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The difficulties of a risk-based system

By Larry . . . NARSOL fully supports the goal of a risk-based registration system with registration information only available to law enforcement entities. Having said that, it is important to recognize that convincing legislators in to move towards a risk-based system will be harder than it at first may seem, for several reasons.

States are generally moving away from risk-based models to an offense-based model to comply with the AWA which bases the tier levels on the offense. Several states including Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Vermont that previously utilized risk-based models have scrapped them since enactment of the AWA. Vermont did not totally scrap its risk-based model but changed its law so that those with victims under age 18 are posted on the Internet even if the person is determined to be at low-risk for re-offense. And, of course, states that have never had a risk-based registration system would be beginning from scratch.

To create a risk-based registration system, several barriers must be overcome, the most significant of which is the financial cost. A new governmental apparatus would need to be created to perform the evaluation of each offender. Costs would include (1) a professional staff to gather the necessary background on each offender and (2) competent personnel to make an objective determination of the person’s risk to commit new sexual offenses. Once the apparatus is created it would need recurring funding because new people are added to the registry daily and others are constantly being released from custody.

Another hurdle will be how to handle those that do not agree with their risk assessment. No system is perfect, which means you will need a robust review/appeal process. Those with non-contact offenses cannot assume that you be deemed “low-risk” because that is not at all what happens in states currently using risk assessments.

To be successful in convincing legislators that a risk-based system is more desirable, you will want to research and prepare answers for these important questions.

  • How exactly would you want the state’s registration scheme modified based on risk assessments?
  • Are you recommending that low-risk persons not be listed on the website, or do you want to reduce registration periods and in-person reporting requirements based on the outcome of the risk assessment?
  • What would be the approximate cost to create the entity that would determine the person’s risk? That entity will need professional staff to conduct the individualized evaluations. Otherwise the Static 99 will become the only option.
  • What would the process of appeal look like if a registrant disagreed with his/her risk assessment?
    • Would that appeal process be administrative or judicial?
    • In the appeal process, who would represent the state, as they would certainly want to have a say in the individual’s risk determination?
    • What would the burden of proof be? Clear and convincing evidence or preponderance of evidence?
    • Which party will be required to carry the burden of proof by whichever standard prevails?
    • How would indigent registrants be represented in this process?
  • How would an indigent’s psychologist or other experts be compensated so that the process would be fair?
  • How often could a registrant petition to have his/her risk reevaluated?

It is clear that convincing states with offense-based registration to switch to a risk-based model will be difficult, and making a success of it will require a lot of work. Although NARSOL supports risk assessments conceptually, this is why we generally choose to focus on constitutional and civil rights arguments.

 

 

 

 

This topic contains 18 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  James Townsend 4 months ago.

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  • #8614 Reply

    James Townsend

    Thank you Larry. While this NARSOL site has been a comfort to some there are pro’s and con’s to everything. Man’s devices will never solve this problem of the sex registry

    In human standards what it can be boiled into is the devil beating his wife to coin a phrase.

    I commend Larry on this risk based system but we are all it seems today classified as violent offender’s. That said all this boils down to is sin, whether a thought up sin or actually a sin of the flesh. While I know some of you all don’t want to hear this but it just goes to show you how far that the American government would go to protect even a fictitious child.

    While all this might glamorize the government in all their endeavor it sure puts a stop on the one on the registry which is me and you.

    1.One can’t go to church without a chaperone if they choice to do so…. which puts the other party in some sort of obligation that is your chaperone.

    2.One has a lights out time or curfew, Some can’t get a job when they run a background check and find out one is a sex offender.

    3. One can’t be on the internet like others for fear that one will talk to little children.
    4. One is not responsible to self-govern himself or herself.
    5. One cannot go around libraries or parks
    6. One is self depressed and in a state of confusion because they are considered an outcast.

    One is more or less discriminated by this and it seems unrealistic that society would do that especially the government since government was founded on “Biblical Principals”

    I agree with Larry a better approach would be good but the way the nation is today I would say that governments don’t care anything about the sex offender…. Look at the black people today and the erase the hate thing……
    One could say would sex offender right’s matter or black lives matter or all lives matter….. I hope Trump changes things. Go get’em NARSOL.

  • #8615 Reply

    H n H

    As long as the entire system is propped up by money, it will continue as it is. States receive funding from the government to pursue these convictions, and will twist any event into a sex offense. Now, picture this country if sex charges were discouraged, can you even picture that? People aren’t rewarded for good behavior, they are banished for events that sometimes weren’t even their own desires. We’re dealing with a system built on corruption for the sole purpose of the sex registry being to satisfy parents who are unable to address their teen daughters promiscuity. Addressing the registry as a reaction to “crimes” completely dismisses the FACT that a vast majority of people on the cursed thing are on there for stuff that only the DA, courts, judges and justices twist to define as being “criminal” and in many cases the teen girl and her family adamantly do NOT want to push into a trial. But that doesn’t serve the courts continuing lust for power, and it is not the people they serve, it is the power they have a hard grasp on and refuse to let go of. Just who are they serving? Not the people! Until this is addressed NARSOL is blindly unaware of how very limited it is in its ability to have any impact on the horrors of the registry.

  • #8616 Reply

    H n H

    As long as the entire system is propped up by money, it will continue as it is. States receive funding from the government to pursue these convictions, and will twist any event involving a body part they so choose into a being a sex offense. Now, picture this country if sex charges were discouraged, can you even picture that? People aren’t rewarded for good behavior or lifetime achievements, they are banished for events that sometimes weren’t even their own desires. We’re dealing with a system built on deep, (bottom of the barrel) political corruption for the sole purpose of the sex registry being to satisfy parents who are unable to address their teen daughters promiscuity. Addressing the registry as a reaction to “crimes” completely dismisses the FACT that a vast majority of people on the cursed thing are on there for stuff that only the DA, courts, judges and justices twist to define as being “criminal” and those circumstances are only widening! In many cases the teen girl and her family adamantly do NOT want to push into a trial. But that doesn’t serve the courts continuing lust for power, and it is not the people their jobs serve, it is the power they have a hard grasp on and refuse to let go of. Just who are they serving? Not the people! Until this is addressed NARSOL is blindly unaware of how very limited they are in their ability to have any impact on the horrors of the registry.

  • #8617 Reply

    Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

    The only REAL solution is complete abolishment of the registry. It is a hydra; so long as even a single head remains, it regenerates. All it takes is one high profile case to prompt legislatures to strengthen the law.

    I was classified a “predator” under a risk based system simply because the judge had great discretion in making decisions and despite showing obvious bias in court (even stating all sex offenders were high risk), he could get away with it because we aren’t a protected class.

    The problem I will continue to have with most of you mere reformists is that you’re willing to continue to concede too much just to obtain very small moral victories. You are content to lop off a single head of the hydra and declare victory. The registry will continue to grow so long as it exists. This registry is going strong while the terrorist list fizzled out, another equally ineffective list created by fears of a different kind of “predator.”

    Simply reforming the laws will NEVER be enough.

  • #8618 Reply

    ML

    I agree. The goal, plainly stated, should be abolition of the registry.

  • #8619 Reply

    Ron

    The hateful hyperbole of registration remains to be the monetary proceeds garnered from such perpetual systems, meant to befit popular politics at the cost of
    Registrants and defendants in a court of law or administrative review. Some states have sensible remedies that are remotely acceptable to registrants surviving the dealt and divided disparities caused by being compliant. To dismiss it and remove it as a
    Whole is not realistic in the eyes of the general public, for their ambiguity will be injected with certain ignorance. The most logical approach is to win any war you can no matter how miniscule as sadly as it sounds. Survivalbility and adaption shouldn’t be the accepting, passive positioning, but the good fight should be conserved as a powerful poker in reserve when the occasion arises. The careful and conscientious seemingly always prevail with the practice of deliberate patience. Not every win is small and not every victory is vast, just like the soul wrenching journeys through slavery in America came the chasms of resistance no matter how small viewed, still contained a deeper element of courage. This place at which we find ourselves with a new impending president and a event more ironic regime gives way to more
    Seeing our plight if articulated largely on mass
    Media. We have a chance to amplify the volume of our voices by channeling our message to more engaged ears. Derek I do understand your dissent for it is not without merit, but I am not going to fool myself about the goal the government has injected into its campaigning of continued criminalization and cloaked punitive policies
    upon its citizens.

  • #8620 Reply

    Rajendra

    Registry, they say, is not a form of punishment, but then it is not voluntary either!

    I see no prospect of a better life in this country while being in the registry. One wrong move, even a minute one such as being a day late to report the change of address, being at a wrong place(!), etc., can land a registrant to years behind the bar.

    Life is filled with constant fear even though one knows that he/she is not a monster. One just wants to live his/her life, survive.

    This registry is moving us away from the society, and that’s what it is designed for. And they say that the recidivism rate for sex offenders is very very high, and meanwhile they take everything away from those that have been labeled as sex offenders. This whole sex offender registry, probation, etc. is filled with fear, lies, greed, and it’s only getting worse.

  • #8621 Reply

    H n H

    Just an FYI, here locally, the famous founder/hypocrite of the registry who belongs on it himself, John Walsh has his own TV commercial asking for the publics help. His request is always the same “We need YOUR help to get these dangerous fugitives off the streets!”. Those dangerous fugitives are listed with 2 different people every time, and in each commercial the faces shown are different (never the same), but the charges of these people are all the same “FAILURE TO REGISTER”.

    Yes, you heard correctly. The man who belongs on the registry himself but had the fortune of not being turned into a registrant makes a plea to the public for who he labels as” dangerous”. The crime which everyone is spoonfed is simply not making it to the office on time. Every time I see that commercial I literally yell at the TV “hypocrite”.

    The public is being groomed by authorities to assume all registrants are dangerous monsters, and John Walsh is the head of the snake. I’ve given up any hope of having a normal life. No woman in her right mind will ever date me and to think any differently is a hope which is just dangerous. Someday ole Johnny boy will stand in front of God and have to give an account for all he’s done. And he’ll see the hell he’s put into the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

    A side note, the registry is quickly approaching 1 million individuals. What will the reaction be then by authorities? Think 10 yrs down the road, we could have 2 million! Lots of dangerous people out there!

  • #8622 Reply

    Lovecraft

    I agree with what you are saying. There are some key cases being decided this year. (various premise cases, social media, 6th circuit case ruling the registry unconsitutional) The outcome of these cases will be a good litmus test for determining exactly how burdened we are as a group in the face of state and federal courts. I posted in another article awhile back it may take us organizing as a group and literally marching on washington we just need organization and numbers. I imagine on average each registrant has at least 3 people who support them so that would push our numbers to roughly 3.5 million today. If we had like 20 to 25% of that to take to Washington I think people would finally hear us.

  • #8623 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    Small victories open the doors to large victories that will eventually lead to the abolishment of the registries. Registrants and their familes become embroiled over the news of small victories. We then come together and push for bigger changes as the small victories are not satisfactory and we can feel a sense of gaining ground in our battle.

    I assure you that every member of NARSOL has the ultimate goal of seeing the registry laws abolished, just as you do. We just know that realistically, that is not going to happen in one swoop. Winning a war involves taking back territory one battle at a time.

  • #8624 Reply

    Erika

    What is missing from this whole scenario is those who have had their civil rights restored vs. registration requirements or parole, probation like obligations. The deeper constitutional roots of this matter has become all wrapped up in a tight little ball and have become all too much nothing more than a distant memory and lost within the controversy!

    I have never seen this specifically addressed in the case law? All the case law you see floating around in the Shepherd’s are more focused on “liberty interests” rather than “fundamental rights” which include “human rights” and “freewheeling law.” You can google the word “punishment” to death and derive little meaning from the existing legal dicta or juris prudence. Oh yes let’s not forget the ever eluding “Bill of of Pains and Penalties1” or “Bill of Attainder1″ that the current state of juris prudence cleverly evades by walking on egg shells for fear of abolishing the registry itself…

    1″A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them, often without a trial.”

  • #8625 Reply

    Erika

    Risk Assessments?

    As far as I know are impossible period!

    Is not any citizen responsible for there own behavior?

    Does one really need a crystal ball reader-babysitter-fortune teller to evaluate future behavior?

    Would it not be easier for a sane and liable person to create a quasi affidavit contract to not re-offend sexually? And filing it with the secretary of state (executive branch) and possibly with the judicial branch through a formal motion and petition. It would need to be drafted in such a way as to show that above entitled person has completed a sex offender treatment programs, counseling etc.

    RRECIDIVISM PROBLEM solved, IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE and with a little research I am sure there is not any statute ordinance, administrative law or judicial rules of civil or criminal procedure etc. to prohibit one from doing this?

    Getting this idea into the legislature in the form of a bill and drafting a law for it would be challenging but not impossible.

    In the words of one of our most memorable presidents:

    “The only way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

  • #8626 Reply

    John W

    This may not be the proper place to say this, but maybe all the reporting tonight of the unsubstantiated vulgar sexual perversions of a Presidential Elect, will open some people’s eyes to the fact that just the suggestion of certain behaviors, even if it is a lie, will destroy lives.

    It’s really sad that we live in a time when people will spew out all types of hate against government leaders by referring to them as liars, racists, criminals, Nazis, Hitler’s, etc.. We think making reference to a President of the USA as equivalent to a madman who was responsible for the death of 30 million people and the destruction of more than half of Europe is some sort of slam. We’ve heard it so many times, it’s become oblivious to us. It’s making us yawn.

    But call him a “sex offender” and watch what happens.

  • #8627 Reply

    Erika

    I think the idea or philosophy behind NARSOL’s thinking is that lawmakers would be more willing to accept this type of thinking but as a person of empirical science that is where I must part ways in supporting this type of thinking because it is extremely dangerous and to say the least you might as well join the psychic friends network or start using i ching or tarot cards to tell the future.

    You are dealing with pseudoscience or what in the scientific community is referred to as “Witch Science” which is in the realm of parapsychology and metaphysics.

    What it boils down to is guess work, collecting data and rolling dice against a closed system of variables based on that data but failing to capture the vast complex network of all the variables.

    If actuarial profile analysis (comparative analysis of identified components by the observer relating to static and dynamic variables about behaviors shared by the general populous) were a valid way of predicting future human behavior that would be the end of a democratic society where fear would overshadow human rights and the whole idea behind freedom i.e. United States Constitution, Bill of Rights

  • #8628 Reply

    Robert

    “NARSOL fully supports the goal of a risk-based registration system with registration information only available to law enforcement entities.”

    Why care about what a future registration system is based on? This seems to be a distraction and loss of focus.

    Why not just maintain focus on the real deal: Strong and repeated legal challenges to Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003) “The question is if the intention was to impose a punishment or “civil proceedings”. If the intention was to punish, that ends the inquiry. If the intention was to enact a regulatory scheme that is civil and nonpunitive, the Court must examine whether the scheme is so punitive as to negate the State’s intention to deem it civil.” Establishing and proving punishment at SCOTUS is the janga block that can cause the current registration scheme to collapse.

    Facts are starting to matter now. Facts are starting to make it into significant court rulings. We have the legal community’s recognition that these laws are based on false preambles – the false facts used to brief the SCOTUS leading to this erroneous decision in 2003, and the fear mongering/ false facts by politicians and special interest groups that used this 2003 precedent to put far reaching and more onerous laws in place since.

    Above all, we now have a decade and a half of empirical data that does not support the conclusion of the 2003 SCOTUS or the subsequent laws since. We need to cut this tree down at the base and not keep trying to trim its branches. We need to advance the legal challenges to Smith v. Doe that these laws were not only enacted based on false preambles (false, inaccurate information) but that there is little question as to their punitive nature since enactment.

    If Smith v. Doe falls, then shall AWA. AWA with its conviction based scheme has been a disaster of epic proportions since enactment. Its funding continues to bloat the federal government with ineffective, bureaucratic management of the SORN program since enactment. Hard to imagine that the pending 6th Circuit case will not further erode the failed efforts of DOJ in enacting AWA as three of its seventeen compliant states are likely to be impacted.

  • #8629 Reply

    Dave D

    Risk assessment works as long as the person doing the assessing is not biased. Get the wrong person and it will be even worse then it is. I say make them go back to following the constitution and the rest will work itself out.

  • #8630 Reply

    In Search of Liberty

    Two points I’d like to make: A) I agree wholeheartedly with Robert, Risk Based Assessment my ass; there should be no registry/registration at all because it is unconstitutional. Registry/registration violate: 1) Ex Post Facto, when applied retroactively, & 2) Due Process, both Procedural & Substantive in that you are not given fair notice of charges, i.e., that you pose a danger to the community and therefore must be subject to life time persecution; in addition, you are given no opportunity to confront your accuser, i.e., the State. And B) on the issue of “High Recidivism” thing proponents of SO laws push. Webster Dictionary describes residivism as: “a person who continues to commit crimes even after being caught and punished.” Now, I don’t know about anyone else can see this but it seems to me that if there is a high residivism rate then state prison boards are in on it. What am I talking about it? Simple. There has to be a fast revolving prison door for people who have committed sex offenses (SO). They commit a SO, get caught, get sentenced to what obviously is a small prison term, 6 months to a year and then BAM! Their back on the street to do what? Commit another SO. Then the cycle repeats itself: In for a SO, Out to commit another SO, In for a SO, Out to commit another SO. Am I making sense here? Is this not the “residivism” proponents of registry/registration are talking about? If so, then that my friends is a bunch of BS! Here’s why. All state penal codes have what is called “Enhancement” paragraphs. In CA for example theirs is called “Three Strikes”. Meaning on a third conviction you’re out of there partner, that’s a LIFE without parole sentence. In my state, Texas, they too have an enhancement statute. First offenders get 5-15 years, do 2-3 and back on the street. Second offenders, your looking at a minimum of 25-55, do 18 to 20 years and back on the street, that third offense, you’re out of there partner with at least 60-75 years and you’ll pull a minimum 28-35 years on that before your breathe free air again. I got 55 years and got lucky and paroled in 21 years. And I can assure you that nearly everyone that does this kind of time behind bars and gets out—they don’t wont’ no more trouble with the law! So somebody is prompting not a lie, but a “DAMN LIE” with this high recidivism crap.

  • #8631 Reply

    david

    I was arrested and convicted of attempted child enticement in an online “bait and switch” sex sting. My state isn’t AWA compliant yet. So if/when my state becomes AWA compliant then my punishment becomes based on my offense with no consideration of the circumstances?

    In my case, judging me based solely on my offense seems like nothing but a continuation of the fantasy that was created in the imagination of the cops who set me up and the media who sensationalized my arrest to the point where it was reported that I was “part of a child sex trafficking ring.” It’s funny because I’ve never had any sexual encounters with an underage person, ever.

    In my case EVERYTHING was based on what i may have done and look where it got me. I’m more for having a risk based system as opposed to just using the offense but it does seem very dangerous to allow the system to classify and punish people based on predictions of what they might do. Which is, I suppose, what’s already happening with the abomination known as the Registry.

    I agree with the others on here….the real problem is the Registry itself.

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