Louisiana legislative committee rejects marking registrants’ driver’s licenses

By Will Sentell . . . A bill that would require the driver’s license or identification card of sex offenders to carry a special designation was narrowly rejected Tuesday in the House Transportation Committee. State Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, said his proposal was aimed at protecting citizens while also complying with a recent ruling by the state Supreme Court. The court…

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State cannot continue incarceration without sufficient evidence

By Christian M. Wade . . . BOSTON — More than 120 “dangerous” sex offenders have been released under a 2008 Supreme Judicial Court ruling that keeps them from being locked up if at least two “qualified medical examiners” determine they’re no longer a threat, according to state data. The state Department of Correction currently oversees about 130 sexually dangerous prisoners…

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Residency restrictions lawsuit settled in favor of three registrants

By Patty Dexter . . . The city of Apple Valley has agreed to settle a class action federal lawsuit filed in 2020 that challenges the constitutionality of a 2017 city ordinance that limits where some sex offenders can live in the community. The Apple Valley City Council, without discussion, approved a settlement agreement as part of the consent agenda…

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Civil commitment: Treatment or extended punishment?

By J.D. Tuccille . . . Sold as a means of giving potentially dangerous sex offenders treatment for their conditions while indefinitely confining them, civil commitment programs invite skepticism about their motivation and effectiveness. While courts have signed off on the practice, keeping people locked up after they’ve served their prison sentences raises sticky legal and ethical questions. Now a…

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Study validates alternatives to prison more effective for some offenses

By Milton J. Valencia . . . The progressive movement to divert nonviolent offenders to treatment rather than charging them with a crime has faced a drumbeat of criticism over the years focused on the same central theme: Criminals who don’t pay for their offenses are more likely to commit a crime again. Now, a first-of-its-kind independent research study conducted…

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Michigan SORA changes signed into law

By Beth LaBlanc . . . Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed a bill that would eliminate school safety zones and certain appearance requirements in Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act. The changes, made to comply with federal court orders that called the current law unenforceable, were among 80 bills passed by the Legislature during its lame duck session and signed…

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Michigan Senate approves tightened restrictions

By Samuel Dodge LANSING, MI – The Michigan Senate voted Wednesday to codify court-recommended changes in the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act. The legislation now only needs Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature to become law. State lawmakers approved altering registration protocols for sex offenders during its Wednesday session, fulfilling a 4-year-old mandate from the U.S. Court of Appeals. The federal court…

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Will Michigan legislature ever do right thing?

By William Buhl, J.J. Prescott, and Miriam Aukerman . . . In early 2012, more than eight years ago, five people challenged Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) in court, arguing that the registry branded them as dangerous “sex offenders” without any individual review. One was a man — we’ll call him John — who met a woman at a club open only…

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Registering juveniles creates only harm

By Malik Pickett and Emily Satifka . . . Jason was 14 years old when he met his first girlfriend, a 13-year-old neighbor of the foster family with whom he lived. After a few months of dating, his girlfriend’s mother walked in on the teenagers engaging in consensual oral sex and called the police. Jason was arrested and charged with child…

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A good idea gone bad: How the PA Senate sabotaged the sexual abuse prevention plan

By Randall Hayes of PARSOL In September 2019, the increasingly prevalent and in-demand problem of online images of child sexual abuse (CSA) or “child pornography” rocked the Senate of Pennsylvania in a big way. The influential Chairman of the State Government Committee, Senator Mike Folmer, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography after uploading an image of an…

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