An RSOL guest post by Jackie….
People, being imperfect as they are, make mistakes, choose the wrong path, and commit crimes.
Some who are sex offenders, as defined by being listed on a sex offender registry, have committed serious crimes that may warrant being monitored by law enforcement for a long time. Many, many more have not, and any prolonged monitoring is a waste of scarce resources.
Regardless of which category the crime fits, after the majority are released from prison or are placed on probation, they will still be just as isolated and unforgiven.
If they have children they may not be able to be a natural part of their lives– no attending school functions, no day at the zoo, no going to a carnival that is in town. These are only the tip of the iceberg of the many things that are important for a healthy family relationship.
And that’s if they are even allowed to see their children at all! Every child should have the right to enjoy the everyday aspects of family life with his or her parent once that parent has returned as a responsible part of society.
This only scratches the surface of injustice that is happening to many men and women who pose no danger to public safety. They have paid the penalty for their actions. Yet they are registered, sometimes for the rest of their lives, often unable to find employment suitable to their qualifications–sometimes unable to find any at all– and even unable to live in an area of their choice.
These men and women have acknowledged they made very bad decisions, have completed counseling, group therapy, probation, and paid an enormous amount of money in fines and court costs. Our justice system has released them back into society but has closed the paths to their taking their rightful places as fully contributing citizens.
These people deserve the chance to prove they are now responsible for their actions and decisions. Our current laws are not accomplishing this, nor do they contribute to improved public safety. They do little except hurt people by keeping them forever locked outside, alienated and separated from society and from what they need the most in order to to establish healthy lifestyles.
It is time to reform sex offender laws.
12 Thoughts to “When someone is down, do you kick them, look down on them, or help them up?”
I plea bargained to two counts of sexual abuse of a female under 15. I received a sentence of 1 year each count consecutively. I served 1 year and was released in Arizona a class 5 felony classified none dangerous could have been released earlier but refused to go to parole board at 9 months, was AN OUTSIDE Trustie received a 3 day pass and because i did the refrigeration i was in town a lot of the time. had no problems while in custody i report once a year. The sentence expired in 1985. Is there any way i could be released?
Paul…. you would have to sit with an attorney and find out what the requirements are for release of registration. Having said that, it does not mean that every state will recognize it, and you would still having to follow other state laws if you are traveling out of state.
If the government wants to put someone in a civil commitment program they must first prove they are a danger to society. Speculation has never been a part of our legal system. Due process, Beyond reasonable doubt just because you change the name of something does not mean you can skip these important rights. The law is wrong and must be stopped.
I ache inside whenever I read or hear of others suffering from these outlandish, unfair and outdated laws. First, each one of us affected by them need to understand that we are not alone. I’m beginning to understand more and more that my family can become part of something bigger. The support is out there. What we are finding out is we have to “get to work” We need to lobby to change or remove the registry laws and regulations in our state of residence. One of the profound statements I read here through this dynamic organization RSOL is: “There is a significant risk in doing nothing at all. As long as lawmakers and law enforcement think nobody cares what they do, they WILL continue to make things worse. But once we start to fight back we will begin to see change.” Once we understood as a family, the biggest thing we could do is to let our legislators know how these laws have impacted our lives, now it is to get enough courage to let them know. It is these very laws that have created fear, mistrust and severe collateral damage rather than protect anyone. It is vital to let it be known what a rehabilitated ex-sex offender (especially if incorrectly accused) has successfully accomplished. Such as with the case of my husband, who has worked very hard, for the past 25 years, moved on with full unconditional love and support from family, friends and those who REALLY know him. The certainty of knowing, without any doubt he is NOT any danger to ANYONE. But, because of the incorrect information put onto the registry it brands not only him, but our entire family…for life! What I am also learning is that we do have several options. (1) We can initiate a legal challenge on various constitutional grounds. (2) We can build a coalition of like-minded community people and propose new laws that correct some or all of the most egregious problems with these public registrations. (3) We can also find ways to better educate the general public on the TRUTH about registered persons, and dispel the media hype that is largely responsible for that Scarlet Letter.” At present, I am seriously considering participating in the Scarlet Legal Action Project. How to seek Attorneys with a passion for reform. I would strongly encourage others to do the same. We are blessed with organizations such as RSOL, W.A.R and several others. I feel confident of what is being done through these great organizations and the dynamic people who run them.
I’d like to join in helping with the Scarlet Letter Project to help my son and many more! Tell me how I can help or what we need to do!!
My wife is in the same boat as you. Let me share with you that I, myself feel as though I have crippled my wife’s and childrens’ lives with my label. Bad mistake, payment forever. I have no idea what your husbands circumstance or your family’s circumstance is. Its funny how everybody preaches second chances and forgiveness, they all want it, however, they don’t want to give it out. Everyday I sit and play with my children. They laugh and smile at me. You know the look….. the one with unconditional love and that you are everything to them. Everyday I say to myself that I am sorry that I cannot do the things that other dads can do with their children. And that i am sorry for cheating them from the life they deserve to have. When I look at my beautiful wife, i also find myself telling her, in my mind, that i am sorry for her putting up with this with me and thank you for being my foundation .
Because that is what they are, my wife is my foundation, my children are my pillars and I am doing my very best to be the walls and their roof.
Fellow registered citizens, you might be thinking “If I just keep a low profile and don’t make waves, maybe my city/county/state will stop making laws that hurt me.” Guys, here is your reality check: THEY WON’T STOP UNTIL WE STAND UP FOR OURSELVES. They will keep making bad laws until we make our voices heard. I’m sure you can think of people groups throughout history that tried to keep a low profile while being persecuted, but it didn’t work and they were destroyed (e.g. the people groups killed by the Nazis). GET OUT OF DENIAL BY TAKING THESE CONCRETE ACTIONS:
(1) DONATE to national and your local RSOL to help them continue the good fight.
(2) READ the national RSOL and your local RSOL websites every week to keep up to date.
(3) ATTEND local RSOL meetings.
(4) WRITE letters to the politicians about how these laws affect you and why they are based on bad ideas (you can ask your RSOL for sample letters).
(5) VOTE for politicians who will protect our constitutional rights, and
(6) Work with RSOL to ATTEND HEARINGS on bad laws and be willing to tell the committees for 30 seconds on how the bad law damages your ability to be a productive, law abiding citizen. That last action item may sound scary, but it is one of the most powerful actions you can take. After you see the politicians drop a bad proposed law because they were surprised at the amount of unexpected pushback they got from you and others, you will feel a new hope that you can help the pendulum swing back toward sane registered citizen law.
I have a very dear friend that was accused of rape when he was in high school by a girl that was his sex buddy, they were friends for several years and she started to want a relationship with him after he started dating a different girl. One day he stopped over for sex and after he left she called her girlfriend crying because he went back to the other girl. Her friend told her to get even by calling the police and say he raped her, she did.
He was behind bars for 4 years when the girl told the truth and it was on file waiting for the public defender to follow up on it. Now its 5 years, he missed the funeral of his father but he is released, still on the registry and being punished to this day. He is now 42 years old raising his son on his own.
Please, someone tell me if there is a way to help him get off this registry, not only for his sake but for his 10 year old son.
Like many others of register sex offender families I am too sufferings of my husband predicament. It’s not long ago I was quite happy that I am finally able to get an apartment. However, I am now facing to move out within the next 5 days. The management found out I am living with registered sex offender, his offense is 30 years ago but due to the age involve its not matter. Sometimes I just want to give up and move on with my life, but his health is deteriorating that I cannot bare to live him on his own. Someone did a bad practical joke on him 30 years ago where he was kind enough to give them a place to live and this what they repay him.
You are very strong for staying with him. This is a true testament for what you are doing for your husband.(and another others doing the same for their loved ones) When others would move on because its easier, you are taking the hard road. The path less traveled.
My advice to you is to make sure you are reading the rental agreement carefully. Especially where it asks ” where you ever convicted of a felony?” I have found that I don’t waste time, I just put it out there. And let them answer. I don’t put it down, I am up front with them.
Little story…. I have a condo. On my application for acceptance they didn’t not ask any sort of question regarding convictions for “buyers” however, they did ask for renters, leasers or inheritance. 4 months later after my wife and I are all settled. The condo associated had me meet with their lawyer. He asked me why I didn’t put it down and I told him because it did not ask for buyers, only renters, leasers or inheritance. Thank goodness there was nothing he could do about it. because I filled out the application with exactly what they asked for. They did a background check supposedly, I paid for it and they didn’t do a thorough search. They probably just kept the money.
I am a registered citizen in FL. My conviction was in another state and I was sent here to FL to complete probation whilst living with my mother. This is for a 1998 conviction. I thought my girl friend was older. I was obviously wrong. Going forward I recently petitioned for release from registration from my convicting state and was granted. However, upon sending my ” Court order release from registration” from the state of N.C. to FDLE I was informed that it was only good in North Carolina. I have pointed out the state statue to FDLE stating that if someone convicted from another jurisdiction for the ” same or similar” offense was released from registration that they Shall not register. Having said this, the state of FL said no again stating that it was because of the age difference.
The state does not even follow its own laws. On top of this. In FL, you have to register for 20 years before you can petition. However, they don’t include probation as registration. I have been registered for approximately 17 years. But the state of FL does not count the 5 years of probation, so here I have been registered for 12 years.
I have options to move out of the state across the country however, that would mean I would have to leave my wife and children for at least a year and save money to move them.
The true intended consequence of the registry lends to the likelihood of devaluing the relationship any offender may be involved in. It is merely a subsequential system made to marr a once familial relationship, rendering it to ruins. It is sort of like releasing a invasive insect into the crop of a rivalry to see what may come, cultivating the worst possible outcome or preemptive posture and awaiting assured destruction.
That is what the expect you to endure and how low they want you to live. Don’t let this demonic concept define you, live with what you have and remove yourself from any caustic or corrosive “title”, that intends to cause irreparable harm to you or your family, no matter how painful it seems, or how long it takes to regain all things good. The human condition has turned into hate mongering heathens, with no sense for care or compassion. We removed ourselves from reality and replaced it with false feel goods.