.00. He cannot find a job. He was lucky enough to find a job on work release while still in prison. When he was released he continued to work there. For personal reasons he looked for a new job. He found one. They trained him for this job and when training was over he went into his new job and was told he could not work there. So he was without a job. So he went back to his old job to see if he could get it back. Even though he worked there for six years and was very good at what he did they told him they could not hire him back. They knew about his situation when he first started there but because they changed management he could not go back. When he was arrested they told him they were going to charge him with everything they could. And they did. He was charged with child abuse and everything that was listed under that category. The only thing that he was guilty of was invasion of privacy. But he got hit with all charges that r listed on the child abuse category. He has tried to hang in there but I’m afraid that he is going to give up and do something to himself. We need help to try and to get all of these charges except for the one he actually did. Please if anyone has any ideas please help us. I live in PA and if there is no advocate in this state I can b available. Please keep these comments coming. We cant do anything if all we do is talk about it. Thank for taking time to read this.

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