Virginia’s problems with its civil commitment program: too many to count

By Patrick Hope . . . The “lock ’em up and throw away the key” era of criminal justice is over. Virginians have reassessed their views on criminal justice to better address mass incarceration weighed against costs and the likelihood to reoffend. Policies ripe for reform include: resentencing prisoners who were convicted as youth; repealing mandatory minimums; legalizing marijuana; abolishing…

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Parents of disabled adults on sex offender registries along with their children

By Chiara Eisner . . . Carol Nesteikis, 66, has never committed a crime. But for two years, from six in the evening to six in the morning the next day, she lived under de facto house arrest with her 32-year-old son, Adam. It wasn’t because she wanted to. The home itself was a kind of punishment, she says. Adam…

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Those on the registry at increased risk during natural disasters

By Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg . . . For some people convicted of sex crimes in Florida, the only shelter open to them during Hurricane Dorian was the county jail. In some counties, people on the registry were barred from shelters set up for those evacuating, and told to go to separate locations, away from children and other community members. If they attempted to…

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“Sex offenders’ prison deaths often are ‘choreographed’ “

Used with permission By Chandra Bozelko and Ryan Lo . . . Many people aren’t buying the official “suicide” story from the Manhattan Correctional Complex that housed financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on suicide watch until late July. Theories that Epstein was murdered to protect any number of political cabals are widespread on social media. President Trump has…

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NARSOL, NC suit given okay to move forward

By Sandy . . . On July 31, a district court in North Carolina ruled that a suit brought against the state, a suit challenging the constitutionality of certain aspects of North Carolina’s sexual offense registry, may proceed. In denying the state’s motion to dismiss, the court found that the action is based on a plausible constitutional claim. Filed by…

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Suit filed in Missouri: “Registry results in retribution for past offenses”

By Pat Pratt . . . A woman barred by her church from a marathon to fight hunger and a man who saw hatred spewed so often his daughter was forced to move and his wife took her own life — they and others are seeking removal from Missouri’s life-long sex offender registry, arguing it is unconstitutionally cruel. The children…

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The utter uselessness of sexual offense registries

Used with permission By Michael Hobbes . . . The first time Damian Winters got evicted was in 2015. He was living with his wife and two sons in suburban Nashville when his probation officer called his landlord and informed him that Winters was a registered sex offender. The previous year, when he was 24 years old, Winters had been…

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Tennessee legislation rips families apart

Reprinted in full with permission By Steve Yoder . . . Last Sunday, Jason broke the news to his 7-year-old daughter: He’d be moving out. When a new Tennessee law goes into effect Monday, he will be barred from living with her. The law, Senate Bill 425, also forbids him from being alone with his daughter, meaning he can’t handle…

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NARSOL speaks out against stranger-danger

Used with permission By Michael Hobbes . . . The hotel industry has never liked Airbnb. Since the launch of the short-term rental company in 2008, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the sector’s trade group and lobbying arm, has urged cities to tax, restrict and prohibit Airbnb’s activities. But now the industry may be encouraging a new tactic: inciting…

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Current sexual offense policies: “Less about managing risk than maximizing punishment”

Image and article used with permission from Prison Policy Initiative By Wendy Sawyer . . . By now, most people who pay any attention to criminal justice reform know better than to label people convicted of drug offenses “drug offenders,” a dehumanizing label that presumes that these individuals will be criminals for life. But we continue to label people “sex…

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