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Living with 290

Living with 290: 1st Annual Registration

As every registrant knows visiting local law enforcement for annual registration can be a pain in the butt. The law says registration updates must occur within five days before or after a person’s birth day each year. For me this meant calling the local police station and setting up an appointment. I figured calling five days prior to my birthday should have automatically provided ample opportunities for the records department at the police station to setup an appointment within the time frame allotted by law. Turns out I was wrong and somehow all the normal appointment times had been booked. Of course the normal hours set aside for 290 registration are one hour on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so those three hours already being booked does not say much.

After talking with the records specialist another appointment time was setup in the morning two days after my birthday. During our phone conversation the specialist politely revealed that because of already being booked, an exception had to be made to book me at another time so my registration could occur within the legal time frame. Arriving at the appointment fifteen minutes early, because I had nothing better to do until I got it out of the way, I thought I might be able to get in and get out quickly. If my local police station is anything like a sheriff or police station near you, arriving fifteen minutes early is too early.

Rather than get done quickly I spent 40 minutes just waiting for the records specialist to finish with someone else. Then it took another ten minutes before she was ready to go over my paperwork. Keep in mind I had already called seven days ago to setup the appointment and was asked if there were any changes since initially registering a few months prior. Nothing had changed, so it would be rational to believe all the paperwork should have been in order. It wasn’t and again I was asked in person if anything had changed. A few minutes later she returned and then I signed/initialed the four pages.

I forgot to mention that most interactions between anyone who has business with the records department happen through a set of bullet proof glass windows in the lobby at the local police station. While being fairly respectful about keeping my reasons for sitting in the lobby between themselves and me, the fact that my conversations with the records department occurred within ear shot of anyone else not there for 290 registration bothered me. Sitting in the lobby waiting for my paperwork to be processed and for someone to come out so my updated picture could be taken, another man started talking with me. When asked why I was there I said to pickup some paperwork and left it at that. Eventually a police cadet came out and let me know it was time to go in the back to finish up the process.

Unfortunately California is one of the states where basically every registrant has to register for life. I did not commit a California offense, but a federal one and am subject to federal registration for 15 years. Back in 2009 I unknowingly broke federal law by coming into possession of materials that I learned in late 2011 through discovery in my case had been classified as child pornography, as a result of the external hard drive the government seized during summer 2010.

Ignorance of the law in the eyes of the law does not matter and I was prosecuted all the same. The government officially indicted me on two counts, one for receipt and one for possession. Agreeing to the governments plea deal meant they would drop the receipt charge at sentencing. Federally judges are not parties of plea deals between the United States attorney’s office and defendants, so they don’t have to abide by anything in any plea deal. With this risk in mind I agreed to plead guilty to having possessed child pornography in early 2012. The USAO recommended a four year prison sentence, my lawyer fought for probation or if the judge handed down a prison term recommended a year and a day. Through convincing mitigating arguments complied by my lawyer the judge reasoned four years was too long, but probation would not be suitable punishment enough. Instead I was sentenced to twenty four months imprisonment, in addition to five years supervised release, and as long as I live in California or the California laws don’t change, life time registration.

I spent seventeen months at a low security federal correctional institute and then four months at a halfway house. Despite not ever having kissed anyone, been on a date, or in a relationship, or physically doing anything remotely sexual with another person in my life, under the law I still committed a sexual offense.

I don’t know why police cadets at the local station are tasked with taking photos and doing finger prints, I guess it’s considered grunt work. While I had my picture taken three months prior I took them again because this was an annual update. For some silly reason the guy had to take my photos twice because the first batch had a problem. This part of the process and putting my thumb print on each page of paperwork was the quickest portion of my registration this time around. I sat in the lobby once more and waited until they processed a copy of everything for me to take with me. Overall my first annual registration was not too stressful or uncomfortable, but it was by no means fun.

At least until I don’t have to register again until next year.

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  1. Q

    Hmmm……. It sounds typical of what one must put up with when it’s necessary to register at a local police station instead of a sheriffs station. I’ve had it both ways and have had similar experiences when I had to register with the local police; not so with the sheriffs department. I think the sheriffs have a higher standard and better screening and training for their people. The fact you had to wait 40 min tells me the “specialist” would be doing well if they went to the local Jr college to see if there is a course available in time management; and if available, sign up. This person obviously needs it, as do every city police registrant officer I’ve ever had to deal with. There’s no excuse for the lack of organizational skills at these city cop shop’s either; makes me wonder what school they went to!

    The local cops don’t give a hoot about your anonymity either; and again, not so at the sheriffs dept. It seems like their ill conceived logic is “it’s public information anyway, so what does it matter if everyone in the lobby knows?” They know full well that breaking your anonymity can very easily put your physical well being at risk, yet they don’t seem to care because after all, your just another scum “sex offender,” a lower life form unworthy of the rights and privileges guaranteed to all other citizens under the constitution and the bill of rights, except you; rights enjoyed and diligently protected for murderers, gang bangers, drug dealers, drunk drivers, extortionists, etc,etc, ad nausium. Everyone except you because you looked at some pictures.

    I too was convicted for possession of CP. My case was a wobbler and they didn’t care about anything except the CP. I had allot more of what is called “legal porn” but they didn’t care about that. I consider myself at the time a porn addict. But no more, because I addressed the problem with a spiritual idea and a practical plan of action and now share this method of “recovery” with others and it’s been a very rewarding experience. I’ve been doing this for well over ten years now and have led many workshops and have spoken at conventions on the subject of out of joint basic instincts, which leads to alcoholism, drug addiction, sex, porn, food, gambling and just about any other addiction you can think of. I have to say the people I sponsor through this process are mainly alcoholics and drug addicts, and you would be surprised at how many (both men & women) of them have abnormal sexual instincts that is the catalyst for what lame stream society would call abnormal or deviant.

    Welcome to California. Should you spend much time on this site (recommended) and you read some of what I post you will notice that many times I refer to California as the “stupid state” because of the overly oppressive, illegal and draconian set of laws governing the phantom fears the public seems to love and the phantom fears the politicians love to keep alive regarding people on the registry; even though these laws and fears have by and large been proven to be unfounded by empirical research and the results/lack of results of these laws. I have a totally different take on “compliance checks” and those self tasked with these checks.

    • Tim

      Congratulations Q on helping people overcome addiction. Alcohol and drug overuse destroy parts of the brain which regulate desire. I got involved with rational recovery which teaches one to identify unhealthy thought patterns. Such programs need to be a part of the health programs in schools. I believe they would reduce the incidence of abuse.

      • Q

        Hi Tim:

        I discovered this through Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s a powerful program most AA’s know nothing about because they think it’s more important to set around talking about themselves instead carrying the message of hope. Because they are so busy doing this, they never seem to get around to learning the powerful spiritual based method of guiding people to recovery.

        When I do groups I have to call my group/workshop a “special interest group” because I welcome and encourage participation from anyone with any kind of addictive behavior, and the AA’s that can’t even tell you what’s on the first page of their own book seem to think they are the only ones that should benefit from the principals of recovery unless you go to an entirely different group and call your self a name other than AA. Not all AA’s are like this, but allot/most of them are. They think it better to carry their message rather than carry THE message.

        • Tim

          Yeah, I couldn’t get into AA. One old crony said he could forgive a hardened alcoholic, but never a sex offender. I could never understand their spiritual approach, but I can understand cognitive behavioral thoery.

        • Q

          Hi Tim:

          That old guy is the kind of person I was talking about and when I teach I make the people in my workshop aware of this kind of person; many are already aware of them because they too have been ran off for some imagined infraction. That old waste of space and oxygen obviously know the first thing about AA or the traditions, and it’s the traditions that guide AA and hold AA together.

          Below are some excerpts of the traditions that old dry drunk was breaking;

          From tradition 1. No AA can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled.”

          From tradition three; “This tradition is packed with meaning. For AA is really saying to every serious drinker, “You are an AA member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out. No matter who you are, no matter how long you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications – even your crimes – we still can’t deny you AA. We don’t want to keep you out. We aren’t a bit afraid you’ll harm us, never mind how twisted or violent you may be. We just wan’t to be sure you get the same great chance for sobriety we’ve had. So your an AA member the minute you declare yourself.”

          I learned the nut’s and bolts of how to recover and teach it to others, and your experience should give you an idea of why I don’t associate my workshops with AA. The 12 steps are based on principals in the good ol King James Bible; and I make sure I get that information out!!!

  2. Bluewall

    I’ve been doing this for a decade now at the Long Beach PD… If there is a Yelp for it.. I give it 3 out of 5 stars… Overtime I learned to set an appointment 5 months in advance and early morning… get there super early to catch the detectives early when they walk in with their coffee and have the little office tv on with the morning news… They have been professional and to the point.. it takes 30 minutes, if the digital fingerprinting machine/3D camera system works on the first bootup.. They do SO registration on Thursdays only and by appointment..

  3. Tim

    Hi Q. I have been wanting to post this somewhere, but since you are talking about sexual addiction and blame I post it here.
    http://www.radiolab.org/story/317421-blame/

    • Q

      Hi Tim:

      Radiolab is a good find. It went really deep while adding an entertaining slant to the program and was tastefully done. The subject went pretty deep. I listened to the entire show in one setting because it had my attention. I have to say I’m not in agreement with the theory that says you can tell the probability of someone re-offending by “crunching the numbers” because this is basically the same as saying you can predict the future. This theory is about as stupid as it get’s. I’m in agreement with the law professor.

      This was a good broadcast and is recommended!!

  4. Ostracized Witch

    Registering in Westminster CA is purposely frustrating! You make an appt (2-4 pm, Tues-Thurs), and hopefully an officer is there for your appt to Register. They make you wait outside in the sun, until a policeman shows up late to escort you into the police station to process.
    Entire 15 minute procedure takes a couple hours to complete.
    Police make it stressful and frustrating on purpose! They get laughter out of harassing the “scum of humanity”.

    • PK

      You should see how much enjoyment the Immigration Agents get whenever an RSO’s goes through Secondary, and all the Agents come around to see the computer screen with looks of amusement and disdain. I f********* HATEEEE going through Immigration, and my blood pressure rises by 500%.

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