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General Comments April 2013

Comments that are not specific to a certain post should go here, for the month of April 2013. Contributions should relate to the cause and goals of this organization and please, keep it ‘professional’.

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I read the article on the Press Enterprise website. I was impressed by the thoughtful comments left below the article in support of Mr. Figueroa, especially by the fellow student body members. As for the people that left the typical bigoted statements and said they were shocked that they weren’t informed of Mr. Figueroa’s status; Well… the truth is, they can’t handle the truth. It’s better to have a don’t ask\don’t tell policy apparently. It’s too bad someone has taken on a personal vendetta against him. I wish Mr. Figueroa well and hope the culprit is exposed for his own shortcomings.

I had a little bit of time, and another random thought about RSO’s penalties and punishments. I’m a little perplexed as to why/how the courts can separated the two when they have similar legal definitions:
Some pain or penalty warranted by law, inflicted on a person, for the commission of a crime or misdemeanor, or for the omission of the performance of an act required by law, by the judgment and command of some lawful court.
Penalty can be defined as punishment established by law or authority for a crime or offense.

OK so a punishment is a penalty, and a penalty is a punishment but not when it comes to lifetime registration, places one can’t live or visit and Lord knows how many other burdens (penalties or punishments) that are placed on that special class of citizen known as the RSO. Any other thoughts that can clarify this?

I believe you’re confusing punishment with losing some of your civil liberties.
This kinda goes with the territory. Unfortunately, some are completely outrageous and unworthy of a country as great as ours.

The courts rule that red is blue. That is, while it is obvious to anyone that it is punishment, the courts simply say it is not. They say it is inconsequential and that because a line was added to the law several years ago saying it is not intended as punishment, then it is not punishment.

There is no attempt at the least bit of honesty by the courts on the question, or on much of anything else about SOR. This is the power the court holds — to declare things to be anything they want them to be, and once they do so, that is the binding legal status.

I’m still curious though…many of my posts are tongue in cheek. When a registry is considered non-punitive, I’m just wondering how being made to move out of your home, banned from certain areas that your tax dollars pay for, etc, etc isn’t considered punishment? Now we know a penalty has and end to it doesn’t it? And we know that a punishment is set for a specific period of time, correct? So losing our civil liberties is forever? Still sounds like a punishment or penalty to me. Darn, I’m stubborn!

The information posted is not punitive in theory.

It is the mob inspired laws that follow that are unconstitutional violating ex post facto in many cases and breaching protections against the Tyranny of the Majority.

Any additional restrictions or prohibitions after sentencing constitute punishment.

Judge Henderson stated that just because a group is unpopular, they don’t deserve any less protections than any other group.

These laws are punitive, but the legislators “said they weren’t” simply to cover their backs (as if we can believe them to begin with…)

@MCH … Truer words have not been written …. :-

When will you abandon this obsession with logic?

Just a few hours left to stop CISPA. Bill HR624 would allow government to share cybersecurity intelligence with private firms. Click TAKE ACTION to oppose:

Please help find a previous post that listed all of California’s state assemblypeople’s emails. I’ve looked and can’t seem to find it…yet. Thank you

Thank you very much!

Probation/Parole experiences?

It seems that on occasion our PO’s get very enthusiastic about enforcing the restrictions SO’s are forced to live with. I know that these guys have a distasteful job to do and many don’t like it, they’re underpaid and have a huge caseload, but then some get quite zealous about their duties, to the point of being antagonistic. I was fortunate that I only had one “problem” with a PO. Over the course of 4 years I had as many PO’s. Three were okay guys, one was not. I found out through experience and counseling that Po’s/law enforcement are trained to think only in terms of right/wrong or black/white; with no gray areas and little critical thinking skills. Mine failed to see any wisdom in his decisions.
Here’s the scenario I went through; one office visit he asked about me seeing my grand kids and my response was that I see them weekly with mom and dad present because I love them. I was present from their first day and plan on seeing them until I die. He threatened to violate me, called my daughter in law who questioned him and his reasons and told him I was welcome in their home anytime they are there. I then asked him what was the value in what he just did…he was stumped and didn’t get it. I then asked him that if I was driving, saw a minor being attacked, chased off the attacker and was then alone with the minor, would that be a violation? He said, technically, yes! My response was that in that case, that minor would be attacked because I’d keep on driving so HE wouldn’t violate me. Again, I asked him where the wisdom was in his decision and he just couldn’t get out of the right/wrong mode of thinking. Generally speaking the PO’s/law enforcement are “lizard brains” in that they function in a fight-flight lower order of thinking and can’t get into a higher order of processing information. Not being critical, just observing how they are and what many SO’s face each day. Hope this sheds some light.

Come on…you give them too much credit. No one forced them to take their “job” as POs…they are sad, usually from the lower economic family backgrounds who have tons of issues and as I have noticed, savior complexes. They certainly are not hired because they are the cream of the crop or even particularly bright.

They have found that this is one job where they can exert control over someone else (something that has been done to them their entire lives) and they are very eager to control, manipulate, and dominate the poor individuals that they are put in “charge” of monitoring.

Regarding whether or not to aid a minor in peril – I thought this was an interesting op-ed piece:

I just entered my 5th year of parole last month and I can tell you things are a little uneasy these days in the parole office that I patronize. This march they saw the third round of personnel cuts from AB109. Their office lease expires soon and they’re uncertain of their future as the next phase of AB109 cuts will be in July. Though I’ve gone head to head with my PO’s on occasion, I have worked out a respectful relation with them and I don’t personally wish them any hardships.
One thing that I’ll share which I find is disturbing in light of what happened to Jaycee Lee Dugard and their following protocol. I have a 10×8 storage shed that has avoided any investigation during numerous parole and SAFE team compliance checks. I have even chided them about it and still it’s left unchecked. Of course there’s nothing but tools in it, But what does this tell us? I think maybe they’re either too lazy to search it or afraid of all the paperwork they would have to fill out if they found a a few kids stuffed in it.
Another oddity for those who’ve been on parole. At my last Parole Outpatient Clinic (POC) meeting the clinician for our group announced that she was uncertain of the fate of the meetings. She said that the meetings were apparently supposed to be outsourced to a professional group and that they’re seeking bids. She went on to tell us that the parole office wasn’t qualified to handle the therapy sessions they’ve been putting us through. At first we were relieved thinking we didn’t have to go to this forced therapy anymore. But then it made us wonder what kind of charade they’ve put us through and all the time we had invested in having to take off from work and mileage (35 each way for me) twice monthly, not to mention all the crud that was pumped into our heads. This clinician also claimed back in November that she would be responsible for rating all of her workloads (200 >/<) SORATSO and STAT-99R scores; which I don't believe ever got finished, but what is the status of the ones completed? Do those meet the proper criteria or will they need to be reevaluated by qualified therapists?

Hello, I am going to school and had big dreams. . . Does anyone know what licenses a 290 registrant can obtain? ex. can they sit for the bar, can they become a veterinarian, can they get a license as a respiratory therapist… etc. What are you guys doing for work? What fields are available to us other than construction and plumbing… What about getting your education here in the U.S. and going abroad to work? For instance, can I go to medical school here, and work in another country?

Any advice would be appreciated…

Generally you are restricted by a felony conviction for which you will have to obtain a records clearance. After that, barring restrictions germane to 290, you are allowed, essentially, to operate as though you had no conviction but it will still block certain professional certifications such as practicing law, medicine, possibly general contractor license, and holding public office.

Anyone else please add/subtract/correct.

Actually, generally speaking, you can get the licenses, but you would need to show rehabilitation. The licensing board is supposed to decide whether you are rehabilitated. That could be a certificate of rehabilitation, but it also can simply be evidence of such without the certificate.

Joe, an excellent article and Tired of Hiding, I was being too kind for sure. My opinion is that PO’s (probation and parole) are the kids that were bullied in gym class and now carry guns. Some have huge chips on their shoulders, some are genuinely concerned for their cases and want to see success, but far too few are like that. Seems the status quo is not giving a crap and hoping for a violation. Thanks for responding.
One last comment: Good people can do bad things, but it doesn’t make them bad people. I see my offense in that light, a blip on the radar, a wake on calm water. It doesn’t much matter what others think; I know who and what I am.

I watched in awe (and disgust) the broadcasts from the Senate floor earlier this week. The absolute truth of the matter is that whenever the legislators discuss anything that even remotely addresses any sex related offense, they seems to come unhinged and start acting like a pack of wolves, salivating at the ease in which they can wrangle in very questionable legislation under the guise of fear. The underlying truth that they can – and do for the most part – succeed at these tactics makes one nervous not only for the disastrous effects these laws have on registrants and their families, but at the notions of what damage is done to the rights that all Americans are entitled.

This topic, and the unfettered hubris that lawmakers bask in, has impregnated their political identities so deeply and profoundly to the point that they are nearly assured to have their ways by the mere mention of danger and fear.

The most alarming thing is to see bottom feeding politicians, most notably from OC, in action and the vacuum in which they successfully operate. Until we have major reform in the law, we can expect new continued new challenges brought on by the propagation of fear based and reactionary implementation of more questionable legislation. This behavior ultimately passes the buck to the judiciary to clean up their messes while they amble off into the sunset with little or no accountability for the damage they do. In the meantime, countless registrants and their families continue to live in legal limbo nervously awaiting any and every decision that has the potential to impose more restrictions on them in clear violation of ex-post-facto protections guaranteed to us by the Constitution. If this doesn’t fit the title of Cruel and Unusual Punishment, nothing does.

As we have been enlightened recently with new and accurate statistics – and realities – about the lack of “clear and present danger” associated with most registrants, the legislative body chooses to live in the safety of the dark ages as they have found it to be one of the modern cornerstones for political survival. I don’t think that is new to anyone to this group as we are here to fight this injustice. Repeating ad nauseum, these laws protect politicians first and foremost – make no doubt about it.

We need some radical reform of the underlying constructs of the law. The entire 290 statute has to be restructured in order to disarm the status quo mentality in governance. So as we strive to keep our heads above water responding to violations of our rights spurred on by existing laws that foster unending mistreatment of offenders and their families, we have to continually fight for radical reform.

The tiered registry, though not perfect, is our best bet at the present, since it can serve to enlighten, and change conscientious legislators’ minds. Then we have to move on to the next brush fire and extinguish
it, while planning for a global strategy that has the potential for overall reform.

In the meantime, please find the time and energy to act constructively in whatever capacity you can to help not only the registrants and their families but for the sake of liberties of all Americans going forward.

I’m sure not everyone will agree with this but I am making this statement for any amount of help it will render and simply to validate my own observations. Thank you Janice and RSOL for having the courage continue to fight for an unpopular but very important cause.

I hope you are representing us and speaking with assembly members- this is one of the most thoughtful and eloquent posts I have ever read regarding this subject.

Interesting debate on Reddit about why SO’s get on a registry and murderers don’t:

Feel free to comment on this thread on Reddit, about John Walsh and Josuha Lunsford not being RSO’s:

Test, Hello. Things have gotten quiet… So the 48% that was quoted by the opposition. I am guessing this includes parole violations?

I would like to know where that source and context of the 48% amount comes from myself.

Get this, this woman is convicted of torture and mayhem for cutting off her husband’s penis after she drugged him. And despite all that violence and mutilation, when she is done with her sentence, she can walk free, no SOR needed, she can live anywhere, even next to a child care center in a house that overlooks a park in the back yard and an elementary school on the other side next to the beach — or next door to you, and you will never know.,0,6841060.story

She, who tortured and cut off a guy’s penis is not so scary to require registration, as is some guy who merely exposed himself once, a mere misdemeanor! That guy will now have to register as an SOR for the rest of his life, and be subjected to all the other crap that all readers here well know of. He exposed himself, she cut off her husband’s penis after drugging him. Clearly, she is safe and the guy who exposed himself is a danger to society.

Violence isn’t a problem; only sex is. Well, the real issue is that sex is always the most hypeable of all, even if, as in this contrast, it is the most unimportant.

Why are we subjecting misdemeanants to SOR?! (I don’t think SOR should apply to ANYONE — it is redundant to the purpose of probation or parole, in fact often is worse than either of those!) Why are we now arguing to make misdemeanants in California register for a minimum of 10 years, even though the federal standard would not have them register at all? We shod be conforming to the federal standards — and then the fight could be moved to the federal government to attack this once and for all. But instead, we will continue to be bogged down fighting at the state level, and so the federal standards will remain, maybe even be toughened.

LA Times: Police search homes of sex offenders in hunt for girl’s killer,0,2749066.story

Do any of these homes searched belong to some not on parole or probation? Anyone from the area have details?

Also, if they found fingerprints and DNA – why the delay in matching the samples to the SO database and in arresting a suspect, and the need for searching homes? If the registry does not prevent crime (which it clearly doesn’t – a little girl is dead – SO or not), should it not at least enable a trained monkey to find the guilty party in 5 minutes?

Good point.

They would need a search warrant to search the home of a SOR not on parole or probation, or they would need the SOR’s permission or the permission of someone else living there.

This has become a drill used by law enforcement in high profile cases to show the media and public that they’re covering the bases. I guess it also demonstrates what the registry can be used for, though in all the cases where I’ve seen them harass registrants I have yet to see this profiling tactic turn up any solid leads. It should have worked for Jessica Lundsford.

As humiliating as it would be, I think I would allow Law Enforcement to enter my home regardless of whether or not I was on probation. I understand that they would need a warrant if I said “No”. But If it would make some frantic parents feel even the slightest bit better, I wouldn’t hesitate. I couldn’t imagine their pain.

I never allowed them enter my home ever.. I inform them I am no longer on parole or probation, and no I do not who that is, or what is going on.. Of course they verbally abuse you and saying they’ll be back with a warrant.. only after they annonce with a loud booming voice so all your neighbors hear ” THE REASON WE WANT TO SEARCH IS BECAUSE OF YOU SEX OFFENSE HISTORY!” Really, seriously can you yell loud enough.. Of course its the same with the supposed “verifying your address” in 10pm with loud banging on your windows and door… “THIS IS THE POLICE, WE ARE HERE TO VERIFY YOUR ADDRESS”, open the door, and everyone in the block is sticking their heads out the door wondering what the hell is going on… I’m ready for it, did my yearly.. usually a month after the yearly they’ll come by every month banging on the door and windows for about 5 months..

My attitude towards these invasions of privacy may change when I get to a point that I recognize what privacy is once again. I have not experienced that sensation in the last 7 yrs. between prison and parole. The ways that the laws keep changing I’m not certain if I will have any in the future.

Right now It’s just me and my cat. If I were married with children and I were approached by a group of law enforcement than I wouldn’t be so liberal about waiving my rights to a search. Being single might put me on a watch list. Denying entry more so and if they had to go back and retrieve a search warrant I wouldn’t expect the search could go too well.

Thus far I’ve been fortunate in that the compliance checks at my home have been handled in a professional manner. Nothing broken or torn up; though I’ve heard some horror stories from other registrants. Like I stated in the above post; it’s humiliating (and makes me feel dirty). I’m usually shaken for a few hours after they leave and queasy for a few days.

It’s hard to imagine what the police might be searching for in a Registrants home in this particular case other than clothing that would match the description of the perpetrator. I just hope this person is brought to justice and that her family and friends can have some peace.

What they might be looking for?!?

Most likely these “public servants” are using this an excuse to intimidate you and to abuse their power over you!

NEVER make the MISTAKE that they have any other motivation other than that. They most certainly DO NOT!

Bravo Bluewell. Just an addendum: there is nothing in the SOR law that requires you to answer the door or verify your address. In fact, if you do answer the door, you don’t have to tell them who you are or whether the SOR registered at that address is really there — there is nothing in the law requiring you to cooperate, and they are not investigating a crime so you are not withholding evidence. Simply investigating WHETHER there is a crime is not good enough. They will have to find other ways to confirm — that is not your responsibility or obligation.

In fact, do not help them in that check. No SORs should. Let’s face it, they are doing it only to harass anyway. But let them get all bogged down rather than lighten their load. If no SORs responded, they would eventually get tired of banging on doors that no one will open to them.

Letting the police into my home and tearing it up when I do not have let them, in order to make someone, anyone, ‘feel better’ would never enter my mind. It isn’t going to bring this girl back to life. What about picking up the mess afterwards? No thank you. I take my Civil Rights (4th Amendment – protection against Search & Seizure) rather seriously.

Clearly you are a bigger person than me….

When I was in 2nd grade my buddy Marty and I would proudly take his baby brother Andy for walks up and down the sidewalk in his stroller. Marty and I have remained in contact as friends for the last forty years and he was one of few that corresponded with me while I was in prison.
Last year Andy or Drew Collins if you will had his 8 year old daughter Elizabeth abducted along with her cousin Lyric from a park in Evansdale, Iowa. Five months later (Dec.) the girls were found dead in the woods by hunters.
I don’t feel that I’m a bigger person than anyone by trying to cooperate in a situation where a community is in desperation. I think It’s probably just being a little closer to a situation like that that has changed my thinking and feelings a little.

Your attitude is a good one.

However, frankly, to encourage the police in that kind of endeavor is actually only harmful. Rather than wasting time using such a high-profile case as an EXCUSE to harass SORs, they should actually be out investigating, do the real job. While they are wasting time harassing SORs POINTLESSLY, the real offender is out there and might be attacking someone.

Wasting time simply going down the list and banging on the doors of every SOR is not a legitimate priority of such an investigation.

Oh, there might be some details known in the case and details about any particular SOR on the list that justifies going to that SOR’s door, but that is VERY different from just going down the list and harassing all SORs.

When they go down the list and just harass every SOR, they are not investigating, they are not helping the case. Deny them, and force them to actually go back and do something for those victim’s relatives you show empathy for. They’re screwing those relatives, would prefer to use an excuse to harass you instead of investigate. Don’t give them satisfaction, it only encourages them — and they will be banging on your door every time there is any offense at all.

Study shows women get notably lighter sentences than men for the same sex offenses:

White supremacist in California sentenced for murdering a child molester. The probation report says he was a member of a white supremacist group that required its members to attack anyone with a history of child molestation:

But even this well be dismissed as a reason to stop posting SORs on the Internet!

My god, SEX OFFENDERS have been found actually trying to help people! How can we allow that?! Crush them all, don’t let them have any kind of job at all.

Story in today’s LA Times about a report SCREAMING that 23 sex offenders have been found among the 36,000 certified drug and alcohol addiction counselors in the state (that is, almost none of them are SORs!). And screaming about the HORROR, the HORROR. The LA Times story simply copied the screaming from the state report. It is the state report writers who decided to take the air of SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER about sex offenders. They completely distorted their report to instead scream about sex offenders.

See the LA Times story here:,0,3885185.story

The report writers clearly had an ulterior motive.