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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Second Circuit: Private company home visits constitutional for registrants

By Amanda Ottaway . . . A Long Island sex offender who faced home visits from a private nonprofit contracted by his county did not endure an unconstitutional search, the Second Circuit affirmed Wednesday. Writing for a three-judge panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Christopher Droney noted in the ruling that in this case, public-safety interests outweigh the offenders’ rights. “In sum, the program advances…

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Don’t be scared! Get ready for Halloween

By Sandy . . . NARSOL will once again this year host a Halloween Marathon. This will be the third extended program of this nature that NARSOL has done, and we hope that everyone will participate. The intent of the marathon session is to monitor law enforcement’s Halloween activities and carefully evaluate where we will litigate next. Last year we…

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Virginia grandmother prohibited from seeing grandchildren in school events

By Sandy . . . Seventeen years ago in Grayson County, Virginia, a fourteen-year-old boy named David and a 26-year-old woman named Shelly set in motion events that would reverberate for months, years, and decades to come. The background story: David was a troubled youth. By fourteen he was intimately familiar with the juvenile justice system in Virginia. His legal…

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A case against civil commitment

Reposted from August 14, 2018 By NARSOL . . . In view of recent developments in the case of Galen Baughman in Virginia, NARSOL restates its unequivocal opposition to the civil commitment process occurring in at least twenty states and in the federal system. Paul Shannon, NARSOL’s board chair, states, “NARSOL opposes the practice of civilly committing sexual offenders to…

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NC Supreme Court affirms limitation of lifetime GPS monitoring for registrants

By Will Doran. . . Sex offenders have rights, too, and in some cases the state has been violating those rights, the NC Supreme Court ruled on Friday. The ruling concerns people who have been ordered to submit to satellite-based monitoring for the rest of their lives, which forces them to wear a tracking device so law enforcement can track…

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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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Consider yourself served!

By Sandy . . . From Aurora, Illinois comes good news: Thanks to litigation filed, the city is backing off its threat to force nineteen registrants to leave Wayside Cross Ministries. Furthermore, a federal judge has ordered the men be registered as living at Wayside. Even though the city insists that the actual threat of the registrants having to leave…

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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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Families will not be ripped apart in Tennessee

By Sandy and Larry . . . The Tennessee General Assembly enacted a statute which would have forced families to be split apart, and it was scheduled to take effect July 1st. Fortunately, the law has been stopped in its tracks for now. The law states that anyone convicted of a sexual offense in which the victim was a child…

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