By Sandy . . . This has been an amazing Halloween season.
Overall, I sent emails to 73 Patch writers and editors in 25 states.
I sent emails to 27 other media outlets and/or journalists.
I engaged in conversation on several Facebook pages, most notably in regard to this piece about a little town in Georgia whose mayor had declared that “all” on the sex offender registry would be required to spend the hours between 6 and 9 p.m. “housed” in the city council chambers and “accompanied” by three probation officers and one law officer.
The Mayor’s statement was made on his Facebook page, and I wrote a factual comment there. Imagine my surprise when I very quickly received a private response from the mayor! He told me that what was happening was a joint effort with the Georgia Probation Dept. I wrote back asking if it involved only those under community supervision, or if, as he was quoted, all on the registry would be detained.
I received no reply. After about thirty minutes I asked him for an answer and then again a while later. In the meantime, two different reporters called me. They were writing stories about that little Georgia town and wanted information about the facts I put on the Facebook page. While the mayor never responded to me again, one of the journalists talked with him. The mayor clarified that it was only persons on supervision who would be required guests of the city on Halloween. The stories by those two journalists can be seen here and here.
A TV reporter in Macon, Georgia called and interviewed me, and while the video he and his station aired was erroneously focused on registered sex offenders as a threat to trick-or-treaters, they did show our website and quoted me accurately about the lack of effectiveness in that strategy.
A TV reporter in Augusta called, and I referred her to Brenda who did this interview with her.
I interviewed with a TV reporter in Alexandria, Louisiana; this is video of her report.
A media outlet in Beaumont, Texas printed our second press release.
After that, it is almost a blur. Brenda interviewed with a reporter in Boise, Idaho. Robin interviewed with an AP reporter about a Tennessee situation and with a station in his hometown Raleigh, North Carolina. I interviewed with a TV station in Wichita, Kansas and a radio station in Georgia.
When sheriffs in two adjacent Georgia counties, Butts and Spalding, decided to place “no candy” yard signs and flyers at the residences of all registered offenders in their counties, NARSOL wrote and hand-delivered formal letters of protest and appeals for them to refrain from their actions. We have had verified that, to no surprise, Sheriff Long in Butts Co. proceeded with his signs and will be very surprised if Spalding’s Sheriff Dix did any differently.
We have taken our first step in addressing these actions targeting registrants who have totally completed their sentences.
Our five-hour NARSOL in Action Halloween Marathon and “Cop-Watch” Hotline was a huge success. Our wonderful attorney guests King Alexander, Janice Bellucci, Paul Dubbeling, and Guy Hamilton Smith, along with RTAG’s Paul Rigney, discussed U.S. v. Gundy, blanket internet restrictions, and International Megan’s Law and passport issues as well as helped host Larry field questions and concerns from numerous call-in guests around the country. The audio will be posted on the website very soon.
It was an overwhelming Halloween, but it was wonderful. Pressure is being put more and more on Patch to stop their “red-dot” maps. The waste of resources is being deplored in journalistic efforts from shore to shore. Law enforcement entities that initiate actions toward registered citizens who are no longer under supervision have been put on notice. NARSOL is both humbled and proud to be such an integral part of these efforts and looks forward to the day when the myth of the dangerous sex offender who comes out at Halloween and must be carefully guarded against takes its place along with the “stranger-danger” predator who haunts school yards and parks.