Friday, September 23, 2005

Escaping Registration?

Lately, it seems every time you see the news or read an article, there is something about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One of the several big concerns now is the whereabouts of approximately 25% of the sex offenders on the Gulf Coast. They are in noncompliance of their parole, probation or registry requirements. A lot of the rules in Louisiana changed after Katrina. This exposed the vulnerabilities of the sex offender registry.

Sex offenders in the state of Louisiana have ten days after a relocation to register their new address. Thousands of evacuees have relocated to Texas. Texas officials say the time is up for any sex offenders that have not registered their new location.

Andy Kahan of the Houston Crime Victim Assistance Program has said “If you don't let us know, I guarantee you, you're going to end up with a one-way ticket back to jail.”

I know a lady that does “jail ministry” to inmates. She told me that sex offenders are at the bottom of the totem pole. Even inmates consider them to be the bottom of scum.
I have heard stories of the treatment of sex offenders “on the outside” as well. Since they have to register their address, the general public within a certain radius of their location is notified when they move into the area.
I was notified, at my last apartments, that a sex offender was living in the area (an apartment complex near mine). Some time later, I asked the manager of those apartments if he was still living there, and she said no. She said they could not evict him because of his status, but they just did not renew his lease. She also said that he was not of that status when he had originally moved in.
Many sex offenders receive actual abuse to themselves and their property.

I am not sure which would be worse in their case….living in jail or out of jail.
Not that I can even imagine what living in jail would be like. I cannot get past the thought of having to shower and use the restroom in front of everyone. I am waaaay to modest!

Anyway, ” The government has stepped in to help. Last week in Washington, the House approved the Children's Safety Act, which would create a national Web site for child sex offenders and stipulates the sex felons face up to 20 years in prison for failing to comply with registration requirements.”

I think that is great! These people should be in complete compliance if they are allowed to walk free after committing sexual crimes against children. Otherwise, NO FREEDOM for them. After this type of felony, I really wonder what kind of circumstances allows them to get out in the first place.


The Zombie Lama said...

Whatever happened to good ol' castration?

caBlonde said...

I think we should put all of those type of people on an isolated island somewhere. They lost their previlages as soon as the broke the law. I like you blog. :)

BeckEye said...

I think it's crazy that those people are allowed out in the first place. They can't be cured. I'm all for giving people 2nd chances, but not when the safety and security of children is at stake.

Bar Bar A said...

Many sex offenders commit the crimes again if they are released from jail...I immediately think of the two little girls murdered in seperate instances last year in Florida - both by repeat sex offenders.

Here in CA we've had the Megan's Law website up for about a year. I was shocked to find an offender living around the corner from me! I see him all the time. He's tall, handsome, has a beautiful wife and two young sons. His garage is full of things like surfboards and jet skis and bikes. He has two nice cars. He seems to be living a great life....yet he was convicted for henious crimes involving minors under that age of 14!!! What the hell???? I don't get it. It makes me want to barf every time I drive by his house.

Diceman said...

I'm personally not sure whether we need to look at the whole issue of sex offenders a bit deeper when we think of appropriate action to deal with this atrocity exacted on minor others. Being imprisoned for their acts is appropriate but being in one where they receive daily abuse from inmates seems to serve no real purpose for anybody. Now don't get me wrong...i despise these people, however, reinforcement of an identity via verbal, physical, psychological abuse within a generic prison setting will only further instill that identity and will heighten the chance of reoffence within the wider community when released. No one seems to ask "why?" is not about forgiving or making excuses for someones actions but about getting to the individual root cause and seeking out realistic solutions. "Zombie Lama", Castration is an understandable yet emotive response and abuse can still occur without a penis."Well woman" shows a similar and understandable response but I think we need to seperate wealth from action.... drug dealers, abusers, murderers, politicians etc etc are the scum of society yet this does not ostricise them from beniffiting from Capitalism infact to a degree they are a result of a dog eat dog society. "Beckeye"....just because the human race haven't been able to deal with something effectively in the past doesn't mean it can't be done in the future. "Cablonde", your suggestion seems to relate to hiding the issue away. Abuse occurs and those that are proven are the tip of the iceberg. Think that there is a bigger question relating to what conditions, opportunities, weaknesses within our societies structure are a catalyst for, a cause of, or associated with any kind of abuse. Crack that, and not only will you make a million overnight, but you will have gone some major way towards preventing the issue.

Lee Ann said...

Zombie ~ Seems I have heard of them doing that somewhere for those types of offenders. Maybe I dreamt it.

Cablonde ~ Hi! Thank you for stopping by. You have an idea there. Thank you.

BeckEye ~ I am in agreement with you. Second chances should be given. But children are basically defenseless. They depend on the "grown ups" for protection.

Well woman ~ That is terrible about those two little girls. I have heard of all kinds of those stories lately. It is truly a shame. I have wondered how life goes on for the offenders. I just wonder how anyone else could live with them. I know I couldn't.

Diceman ~ Thank you for you comments. I think you have an idealist approach to this. If our "prison system" worked in the manner it should, I would agree that these people be released after serving time. However, our prison does not do "real" rehabilitation. The criminals in most prison are put in there and just locked up. As far as the way they are treated in prison, that is the mindset of so many criminals...not to help each other within the walls, but to go after each other. We could go on and on about the reasons this occurs in prison, but it just boils down to punishment, not punishment with rehabilitation. The criminal system needs a lot of work. Meanwhile, these offenders need to abide by the law and register their new locations, or go back to jail.
I do like how you bring up a different view of things.

Diceman said...

Lee Ann, I see your point but at the end of the day...what is the solution? Its like stop smoking campaigns. The question being asked is "How can we stop these people from smoking?" instead of the real question (agreeably idealistic yet valid)..."Why do people smoke?"



Diceman said...

PS Thanx for the do a v. good blog here me fellow Brummie



Justice said...

I work in criminal justice and I can tell you that sex offenders are at the bottom of the food chain in prison...especially the ones who molest children.

Diceman said...

Well theres justic for you ... justice

The Husband said...

i would much rather be outside of jail even if it means being public enemy #1. while i'm sure life will suck its sure beats getting nailed in the ass by some guy named bubba. i think the toughest part of jail for me would be the mental aspect of it.

Edge said...

Oh well, looks like I missed out on getting my 2 cents in.

I do have an opinion. As much as I am to the right, I think this is cruel and unusual punishment. We don't have a national shop lifters database. Why do we single out this crime? Crime is crime.

I do think there should be a program sex offenders complete like AA or something, but registering goes above and beyond. It doesn't solve the problem nor does castration. You can still molest a child even though you get castrated.

I do like a child sex offender database, but do you know who would be added to this? An 18 year old boy and his 16 year old girlfriend. It would follow him for life if they were caught having sex even though it's consentual.

This has to be looked at more or there will be good honest people getting tagged for bad reasons.

Watch this to hit the Supreme Court at some point.


Kay Ray said...

i agree with cablonde!! put them on an island and let them moleste each other!!!

I'm no dalai lama but here are a few quotes:

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

have a great weekend LeeAnn!!

amera hearts said...

I've been to jail (heheh don't kick a cop in the balls when you're drunk) and trust me. You do not want to go there. I was only there for 3 days, but it was horrible. I agree with Carl, I'd rather live on the outside.

I am glad they started that registry because at least we know their faces and we can protect ourselves. They are never going to change. Once a freak, always a freak.

Okay that is my two cents for what they're worth. Have a good wekeend!

Lee Ann said...

Diceman ~ All valid points. At this time there is no solution. And thank you!

Justice ~ That is what I have heard.

Carl ~ I think I would have to agree with you. Jail would suck big time.

Jef ~ You are right and you do have a right to your opinion. I think the registry is good because it makes people aware. It is not going to change the outcome of the crime. When I double lock the door on my apartment, sometimes my boyfriend will say, "If someone wants to get in bad enough they will." I say, "If they have a choice between a locked door and an unlocked door to break into, they will most likely choose the easier way ~ the unlocked door." The lock doesn't change the crime, but if I am aware and prepared it lessens my chance of being victimized. I do not agree with cruel and unusual punishment, but I don't feel that having them register is cruel and unusual considering their violation. I am in total agreement with you about "This has to be looked at more or there will be good honest people getting tagged for bad reasons." Good points Jef.

Kay Ray ~ I like those quotes, excellent advice to live by. Thanks, you have a great weekend too.

Amera ~ Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Ooooh, 3 days is 3 days too long! I guess it was long enough for you to realize you don't want to go back. Being aware is good. What you said is sort of along the lines of what I was saying....we have no "real" rehabilitation. So once they are out, so many of them commit again. Thanks, you have a good weekend too. Come back again.

mojoala said...

I agree with diceman.

I agree with Jef as well.

nuff said.

Bill said...

Maybe there should be a sex offender only prison. In my fire district we have a "school" for minors who are convicted of sex crimes. Not a nice place to visit when there is a fire alarm at 2 AM...

Lee Ann said...

Mojo ~ Glad you came by! Have a good weekend.

Bill ~ Hey! Haven't seen you for a while. Maybe the school is a good thing for them, hopefully! If it can keep them from going to jail in the future.

robmcj said...

(1) I think you'll find most bank robbers rob banks again after release. Ditto most drug offenders. Should they be locked away for ever too?

(2) On the face of it, the idea is that deprivation of liberty is enough punishment in itself. In reality, we all turn a blind eye to the abuse from other prisoners. Unless we are the morally outraged, who positively rejoice in the idea of certain classes of offenders being abused.

(3) I never trust the morally outraged, their hysterical focus on sex-offenders says more about them than about the offenders.

(4) I live in a country free of paedophilia, because there are no kids. But in the winter there are several million very cute penguins, huddling together suggestively.

My blog is open for hate comments now. Regards, robmcanonymous.

Rob Seifert said...

Sex offenses are among the most malignant and viscious abuses of a human possible. That these animals are treated badly in prison is not only appropriate but proper. I think letting them out, given the statistics or reoccurence, is criminal. These sorts don't generally reform, they just get more devious. They simply do not belong in the general population.


Fred said...

These people are evil. There's only one punishment, and that's life. Period. In our PC society, we've got it all wrong. These people are NOT victims. Let's toughen it up and fight the ACLU all the way to the top.

Lee Ann said...

robmcj ~ You have some good points. I personally do not rejoice in the abuse from other prisoners. My mindset is to help others and work together if a circumstance of solitude is presented (whatever the circumstance would be). I have never been in prison, but if they all got along and made it a "boys club" atmosphere then the whole idea of prison would not be authenticated. You would think the realism of prison would be enough to keep them from violating others, but it doesn't. These people know the consequences of their actions but continue to behave this way. If I am willing to be a good person (and do the right thing), why should I be subjected to their ways and possibly be a victim myself?
I do agree with what you said about trusting the morally outraged and their hysterical focus.
I would like to see those cute penguins you are referring to.
No hate comments will come from me, I like to hear all sides.

RCS ~ I think what you said about them reforming is most likely accurate. In earlier comments was talk of rehabilitation vs punishment. I do think they should be punished for their wrong doing, but I have to wonder if there is a way these people can be actually reformed as well. In my opinion, if they cannot be reformed (no matter what their crime) the general public should not be subjected to their ways. If you cannot think of it in terms of "general public", then think of it as "you, your family or friends".

Fred ~ Your comments made me think of the different views on what we have heard here. I think those people that are victimized or personally know someone that has been victimized most likely see things differently than those who have not been victimized or personally know someone who has.
Just like anything, opinions can be based on personal experience.
Something as simple as the rule we learned in kindergarten could make the world a better place: The Golden Rule ~ Treat others as you would like to be treated. (Now that is truly idealistic, huh?)

robmcj said...

LA - sorry, I didn't mean you, I know you are measured and balanced. (I can't recall whether you are a Libran - "they work at striking the right balance ... Librans are objective, just and want to do what's best for everyone .... Librans abhor conflict" or a virgo - "the sense of duty borne by these folks is considerable, and it ensures that they will always work for the greater good")

I was actually thinking of some of your readers. But I think I understand now that they were just being satirical, a la Michael Moore, and I fell into the trap of taking what they said at face value. Silly me.

Treat others as you would like to be treated. Yes - if we could just try to do that, we could probably dispense with the 10 commandments, since that covers them all anyway. Except of course for the most difficult commandment, number 10, "thou shalt not cuddle thy neighbour's penguin."

Lee Ann said...

robmcj ~ I did not take offense to anything you said. I always try to look at a situation through all perspectives. It is the best way to learn. That is why I write about some of these topics because they are controversial. I know that I will get all kinds of opinions on a topic like this one.
I am on the cusp. I am a Virgo. Does it count for me to be a Libra sense I was suppose to be born a month later (which would make me a Libra)? I see both of those characteristics (of which you wrote) in myself. I absolutely abhor conflict.
My "castle" here is open for everyone. I want it to be a warm and inviting environment. Please always feel free to tell your opinion.
As you said about the 10th Commandment...."desire" is a powerful thing! Too bad the "Golden Rule" isn't more powerful.
I still would love to see those cute penguins.

Brooks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brooks said...

Here's another arguement for chemical castration. It should be mandatory for every man let out of jail who is a habitutal sex offender. I don't agree that a crime is a crime. I think sex offenders are a separate sick breed and I think parents of young children should know where they live. They have given up all rights when they choose the violate the rights and innocence of a child and they shouldn't be let out of jail so easily in the first place. Think about the lasting effects on the child who grows up with insecurities and dysfuctions that are sometimes impossible to get over. It it a form of spiritual murder, therefore it should be treated as such.

hotboy said...

Lee Ann: I couldn't comment on this topic because it is too ... difficult and complex. I'm still here though!

Lee Ann said...

echeevo72 ~ My biggest worry with these offenders is that they will do it again. I do not know the statistics of this, but I do know of this occurring. If there is a way to be better guarded then I am for it.

hotboy ~ Hey, glad you are still around! Hope all is going well for you.

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