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CaliforniaJanice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: Next Two Weeks Could Make Huge Difference

The next two weeks could make a huge difference in the lives of more than 100,000 registrants and their families. That difference could be a decision by the Senate Appropriations Committee to release the Tiered Registry Bill (SB 421) from the committee’s Suspense File on May 25, the deadline for this action to be taken.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision will be based, in part, upon the budget analysis for SB 421. Therefore, it is important to understand what the analysis has to say.

First, the budget analysis for SB 421 projects that there will be a major one-time cost of about $10 million over a three-year period to implement the Tiered Registry Bill. In an annual state budget of more than $150 billion, that is a small amount and could easily be absorbed.

Second, the budget analysis for SB 421 projects “minor to moderate costs savings” in the “tens of thousands” to local law enforcement agencies and only $75,000 annually to the state’s general fund. These projected savings are extremely low and are inconsistent with statements made during meetings of the CA Sex Offender Management Board regarding the number of registrants who will be eligible to petition for removal from the registry.

Third, the budget analysis for SB 421 includes references to the need for a “person-by-person review” that includes the original offense of offenses for which a person has been convicted. This language is troubling because it could include consideration of original charges, which are often “stacked” by District Attorneys. This language is also troubling because it is similar to language in the Tiered Registry Bill that requires judges to consider pre-conviction factors such as nature of offense, age of victim and whether victim was a stranger when decided whether an individual’s requirement to register will be terminated.

Finally, the budget analysis for SB 421 questions the amount of time it would take the CA Department of Justice to implement a tiered registry due, in large part, to make major changes to the agency’s existing IT systems. The analysis then suggests that the author of the bill “may wish to examine whether the current dates in the bill (2019) impose a realistic timeframe to implement a new registry.”

We will observe with concern the actions of the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 25. If the Committee is wise, it will release the Tiered Registry Bill from its Suspense File so that the bill can be voted upon by the full Senate on or before its June 2 deadline.

Budget Analysis – May 2017

Read all Janice’s Journal

Join the discussion

  1. Merriam

    OK, here is my question. There are a lot of shortcomings and details in SB 421 that can easily backfire and put people in a worse position than the law we have now. Why all the pressure to get this thing passed when there are so many things wrong with it? The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence!

    • j

      well atleast there is grass on the other side of that fence! there’s a chance! the bill needs to start somewhere with some writting/language on the table, would you rather wait another 10/15/20 years until they decide what they think is best? sure go ahead and take their time when it comes to a tiered system (no brain statement) *nothing personal* when it comes to registration in their eyes we are the lowest people on earth! sure go ahead and plan a detailed murder, plan a execution, get convicted of drug abuse, run a person over in your car (etc) (ect) (ect) * the world will see and people will hear the news about them and its kind of a my goodness (next) get the idea* the worst case scenario would be for the lifers, from what I read and understood even they will be able to petition, its not a bad bill and you shouldn’t complain because no one put you in the system but yourself.

    • CS

      What’s the worst they can tell us at a discretionary hearing? We have to register for life?? We’re already crossed that bridge, if you read between the lines, the registry system is starting to crumble. It’s just the beginning. I just think it’s 5 years or so down the road that real action will happen.

      • Joe P.

        Worse would be shelling out thousands of dollars in attorney and psychological assessment fees to “petition,” then getting rejected through the “discretionary” hearing. Then on top of it all, being barred from filing a successive petition for an X number of years. That’s at least $5,000 down the drain.

        This bill has no guarantees and has inconsistencies that are contrary to logic.

        The petitioning requirement is a money making scheme. One of the reasons to why this bill can put some of us in worse position. Process should be AUTOMATIC, just like most of the other tiered states.

    • AlexO

      I’m with you here. Some of these things are unnerving. If the bill was to pass as is, how difficult would it be to make adjustments down the line to try and correct some of these issues?

  2. davidh

    they are equating trivial sums of money compared to the lives of so many they’ve destroyed! the CASOMB’s youtube video should be the only consideration in any committee

  3. ReadyToFight

    Petitioning should be reserved for Lvl 3’s. They should have a chance to redeem themselves and the rest should fall off. Isn’t that how a “Teired System” works? Why is a Life Sentence on a damn Teir proposal in the first place??? Their Time scales are seriously out of wack. Along with them justifying non violent crimes as violent ones.
    I don’t advocate Anarchy, but seriously our government has over stepped far too much.

  4. American Detained in America

    My hope at finally being free has just been crushed. Whoever did this budget analysis obviously has an agenda, and that will likely prevail.

    • steve

      Don’t give up hope. I think we have a greater chance in the courts. I am especially excited to see the WAR case next month.

    • AlexO

      It’s amazing how it comes to peoples lives, money is still more important. It seems like almost no matter how bad the consequences are, if its less expensive to keep things the way they are (or possibly make them even worse), things will continue BUSINESS as usual.

  5. USA

    Well, I think there will be a significant cost savings in the long run. We might be at 150,000 in 10 years? They also should look at the current status of the offender (plea/etc). DA’s always tend to overcharge etc

    • American Detained in America

      If you look at the percentage increase in recent years, I think we’ll be closer to 200,000

  6. Matt

    When this proposed bill first came up, I was cautiously optimistic, but I was concerned that it could do more harm than good. Unfortunately, it seems to me that my concern may become reality. The bill is a political hot potato to begin with. That was expected. Now, I think that if it comes out of suspense, it will be so jacked up by the time the amendments get done, it will almost certainly make things worse, rather than better. At this point, it is my opinion that we don’t have much to lose by letting it stay in suspense, then letting the whole system collapse on itself. There seems to be a lot of that going on in government at the moment. And the fact that the group who was supposed to analyze costs is actually projecting their vision of what the law and policy actually should be, is a very clear indicator of what we can expect from the folks who will attempt amendments.

  7. Mot

    If we go by the naysayers then we are lost. What input will come from the LEO’s and DA’s who seem to support this bill? I would hope we can see more level heads who can look beyond the COSTS and see the INCOME if we are all allowed to be free to work and earn money and pay MORE taxes. The ROI from the bill will far outweigh the small savings outlined. Also with the new gas taxes we will be allowed to travel more and buy more gasoline. Buy houses, rent nicer (more expensive) apartments, go to entertainment venues, but new cars, etc. etc. So I hope that it can be pointed out to the committee that the savings are just a small part of the bill.

    • Matt

      Government employees don’t care about cost. It isn’t their money. They care about continuing their consumption of the money that other people earn. There is more mileage in the hysteria and paranoia than there is in doing the right thing.

  8. CS

    Don’t get me wrong I agree, giving them discretion is the worst thing, I had a discretionary hearing after 6 years and it was all bad, Pointed out the 13 year age gap at the time of offense. And I’m sure they will do it again. Now After 13 years of passed I’m sure they will spit the same B.S

  9. CS

    Wonder what the total combined loss of money that we’ve all forfeited due to, low job status, social status, and being detoured from any higher education cause we would have to register at given school-college…their budget matters but ours doesn’t, got it.

  10. Robert R.

    We must remember that public opinion and laws change. Change happens incrementally. In this country there was a time when people owned other people – just unimaginable today! There was a time when if you got caught with a bag of marijuana, you did serious time. There was a time when there were no drug and alcohol treatment centers. Now there are drug treatment programs in jails and prisons. Drug addicts were viewed as a scourge and should be locked up or worse. Take the homosexual’s struggle, now there is gay marriage. It takes time for the ignorance to end. I am with Janice. This bill is nowhere from perfect, but is a step in the right direction. There will be a time when each case will be judged on its own merit. And the notion that we are all dangerous, for the remainder of our lives, will eventually be dispelled. This Bill will give much hope, the hope that our life sentence on the registry will come to an end. Hopefully law enforcement will scream loud! Law enforcement knows that processing and tracking citizens that have not been in trouble for years is a colossal waste of time and a ton of money.

    On another note…….It might not be popular what I have to say with this group, but I am very remorseful for all the harm I have done. I don’t feel my case was properly adjudicated or justice served, but nonetheless did something harmful. And for me taking responsibility for the harm done is key to change. And I firmly believe one of the ways to turn the tide, is to demonstrate that we can live a life that never harms another human being. (Plus the facts with regard to recidivism rates.) Let us continue to demonstrate we are productive, caring, helpful people that should not be thrown on the human trash heap.

    I wish part of the mission statement for ACSOL said something to the affect – “We highly value a firm commitment by registrants to live a productive life that causes no harm.” (It is hard for me to express what I want to convey.) When I into the legislator’s eyes, I want them to know we are about upright living. Many look upon us as human garbage, but we are not. Many of us did something we deeply regret and are doing so very well now. Passing all these punitive laws just causes more harm. It is not the solution.
    I wonder if anyone in this forum feels the same way?

    I will fight the fight for a treatment based/risk based system and for this punitive system of torment to be no more. Public humiliation and banishment is definitely not the solution.

    • ugh

      Everyone throws around the term “risk based.” But remember the tool this bill is using to determine “risk:” the STATIC 99. So when this bill, CA SOMB, and Nancy O’Malley throws around the term “high risk” and “low risk,” they are using labels created by the STATIC 99, aka SARATSO. The STATIC is a limited tool that is not designed to categorize people for terms greater than five to ten years after release (even ten is pushing it). But this is what this bill will do: it will use the limited and flawed STATIC 99. It is junk science that assumes the future can be predicted based on ten questions.

    • kind of living

      I think what you say is true , I hope anyone that can get off of this punishment for life will get off , the change will not help me any , and i may not ever see that day for myself . but i will love to others get off this , some times its hard for me to look at it that way because its hard to see passed ME , I have to remind myself every day that this is not about me , this is about people that would no longer have to be on this registry . it would be great to see everyone get off this , and your very right change happens incrementally , and if things go right many men women and children will be able to move on in the there life , many of us will still be walking the same circle we have been walking for years , but at least we will know that many will be in the wind once again , I am down for staying clean and shining a good light for all to see , and make the best and safest choices for my family , because at this point in my life, my family is my life , I love my wife and kids more than anything , and that is a big thing , because there are people in our boat that don’t even have anyone , Peace

  11. CS

    Very well put Robert, I concur with all you said.

  12. TM

    I am encouraged by the hopeful nature of many comments here. I think this bill is effectively dead. The Appropriations Committee’s job is to regulate spending. The only hope for this bill as it relates to this committee is if it saves money. According to the report, which is undoubtedly inaccurate, it would take 133 years for the bill to pay for itself. That’s pretty much the end of discussion IMHO. I will be ecstatic if I am wrong, but also remember this gets a floor vote and then a repeat in the House….

    A few other cases were mentioned here and perhaps people are right that the future lies in the courts. If we can get judges to stop listening to bogus information and get them to understand the facts then registry laws face lots of problems. The thing is, most judges still believe the old inaccurate data about sex offenders. Hopefully that will change over time.

  13. Nondescript

    Well, it’s kind of amusing to find out that ” local law enforcement agencies spend between 60-66% of their resources dedicated for sex offender supervision”.
    I’d like to see that pie chart.

    It is also quite strange to read how the budget analysis can so callously monetize freedom. It’s as if registrants are a commodity like livestock. It reminds me of those 13th century crusades and the famous quote supposedly attributed to the Pope when asked how to determine who the true heretics were – ” Destroy them All! God will sort them out later!”

    California. Time to emerge from the dark ages.

  14. New Person

    This is called a POISON PILL.

    My fellow registrants, what we feel versus what the government wants to persist are two completely different ideas. Because there is no law to protect registrants, then everyone outside of the law making will make it more difficult for registrants to become a free person again.

    The State of California truly doesn’t believe in second chances and it’s all because the false information that is glorified everywhere: Sex Offenders have a “high and frightening” recidivism rate. That 80% false fact is what allowed the SCOTUS to treat us all as one group, which, in turn, allows states like California treat us as one group of Monsters.

    A poison pill is a process in bill making to thwart a bill from becoming law by adding ludicrous ideas within the bill. The end goal is media perception – ACSOL could not agree to pass a tiered bill, confusion in representing Sex Offenders.

    Let’s look at the Negative parts in summary, then I’ll go over it in detail.
    1. Startup fee of $10 million.
    2. Minimal cost savings.
    3. “Person-by-Person” review includes your old conviction when Petitioning.
    4. IT infrastructure is expansive, time consuming.

    Registrants are trying to fight to be a free citizen again despite already paying their debts to society. If we were to follow the max threshold identified in the 2003 Smith v Doe decision, many of the penalties registrants endure today are punitive factors in the 2003 decision. Negative factors 2 and 3 have been discussed ad nauseam of potential dangers.

    1. Janice put $10 million start-up cost into perspective. The state budget is $150 BILLION. $10 million dollars is only 0.006% of $150 Billion dollars. $10 million is a minuscule amount to start up the tiered program.

    2. Janice denotes the discrepancy in cost savings between what the state thinks and what she thinks. Janice see the potential to get about 80-90% of registrants off the registry. The state only sees 10,000 off of the registry out of the over 100K registrants. The state does not believe enough registrants will come off the registry with this tiered proposal. Negative Factor 3 is why.

    3. At your petition, the DA can “stack” your old conviction to prevent you from every being free from the registry. See, the government doesn’t care how “mistake free” you have been for 10 or 20 years. In their eyes, you never moved on from your conviction. Essentially, you’re on trial for the same crime to EXTEND you compelled service to the state indefinitely. Remember, on the law books, registration is still a regulatory scheme as deemed by the 2003 Smith v Doe decision – who cares about the details and the threshold it no longer adheres to. There is no SCIENTIFIC REASONING BEHIND ALL THIS PETITIONING.

    4. This one is how the government truly doesn’t care about registrants. This is IT structuring. Recall, Janice already sued California for not updating Megan’s Law map entries. There should be constant updating in infrastructure because it is the IT world with people coming and going… except, registrants rarely get off the registry. This implies that the registration class are IMMUTABLE from their current station. Immutable means unchanging over time or unable to change. Again, Negative Factor 2 represents this “immutable” station as the state doesn’t figure registrants will come off the registry.

    While this tiered proposal seems like a step in a forward direction, there may be only 10,000 who may benefit from this proposal. The rest seems like a farce to which uses NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE. The DA’s involvement in the petition is highly suspect, but will also cost the state to pay for the presence of the DA, judge, and your own attorney. But this petitioning process is akin to being in jail and petitioning to get out of jail – except you’re told you’re a free citizen b/c you’re no longer under punishment custody and must continue to serve the state as a free person under power of law or be returned to jailed and punished.

    Megan’s Law says it’s a duty to register. Law Enforcement imply it is a duty to register or you will be taken into custody and punished. Yet, in California and US Constitution, Slavery is prohibit; involuntary servitude are prohibited unless to punish a crime. If this is not punishment, then why must I continue to serve the state’s custody? But I digress.

    This tiered proposal now seems like something to do just to do something instead of doing the right thing. There is no empirical reasoning behind the arbitrary years, petitioning, or cognition of empirical evidence. Janice’s concern should be taken at its highest caution. Believe in the what is in the proposal and not what you want out of it. This is not a great plea deal. And from the current state of things, the State of California doesn’t mind having a large registry. The risk levels mean nothing if everyone shares the same penalties – lifetime registration.

    I dunno… all my prayers and hope lie within Peckingham and Snyder. I do not see California getting rid of their registry program. In-person annual registration, compliance checks, travel restrictions, living restrictions, employment restrictions, and dismissed convictions are all thresholds that surpass the 2003 Smith v Doe decision that California is implementing. No one in government, local and federal, seems to care that it is purposely creating a class that is immutable by law, not by choice. I just don’t see anything positive coming out of this tiered proposal… especially to be on trial AGAIN for the same conviction!!!! to petition off of the registry.

    In jail, you knew there was a release date. Under probation, you knew there was a release date there too. But with the registry, you have cannot escape all of the penalties given unto you and there is no release date. It is a lifetime of losing your privacy as well as be restricted as if you were still on probation/parole.

    Patrick Henry once said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” That’s how I feel. I paid my dues, but I am not free. I’ve earned my 1203.4, but I’m not allowed to enjoy the benefits of being released from all penalties and disabilities. Now, with this tiered proposal, my past conviction will be used against me on a petition that is not for a criminal case – double jeopardy. Some of you are stronger than I am. My brain is fried. I did my fighting… in court several times. And lost all, but one – 1203.4… because it was law that I was awarded it. The government only sees me as a monster. Who cares about risk levels. Who cares if you had no priors. Who cares if you jump through all their hoops. They will still see you only as a monster. That’s what the government has brainwashed within me. Every time I register in person… or to go to college… or read news like this. What’s the whole point of Dr. Ellman’s work if the government doesn’t believe in it to use it? Or Dr. Hanson’s work? I pray Snyder corrects the ills that the US government exacted upon every registrant. Registration is a cash cow for government as it’s job security for law enforcement and politicians.

    • 1984

      New Person, your frustrations are well understood and felt.

      The tiered registry will have a hard fight. Government agencies do not like to save money. What they save today they lose in the following year’s budget. There could be job cuts, impossible they say. There is a lot of empirical evidence RSOs are a low risk. They have had this data for a long time.

      People (who are politicians) will take a lie to heart. Especially when it fits their ideals and agenda. The media knows this. I could be wrong but as the senate vote gets closer, we may see an increase of media propaganda against RSOs. Last week KRON 4 in San Francisco had a full week news series of “Hunting Sexual Predators”. Mostly about those who stopped registering and how dangerous we all are. Then in the middle of all that they had another little special. That little special was about the proposed tiered registry and how thousands of SOs will be let loose. I did not watch much, the spin that was applied was sickening, to me.

      What happens to those left on the registry? Will the screws be tighten tighter? The targets on our backs get a little bigger, a little brighter? Hope not, I really hope the truth overcomes all the lies that permeates just about everything in this area.

  15. ReadyToFight

    So….on tha budget thing. 10mil to kickstart it? So that’s 400k RSO’s x $25ea= $10,000,000.
    And I’m pretty sure they’re gonna make up a lot more $$$ when each of us pays to effing “petition”.

  16. GRR

    So my question is who performs the budget analysis? And, why would they have any say besides providing projections for the bill one way or another if it were to pass and be implemented.

    It seems too me the budget analysis group have their own agenda there trying to voice that really doesn’t hold any weight.

    This bill past the Public Safety Committee what 6 to 1! I see the bill passing here in this appropriations committee by a 5 to 2 vote (maybe 4 to 3), with the 5 democrats and 2 republicans on committee.

    After 28 and 1/2 years it keeps my hopes alive.

  17. Ca

    Again! My fellow RCs: will the governor sign or veto?

  18. Aero1

    I guess if this bill passes it will be helpful to alot of people no more allways looking over your shoder in constant fear and paranoia i think any one whos been on the registery for more then 10 years is scard for life it would take alot of counselling to deel with what they have been put thrue i just hope that with (SB 421) people who deserve a second chance get one and those who dont never get one some people are on the registery for the stupidest things that is insane to make them regerster for life but on the outher hand some people have done the most horrific crimes you can imagine multiple times and this bill is designed to weed them out and im all for it ..so with that being said i have hope this bill will pass

  19. Aero1

    I guess if this bill passes it will be helpful to alot of people no more allways looking over your shoulder in constant fear and paranoia i think any one whos been on the registery for more then 10 years is scard for life it would take alot of counselling to deal with what they have been put thrue i just hope that with (SB 421) people who deserve a second chance get one and those who dont never get one some people are on the registery for the stupidest things that it is insane to make them regerster for life but on the outher hand some people have done the most horrific crimes you can imagine multiple times and this bill is designed to weed them out and im all for it ..so with that being said i have hope this bill will pass

  20. JCrsn

    Will Janice and ACSOL be at tomorrow’s hearing to give us updates on these Bills?

  21. bill

    here is the amazing thing being arrested with 3 emails with 2 underage pics on each email and never distributing anything has me as a lifetime convict. I have a friend who got drunk and killed a pedestrian with his car he got 1 year in state prison and no one knows about it. What is wrong with this country.

    • Thanks to the minority

      Some people are spoiled! Life is not the same for everyone, given money, power , sex, fame, honor, health, etc. it’s easy to judge! It gives more power to the administrator! So, the victim becomes the victimizer, and the law is the catalyst! Also, it’s easy for religion to spring forth in debates, conversations! After all god is perfect! Of course if no power and authority on earth is established but by god alone! Welll! Sucks to be the “you” minority! Because, don’t you know! Life’s not fair! Well! How can the system be buillt/allows imperfect etc. Of course! Again ! It’s always someone else that’s the problem! People! Well ! This is the ultimate “cop out” ! I Create it! You deal with it! I (god) make it! You live with it! These are the double standard rules (commandments) i can rule you can’t! If want anything it’s ok! If you want more you are coveting! If I kill it’s justified! If you your a “murderer” etc! Soooooo! What’s wrong I ask with the creator And the system! You needed love and attention friendship and good / life empowering relationships and much much more like all registrants! If you think you are a slave you are one! If you are convinced you are a sinner you are! We are all perfect in our own way! Be free from this moment on! There is no confidence in a higher power who wants everything his way at others expense! Thanks!

  22. AB

    The comments are quiet but hearing for AB558, SB26, and the Tiered Registry bill is today.

    Is anyone attending?

  23. AB

    Actually it’s on Friday, May 26th.

    • Janice Bellucci

      The Senate Appropriations Committee will announce today, May 25, whether the Tiered Registry Bill is released from the Suspense File. We expect to know their decision no later than noon so please stand by for their answer. Those who have signed up for E-mail or text notifications will find out first, therefore, if you haven’t already signed up for the notifications please do so by adding your E-mail address or phone number in the boxes above.

      • Richie

        So I heard it was released from the suspense file. Was it also voted on?

  24. Janice Bellucci

    Today the Senate Appropriations Committee released the Tiered Registry Bill (SB 421) from its Suspense File. As a result, the bill’s author — Senator Scott Wiener — will take the bill to the floor of the Senate no later than Friday, June 2. While on the Senate floor, every senator will have an opportunity to vote for or against the Tiered Registry Bill.

    “It’s time to Show Up, Stand Up and Speak Up,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “This is the time for registrants, family members and supporters to call the state senator who represents them and ask that senator to vote in favor of SB 421.”

    It’s easy to identify your senator online at senate.ca.gov. Please call your Senator’s office in Sacramento (not the district office) and ask them to support the Tiered Registry Bill (SB 421). When you call the office, be prepared to give them your name and home address which won’t be recorded. That information is used for statistical purposes only.

    “With the support of the members of our community, we will succeed in helping the State of California end a 70-year mistake, that is, requiring everyone convicted of a sex offense to register for a lifetime,” stated ACSOL President Chance Oberstein. The Senate Appropriations Committee, in a vote of 5 to 2, decided to release the Tiered Registry Bill (SB 421) from its Suspense File. As a result, the bill will move on to the Senate floor for consideration by all Senate members next week.

    Also during today’s hearing, the Senate Appropriations Committee stopped Senate Bill, authored by Sen. Connie Leyva, from further consideration until at least 2019. If passed, that bill would have prohibited most registrants from visiting school campuses.

  25. AB

    Will ACSOL be updating the results of the AB558 suspension hearing through the email news alert once it becomes available?

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