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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Nextdoor.com hangs out “Not welcome” sign to those on the registry

By Sandy . . . One of the issues that we keep high on our radar is that of business and social entities excluding persons who are listed on sexual offense registries. Nextdoor.com is one about which reports have come in periodically. Nextdoor bills itself as “the private social network for your neighborhood.” It’s like a limited Facebook: no charge…

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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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That has to be all

UPDATE: The school district has denied the details of the incident as reported in the article I linked and here. I am attempting to investigate further, but if I don’t get any further confirmation of the facts as they have been presented, I will remove the post. By Sandy . . . “That just has to be all.” One of…

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Who is a sex offender?

Names in quotation marks are pseudonyms; names with none are used with permission or are publicly known figures. By Sandy . . . “Evan” is 71 years old. He was charged with viewing illegal pornography, a federal internet crime. That was eight years ago. He did not come to trial for four years after being charged. He was sentenced to…

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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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