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Janice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: To Jail and Then to Hell

A town in Connecticut passed a new law this week that bans registrants from virtually all of its public sites, including parks, recreation centers, event centers, swimming pools, trails, and open space land. The new law also prohibits registrants from attending school events even if their children are participating in them.

The town’s decision to ban registrants was made about the same time as their public schools prepared to participate in “The Great Kindness Challenge”, an international program meant to show that kindness matters. The irony of these two events taking place in the same town at almost the same time is overwhelming.

How can a town that publicly states that it values kindness act in such an unkind way? How can an elected official in that town state that “sex offenders” belong in only two places – jail and then Hell?

During consideration of the new law, the elected officials discussed the possibility of a legal challenge to that law. Their legal representative answered that “courts have upheld ordinances…if they are reasonably calculated to achieve health, safety, and welfare.”

Does this new law achieve health, safety, and welfare? It does not!

Instead, it is based upon the myth that everyone convicted of a sex offense, regardless of the gravity of that offense and when it occurred, poses a current danger. The new law also ignores both government and academic studies that conclude that laws, similar to the law passed in Connecticut, do not increase public safety, but instead decrease it.
This new law in Connecticut must be stopped! For if the law is not stopped, it is likely to spread to towns throughout that state as well as to all of New England.

Similar laws have been stopped in California and Illinois. Registrants in those states are now allowed to visit public sites and the results have not been that children are assaulted there. Instead, children — including children of registrants — have enjoyed picnics and played softball with all members of their families. They have also enjoyed the support of their parents at school events, both academic and athletic.

The only way to stop the new law in Connecticut is to challenge it in court by filing a lawsuit. A lawsuit similar to the 31 lawsuits filed in California that restored the rights of registrants to visit public sites. California is prepared to help registrants in Connecticut restore their rights. Discussions have begun to do just that. Please stay tuned.

— by Janice Bellucci

Read all Janice’s Journals

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  1. J

    Great news Janice, thank you!!!!

  2. jo

    They simply failed to Google search “Janice Bellucchi will eat you alive”

    Don’t worry you guys and girls in that area, help is on the way.

    • E

      That comment is hysterical. Thanking God this year for Janice, her global mission, and wondering how we can all help more. Janice, THANK YOU!!!!!

  3. nope

    We will see if those lawyers in those states decide to step up and fight this. Ten years ago we couldn’t find ANY lawyers willing to fight on behalf of RC.

    • norman

      Which is why she is soooo valuable to us..

      • R M

        Janice is valuable, I agree. I also believe we all are valuable if each of us takes to the fight. If we sit on our butts and do nothing, we accomplish nothing. Supporting ACSOL and other advocates, writing our senators and representatives, and writing to any media that publishes misnomers, are only a few ways to fight these outrageous laws. I have supported ACSOL and will donate again right now, I have written every Congressman in Ga and will do the same for NJ (convicted in NJ, live in Ga), and I will continue to increase my opinions until the day I die.

  4. David

    I attended a great college in CT. Good state. But that Naugatuck mayor was foolish and impulsive to advance this ordinance. Janice will win. Naugatuck mayor will lose. Period.
    CT ACLU itself should file suit against this bad law. It’s totally ex post facto punishment.

  5. Tim Lawver

    One thing is for sure. The identification and labeling of those who have committed sex assaults maybe of public interest, but the underlying intent is to punish. The town wrote law, err ordinance that imposes banishment after the fact. The intent is to punish period. That the town seeks safety is irrelevant.

  6. Q

    I think the sentence “The irony of these two events taking place in the same town at almost the same time is overwhelming” should have been written “The hypocrisy of these two events taking place in the same town at almost the same time is overwhelming”

    • Janice Bellucci

      @Q – I agree. The word “hypocrisy” describes the town’s actions well.

      • Jonathon

        Janice. The four men who killed that man used the registry to gather needed info on their victim.
        Does that not make the State of California an accessory to the crime?

  7. Eric

    Ah yes, the self-righteous followers of Ted Kennedy.

  8. someone who cares

    Unbelievable!! Thanks Janice for offering help outside of California. This can’t be constitutional and it will be struck down!! Murderers and Drug Dealers are allowed in these places, so I guess our children are safe? How ridiculous.

  9. AJ

    From coast to coast, Janice works to make RC laws toast! 🙂

  10. Tired of this

    I have long wondered why we’re still expected to continue funding, via our tax dollars, public spaces we aren’t even allowed to enjoy anymore.

    Go get ’em, Janice. You are pretty much my only hope at eventually toppling this whole evil oppressive police-state scheme.

  11. kat

    Why should registrant tax dollars support parks, swimming pools and rec centers that they can’t access? And what does “open space land” mean, sounds like registrants aren’t allowed to exist unless it’s in a cell in some prison.
    Thank goodness for lawyers like Janice! If ever there was a Wonder Woman, she is it, Go Get Em!

  12. American Detained in America

    We have an uphill battle as long as the media continues to portray us as demons. And when I say media, it’s not just in the news/opinion media doing so. TV and movies are doing as much damage for us as they are, if not more.

    I have quit watching several TV shows lately because of how they portray sex offenses/offenders. Last month, a Blindspot episode made the claim that sex crimes are given a low priority by police compared to crimes like homicide and vice. We know that is far from the truth because some of us have been victims of a system that is overzealous when it comes to prosecuting these crimes, some even to the point of being victims of manufactured accusations. As long as the media portrays these crimes as being “low priority,” the public will believe that lie and demand fiercer prosecution of sex crimes.

    Another was an episode of Bull which aired this week. On it, a man in his mid 30s lies on social media to attract a 16 year old girl to meet him, and then upon their initial meeting, he gives her an option to turn around and go home or go out with him. He doesn’t force her and she willingly goes with him. The episode then jumps to over a year later and they are robbing a jewelry store together and are caught. The episode is centered around the idea that he must have forced her, threatened her, and raped her violently. The episode had a very clear message, for a girl at that age to run away from home and to have sex with an older man, the only reason must be that he forced her to do it, that he was violent, and that he held her as a prisoner.

    TV shows and movies continue to portray us as monsters, and Law and Order: SVU isn’t the only one doing so.

  13. Chris F

    Ahh…Connecticut…the place that gave us the 2003 Connecticut Department of Public Safety V Doe 2003 SCOTUS case. The case where the Justices decided it was OK to publish sex offenders on an internet list and the Second Circuit Court’s judgment was reversed on the basis that due process does not require the opportunity to prove a fact that is not material to the State’s statutory scheme. Injury to reputation in itself, even if defamatory, does not constitute deprivation of liberty. The Procedural Due Process challenge failed.

    However, The Court did not answer whether the law violated the substantive component of due process…ever…and even suggested that putting someone on a list that infers dangerousness without a hearing to determine that may violate Substantive Due Process. This is something from 2003 that still hasn’t been challenged to the level of SCOTUS even though they practically begged for it and we could have gotten these dangerous public disclosure web sites shot down long ago.

    Sorry if it’s a little off topic, but it’s all I can think about whenever I see this state mentioned.

    • AJ

      @Chris F:
      Well said, and ditto re: CT being mentioned (likewise Sen. Blumenthal, who was CT AG).

      It really seems as though CT DPS scared everyone from trying *any* Due Process challenge, even though, as you said, SCOTUS practically begged for a SDP case. Of some comfort is lower courts have repeatedly ruled favorably when it comes to individualized risk assessments (or lack thereof). Routinely it’s found to be a SDP violation. So the concept is out there; it just needs to get to SCOTUS’ front porch.

  14. New Person

    Thank you, Janice and team!

    Conflate this “cruel and unusual punishment” by the city in CT with the public meeting reactions of Adelanto, Ca along with Colorado’s Judge Matsch’s ruling that the public make the registry “cruel and unusual punishment” should obliterate that the registry is simply regulatory in nature.

    I was watching a PBS episode on Prohibition. On it, it stated that only 10% of Americans become adversely affected by alcohol. It seems foolish to have a law that punishes 100% of Americans that only affect 10%. It took many organizations to overturn the 18th amendment, Prohibition, including a Women’s group to sway voters. (That reminded me of WAR – Women Against the Registry.)

    Similarly, we all know that the recidivism rates of registrants are the second lowest, with murderers being the lowest recidivates. Why punish 100% of those convicted of sex crimes when less than 5% recidivate? Or in case of the California Sex Offender Management Board’s (CASOMB) latest results or less than 1% recidivism rates for the past two years.

    The SCOTUS needs to face their egregious mistake of creating a class of monsters by way of false data by someone making an advertisement for their employ with 80% recidivism rates. Not only do Dr’s Ira and Tara Ellman’s research work proves that extreme rate false, but the people who gathered up the information have revealed to the WAPO that they didn’t know what they were doing because there wasn’t enough data to give.

    • Tim Moore

      New Person, I also watched that documentary and was also struck by the similarities between what lead up to prohibition and what lead up to registration laws. It is too easy to say the people who pushed for prohibition were evil and were progressive and therefore paint all progressives or women’s organizations with the same broad strokes. Many of the prohibitionists were also devout Christians, slavery abolishionists and suffragettes. Alcohol and abuse of women was a real problem, but while many believed alcohol was the cause, rather than the symptom, others saw the systemic brutality of industrial revolution society as the driving cause. Men who slaved seven days a week, sixteen hours a day under dismal conditions came home and often drank and beat wives and children. While narrow sighted feminists, progressive and right wing Christians are indeed pushing for, or just approving by proxy, these registration laws, some are looking at the big picture. It is easy to blame an ideology.
      Interesting that labor laws, which attacked the root causes of abuse have survived, while prohibition has not (except for drugs, but that is changing). It looks like registration laws will hopefully go through the same vetting process. We hope.

  15. http404

    This is a prime example of how communities can pass absurd laws that will remain on the books until they are challenged. Then, when they go unchallenged, it spreads like a cancer to the next town, and the next town… and the next. It’s what happened in California and started with a district attorney and a county supervisor in Orange County who teamed up to create the framework of an absurd and completely unconstitutional ordinance that spread throughout the state like wildfire. ENOUGH!

    There’s a civil rights attorney in CT whose name I’m not gonna drop but I think many here can probably guess… this seems like it would be perfect for that person.

  16. AlexO

    Thank you, Janice!

  17. It doesn’t work

    Janice’s arguments hold true and the United States constitution applies even to felons.

  18. Christiana

    I have read this post i understand both sides. We all have a right to how we feel and as well to our options. My opinion is we need to have stricter law’s . The law gives convicts to many rights. When they should receive no rights. Did the CRIMINALS give any of their VICTIMS any RIGHTS . NO ! They didn’t. What one state wants for their people and children should be an eye opener for other states to see they need to make a change . Not to save the criminals who are predators that feeds devil inside them. If our laws were not WEAK AND LIBERAL. We wouldn’t have as much crime. It’s very disappointing that victims or their loved ones that feel righteous Justice was not prevailed tend to go make Justice and they are the one who get locked up for life or more years then what a criminal who does do the ACT or Acts repeatedly only get a slap on the wrist they do receive years but not enough .also for the ones who are sex predators also get to register themselves into Megan’s Law when that should be done by the law when they do judgment and sentencing. It’s time we all look at the big picture here. Look at what is happening to our SOCIETY. …

    • CR

      Hello Christina. When people do something wrong, they are punished for it. They should be. Once they have completed their punishment, then they should be done with it. Completely. They paid their due. They should be free from that point forward, just as free as you are. Else, what is the point of sentencing any crime with anything less than death?

      There is a penalty for wrong acts. You do the act, you suffer the penalty. Once done, you should be done.

      The problem with sex offender laws is that they continue to punish a former offender for years after they have completed their sentence; usually for the rest of their lives. Studies have shown that most will not re-offend. Those that do re-offend do deserve to be punished, again, and probably more severely than before.

      I read your post a few times. There was much that was unintelligible. Try again?

    • HOOKSCAR

      @christiana
      I have to tell you, I stopped reading your post after the “victims rights “ statement. Don’t get me wrong, I was very repentant of my actions 20 years ago. I grew up though. Became a father, only to find out that this year a new “requirement “ on my price club membership is that I have to ask permission to see my son at his activities in school.
      Bought property in Belize only to find out that it would be difficult to travel because IML. ( international Megan’s Law) 30k gone.
      It just seems to me that a “victim” can ruin a persons life, but nowhere, in any constitution, state or federal, does it say that “victims” have rights any different than a person that served their time.
      Ask yourself this. If a “victim” is so traumatized, why then is not enough effort put into getting them help? In my case I can assure you that she participated in no counseling whatsoever. As a matter of fact, she came to my sentencing pregnant. With another persons baby. Of which he was over 21. Did he get charged? Noooooo.
      On the other hand, we jump through hoops just to stay out of jail for the rest of our lives. New laws and requirements are added to the laundry list of rules we must follow. They are different in every state and county and city.
      Our rights given to us by the CONSTITUTION are being taken away by falsely manipulating the courts. Even after we have succeeded in finishing our parole or probation. We still pay.
      As for the victim, they have no more rights than I do. I grew up, maybe they should too. Maybe I should’ve drank a 12 pack and plowed into a family of six and killed a couple of family members. I would be done with my time and driving your kids to school in the vanpool. I mean really, 40% of all people busted for DUI are repeat offenders. Don’t you think a registry should exist for that?

    • AJ

      @Christiana:
      If our laws were not WEAK AND LIBERAL. We wouldn’t have as much crime.
      —–
      Really? And your proof for this statement is found where? Good thing weak and liberal laws like the death penalty have eliminated murder. Good thing weak and liberal laws like three-strikes reduced all sorts of crimes.

      I suggest you turn off Fox, turn off msnbc, and seek some rational, balanced news and information.

      • Joe

        The US has roughly 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners. It has, per capita, by far the most of any country on this planet, many more than any of the worst sh!thole countries and countries like Iran or China. It has almost 10 times the per capita prison population of western European (comparable?) countries.

        If all that is the result of WEAK AND LIBERAL laws, then people in the US are simply BAD AND TERRIBLE people.

        The rest of @Christiana’s rant I could not follow.

    • JM of Wi.

      @ christina
      I’m glad to see your post on this forum. Seeing generic views from “general public” is in some ways good for us on “Megan’s list”. I wholly disagree with most all your ideas and viewpoints. Certainly it’s not just “sexual predators” who end up on this list. At the same time my 20 plus employees know of my status on the registry from an incident in 1993. They have a wide spectrum of views and idea’s. You are just a reality we live with.

    • New Person

      @ Christina,

      As many others have noted, stricter laws only creates more criminals.

      By the way, when one is under custody, they technically have lost their rights. That’s their punishment. What occurs after serving their time? Do they remain in jail or does someone put them in hell? Once out of custody, then the person has rights restored so that they may be able to re-enter society. I believe you discount this fact.

      How is creating more criminals and no venue to become part of society again going to help the public at large? You’re actually creating a second class of citizens and keeping them there.

      No one’s perfect. People make mistakes. People can move on from mistakes. Well, they can if they are allowed to move on from their mistakes.

      The problem here, with this article, is the hypocrisy of “The Great Kindness Challenge”. Kindness is extended to all, including other types of convicts, but not sex offenders. There is no kindness if equality is not observed. The event wasn’t called “The Great SELECTIVE Kindness Challenge”. The town has created different standards. Kindness is blind to standards. Being kind to a select group or unkind to a select group is called being biased. There is no “challenge” in that.

      I do hope you remember that once a convict is no longer under custody, then their punishment should have ended. Why are you insistent on continuing to punish than rehabilitate? Unless your opinion is a self-reflection of your own trait. Would you rather be continually punished than be rehabilitated after you’ve paid your dues to society? Or are you saying that you’re perfect and make no mistakes?

      Christina, are you saying you’re perfect and make no mistakes?

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