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National

TX: For $1.4 million, Dallas sex offender registration doesn’t buy much

If the goal is more stigma and shame, the operation succeeds spectacularly. For starters, the entrance is hidden around back of Dallas police headquarters, behind a rusting door, next to a small sign: “Sex Offender Registration Entrance Only.”

Inside, the atmosphere only gets worse. The dreary waiting room is almost always filled to capacity with people sitting glumly, waiting for hours to meet the strict reporting requirements of being a registered sex offender. Full Article

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  1. td777

    Great article, I’m glad someone in the mainstream media is starting to understand the absurdity that is the registry. It’s a shame the Texas Voices website isn’t nearly as active as this one. In some ways, it shows how they aren’t willing to do as much for registrants as Janice and CARSOL. If every state had as much going for them as we do here in California, I can’t help but think things would change much faster.

    • WantstoHelp

      Texas Voices is incredibly active and does tireless support on behalf of registrants. Their activity is simply not posted or seen on its website and I, for one, find that incredibly prudent. Sadly, TV does not have a full time lawyer to work these cases as CARSOL does, because no one has yet stepped up to accept that mantle. [Even from afar, we are grateful for Janice, and realize what a rare and special gift it is that registrants in California have her to fight for them.] Texas Voices members do network with the lawyers who handle these types of cases, as well as with other grass roots organizations fighting for criminal justice reform, and in some situations TV helps to fund lawsuits that have the potential to win changes on behalf of the state as a whole, but TV is actually a lobbying organization that has focused its efforts on getting legislation passed (or killed as the case may be) in a very conservative, hard-right leaning state. It is because of the TV efforts, and the efforts of its members, and the efforts of honest, thinking representatives, that legislation passed in the prior session to remove all registrants place of employment (address of the employer) from public registries. Now that businesses do not risk being publicly associated with a registrant, registrants have one less hurdle to overcome in finding employment.

      Texas does not have a “Jessica’s Law” on the books. Here, those who are still on parole or probation may be required to stay beyond a 1000 foot safety zone, but state law itself does not prevent registered citizens off paper from living anywhere. Cities and municipalities do have the right to set their own ordinances, and so we face a similar challenge to the constantly shifting rules. Getting legislation passed to unify the State on this matter will be an uphill battle, as there are cities who will throw efforts into preventing any law from passing that would curtail their ability to keep registered citizens out. However, there is currently a lawsuit winding its way through the civil courts in which a registered citizen has been given legal standing (as have his wife and children) to sue a city for damages due to excessive residence restrictions that essentially banished them living in the city. We will wait to see how this plays out. As you know, these cases grind exceedingly slow.

      I am not a Texas Voices representative and I’m not speaking on behalf of the organization. I’ve simply been witness to, and am incredibly grateful for, the tireless efforts of those within the organization who work on behalf of Texas’s registrants, and it hurts to see them disparaged simply because their website is not actively updated.

      • td777

        If they are more active than the website shows, you have my apology. I was rather surprised when I saw how little information was on their site and how little interaction was available there.

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