NARSOL asks administration to use them as resource in criminal justice reform issues

In late February, 2021, the NARSOL board members decided to appeal to key members of the new administration regarding sexual offense issues as they impact overall criminal justice reform. The resultant letter was mailed by U.S. certified mail on March 17 and then sent also by email to three individuals: Mr. Mike Donilon, Senior Advisor to the President; Mr. Steven J.…

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New publication finds sex offender registry driven by animus.

“No similar regime has ever been imposed on any other group of law-abiding former felons who have fully served the sentence for the crime they committed years earlier.” By Dr. Ira Ellman . . . In Romer v. Evans the Court drew a constitutional distinction between civil laws enacted for a broad public purpose that justifies “the incidental disadvantages they…

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Let’s End Collective Punishment in U.S. Prisons

Also published in the April 2021 edition of Prison Legal News. By Sandy Rozek . . . As long ago as 1991 when Rodney King was beaten by four police officers in California, public sentiment erupted in a general condemnation of law enforcement. In New York in 2014, the death of Eric Garner, placed in a chokehold and held on…

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TN Middle Court affirms earlier decision, orders two registrants removed from registry

By Travis Loller . . . A federal judge ruled Monday that Tennessee’s sex offender registration act is unconstitutional, at least as it was applied retroactively to two offenders. The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee affects only the two men who sued, identified in court documents as John Doe #1 and John Doe…

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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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Sex offense registries create blame and harm for spouses and children of registrants

By Drs. Kristen Russell and Daniel Pollack . . . Committing a sex offense can ruin two lives — the victim’s and the offender’s. For the offender, the result can be significant incarceration time and financial penalties. In all states, persons convicted of certain crimes are required to register on a sex offender registry. The registry is viewable by the general…

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Jacob Wetterling’s mother urges reforming the registry

The Free Press, Mankato, Minn. Patty Wetterling lost a son to the actions of a sex offender. But she now has misgivings about a sex offender registry she helped create. Wetterling’s son Jacob was abducted and killed in 1989 in central Minnesota by an area man. After Jacob’s disappearance, Wetterling worked to establish a sex offender registry that would help…

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