For sex crimes, prison conditions extend beyond prison walls

By Roger Lancaster . . . The criminal justice reform bill, hopefully dubbed the First Step Act, represents a real accomplishment — a positive development in otherwise conservative times. It is all the more remarkable that a reactionary president, who ran a tough-on-crime campaign, is now poised to sign the bill. But let’s not overstate matters. The bill essentially tweaks an otherwise…

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The denial of redemption

By Rich A . . . What exactly is redemption?  Many are familiar with the religious concept of redemption:  the payment of a price, or ransom, to secure release.  In criminology, redemption often is defined as the point in time when a person with a criminal record, having had no further contact with the criminal justice system, is of no greater…

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America’s Civil Death Penalty: The Sexual Offense Registry

Used with permission By Guy Hamilton-Smith . . . Oscar Wilde, writing from his cell in the Reading Gaol where he was imprisoned for homosexuality at the end of the nineteenth century, observed that “society reserves for itself the right to inflict appalling punishments on the individual, but it also has the supreme vice of shallowness, and fails to realise what…

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Breaking: Florida judge rules homeless sex offenders can be arrested

Douglas Hanks . . . A Miami-Dade judge on Thursday cleared the way for the county to dismantle a tent village of homeless sex offenders outside Hialeah, and a lawyer for some of the residents said the ruling leaves them no choice but to live on a roadside or street somewhere else. “They’ll most likely be relocating to another street corner,”…

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As dumb as it gets: mixing forced homelessness and GPS monitoring

By Riley Vetterkind . . . Michael walked out of the Oshkosh Correctional Institution in April 2017 at age 60 with $140 to his name, a record as a sex offender and a GPS monitoring bracelet strapped to his ankle. Michael, who requested that only his middle name be used to avoid public attention, was convicted of two child sex crimes,…

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NARSOL affiliate files lawsuit in Connecticut

By Anthony Branciforte . . . WINDSOR LOCKS — An anonymous resident and an advocacy group that represents accused and convicted sex offenders have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to strike down the town’s 10-year-old policy barring people on Connecticut’s sex offender registry from a number of public places. The organization, Connecticut for One Standard of Justice, says the town’s…

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Long time SO advocate speaks out: “Abolish the registry”

By Josh Sweigart . . . Derek Logue is a member of one of the few groups it is socially acceptable for people to openly hate. He knows online comments on this story will likely refer to him in the most vulgar terms, and no one will come to his defense. But Logue said people like him are being unfairly…

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Social, not geographic, proximity facilitates sex crimes

By Guy Hamilton-Smith . . . New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled a legislative proposal packaged as part of a budget amendment to expand already onerous residency and presence restrictions for some sex offenders in New York. The proposal expands blanket presence and residency restrictions for sex offenders who are on parole or post-release supervision by vastly increasing the number of places they cannot be…

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Sex offenders — decision needed

By Sandy . . . Some members of our society are shadow people, so marginalized that they are hanging on by their fingernails. Some have a slightly firmer grip, but they are perched precariously close to the edge, so close that they can be hurled into the abyss by a mere word, accusation, or click of a mouse. In Florida…

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Helping Florida’s sex offenders: “Somebody has to do it.”

  By Steve Yoder . . . Baptist minister Glenn Burns calls the evening of April 7, 2016, the “crucifixion.” It was the toughest test of his 40-year career. Burns leads a Christian social services ministry in northern Florida called the Good Samaritan Network. Until last April, the nonprofit was headquartered in the town of Woodville, just outside Tallahassee. Its…

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