The women involved in sexual offense registry opposition: NARSOL, ACSOL, WAR, CAUTION CLICK

By Hallie Lieberman . . . Sandy Rozek is the polar opposite of what comes to mind when you hear the word activist. A 78-year-old great-grandmother and retired high school English teacher who lives in Houston, Rozek is not woke, doesn’t post on Twitter, and is involved in a movement you’ve probably never heard of.

Rozek works with the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL). She is one of several women who lead an effort to oppose the unjust, irrational, and ineffective laws that continue to punish sex offenders long after they have served their time.

All 50 states have sex offender registries, and the U.S. Justice Department combines them in a single national database. The information, which is available online to the general public, covers nearly 1 million people, whose crimes run the gamut from streaking to rape. In addition to the stigma imposed by that electronic pillory, registration comes with a panoply of restrictions that dictate where people can live and work, when and where they are allowed to travel, and even whether they’re allowed to pick up their own children from school or take them to the park.

Reform organizations cite four major reasons for scaling back or eliminating the registry. They say it’s unconstitutional, imposing ex post facto penalties that deprive registrants of rights everyone else enjoys; it’s unscientific, relying on discredited beliefs about the danger that registrants pose; it’s unforgiving, disrupting people’s lives decades after they’ve completed their sentences; and it’s undiscriminating, burdening not just the registrants themselves but their families and communities. 

In this #MeToo moment, when everyone seems focused on holding men accountable for their sexual crimes, the civil rights of people who have committed such offenses tend to get short shrift. But both movements are spearheaded by women who are determined to change the national narrative about sex crimes.

Most of the registry reformers are in their 60s or 70s, with grown children and grandchildren. Unlike the founders of the #MeToo movement, they have not been featured in glossy magazine articles lauding their courage. But make no mistake: These women are brave. Many have been shunned by their friends and family because of their stances. Speaking out against the registry means aligning yourself with modern-day lepers, people who are viewed with fear and disgust by the vast majority of Americans.

Like many others in the movement, Rozek became a registry reformer because of a personal connection. About a decade ago, one of her friends was convicted of having an inappropriate sexual relationship. While it didn’t put her on the registry, she served a term of probation and had to complete a treatment program. “I really got started with it because of the treatment angle,” Rozek says. “In Texas, sex offender treatment is a joke. They don’t treat. They monitor. They intimidate.”

When Rozek started volunteering at NARSOL, she was 65. Her first task: scouring the internet for articles on sex offenders and using the comment sections to post corrections. She also penned the occasional op-ed. Eventually she became NARSOL’s communications director, writing for the website, spearheading the newsletter, and helping with committees and the conference. She spends up to eight hours a day on the work, all unpaid.

As a Christian, Rozek “just cannot accept that people cannot be forgiven.” If a sex offender has “served his time, and if he’s trying his best to be a decent human being now and wants to be a law-abiding citizen,” Rozek says, “we need to not throw roadblocks in his path….If it was 30 years ago, and the person did everything required, has fulfilled every legal obligation, has been free and clear of any involvement with law enforcement for 30 years, has established a family, has been living with this family for years now, and then all of a sudden he cannot live with them anymore [because of residence restrictions ], that is a horrible destruction to families.”

Although most of the people on the registry are men, most of the people running the reform movement are women. Nobody really knows why, but there are a few theories.

“Women, in our culture, pull together the families,” says Emily Horowitz, a professor of sociology at St. Francis College who is an expert on sex offender registries. “That’s a lot of the reason why women fight so hard. I think men are somewhat hesitant to weigh in on something that’s about sexual violence, because it could be viewed as like, ‘Oh, you’re defending men who hurt women.'”

NARSOL, which was founded in 2007 and has branches in 19 states, is the oldest and largest sex offender law reform organization. It is joined by three other national groups, all led by women, most of whom have a friend, son, or husband on the registry. . . .

The national sex offender registry was created in 1994 by a law named after Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old Minnesota boy who was kidnapped and murdered in 1989. That law required states to create registries listing people convicted of sexually violent offenses or crimes against children. Unlike today’s databases, this registry was visible only to law enforcement agencies.

Two years later, the law was expanded after 7-year-old Megan Kanka was brutally murdered by a sex offender in New Jersey. Megan’s Law, passed in 1996, made registries accessible to the general public as part of a community notification mandate. In the 2003 case Smith v. Doe, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld sex offender registration, deeming it a form of civil regulation rather than criminal punishment.

That decision encouraged the expansion and proliferation of laws targeting sex offenders. “I call them sex offense registration laws on steroids,” says Southwestern University law professor Catherine Carpenter. “We’re dealing with laws that have no bounds, because the Supreme Court said that they were civil regulations.” From 2003 to 2012, Carpenter says, the number of covered offenses increased “dramatically,” and so did the length of registration. Those changes, she notes, were accompanied by “egregious collateral consequences,” such as residence restrictions. . . . .

“The registry wasn’t developed out of research,” Horowitz says. “It was developed out of emotion and fear, which is a recipe for disaster in public policy.”

Rozek and other leaders of the registry reform movement want the laws to be grounded in science. “It’s the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws,” Rozek says, “and the key word is rational. Something that is rational is based on science, based on fact, based on evidence. The registry isn’t, and certainly none of the laws coming out of the registry are based on any evidence or any science.”

While Rozek became a reformer after her friend was convicted of a sex crime, it was a chance encounter that led Janice Bellucci to the movement. One day in 2011, Bellucci, a 67-year-old California attorney who spent most of her career in aerospace law, was talking to Frank Lindsay, a water treatment specialist who was fixing her home’s reverse osmosis system, when he mentioned that he had written a book. “Quite frankly,” she says, “reading his book changed my life.”

Bellucci found out that in 1979 Lindsay had committed a sex crime against a child under the age of 14, a crime for which he spent a year in jail, nearly all of it on weekends, thanks to a work furlough program. More than three decades later, he had not reoffended, but he was still subject to legal restrictions and potentially deadly threats. “A stranger broke into his home and tried to murder him because he was on the Megan’s Law website,” Bellucci says. “He escaped from his own house after being hit a couple times with a hammer. I just couldn’t believe that any group of people in our country today [was] being treated that way.”

On a sabbatical from her work at a California nonprofit, Bellucci couldn’t get the sex registry out of her mind. “This issue kept popping up, kind of like a jack-in-the-box,” she says. “And finally I sat down with myself, and I said, ‘Why did I go to law school?’ It was the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, and the character Atticus Finch. I’m like, ‘What would Atticus do?'” The answer seemed obvious to her.

Bellucci initially tried to interest the American Civil Liberties Union of California in the issue. “They basically said [they couldn’t help] because they’re afraid that if they became known as sex offender attorneys, their funding would disappear, which I think is a very cowardly position,” she says.

Bellucci’s children were adults, she was unmarried, and she decided she could “do anything I want to do.” So she founded the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offender Laws (ACSOL). To this day, a needlepoint of “What Would Atticus Do?” sits on her desk, next to a Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure.

Like many in the movement, Bellucci believes sex offender restrictions are unconstitutional. As a lawyer, she could do something about that, but she did not have a lot of resources. So she and the few early members of ACSOL decided to go after “low-hanging fruit”: Halloween-related restrictions in California.

In Simi Valley, Bellucci learned, sex offenders were required to post signs on their front doors during Halloween, alerting neighbors that they were on the registry and warning trick-or-treaters to stay away. She sued the city, arguing that the requirement was a form of compelled speech prohibited by the First Amendment. She won.

The Halloween signs are a good example of sex offender policies that have no basis in fact. A 2009 analysis of 67,000 sex crimes against children committed by people other than their relatives, reported in the journal Sexual Abuse, found “no increased rate on or just before Halloween.” The researchers concluded that “these findings raise questions about the wisdom of diverting law enforcement resources to attend to a problem that does not appear to exist.” . . . .

Like Rozek, Bellucci wants the registry to be based on science and reason. But that’s hard to accomplish, she says, because when people “hear the term sex offenders, they just panic. They’re thinking of the worst sexual assault that you can ever think of.” It is therefore difficult for them “to absorb new information or to analyze the information that’s in their brain.”

To combat that emotional response, Bellucci assures people that “we believe all children should be safe. We’re not here to unleash a bunch of sexual predators on the public.” Her message, she says, is that “the registry gives people a false sense of security,” because “they’re looking in the wrong direction,” given that “more than 90 percent of the perpetrators are not on the registry.”

Bellucci is admired by other reformers because she didn’t join the movement to defend her brother or father or child; she did it because she saw an injustice. “The fact that she doesn’t have what we call ‘skin in the game’ [makes her] more amazing,” says Vicki Henry, president of Women Against the Registry (WAR). In contrast, Henry, 71, became an activist because her son is on the registry for downloading and distributing child pornography. He was in the Marines when he was caught in 2007. A military psychologist tied his use of child pornography to sexual abuse by his father.

“I thought I was losing my mind,” Henry says. “When I got my feet back under me a little bit, [I thought] there’s got to be other people that have gone through this. I know I’m not the only one.”

Henry found Daily Strength, an online support group that hosted a subgroup called Families of Registrants, and then found NARSOL. She joined Women Against the Registry, which was a part of NARSOL at the time, and became its president in 2011. Around that time, WAR broke off —it wanted to do more protesting than NARSOL was comfortable with. Now Henry says she volunteers about 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I was pretty much raised in church,” says Henry, a Southern Baptist. “My kids were raised in church. We were taught to help other people.”  . . . .

Registries are all about ostracism, Henry argues, and GPS monitors are a prime example. “We’re not saying that people shouldn’t be adjudicated,” she says. “But once they’ve been adjudicated [and] paid their debt to society, let them live in peace with their families. Don’t put so many barriers in front of them.

Henry is not the only registry reformer who joined the movement because her son was caught with child pornography. Rita, who did not want her last name to be used, had a similar experience. Eleven years ago, Rita was having dinner with her husband and 26-year-old son, who was acting strangely. “I knew there was something wrong,” she says. “I just kept asking him and asking him, and then he finally said it.”

Rita’s son told her that a few weeks before, around 1 a.m., he had heard banging on his apartment door. When he opened the door, he was face to face with multiple FBI agents. “He didn’t know what they were looking for,” Rita says. They were serving a search warrant based on evidence that he had downloaded child pornography on a peer-to-peer network.

As he told his mother this story, “he was shaking,” she says. “I almost passed out….I couldn’t believe that you could go to prison for what you look at.” She and her husband sat there stunned. Their son said he had seen a lawyer, and he was facing time in federal prison. He ended up serving a little more than six years.

“It was just extremely difficult to get through those days,” Rita says. “I knew in my heart I had two choices: Do I lie down and die, or do I do something? And in my mind, something was better than nothing. We decided we would get involved, just to try and bring some reason to these laws.”

Rita’s husband searched online and discovered the organization that eventually became NARSOL. In 2009, they traveled from the small New York town where they live to Boston for their first meeting. “It was life-changing for me to meet other people who understood the overwhelming shame and punishment that we were looking at,” Rita says. “And those people are still my dearest friends.”

A few years later, Rita founded Caution Click, an organization that focuses on the legal treatment of people arrested for viewing child pornography. She strives to raise awareness among teenagers and their families so they don’t become sex offenders by sexting or looking at something they’re not supposed to.

Of all the reform organizations, ACSOL probably has had the most legislative impact. Through lawsuits and warning letters, Bellucci and her volunteers have managed to eliminate nearly all of California’s local ordinances making certain places, such as parks and schools, off-limits to sex offenders. They have also filed 31 lawsuits challenging local ordinances that limit where offenders can live. Nearly all of them have been successful. . . . .

NARSOL, Rozek’s group, has filed successful lawsuits against sex offender restrictions in Maryland and North Carolina. It recently won a victory in Butts County, Georgia, where it sued Sheriff Gary Long for requiring sex offenders to place warning signs in their front yards during Halloween. “Warning!” the signs said. “No Trick or Treat at This Address.” Last October, a federal judge ruled that Long’s signs were unconstitutional, based on the same First Amendment argument that Bellucci had deployed in Simi Valley. NARSOL also filed an amicus brief in Packingham v. North Carolina, the 2017 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned a state law barring sex offenders from social media.

WAR and Caution Click have fewer legislative goals and focus more on education, so their accomplishments are harder to quantify. But all of the organizations are trying to change the way we talk about sex offenses. When you speak to enough reformers, you notice how they’ve subtly changed the language used in such conversations: Sex offender registry is shortened to the registrychild pornography becomes illicit images or C.P.; sex offenders are registrants. Reformers want people to recognize that individuals on the registry encompass a wide range of offenses, many of which are nonviolent. 

Read the full piece here at reason.com

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  • This topic has 18 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 8 months ago by AvatarDaughter promoting kindness.
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    • #67283 Reply
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      Perry

      I cannot help but Thank Almighty God; for these Courageous and Brave Women, who are fighting for Men like Me, just to have a chance at a decent and peaceful life again. There is information out there on The Web about me-some of it true, but most of it NOT TRUE-and it’s the information that’s NOT TRUE, that’s making my life Hell On Earth today. In fact, it’s also that which IS TRUE, that’s doing just as much damage to me as that which is not true. Both are Vicious, and it’s as I’ve always said before: TESE ‘LAWS’, ARE NOTHING MORE THAN SANCTIONED MURDER OR ATTEMPTED MURDER ON MEN LIKE ME! I’ve had Harassment Phone Calls, Threats, and even been Followed by varying groups of no more than three to four Men at times since I’ve been released from Serving ALL MY FIVE YEARS from my last Incarceration from a Facility, in Northwestern Pennsylvania! I’ve not been Physically attacked as of yet, Thank God, but I’m Fearful all the same, because it just might happen to me. And what will be the ‘Justice’ I myself would want, if such people DO Attack and try to kill Me? NOTHING! Such guys will get only a Slap On The Wrist, and I get a PFA: Protection From Abuse Order that would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO PREVENT SUCH GUYS FROM TRYING TO KILL ME YET AGAIN! I also again wonder; what about The People making such Laws in the first place? Would they feel the same way if One of THIER SONS; BROTHERS, HUSBANDS, BOYFRIENDS, UNCLES, FATHERS, OR GRANDFATHERS WERE CONVICTED OF SUCH CRIMES? NO, OF COURSE NOT! THEY’D DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO KEEP THEM OUT OF PRISON AND PROTECT THEM FROM REGISTRY REGULATIONS ALTOGETHER AND THEY KNOW IT! Judges would get Pay Offs, DA’s and ADA’s would be encouraged not to Convict so heavily against THEM, but take it easy on them. Probation, Probation and more Probation…WITHOUT TREATMENT!
      And yes, THAT IS INDEED THE TRUTH TOO! Oh and by the way; it’s a hundred times harder on People of Color like me, so it feels like THE JIM CROW LAWS ALL OVER AGAIN! So I want to say to these Brave Women: ‘Thank You’ for trying to help me just live in Peace. I’m 61 years old and soon to be 62 next month…Lord Willing. I would like to see these so-called ‘Registry Laws’ Eradicated once and for all, because I’m too old now, to try acting as I used to and I sure as sure can be, DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO PRISON AGAIN JUST SO A BUNCH OF GUYS CAN KILL ME AND GET AWAY WITH IT! THAT, is what these so-called ‘Legislators’ REALLY WANT!!
      And again I say: THEY KNOW IT TOO!!

    • #67291 Reply
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      Tim in WI

      plain slavery- repackaged!

    • #67298 Reply
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      Old offender

      I like Sandy’s quote about “treatment”. Colorado’s treatment programs are also a joke. They are a great money maker. They impose restrictions on you that are additional to that which your parole or probation officer imposes. You are forced to reveal your sexual history which can easily lead to self-incrimination. They require frequent polygraphs which are of questionable accuracy. If you don’t pass you not only have to keeping taking the same one until you do pass (at a cost of $240 each) but they then require you to attend additional “treatment” sessions at $50 each, (sometimes as many as 6 a week!). Any slight infraction of the rules (which they can make up as they go) results in requiring more treatment sessions.
      This is not treatment in any shape or form, just additional and costly punishment. I went into it hoping it would at least help me understand why I did what I did, but any attempt to do this is called making excuses for your behavior and results in more additional “treatment”. Many offenders have sentences like probation for 10 years to life, during which time they have to attend this “treatment”. I was fortunate in that I was convicted in Ohio and they allowed me to get off probation in less than 4 years and get away from any more “treatment” in Colorado.

    • #67300 Reply
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      Sona Nast

      I’d like to weigh in on the negative comments about treatment providers. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider in Texas. While I agree that some (perhaps too many) sex offender therapists are not good therapists and their treatment programs may in fact cause harm, there are many of us that care deeply about our clients and provide quality treatment. I am disheartened by the horror stories of therapists that I believe treat clients disrespectfully, use punitive strategies and are not providing caring, quality services.
      However, just as people on the registry don’t want to be lumped into one negative and dismissive pile, those of us who are providing treatment don’t want to be either.
      I see myself as an advocate for my clients and my goal is to help them successfully get through treatment, probation/parole, restore hope and live a good life.
      I joined NARSOL several years ago because I too believe in rational sex offense laws. I wish more therapists would join in this fight. After all, we see the damage first hand, to people’s lives that result from committing sexual offenses, being convicted, navigating the judicial and criminal justice system and living on the registry.
      As much as I wish that the goals of NARSOL be achieved, I also wish all sex offender treatment providers would provide safe, fair, just, caring, responsible and respectful treatment.

    • #67302 Reply
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      Maestro

      I have issue with this….

      “ Henry also sometimes worries about discussing her advocacy. “I put a huge target on my back for being the person I am,” she says. “One guy told me online he would kill me and sodomize my corpse.””

      This man committed a crime by threatening to kill and then rape a woman, most especially an elderly woman. I hope that Miss Henry passed his threat over to the local authorities or even the FBI who can track his IP address. This threat can land his sorry ass on the sex offender registry. Then he can have a fun day threatening to kill and rape himself.

    • #67307 Reply
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      Maestro

      Sona,

      I’d like to weigh in also since you’re a “treatment” provider. Now that I am no longer on probation or on the registry, I am going to say the things that when said during treatment/probation can get a registrant violated for not “following procedures” (because you all go running right to the probation officer when a client sneezes the wrong way).

      Here’s the unfortunate disclaimer I seem to have to make whenever I speak of MY offense; I am in no way suggesting that it’s ok to engage in sexual/romantic relationships with teenagers that are under the legal age of consent according to each state’s law. And yes, I AM going to separate types of sexual crimes in my comment. There. Now that that’s out of the way, here goes…

      Just what in the hell makes you or the courts feel that everyone with a conviction of a “sexual nature” MUST be put through “treatment”? Treatment for what? My offense was that I had a sexual involvement with a post pubescent teen who was underage (I THOUGHT the median age of consent was 15 in CT from what I heard from others and SAW actual relationships between 20somethings and 15 yr olds).
      This misinformation and my laziness to actually do my homework is what made me feel that it would be ok since she was consenting.

      When I was a teenager of 15, I had my first sexual rendezvous with a 20something woman and I loved every minute of it. It was me who kept pressuring her to “do it”. Yeah, me, the 15 yr old who (according to law) doesn’t know what he’s doing.
      I’m happy to say that we had our rendezvous and went our separate ways. But had she ever been arrested for being with me, I’d become “the victim” and she would go through all the bullsh!t of how she “ruined a young boy’s life forever”. She didn’t ruin my life. I actually have always been attracted to older females in my youth. At age 20, I had a somewhat relationship with my former boss’s sister-in-law who was 35 at the time.
      Then I met my ex wife a few years later and she was 7 yrs OLDER than me.
      When I went through my divorce, that’s when I went into a depression for almost a full year. Not going out, not mingling, just going to work and home.
      Then I took to the Internet and of all the females on this one site I frequented (not a dating site, a gothic rock music fan site), it was only this underage female that actually gave me the attention I was desiring as a divorcee. And since I was under the false impression that 15 was the legal age, I went through with it since I also had a case of the “f!ck it’s” at that time.

      After 3 “dates” (two of which were sexual), I started feeling very uneasy and uncomfortable with being with someone so young. At first it was an ego boost but then it was the reality that I can’t even take her to a bar. So I attempted to sever the “relationship” and a few days later I was arrested.

      What “treatment” did for me was absolutely nothing. The way I am explaining my situation now would have gotten me dragged into my probation officer’s room to be told that I am not being “sympathetic to the victim”. HORSESH!T!!! How “victimized” can someone be if they’ve already been sexually active at that age? It’s no shocker that there are single mothers her age. My mother had me when she was 15. High school kids have sex. OMG! Ya don’t say!
      So a 15 yr old can carry a child for 9 months, then push that child out of her body BUT…. if she has sex AFTER child birth with a person more than 2 yrs older than her, she’s suddenly the VICTIM of a horrible crime….!!?? WHAT??????? How so!!??
      If the age has to be an illegal issues then fine. I’m ok with that. But to consider someone a “threat to public safety” over this type of relationship is simply ABSURD! And it’s NOT what Megan’s Law was intended for.
      I did NOT kidnap, rape and/or murder a PRE-PUBESCENT child.
      If what I (an average Joe) did MUST RUIN THE REST OF MY EXISTENCE, then take Elvis Presley’s legacy out of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame because he was 24 to Priscilla’s 14.
      Let’s stop honoring our “forefathers” who very well may have “raped” their female slaves. Being involved in any interracial romance was once illegal in this country, remember.

      I was appalled that I had to sit in a group of about 10 men telling our offense stories as if that was somehow going to work a miracle after we just spent time in prison for what we did and had plenty of time to THINK about what we did to get there.
      Out of those 10 men, at least 3 of them had offenses against VERY YOUNG children. Sorry, not sorry but what I and several other men in that group did doesn’t belong in the same boat with someone who finds sexual attraction to 6 yr olds. PERIOD!

      I remember one guy saying that this 15 yr old girl, (his “victim”) who I think was his neighbor, had a crush on him and would tap on his bedroom window to get his attention. When he said that, the “treatment provider” interrupted and told him that he’s treading on thin ice because he’s making it seem like the “victim” was at fault. He looked the treatment provider dead in the eyes and said “You wanted me to tell me story of how it happened, right?”

      Treatment indeed! A person like myself and that other guy made a poor choice. There are people out there that actually WANT to have sex with CHILDREN or rape women and yet we are ALL FORCED into “treatment” by the probation dept.
      I got nothing from treatment. When we’d all leave the group session and walk down the stairs and out to the bus stop, we all made fun and mocked the stupidity of the whole “treatment” thing. It’s pointless for most of us.

      So, no matter what you might feel as an individual, it’s the PROBATION and COURT that forces us to go to these damn treatment sessions. If you really gave a damn and understand that certain situations do not require treatment, then go to the P.O.’s and tell them. Go to the courts and tell them.
      I’d love to know how many “sex offenders” are forced into treatment for the “offense” of urinating in public or mooning someone as a prank or getting caught having CONSENSUAL sex in the back seat of a car which has ALWAYS been a trend for each generation.

      I would truly like a reply to this from you as a treatment provider so I hope this site will publish this comment.

    • #67311 Reply
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      Paul Peatry

      Rediculus, how they handle offenders, I was charged for agg. Criminal sexual abuse of a minor, because I filed a racial discrimination for being called a “nigger” and was retaliated on by Chicago Public School Principal. She used two students to lied to have me convicted. I went through consultation and paid $30 a week and was broke. Wrongfully convicted and get a job. Very depressing, I just want my life back.

    • #67313 Reply
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      Maestro

      Paul,

      I am seriously considering making my own documentary about this fear mongering registry. I want people like you so if you’re interested…: well, I don’t know how we’d exchange info. 🙁

    • #67318 Reply
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      battling other half

      my husband is on the registry for something he didn’t do, he had 3 defense lawyers the third one telling him because the first 2 screwed up the paperwork so much he had no options other than a plea deal or trial, he took the plea and served 4 years because his mom was on the verge of collapse, his family wasn’t rich and they didn’t have the resources to fight, he served his time, but for the wrong offense ( he decked the girls step dad a few days earlier), there was no dna evidence and an exam was performed and showed no signs of interference and the girl in question admitted she lied about her age on the stand, yet they threw the book at my husband and he is left on this registry for life because the girls stepdad didn’t like the fact that my husband knocked him out, my husband turned his life around, became a responsible man, married me after this had happened and we were caregivers for our relatives, yet he is treated like scum because people can look up his name, I have been spat at, have had feces thrown at me and the police did nothing, the law in this state will do nothing to overturn his case saying because he served his time its done, which is a crock, how can people turn their lives around when they are dragged down every day, im not so worried about my husband being suicidal more myself because of what he has to go through

    • #67320 Reply
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      selizabeth

      Sona;

      While I’m not sure everyone accused or convicted of a sex offense (since that can mean so many different things) needs treatment, I do agree that for ANYONE who finds themselves subjected to the nightmare of prosecution, incarceration and registration for a sex offense will undoubtedly end up needing therapy. After months or years of everyone in a position of authority with whom you come into contact treating you with disgust, disdain, contempt and suspicion, after being reviled, rejected, ostracized, after being used to further political careers and increased funding for the prison industry, the fbi and state LE, after the experience of life in prison under the daily threat of bodily harm or death, who would NOT need therapy? In our case, my son’s therapist was a truly wonderful woman of compassion and we were grateful. For the work you do, I am grateful. But it’s a sad reality that so many are nothing more than more contractors looking to make $$$ on the backs of the easy to hate.

    • #67322 Reply
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      Sona Nast

      Maestro,
      I agree, not everyone who is convicted of a sexual offense necessarily needs treatment. As you point out, treatment is often a requirement without looking at individual needs. And not everyone who needs treatment needs the same type of treatment.
      A good treatment program will tailor the program to an individual’s needs. I hope my clients feel as though they have been treated as an individual, instead of one size fits all.
      I wish your treatment had been more helpful to you.
      Sincerely, Sona

    • #67323 Reply
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      Sona Nast

      selizabeth,
      I’m so glad to hear that your family had a positive therapy experience. I agree that a good therapist can help cope with the stress of the system and all the negativity that brings.
      My sincere hope is that more people have the benefit of a therapist/program that helps them cope with their new reality, rather than contribute to the problem.
      Sona

    • #67325 Reply
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      Jann Patterson

      My son was compelled to attend a “treatment” program following his arrest for possession of child porn. His sentence consisted of 90 days in work release jail (he was in school getting his masters degree in engineering), 3 years held back, treatment program, 10 years probation and registration. In treatment, 2.5 years after his initial offense, he apparently told a counselor that he had been someplace on the web that he should not have gone to. Instead of additional therapy or some other treatment like a drug offender might get, he had the police come and arrest him and confiscate his computers. Now he’s in jail on a probation violation and 4 warrants for child exploitation. How can that even happen and how can that be legal. Seems like entrapment to me. This happened in Idaho.

    • #67330 Reply
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      Sam in WV

      Thank you for supporting NARSOL and thank you so much for being one of the therapists that is truly professional. I have seen my fair share of court ordered treatment therapists in my short life and have been given a mixed bag. My very first one was as many of the other folks on here have described. But I have also been to one that truly was trying to address all of our problems. They not only tried to treat our underlying problems but they were also concerned about our daily lives and how we, in the group, were getting along with it. Unlike my first therapist who had the mentality that “each and every perceived “problem we were having in our current life” was all avoidable had we not offended”, the second one actually acknowledged that we are all people and have problems we need help coping with on a daily basis and helped us move past our past mistakes. I am so happy to hear you are like my later therapist. I have so much respect for you. Like you say – we ask to not all be lumped in a group, so we shouldn’t place all treatment and therapists in the same group. I have seen both sides here in West Virginia.

      Also, I am having troubles with immigrating my wife to the US due to my sex offender status. Believe it or not, most registrants also lose their right to petition a relative to get a green card (I had no idea, but it is true – look under the Adam Walsh Act and Sandy, if you are reading this I have a heck of a story to tell you about this restriction and rabbit hole for us offenders). Anyways, one way to try to remedy my situation is to get evaluated by a specialist and prove that I am NO RISK to my wife – sexually or otherwise. How can ANYONE do that? Anyways….in this ordeal I ran across a therapist out of state who actually advocated for me and my position. I was blown away. I will never ever lump all treatment and therapists the same. If anyone is reading this could keep my wife and kids in your prayers over this immigration issue I would appreciate it as well. It is still unresolved.

    • #67338 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      So who’s the whore of Babalyon today? Who is playing this trick or treet on everyone caught up in much of this mess? Signs, Signs everywhere signs. Who is making one’s Hell on earth? Advocates for justice are good and I commend you ladies. While many of these questions have an answer its up to each and everyone to stand up to this slavery of justice in much of these sex registry ordeals. This lady who decided to kneel is a good example in today’s age. So who isn’t depressed and oppressed over much of this registry.

      Women are just as good as men and there is nothing wrong with women fighting for the rights of these men to live free. After all someone changed someone’s dirty diapers. Sure we can all talk about the #Me too Movement or a person coming out of the closet or this LGBT Movement but is it all about sex or principals or who is getting shafted.

      Sure these ladies have their dog day’s and I’m sure get frustrated but still put on a smile. One would guess that things are going a bit too fast as compaired to the 70’s or 80’s and computers are in many ways being misused and abused by those that suppose to protect us but who is following the principals of the good book to the best of their ability in a lot of this sexual game. Much of this registry via computer sis using the oldest trick in the book sex to enslave. Take a tip from Samson.

      Protection is good, if it protects that person. Discrimination is not as in a discrimination for a job employment, or how far apart from a school to live, Gun Control, or whatever the situation. Now its travel for the sex offender and all the red tape one has to go thru. So being personal and up front in this ordeal in much of this sex game isn’t the way.. Seems like everybody’s mind is being raped by much of this registry by authorities. A lot of this sounds like an air raid that has gotten out of hand in a lot of this sex ordeal viia computers with no warning. Reminds me of those TV ad’s way back when.

      Now Janice, Sandy, Vicki and the others know what they are doing and I don’t think they have burned their bra’s or competing with Jane Fonda or have bitten off more than they can chew, but yes many people have understand true value’s and principals for helping others at best, so I’m sure we all do have to salute these ladies for fighting, defending, and speaking up for this cause.

      One wonders who’s power of the tongue is speaking up more in this justice of confusion in a lot of this sort of teenage painted ladies ordeal via this computer stuff. Teenage painted ladie via the internets in disquise. Now go figure that one out.

    • #67342 Reply
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      Maestro

      Here’s something to think about and I’d like our therapist contributor to weigh in on this one:
      What is the point of “treatment” if there’s no redemption in the eyes of the system once we successfully complete it?
      Why are there states with LIFETIME registry? Why are registrants denied the opportunity to be a sponsor for someone overseas to come to this country in marriage? Why does our government feel the need to inform other countries of our intent to travel to them?
      What is the point of the successful completion of “therapy/treatment” if there is no reward of freedom afterwards?
      I’m listening.

    • #67410 Reply
      Avatar
      Ed C

      Therapists, like former sex offenders (I say former because the term “sex offender” implies the present), are often lumped together. I agree that is a serious problem. With both categories of persons, how do we separate the chaff from the wheat?

      After two individual sessions and two group sessions–with no objective testing–my therapist diagnosed me with: 1) Pedophilic Disorder; 2) Narcissistic Personality Disorder; 3) Paraphilic Disorder, Unspecified; and 4) Delusional Disorder. This was submitted to the US Probation Office as part of my treatment plan, which is incorporated into official file. If all of those were true, I would be a candidate for civil commitment.

      Another highly qualified therapist who knows me well pointed out that I met none of the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5 for any of the disorders. However, because the first therapist has the contract, his word is taken as gospel. The guy is obviously pandering to his patrons. These are the charlatans who give competent therapists a bad name.

    • #67710 Reply
      Avatar
      Daughter promoting kindness

      If am the daughter of a broken sex offender who served his time in state prison! My dad if you ask anyone who really knows him they will say he is a good lay down his life for anyone and served his country in Vietnam person. My dad is as of yesterday finally broken and without hope and im trying to keep him alive!! I am hopeful but no longer positive!! My entire family is going through this nightmare right now for the second time!!!
      I am very appalled about the laws we live under! The people writing these laws come from normal families what they are doing and have done to all of you past offenders is unforgivable!! The damage that was done to me and my family and others is permanent and can never be undone or forgotten! I lost my Leo 5 yrs ago I had PTSD after that. My parents had to watch me 24/7 I was on suicide watch after I lost my little angel. It was my dad and mom taking care of me. 4 years later I was finally cutting back on my “don’t kill myself pills” I actually was super happy and proud of myself for getting off my meds., one step closer to being healed. UNTIL last march 2019. This is the hiccup you all fear about the registry!!! one wrong move or false accusation and you are picked up so fast during a snow storm in the middle of sunday night dinner in front of your adult grandson. They take you away no jacket or shoes and no diabetes medication for two days. Everyone of my family is paralyzed especially my dad. Here we go again but this time we have social media to deal with not just news papers, the local PD posted to facebook to save the entire country from my dad! I love my dad he has no criminal history before or after his 1983 charge. His children watched him struggle with mental issues prior to 1983. I always felt guilty about not saying something to get him help but I was only 7ish at the time. My dad is now 71 going through this again currently, he is reliving his traumas all over again, childhood to now. BUT this time is harder it hit is family so hard due to social media that it leveled us. Im back on my don’t kill myself pills plus additional ones. Yeah…lucky me…just what I always wanted!!! I was forced out of my job of 24 yrs, lost my health insurance took a huge pay cut and the best part this is now my third trauma my PTSD is now at a severe level, I also cannot sleep or eat without medication. My siblings were approached at work and their entire communities NOW know our past and we all have to relive this nightmare!! We had to tell my dads grandkids who knew nothing about his past what happened, plus his grandkids under 16 cannot see their Bampa which they want to see him, they miss him! Here it is a year later and we are no closer to getting any thing done. We have court next wed and if this is not over my dad will not survive. THE REGISTRY NEEDS TO BE ABOLISHED WE TREAT OUR ANIMALS BETTER THAN WE TREAT PAST OFFENDERS! How did any of this save the public????? I 100% and my family 100% have been mentally and physically impacted for life! How is it ok to hurt my family to save a hypothetical person? Oh and I had to move my horses at my parents home because the public thinks my horses are my dads and they were going to hurt my beautiful horses I raised since foals. This is only a small portion of the abuse we were bullied in school when we were younger and my dad was abused since he was a child all the way until he got out of prison but the bullying and attacks never stopped until he retired 5 yrs ago. GOD HELP US END THIS CRAZINESS!
      They want to castrate convicted offenders in the south??? Are they crazy…they gotta be most definitely crazy!!! I cried when I read that article. Also how is it ok that abuse still goes on in prison’s??? NO ABUSE IS OK NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE!!!
      Ive vented enough please guys keep language on here clean. Please give us ladies and Christians that courtesy! MOST IMPORTANT I FORGIVE YOU AND PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE LOVED!! No one ever told my dad he was good and all he ever wanted was to be loved and accepted. Instead he was taken advantage of and abused all of his living life.

      Please more attorneys join this group. We are struggling with this and we cant do this with out professional help! Remove the Scarlet letter on past offenders and their homes…their homes contain family member’s that love them very much

      This is why I don’t give my name. please don’t judge anyone everyone has a right to disclose who they are or not. Thank you all and take care!

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