Press Release: Windsor Locks, CT repeals exclusion zones under threat of federal lawsuit

One Standard of Justice, New Canaan, CT . . . On March 27, 2018, Stamford attorney Audrey Felsen of Koffsky & Felsen filed suit in federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the town of Windsor Locks. The suit, on behalf of plaintiffs One Standard of Justice, Inc. and a Windsor Locks resident identified as John Doe, challenges the constitutionality of Windsor Locks’ “Child Safety Zones” ordinance.

“This suit is for declaratory and injunctive relief from an overly broad ordinance that clearly violates the first and fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution,” said Felsen. “The plaintiffs are subjected to substantial discrimination, prejudice and irrational fears because of false concerns of an “alarmingly high” recidivism rate among a discrete category of citizens.”

The Windsor Locks ordinance, which is similar to ordinances adopted in at least nine other Connecticut municipalities, cites “evidence that the recidivism rate for released sex offenders is alarmingly high, especially for those who commit their crimes on children” as rationale for prohibiting access to public facilities, including parks, Town Hall, schools, and the senior center.

Working with attorney Felsen on the suit is North Carolina attorney Paul Dubbeling. Dubbeling, a former U.S. Army Ranger and prosecutor for the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corp, has successfully litigated similar issues in North Carolina. Mr. Dubbeling said, “This ordinance effectively denies these citizens access to almost all public areas and therefore the opportunity to substantially participate in adult education, sports, nutritional programming, and community social and political events, and even their own children’s education.”

Mr. Dubbeling continued, “By ostracizing these citizens, by shutting them out of public life, we do nothing to make our towns safer. In this, and in all government action, we should demand thoughtful, reasoned laws that materially advance the public good.”

Cindy Prizio, executive director of One Standard of Justice, said, “Ordinances like the one in Windsor Locks, as well as in other Connecticut towns, seek to perpetuate a myth that a narrowly defined segment of our population is an ongoing, permanent threat to public safety. The facts tell a completely different story.”

Studies in Connecticut, as well as other states and federally, show offenders with low recidivism rates. The state of Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management conducted two five-year studies of rates for new offenses, providing them with a ten-year window. They found a rate for arrest for a new offense of 3.6% and 4.1% for released offenders from prison for each five-year period.

Enormous media attention to rare “stranger danger” cases has created a false and mis-targeted sense of danger in the public. A 20-year study in New York covering 160,000 arrests showed that 95% of people arrested for sex-related crimes had no previous criminal history for such offenses.

“We are tired of a  continuing campaign of shaming, isolation and denial of constitutional rights. We are working to build a campaign to help prevent sexual violence and harassment by educating citizens and policy makers how future offending is overwhelmingly likely to be committed by people who have never been arrested for offending before,” Prizio said. “If the monetary and statutory efforts to stigmatize were re-directed toward prevention, including services before offending occurs, and appropriate services for survivors, we would be much better off as a society.”  To learn more about One Standard of Justice, Inc. refer to ctosj.org.

The post Press Release from One Standard of Justice, Inc. appeared first at Florida Action Committee.org

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Mr. D 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #53632 Reply
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    admin

    One Standard of Justice, New Canaan, CT . . . On March 27, 2018, Stamford attorney Audrey Felsen of Koffsky & Felsen filed suit in federal court s
    [See the full post at: Press Release: Windsor Locks, CT repeals exclusion zones under threat of federal lawsuit]

  • #53637 Reply
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    Al

    I know that this is a start, but how do we move this to not only the state level, but nationally as well? My state, Louisiana also has these senseless laws (1000 ft) for all registrants as well as those on probation and parole.

    • #53653 Reply
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      Mig

      Not all SO in Louisiana have this restriction… only those whose victim is under the age of 13. (see RS 14:91.2, A).

      • #53670 Reply
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        Jim

        Still a bs law

    • #55775 Reply
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      wrongfully registered person

      “:Press Release: Windsor Locks, CT repeals exclusion zones under threat of federal lawsuit”

      It is a Federal case and this is what we want Federal = National. This sounds like a very good start and it is attacking the very cause of all of this “alarmingly high” recidivism rate among a discrete category of citizens.” Once the federal courts acknowledge that this is false and that the re-offence rates are low the rest of the house of cards will fall. A win in this court with this wording that finds its way to SCOTUS will be the end of this crap!

  • #53655 Reply
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    Michael dula

    When will the unconstitutional lie detector test which goes against the 5 amendment do not incriminate yourself end . I live in NC , and ever question I got ask was incriminating questions. At 250$ for the test . Something has too be done . All the questions was not even based on my case . Please help . This need too end .

    • #53685 Reply
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      WC_TN

      There are a plethora of court rulings that have found the sexual history polygraph to be patently unconstitutional because these examinations uniformly require registrants to divulge every incidence of sexual conduct with a minor what was never reported. That means criminal charges can still be pursued. This threat is only magnified as states begin to contemplate eliminating the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children.

      1. United States v. Lawrence Antelope (9th Circuit)
      2. U.S. v. Von Behren (10th Circuit)
      3. People v. Roberson (CO Supreme Court)
      4. People v. Guatney (CO Court of Appeals No. 06CA0704)
      5. Dansby v. Texas (Court of Criminal Appeals No. PD-0149-14)
      6. United States v. Richard Roosevelt Bahr (9th Circuit Court of Appeals)

      I am of the opinion that polygraphs are on the same unscientific level of phrenology (the detailed study of the shape and size of the cranium as a supposed indication of character and mental abilities). As such they should be summarily done away with. Period.

      I truly believe that polygraphs take advantage of the placebo effect. If one is scared they actually work, the device will work. That’s why a stone-cold clinical sociopath can pass one with flying colors while lying his or her rear end off the entire time from start to finish. That’s why the polygrapher tells you in very confident terms that the devices do work and that you supposedly have involuntary reactions you cannot control/suppress when you lie.

      Here is what the polygraph measures:

      (1) Heart rate
      (2) respiration
      (3) blood pressure
      (4) galvanic skin resistance (supposedly you sweat a minute amount when lying, therefore skin resistance decreases with presence of moisture)
      (5) The pad you sit on probably senses any unusual tightening of the muscles in the buttocks and rectum as tightening the rectum is supposedly a counter-measure.

  • #53650 Reply
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    Daniel

    Well, there are nearly a million registered individuals. If we have to sue one town at a time, it might take a while, but it could be done.

    Can someone point me in the direction where I can get help filing a suit against my parents home town so that I can live with them rather than being on the verge of homelessness?

  • #53647 Reply
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    Timothy

    Should we all
    pat Windsor Locks on the back for following the masses?

  • #53646 Reply
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    Curtis

    This can be moved on to a federal level, but will take time and effort. My state as well which is Oregon as these same senseless laws of 1000 ft. I have 5 years left on supervision myself and we should be moving toward letting me back into these area’s but we are not and it won’t happen unless laws change. Has the article says these laws don’t protect anybody they just put more fear into people.

  • #53642 Reply
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    totally against public registry

    This is good! We need one state to start the dismantling of idiotic laws regarding the public registry and then the snowball affect will take over. Thank you One Standard of Justice, Inc.

    • #53702 Reply
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      Raye

      In Oklahoma, the safety zone is 2000 feet. They have now added in home daycares to the list of places for the safety zone. Hard to know where all of these in home day cares are located. An offender can be made to move when a neighbor decides to change from babysitter to daycare location. How do we stop this insanity?

  • #53641 Reply
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    Cody mccaln

    My state also has these laws 1000ft from schools and day cares 300 feet from playgrounds and North Carolina has a law that says sec offenders are not allowed on the fair grounds during an event. And even if you are out of state conviction you are required to register with out any hearing or face arrest this is not constitutional or even considered effective. I had a hearing last week to be removed from the registration the judge said that due to the fact I am not at the ten year mark I am not allowed to be removed even though the state of conviction has a ten year law now

    • #54543 Reply
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      Jerry

      Cody can you or someone else who knows please explain how the removal process works? Is it in open court along with criminal cases or is it closed?

  • #53672 Reply
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    Jim

    Where all this restricted living started and the fictional fact that all sex offenders will reoffend started 30 years ago. When I was in the crazy group counseling setting, the counselors would ask if we thought we may reoffend. If anyone said “NO” that person would be labeled as being in denial and would have their probation revoked. Then when asked if you would sexually assault any one, at any age, or gender, animal or human, child, adult or elder, if you replied “NO”, with no consideration to what your offence was to any of these you were labeled as in denial. Basically if you told the group that you were not a crazed monster that would assault anyone or anything at a whim, your probation would be revoked because you are in denial. To hopefully stay out of prison we were forced to declare that we would surely reoffend. We were never allowed to think as a human in these group settings. We were also encouraged to totally dehumanize any new member or be labeled as in denial. The whole system has been defunct from the beginning. I’m sure this bullying in group settings is still running rapid.

  • #53673 Reply
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    Alvin

    I have noticed statements for some states say exclusion distance of 1000 feet and 300 for parks etc. Seems that state already has less restrictions than many other, specifically Oklahoma. The restriction distance here is 2000 feet for all: schools daycares, nurseries, playgrounds, parks and any place where children are known to congregate. Notice the catch-all phrase at the end. There is some exception for Level one and two on visiting parks and such. Any loitering on or near is a punishable offense at the discretion of the prosecutor.

  • #53678 Reply
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    Saddles

    I have to appalude Mr. Dubbeling seems like the heat is on with this sex offender restorative justice ordeals in many of these sex offender issues. Ordinance’s are good if they can be justified to a society at large. That’s basically as the black man’s discrimination but we are not talking about color but a sterotype of who touches who. I wonder who takes their cap off at the pledge of algence and gets fined when they leave the ball park.. There is always going to be sterotyping in a lot of area’s today and this sex offender situation does say a lot about law and government. One wonders why Rome burned or should we all go back to history 101.

    Good work Paul. That’s what a good attorney is all about. I wonder if a sex offender can plead no contest today or is it just guilty or not guilty. Ever wonder why they give plea deals. It would supprise folks in a lot of these ordeals.

  • #53675 Reply
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    David

    These laws these cities are coming up with are restricting you from certain areas, which, in turn, confine you (actually re-confine you, or re-incarcerate you) to a geographical position just like prison, and if you violate that geographical confinement (just like escaping from prison is a violation of your confinement) you are sent back to prison. These laws ARE re-incarceration, just no barbed wire. The are attempting to make an ‘invisible fence’, and some states already have. Does anyone else see this?
    Prison is supposed to ‘Rehabilitate’ offenders. It is obvious lawmakers and many city councils have put in a vote of ‘No confidence’ in the very system they claim to uphold.

  • #53689 Reply
    Avatar
    WearethePeople

    I would like to Thank you Attorney Paul Dubbeling for standing up for this injustice. I often wonder how these restrictions got so bad. Yes in the 90’s something changed with the laws for SO. The change happened because of some big cases like Adam and Megan. With Adam they never found his body. So how do they know what happened to him? Did they ever do DNA testing. I know now we are able to change peoples DNA. It is new only a few years of cures with this technique over the last 2 to 3 years. We have come a long way in technology especially in the healthcare system. I hope and pray that with lawyers like the one above working for change, that the Justice System starts to go in a positive direction. Restrictions and Prisons are not the answer, they are not positive reinforcements. What ever happened to you have done your time for that crime!

  • #53686 Reply
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    obvious answers

    I will say the same thing I have said since 1997 and it was true then and it is true today and it will be true tomorrow.
    For what ever faux win you may think you achieve in the courts you will continue a downward spiral of 1000 losses.
    Each win will be nothing more then a prolonged loss, not a real win, just a delay in the erosion of your liberty..
    In 1997 when this kicked off and it was still a “private registry” everyone laughed at me and said I had no clue what I was talking about… Are you still laughing today? As was the case in Fredrick’s time and in Kings time so to is the case in our time.. Only difference is rather then create a lower caste of citizen by color, gender,religion,or nationality they have returned to the Elizabethan “anything as long as you call it sexual” fully well knowing the population is programmed to consider anything sexual as “boogeymen status” ….
    Just as Mr. Fredrick Douglass correctly noted in his time that power would keep taking and keep pushing for as long as you would remain passive so to is the same today.. Until you are ready to stand in numbers and start forcefully pushing back your rights and your humanity will continue to be trampled…Your rights will then only be returned as far as your willing to push for them and exactly no further.. Dont count on Santa Claus to restore your unalienable rights to you.. If you dont stand today dont expect better tomorrow. It will be worse and worse and worse.. They will push until chewing bubble gum in the wrong fashion is a sex crime..Think I am joking, Think I am wrong? history seems to be proving me right so far.. want to wait anouther 20 years and see what happens? Look whats happened in the last 20..Can you survive anouther 20? I am not advocating any course of action. A man has to determine what his freedom is worth completely on his own or it is not his freedom.. I am just making a factual argument based on real history. Please dont be upset with me that you know what I am saying is true.

    • #53703 Reply
      Avatar
      Facts should matter

      These errant “wins” here and there is like standing on the deck of a sinking ship bailing water with a bucket that has holes in it.

      Unfortunately, It’s going to take an event, in the form of a huge message sent to get things jump-started. Only then will lawmakers begin to listen. We need to make them more afraid of OUR wrath and anger than losing the women vote.

      We’re not gonna get out of this through incrementalism and “baby steps.”

      • #53738 Reply
        Avatar
        SW

        I’d say we are decades away from nationwide justice reform, based on science. These small victories do add up and do send a message to other communities considering these types of restrictions.

        Meanwhile, in my state they’ve gone to mandatory lifetime registration and no stays (of execution, etc). Even Patty Wetterling is against these measures and this all started with her tragic situation.

  • #53818 Reply
    Avatar
    Mr. D

    Just be glad you don’t live in North Alabama.. where you are guilty when arrested and WILL NOT be found innocent!! — NO lawyer will help you, and IF they try, they will -allegedly – be reminded of how bad it would be for the lawyers career when they will be caught with cocaine, heroin, meth, and crack..in little tiny bags the next time they came to court to defend someone who is “not worth defending”… it happens all the time!! One person went to a youth baseball game with his daughter..the next day he was picked up because someone reported he was ON the field yelling at kids..( proven later to be TOTALLY not true!!)..just someone who knew who/what he was and lied about what happened!
    It’s just easy to ruin/restrict the lives of (in ALABAMA) who actually did nothing wrong and do this in all states because no one cares about the lives of a SO..

    IF there are ANY Lawyers brave enough to help actually provable innocent people, and are NOT afraid of this conduct be the ENTIRE legal system in this particular county..PLEASE post on here so we can contact you!! THANKS..

    FACT> Alabama IS removing the BRIGHT RED LETTERING: CRIMINAL SEX OFFENDER off the drivers license and putting a “numerical code” on it ..just another way to ostracize and shame..I am sure they states Attorney General will put this out on TV so all will know!!!

  • #53848 Reply
    Avatar
    doug s

    as a registered so, and on life-time sbm, i officially requested from my po a map of all exclusion zones in my county since those are areas i am not permitted to enter, i was told that that information could not be divulged to me. how can they require me to stay clear of certain areas and then not tell me where these are until i have violated them?
    one other suggestion: instead of banning all registered so’s from social media sites, why not switch it up an just make it a felony for anyone under the age of 18 to be on all social media web sites?

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