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California RSOL Challenges Santa Ana Ordinance, Registration Process

 California RSOL filed a lawsuit in federal district court on May 2 challenging the sex offender ordinance and sex offender registration process in the City of Santa Ana. The ordinance contains presence restrictions including a prohibition of registrants using the city’s public library. The registration process requires all registrants to register inside the Santa Ana Jail for periods up to four hours as well to wear a prison uniform. Registrants are not allowed to leave during the registration process and are prohibited from using cell phones or any other communications devices during that process.

“The City of Santa Ana is robbing registrants of their constitutional rights,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “Not only are they prohibited from participating in most recreational areas in the city, they are not allowed to acess public information in the city’s library.”

CA RSOL testified in oppositing to the ordinance at a City Council meeting in June 2012 prior to its passage. In addition, CA RSOL wrote letters to the City Council advising them that the proposed ordinance violated both the federal and state constitutions.

“It is indeed unfortunate that the City of Santa Ana failed to heed the warnings provided by CA RSOL,” stated CA RSOL Treasurer Frank Lindsay. He noted that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals declared unconstitutional a similar ordinance in the City of Albuquerque. As a result of that ruling, the City of Albuquerque paid the ACLU more than $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

The lawsuit also alleges that the registration process for registrants within the City of Santa Ana violates the 4th amendment of the federal constitution because registrants are falsely imprisoned when placed in the Santa Ana Jail. City officials have stated it is necessary to register sex offenders in the jail because that is where registrants are to be photographed. When registrants are wearing jail uniforms, their photographs are taken and those photographs are later posted on the state’s Megan’s Law website.

“Photos of registrants wearing a prison uniform give the false impression that they are incarcerated,” stated Bellucci. “This blatant disregard for the truth must be stopped.”

There are three plaintiffs in this lawsuit — John Doe, Jane Doe and CA RSOL.

Join the discussion

  1. td777

    I register in Anaheim, if they ever go to this ridiculous extreme, I would definitely be making a call to Janice. I am shocked that the city goes this far in the registration process. Does this mean that transient registrants have to go through this same process every 30 days even though photos are only taken once a year?

    I hope every registrant in Santa Ana gets on board with this lawsuit.

    • Mike Sheehy

      I register in San Diego County. The process is extremely efficient and the staff treat you with professionalism and respect. The is NO reason Santa Ana and Orange County cannot and should not do the same. The are being extremely punitive and it’s inconceivable to me that the courts will support this conduct.

      • Guest

        There is NO reason that any civilized society should ‘register’ its citizens unless they are actively serving punishment for a transgression.

        Most don’t. Do you think that i.e. Finland or Argentina does not have the organizational or technical capacity to establish such a registry?

        One of the measures of how advanced a society is is how it deals with its criminals.

  2. J

    City officials are lying, plainly and simply, when they claim it is necessary to incarcerate the registrants for that short period of time. They ought to get in touch with the civilized world and find out it is not necessary to go that extreme to process an administrative task. Public workers such as paramedics and firefighters have to be fingerprinted for various reasons. The city has put themselves in the business of imposing a form of civil punishment on the registrants and using the guise of the registration process in order to carry out this injustice. We need the names of the officials that put this law on the books and every one that has carried it out so they an be dragged into court to defend their unlawful behavior. Maybe when this type of exposure and accountability is placed upon their heads will they wake up to the realities of their draconian laws and hateful and shameful behavior.

  3. A FRIEND

    Santa ana orange county taxpayers on the hook now for millions
    a dollars…millions a dollars in attorney’s fees and costs alone…
    santa bama orangecrow don’t mess with the Constitution …you
    lose BIG time.

  4. A FRIEND

    Gotta thank the orange county santa ana taxpayers for the attorney’s
    fees and costs alone…they’re gonna be HUGE …HUGE.

  5. USA

    What? Seriously? Registrants are required to put on a prison uniform and take photos? I’ve never heard of such a thing? Now, I register in Santa Ana on an annual basis, but I’ve never had to do this? I will say this. I have shown up early on a weekday for register and its kind of crazy. I’ve had to wait for maybe 1.5 hour and once 2 hours because someone was on break? Or, the only person capable of doing the process wasn’t there or they were short handed? Is this process for First Time Offenders (initial registration)? If so, this is terrible and really getting out of hand

    • Eric Knight

      @USA: This is the city of Santa Ana through their city police department. You may be registering through the county Sheriff office, which is relatively benign. If you are a registrant, you can’t check for yourself, but get your family member bring up a search for Santa Ana on the Megans List, and you can see the vast majority of registrants in prison garb.

  6. m h

    Insanity. Pure insanity. Our county sheriff’s department is so bogged down by all of the record keeping in regards to maintaining the registry that they’ve streamlined the annual update into a joke:

    I used to go in, wait in line (forever) for the ‘registry clerk’ to pull my file. I would go in as early as I could so as not to wait in line, it took long enough as it was. They would give me the yellow sheet to fill out in a small room (next to the gun lockers, no less) while waiting. I would fill out the sheet and wait. And wait. And wait…you get the picture. Finally, the lady would come out and bring me into the next room where they snapped several photos of me with a Polaroid, then fingerprinted me, had me fill out a new Sex Offender ID card (in case I need to prove I’m a “sex offender” the next time I want to ‘purchase a little girl’ [in my best Belushi-style voice a la Blues Brothers, restaurant scene]), got my thumb print on the yellow sheet and on the ID card, had me sign and initial everything, then asked me if I clearly understood my “lifetime requirement to register” (a.k.a. how screwed up my life is…etc..), then they would send me back out in to the gun-locker room. And wait. And wait. And wait. And…finally they would call my name at the window, giving me a copy of my ‘screwed-up life form’, wish me luck (which always meant a LOT to me), and I was on my way. If I was lucky, there wouldn’t be someone who knew me applying for a gun license at the same time.

    But it seems that this process has been too much for them as it has now changed to the following process:

    Lady has me fill out the yellow sheet at the counter, sign and initial, gets my thumb print on the yellow sheet and on the pre-filled-out ID card, takes a quick snapshot with a cheap digital camera (right there at the window!), makes a copy of the yellow sheet and sends me on my way. It seems like they couldn’t get me out of there fast enough if they tried any harder! It gives the impression that they don’t even take the registry seriously anymore, like they’re just fulfilling a requirement.

    Why in the world does Santa Ana want to make a crumby job any worse? Its punishment, pure and simple. Having registrants update their annual on their birthday is pathetic. A time of reflecting on one’s age and their past life and then you have to deal with this crud at the same time! It does wonders for a person’s morale. Now they gotta spend 4 hours in jail??? Wearing a prison uniform???? Outrageous! They’re only trying to make registrants feel small. I will refrain from using some inappropriate language here. Oh boy….

  7. Tired of hiding

    Sue them for clear violation of constitutional rights – Period.

    Do not stop until you find a lawyer willing to sue them big time for big $$$

    It is time for this sh*t to STOP!

  8. G4Change

    Go get ’em, Janice! Thank you for being a formidable defender of civil and human rights!!!

  9. Anonymous Nobody

    Alternately, rather than challenge the registration process of being held in jail and in jail uniform, without the option to leave at any time, that approach could instead be cited to PROVE beyond any doubt that the mere act of registration is punitive, and so nothing in the SOR law can be applied retroactively.

    This is something they keep forgetting when they try to find harsher and harsher and more extreme things to do. Those things end up proving the punitive nature — and even our high court that keeps ruling that red is blue (that is, rules whatever it wants regardless of the facts) would not be able to get past being held in jail without any option to leave as proving mere registration is punishment.

    There is nothing in the SOR law that says Santa Ana or everyone else can’t do that. Thus, the SOR law is not LIMITED to being merely administrative or regulatory. If it were, it would prescribe how registration were to be done so as to bar anything punitive. But instead, it allows for it to be done unquestionably punitively.

    So, perhaps the Santa Ana approach can be used to challenge the entire SOR law as punitive, as even with it in recent years stating its intent, it nonetheless allows for punishment, does nothing to bar punishment.

  10. Bluewall

    Wow! I’m glad Long Beach yearly processing is more civil.. granted its a pain trying to schedule an appointment by phone.. (In Long beach, you have to schedule an appointment before you go in..could take months to reach someone by phone).. But the retired detectives that run it seems okay.. They never demean me and nearly treated me like a person.. small talk has they try to get their outdated super digital finger scanner and camera machine to work.. but once it gets to running, its streamline.. I get there super early like 7am, but their office open at 7:30am.. but they usually open the door and ask if you are their 7:30 appointment, and they take you in earlier…

  11. alert

    I have no doubt an efficient online registration process (with safeguards) could be effectively implemented for most registrants. Furthermore, sending out versifiers to
    authenticate residency is usually just more unneeded expense
    Those with a higher risk value could still be seen in person but the idea that every former offender is trying to hide from authorities to work their mischief is without merit.
    The typical former SO is a law abiding citizen and failed once, not because of a contempt for law but rather more complex issues that they have realized as detrimental not only to their victims but to themselves.
    To treat registrants as insatiable wolves creeping through meadows of lambs fails to recognize the gains these individuals have struggled to earn from an unforgiving society.
    Shame on those who would vote for this type of legislation and may they pay a heavy price for their unwarranted endeavor.

  12. mike

    When I heard about this appalling registration process from a commenter last year on a webpage I was thinking he had greatly over-exaggerated. But then someone else backed his experience up and expanded on it. I couldn’t believe this was legal in the slightest sense in the U.S.A. . I’m very happy to see that this vile and blatantly atrocious act of harassment is being brought to focus in a federal court. There should be a punitive consequence in this case for stripping these human beings of their dignity for something that can be handled with a much simpler and humane format.
    My procedure is to make an appointment a week ahead and I’m always early. I bring a book to read in case there’s a delay. I check in with a receptionist who hands me a form with all my information and asks if there have been any changes. I scan through it in front of her; Any amendments are made then. She calls the detective who a few minutes later brings a copy of the new amended information and we sit down in a little interview room while I verify that everything is now correct. He takes my photo with a digital camera. I initial a document with a bunch of terms and restrictions. Then I put a thumbprint on that document, one on my temporary pervert license, and then another on my permanent pervert license which gets mailed to my PO. He’ll give me a copy of any new restrictions for our unincorporated area in which I reside. He then escorts me out to my vehicle to photograph it and the license plate number and we bid adieu till next year with a firm handshake. Absolutely no lose of dignity, no humiliation, and so low key that nobody in the lobby has a clue why I’m there. I feel very fortunate compared to some of the horror stories I’ve read.
    There needs to be a regulated format with formal training, but knowing how bureaucracies operate; It would take decades.

    • td777

      Mike, even your city seems to be a little overzealous. I’ve been registering for over 6 years now and not once has a photo of my vehicle been taken, and the only time I have had to sit with a detective was the first time registering in Anaheim. Also, he shouldn’t be mailing your permanent to your PO, it is supposed to be mailed directly to you.

      • C

        They took a foto of my vehicle only once when it was brand new. I am pretty sure the cop wanted one just like it and the pics were for reference. 🙂

      • Lake County

        I know this is an old post, but I had to point out that there are many communities that do not have home mail delivery. P.O. Boxes is the only delivery available. Also, the many homeless registered citizens do not have a physical mailing address. But this is no longer an issue as these registration receipts are no longer required by the DOJ.

  13. B

    First, I don’t think there is a single form or method of registration that does not rob us of our dignity or our rights. Obviously, some jurisdictions are more obvious about it than others.

    I wear a jacket, blue shirt and conservative tie when I register. I get my hair cut and come in with a very close shave. The state wants to play up the stereotypes and I want to tear them down. Do you remember when Tom Delay went from House Majority Leader to federal prisoner? He worked to make his mug shot look great. He smiled. He wore nice clothes. He may have been dishonest, but he was no fool.

    When dealing with the police in any way, I answer all of their questions directly, efficiently and without any editorial comment. They ask, I answer. No more, no less. I am always friendly to them.

    I don’t think the police are the problem. The policy makers and the media are the problem.

  14. nk

    when I go in to reg I don’t shower for couple days and wear a cap. In my last visit there were to edger to get rid of me that they even took my pic of my cap covering my eyes.

    next time I think I ll get some dead fish and rub them all over my clothes

    • C

      This is awesome. You have thrown down the gauntlet and I accept your Expedited RSO Processing challenge.

      My plan: Salmon for dinner, an onion bagel w/ lox and cream cheese for breakfast.
      I shall brush my teeth with scallions dipped in garlic toothpaste – I think Tom’s of Maine makes this yummy flavor.
      When registering, I’ll make sure to emphasize my H words. Let’s see if I can get in and out in under 10 minutes.

  15. SkeletonLander

    The parents that convince politicians to pass laws in the the name of injustice to honor their dead children are mostly to blame. When we let emotions such as these guide policy, we end up exactly were we are today…

    • J

      As much as they have to do with it, it is also the politicians who hate, then foster more fear and hate from the constituents, then put hate into law: that is at the core of the issue. We must put ownership and responsibility directly onto each public servant that is serving up hate as legislation and root out those evildoers. They are not basing their actions on truth, they are basing it on erroneous and exaggerated beliefs and taking that all the way to the bank. It is sickening and disgusting and it must stop.
      Hate is not a family value.

    • C

      I don’t blame the parents of slain children for a thing except, in some cases, irresponsibly leaving their children alone and exposed to threats. And in such cases I doubt they have the smarts to convince politicians of anything.

      Opportunistic politicians go out and court these families to pass these laws which become bullets on their resumes and touted when they run for re-election.

      Considering how much I love my kids I shudder at the notion of losing them and grimace at the thought of the pain these parents endure. You are absolutely right that we cannot let emotions dictate our laws – this is why victims do not sit on juries – but if anyone is to blame it is politicians who fan the flame and exploit these crimes for their own personal gain.

  16. SkeletonLander

    Found a good quote that sums it up:

    “Anger should be especially kept down in punishing, because he who comes to punishment in wrath will never hold that middle course which lies between the too much and the too little. It is also true that it would be desirable that they who hold the office of Judges should be like the laws, which approach punishment not in a spirit of anger but in one of equity.”
    ― Johannes Voet, Dutch Judge, 1680-1713

  17. Pedro

    Maybe we all need to go to Santa Ana and flood their jails and tie up their system…. they are only helping our cause… they are all prideful and we all know this type of pride creates distruction and downfall… God’s Blessings to all RSO….we are on the path to success, thank you Janice you are awesome!!!

  18. Torrance

    In Torrane, registrants must make an appointment with the detective you’re assigned to. The armed detective takes you to an interrogation room where they fill out the paperwork, making you verbalize every answer.

    After the paperwork is copied, the detective escorts you into the jail, through a warren of cells, to do fingerprints and take your picture in the booking area.

    For the time one is there, one feels under arrest and under their thumb.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Thank you for the information regarding the Torrance registration process. We will add them to the list of cities that need to be sued. Unfortunately, the list is a very long list.

    • Guest

      The above comment and this lawsuit reminded me of a comment I read on another blog regarding this very city. I finally found it again… copied and pasted below – with source (hope that is ok). I cannot vouch for its accuracy but given the comment above, this lawsuit and the fact that most registrants on the Megans Law for the City of Santa Ana (remember you may be prohibited from access) are dressed in what appears to be prison garb I see no reason not to believe it.

      Compare and contrast this with testimony by then Government Attorney John G. Roberts (current Supreme Court Chief Justice) during arguments in Smith vs. Doe – the SC case that established that none of this is punitive. Also below.

      If I did not believe that even Justice Roberts would see the difference between now and then, I might as well move to, say, Pakistan (no offense, Pakistan).

      I agree with jm’s comment – the only thing shocking about this is that this has not been challenged before. Easy money?

      — from SOIssues —

      By John Smith:
      I am a registered sex offender. John Smith is not my real name, but I’m using it here. I’m on the registry for a child porn conviction in 2003 for life, and I live in the city of Santa Ana California. I wanted to tell you how Santa Ana runs their registration process, and wondered if we could get some sort of relief.

      I give you COMPLETE PERMISSION to print this letter.

      Santa Ana requires offenders to come in at a designated point of time in a group to register. Usually, there are about 20 of us. We are required to arrive before 8:00 AM. Once we are all there, they take us to a booking room where they completely frisk us as one would be frisked after being arrested. Afterwards, they take us to another room where we are required to change to a jail uniform and slippers, and our street clothes are actually sorted in an open area. We have to remove our ID’s out of our wallet. I haven’t been in a process where someone was missing an ID, but I was told that if that happened, the sex offender would be subject to arrest.

      After we are put in a jail uniform, we are frisked again to make sure we aren’t taking anything like a pen or watch, then we are taken down the corridor through the jail to a cell that is in sight of the other prisoners. They all know that we are RSO’s, so they hoot and holler; it seems to be the high point of their week. In the cell, we have to remain while they process us 2 at a time.

      During the registration process, two relatively hostile investigators ask questions about what we are doing. They confirm employment and business information. The past couple of years, they have actually called my place of residence as well as my employer while we were sitting there. If we are out of compliance as far as address or employment, then the immediate registration process is terminated and a case is opened to investigate a registration violation. The RSO is then taken to a holding cell to be booked for suspicion of a registration violation.

      Now, I know that there is no requirement for those off parole to answer questions. But the overwhelming intimidation factor discourages such actions and we end up telling them about our daily activities, our Internet activities, and they ask us if we ever entered schools (and now parks). I would imagine if we answer yes, they would immediately arrest us.

      Once the questions are answered, they go over our registration point by point and make sure we understand each point before making us initial them. They do not allow us to read it beforehand, but make us follow the inquisitive protocol.

      Finally, they lead us to the sex offender picture area and take our picture. Keep in mind that we are in our jail uniform, so it looks as if we are active prisoners. We then have to go to the process area and await some administrative tasks (or perhaps they are doing further investigations; I don’t know), and finally they make us review all the paperwork before they are finished.

      Once we are finished here, we are returned to the jail cell, and the next couple of registrants are taken. At no point are we allowed to leave, and of course the jail has a toilet. The rest of the prisoners get meals; and when they get lunch they taunt us a lot more.

      Now keep in mind, we have to sit in a cell with no TV, with no reading material, and no way to communicate with the outside world. Finally, late in the afternoon we are let out of our cell, marched down the corridor past the screaming banshee prisoners, and allowed to get back in our street clothes. Now, I’ve placed cards in special places in my wallet and also placed a small paper in my money area so if the money were removed, the paper is dislodged. In every case, I found that my wallet had been looked through. (I’ve since stopped bringing my cell phone because I would bet that they would look through the listings and the history.)

      So to recap: at 8:00 we are taken to a booking room, get frisked, have to change to a jail uniform, march us past hardened jail prisoners who know we are RSO’s with the ensuing catcalls, locked into a cell with no TV, reading or writing material, led to an interrogation room where they question us about our activities and even call our employers and landlords, take about half an hour to fill out about 10 minutes worth of paperwork, parade us past more prisoners to the photograph area, take our pictures in prison garb, march us back the prisoners, and lock us back in the cell until everyone is processed, released anywhere from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM from the cell, march by the prisoners one more time, change back into our street clothes, and finally released with our paperwork.

      Now, I’m off parole. How many constitutional violations has the state committed against me? I can think of several: Illegal search, both of person and of items, illegal incarceration, illegal questioning without benefit of a lawyer, and finally, slander of my character, by posting me in a jail uniform as my registration picture. Don’t believe me? Filter the Megans Law list for Santa Ana. Note that most, if not all, registrants are wearing the same jail uniform top, even those who’ve not been arrested for decades. Call the registrants in Santa Ana.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any money to fight this. I’ve told two lawyers but they wanted several thousand dollars, and the ACLU has not responded to me. And it seems like they are getting more and more bold. It would not surprise me if one day we had to stay the night, which would screw me as I work nights doing inventory, and would hate to lose increasingly hard to get jobs.

      Thanks for listening to me. You do understand why I can’t give my name, but it should be easy to confirm what I said simply by looking at the Megan’s Law site for RSO’s in Santa Ana (nearly all are in prison garb), as well as maybe contacting a couple more RSO’s to confirm this. I doubt Santa Ana PD will cooperate. Please tell anyone who can help us if you can, and publicize it as well, though I fear that people would LOVE this to happen everywhere.

      http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2012/11/ca-santa-ana-rsos-jailed-all-day-while.html

      — from Doe v Smith —

      MR. ROBERTS: Well, there are countless analogues in the regulatory regime where people have to file quarterly reports. If — and — and the question is whether that requirement serves a valid regulatory purpose. It can’t rise to the level of punishment just because the legislature has determined that the triggering event —

      QUESTION: Well, but I suppose that’s because you choose to be in a regulated industry, or you choose to have this withholding regime. imposed on a class of citizens by reason of their criminal past. And it’s — it’s not

      MR. ROBERTS: There are — there are many disabilities that are imposed as a result of a prior conviction that the Court has found don’t constitute punishment.

      QUESTION: None which require affirmative steps.

      MR. ROBERTS: Well, the affirmative steps — it — that has never been the test. The test has been whether it rises to the level of punishment. Yes, the affirmative step of filling out one side of one page with the sort of information that you’d — would put on your application to join the Price Club requires. There’s nothing burdensome about that. It must be in their argument the use that that information is put to.

      etc.

      http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/01-729.pdf (p 10-11)

      • Eric Knight

        Wow…powerful stuff. I was unaware of the letter myself. Sounds like a guy who could give excellent testimony.

        By the way…once we have a sex offender case at SCOTUS, we should scour through Smith v. Doe for all of Roberts’ arguments as the attorney arguing for the registry. The “Price Club” application analogy should be used at key points in the arguments, particularly if Roberts himself, now the Chief Justice, asks a question, and of course make reference to as much of Roberts’ own arguments as possible at other points.

      • Janice Bellucci

        We would like to speak to “John Smith” regarding his experiences in Santa Ana. If anyone knows of him, please ask him to contact me directly by calling (805) 896-7854. Thank you.

      • B

        I think legislators ought to hear John Smith’s story before voting on AB 702. There are some in Sacramento who believe that registration is just a 10 minute process of filling out a few papers and getting your picture taken.

      • td777

        Maybe it’s time SCOTUS gets introduced to logic on this; Justice Roberts take notes please….

        ATTENTION SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES:

        1. Filling out an application at Price Club is entirely voluntary. Registration is required, not voluntary. The requirement of an individual to register is usually stated during sentencing, alongside their time to be incarcerated or perform community service. Any act one is required to perform as a result of conviction is, in fact, punishment.

        2. Filling out an application at Price Club does not ask for personal information such as where you frequent(even if church or a friend’s residence), what your online activities/social networking names are, or in the case of transients, where you shower. Price Club applications not ask for any and all places of residence, only your mailing address. Requiring an individual by law to divulge personal information is, in fact, punishment.

        3. When a registrant is also restricted as to where they can live, registration is, in fact, punishment.

        4. When a registrant is restricted as to whether they can participate in their own child’s school activities, registration is, in fact, punitive. It punishes not just the registrant, but the child as well. No other category of crimes includes a restriction for the child of the convicted except this. Denying a child of their parent’s participation in the child’s life is, in fact, punishment.

        5. When a registrant has to take time off work, resulting in a loss of time on the job, thus a loss in pay, in order to register, registration is, in fact, punishment.

        6. When a registrant follows all the restrictions and cannot find work or housing because their applications are denied due to their status as a registrant, registration is, in fact, punishment.

        7. When a child is harassed by classmates because a parent’s registration status is discovered, registration is, in fact, punishment. (see #4)

        8. When residency restrictions force registrants to gather in secluded areas, then the city of Los Angeles decides to build a park to force them out by exploiting the registration laws, this is, in fact, punishment.

        9. When traveling within the U.S., a registrant has to take time to register wherever they are staying because local registration laws require it. If traveling with their family, this means taking time away from their family while on vacation. This is, in fact, punishment.

        10. When a registrant is denied employment simply because they are a registrant, even when they are more than amply qualified for the job and the employer regularly employs former felons, registration is, in fact, punishment.

        11. When a registrant attends college, they not only have to register in the city of their residence, but also on campus and, if the campus police/security are not sworn police officers, the city of the school as well. Again, requiring someone to spend time and effort and possibly money to register is, in fact, punishment.

        12. When a registrant’s face, address, and conviction information are posted online, this results in shame and embarrassment. When this information is allowed to be taken from the Megan’s Law website and posted on other sites, this greatly increases the shame and embarrassment because it also makes the information easily found in web searches. That shame and embarrassment is, in fact, punishment.

        13. Statistics show recidivism is very low for registrants committing new sex offenses. They also show registration has done very little to prevent future crimes nor make the public safer as declared as the purpose of registration laws in every state. Thus, registration is, in fact, punishment.

        Simple logic. You were appointed with the expectation of using it. Please do.

        • alert

          td777
          Obviously,You put a lot of effort into your letter/post and it looks very good. You convinced me! Now, let’s just hope all your time and effort doesn’t go to waste.

        • JB

          I am going to cut and paste this, you’ve said everything that I would have but more succinctly and to the point. Very well done.

          I will add that if someone obtains a record clearance via 1203.4 as I did, but they still have to register, THAT is MOST DEFINITELY punishment. I’m registering for a conviction that no longer exists. Justice my foot!

        • td777

          Honestly, I didn’t put that much thought into it, I just wrote about my own experience and observation. I think almost any one of us could write as many or more logical points about why the registry is punishment.

  19. BillG (yet again)

    The culture we have inherited demands a boy to be whipped.
    We suffer under many sins and are called to task by politics, religion, medicine…
    Go on, name one place where we are free.
    I dare you.

    Recently, the idea of “how you are” has gained traction as a Right…that is, if you are a black, that being as it is cannot be held specifically against you in the arena of civil affairs. So we see a bill proposing that pedophilia is a fundamental tenant of human psychology, and as a fundamental should be regarded as a civil qualification and not as a deviant psychosis. Open the gates of hell, why don’t you.

    The entire idea of a “Registry” of “Sex Offenders” is a blunder. There are no “Sex Offenders”..the term itself is a modern public-relations scam deliberately designed to create a market. The victims of this scam wail and beat their breasts over the horror surrounding infantile sexuality. They plead congress to create retributive legislation in the name of their pillaged progeny, but this new awareness comes as no surprise. It’s not new. Children are routinely abused in many ways. It’s part of Darwin.

    That the society is so distracted and obsessed throws much water on the concept of ‘en-loco-parentis’ wherein the State becomes the parent when the child is perceived as endangered. The lynchpin is the idea of “danger”…that natural exploration of one’s internal energies constitutes a risk to one’s well-being? This is why if your personal 288 involves a close family member, your conviction can be expunged. It would appear that the law realizes that family affection is hardly felonious.

    Ok…enough philosophy.
    IMHO..We need every voting adult on the SOR. Take a broader view of the situation: Once you’re on the Internet, you’re on the internet forever regardless of legalities. The data prevails and even if they sue Google itself, you are forever pickled in Kodachrome Digitalis so forget about relief.
    Only when every man, woman and infant over the age of twelve is a Registered Sex Offender will we see a sea change as the culture accepts the Registries as the abomination that they are.
    It’s like the radical feminists rant against rape: “Since every man is a potential rapist, society needs to incarcerate all male children at birth. Only then will the problem be resolved.”

    RSOL should lobby something of the same. Let’s get everybody on the Registry. We’ve all done something….Even the President of the United States sometimes has to stand naked.

    You really do not understand how innocent you really are.

  20. Bluewall

    Just wow.. I didn’t know how different processing is within the cities O_o

  21. jm

    td777,

    What I am shocked about is that no one in the city of Santa Ana complained!
    Several months ago, when we looked at that city’s Megan’s list, every single registrant were wearing a jail uniform, and found out that they were basically locked in a cell until released. I just couldn’t fathom why not one registrant or family member complained. And the proof is right there!, on the website. If the registrant was still on parole, I could understand some what, but they couldn’t all be on parole. It is such an outrage. I hope the city of Santa Ana has to pay for all the damage. May justice prevail.

    • td777

      Even if they were on parole, that’s just taking it too far. In Anaheim, cadets handle registration and it usually takes 30-60 minutes for the whole process, which I still think is too long. The worst we had it was one female cadet who would announce loudly at the window “Oh, you’re here to register as a sex offender?” so anyone in the lobby could hear and then expected us to sign the bottom of the form before she would fill in any information. Fortunately, she only lasted a few months and I haven’t seen her since.

      My hope…Santa Ana gets hit with punitive damages over a million dollars for each registrant. Then maybe all these other cities who put registrants through this would take note and stop these illegal practices.

  22. AK

    I used to live in Santa Ana and thought their system was extremely abusive. I didn’t have to wear a prison uniform, but everything else was true. The first time I registered there, I was referred from one place to another, then another, then when I finally got to the right place, they said they had just closed. I had to come back another day, and then they made me wait forever and go into an interview room to answer a bunch of questions about my previous crime and have an in-person interview with the police officer who handles Santa Ana sex offenders because “they like to get to know the sex offenders who live in their city”. She even made comments like “if you don’t like our system, move to Orange- they barely know how to serve a subpoena there”. Yes, those are direct quotes! Then, a few weeks later, 2 policemen in uniform knock on my door because they were conducting a “home visit”!

    Every time I registered annually, I had to report to the jail, leave my wallet and watch and personal possessions in a locker, and be escorted like a criminal into the jail- the same way all incoming prisoners were booked. I had to wait a very long time in the jail booking room until they took my photo and fingerprinted me and then escorted me back out of the jail. It took hours and I had to miss work to do this.

    • td777

      AK, please contact Janice and see if you can be added as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Santa Ana should pay for everyone they’ve done this to, even if that person has since moved out of the city! You are a victim of their vicious process and should be recognized as such.

  23. eKeith

    Wow! Fortunately I don’t live in California but I watch what happens in the state because the nation usually follows California’s lead on matters like this. My quarterly registration process is simple and quick. I contact the local sex crimes detective to schedule a date and time. I show up and she prepares the paperwork online that I electronically sign. I’m usually in and out in ten minutes or less. I have always been treated with dignity and respect. In fact, one detective has comment to me how useless the system really is. He told me that it justified the police department hiring two full-time officers to manage.

    I’ve never seen more creativity in my life than I have when it comes to what lawmakers can think of when enacting laws for sex offenders. I think they border on public humiliation (just like a “scarlet letter”) which is the underlying intent in the disguise of good public policy.

    Good luck Janice and company! Make them pay a price for being so stupid and irresponsible.

  24. Kathleen

    eKeith, I am in sympathy with you on all your comments except, “I think they border on public humiliation.” I disagree with you. Many of the laws are designed and enforced precisely to exact pain and enact public humiliation. Witness the lawn signs recently publicized in Florida. Why do you think television news people show up on the porch and try to ask you insulting questions while a camera is running? How about car license plates marking the one driving (who might not be the registrant) as a RSO? Some states print it on your driver’s license too. And, because it has been shown that the public registry has not reduced sex offenses, the public registry serves no purpose other than to humiliate the RSO, family, and friends. It also gives vigilante’s and hateful people fodder for their amusement.
    Thanks for your sympathy for California (and other) registrants. They need it.

  25. tm

    I’ve read the Rime of the Ancient Mariner several times after my conviction. I’m having to wear that dead albatross around my neck, this 290 registration, and it keeps getting more smelly and more humiliating, but unlike the bird in the poem, it never falls off. The story is often portrayed as a moral allegory about harming innocent creatures. It is strange, though, that the crew of vigilantes who put the bird around the offender’s neck and made him keep it on, never received any reward, ended up all dying, in the dead sea that they had help to create, while the offender ended up finding salvation by telling his story over and over again. And so I see our society’s institutions being destroyed by the pathological reach to obtain absolute security by exacting harse, even inhuman, penalties in the name of the innocent. It ends up turning back on itself and harming free societies and institutions, those that are meant to protect us against mob rule. It is GTMO, it is the Final Solution. Again. I hope we all are able to tell our stories, even anonymously. It is liberating. It leads to a hope of something better.

  26. TF

    If all of this registration, restricted access to community services and facilities, and plastering your photo and address on the internet for everyone to see (and target you) was available in 1937, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that HITLER would have gladly used it on the Jews. This is just more of the same – state organized hatred. Also, if society still thinks that all sex offenders are likely to recommit then they should be protesting for the CDCR to take more steps towards rehabilitation instead of warehousing. I did 18 years (straight) and was never even offered any rehabilitation.

  27. td777

    Fortunately, I register in Anaheim as a transient(yes, that means 13 times a year…and they say it’s not punitive!). I registered this morning in fact…in and out in about 20 minutes. Santa Ana should be held fully accountable for this. Does anyone know if Santa Ana is still doing this since the lawsuit was filed?

  28. Michael

    What’s the latest on the Santa Ana suit?

    I assume it had to do with RSOs, even those NOT on probation or parole, being taken down into their jail (A de facto in custody setting, as you could not just leave anytime you wanted) for the registration process. Which, from the time you got there, took 2-3 hours most times.

    Not to mention that they MADE you dress in jail clothing (a top anyway), as if you were in custody, to have you picture taken.

    That was bad enough, but you couldn’t even wear a tee-shirt under it and had to put on one, from a pile of just 4 or 5 in different sizes, that who knows how many other people (they did arson, drug offenders and SOs all in the same groups), with who knows what level of hygiene, wore bare skinned before YOU. Pretty gross.

  29. The Traveler

    I have had to register in Santa Ana, since moving to the City in 2000. Everything that is said here about their overbearing methods is true on my experience. I am considered a low-risk offender and my misdemeanor case has been dismissed years ago.
    Up until last year they used to send 2 to 4 police officers to my house every four months, in between my Registration date. The said they were checking up on me to see if I really lived there. Sometimes they were quick and easy about it and other times they were real pricks about it. One officer threatened to arrest me on obstruction charges because I was sleepy from being woke up at 7 am to answer the door for them. I didn’t answer the questions FAST ENOUGH for them. Then he asked to come into my house. I felt compelled to do it. They looked around and stayed in my house for several minutes deciding whether or not to call for back up. They finally left with out any incident. I can tell you I have been Extremely unhappy with Santa Ana PD about this process. I am not on the Public Registry on the Internet. I have to answer questions to my friends and neighbors about the goings on of all this. I am a low-risk Offender. My Time as a RSO has been 20 years now. I am so very sick and tired of it.

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