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General Comments August 2015

Comments that are not specific to a certain post should go here, for the month of August 2015. Contributions should relate to the cause and goals of this organization and please, keep it courteous and civil.

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I have thought about this for a while now, and I think it’s important that we finally address an issue that would have a serious impact on public perception.

A little history: most media organizations use the AP Style Guide (https://www.apstylebook.com/) as a reference in understanding appropriate and acceptable terminology. Those who use their own, internal style guide usually follow along with what the AP has published as being acceptable.

A classic example of a recent change had a HUGE impact on public perception. Two years ago, the AP changed their style guide to refer to “illegal immigrants” in a different style. For example, prior to their change, the use of “illegal immigrant” was an acceptable and common term throughout most media organizations. Obviously, the use of the word “illegal” implied that a person was a criminal. So the AP set out to change this (http://blog.ap.org/2013/04/02/illegal-immigrant-no-more/).

Today, a mere two years later, you almost never see the term “illegal immigrant” used. Instead, the AP suggests, and the media follows along with, the following:

“illegal immigrationEntering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, useillegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but notillegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.
Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.
Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.
Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?
People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people staying in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, specify in the story that they are protected from deportation for two years and allowed to work. Add details on the DACA program lower in the story.

Now, think about all of the articles you have ever read about crime. You see headlines such as “Joe Blow, 54, arrested for robbery”, or “person of interest sought in connection with….”, or “21 year old arrested for burglary”. Even persons with extensive criminal histories are never referred to as convicts, robbers, burglars, etc. You never see a headline such as “Convicted robber arrested for drunk driving”, or “Drug offender arrested for theft”. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true for us! We are, literally, the ONLY group of convicted persons who are referred to, no matter the subject matter, as “sex offenders”, or “convicted sex offenders”.

You commonly see “Sex offender arrested for theft”, or “sex offender arrested for indecent exposure”, or “registered sex offender arrested on drug charge”.

This MUST change! For the same reasons that the AP changed their style on the use of the term “illegal immigrant”, we MUST petition the AP to change their term to “registered citizen”, and eliminate the use of “sex offender” in ANY story where the person’s history has no connection to the story. For example, a person being a registered citizen has no rational connection if they are arrested for a non-sex crime.

To change public perception, we must get the media on board. And the biggest change we can make is by petitioning the AP to change their style. This will impact most media organizations across the country.

Well written, Paul. And you’re so right. Having worked in the media for a great number of years, how things are presented in word and print have a tremendous impact on perception.

Let me add an additional point. The media (either print or radio/tv) has this obsession with putting the term “registered sex offender” into every headline, story or photo caption every time a criminal act is perpetuated by someone who is a registered citizen. This is done regardless if the act in question is a sexually-related offense. The most blatant example is the two men who killed four people in Orange County recently. To this day, every time a story is written about these two, the RSO term appears either in the headline, photo caption or in the first paragraph of the story. It absolutely is never left out. It is almost as if AP style REQUIRES its inclusion.

Did these heinous murders have anything to do with their registered status? These murders didn’t occur because these men are registrants, these men are MURDERS who happen to be registered, for who knows what prior offense. What is the relevance of their status as registrants on the fact that they murdered four people? Not a thing.

The media is hungry to use that magical term as often as possible. Maybe because it’s sexy, kind of like shark attacks and ax murders. Whatever their motivation, it is what keeps the public loaded up with pitchforks and torches, the politicians (like Runner, Hueso, et. al) pushing more insane legislation, and the hate mongers with agendas (Chris Kelly, John Walsh) feeding the frenzied fire.

Excellent comment, Paul. The only thing I would disagree with would be where you state that we “commonly” see stories about registered citizens arrested for other alleged crimes. Actually, we don’t. Or at least I don’t. Occasionally, I’ll see a story such as you describe. But it’s rare. And I do pay attention to my local news.

Telling infographic here: http://i.imgur.com/4272GUR.jpg

Excellent point, Paul. And yes, AP style is the most widely used in print news, only the majors use their own style books, but most in their own stylebooks go along with AP anyway. For the private ones, New York Times style is probably the most watched — they include a headline style, which AP, being a wire service, does not have.

I add: there are no sex offenders who have to register, so they should never be referred to as such. That is a false assertion. Only FORMER sex offenders have to register, as if they were still sex offenders, that is if they were committing offenses, they would be arrested and imprisoned. So no one registering is actually a sex offender. Gee, when you think about it, it is actually libel to write that registrants are sex offenders. AP might very well agree with that point of view; it tends to follow the same logic that AP used to say not to use the term “native American,” as they are not native, they are simply an earlier migration.

I am looking at the context “registered sex offender” is used in stories and it is similar to “known terrorist.” The connotation is the hidden adjective “dangerous”. Registered in this context means “put on notice”. And it also implies having been caught once and likely to be caught again.
I’ve noticed that the prisoners at Guantanamo were once “terrorists” then became “enemy combatants” (wow, that even sounds heroic) and now “detainees”, which seems the most neutral and factual to describe that whole in-discriminant group of people.
Would that we could find a similar term to describe a group of people in our situation, without using leading terms, but “registrants” or “registered citizens” is equivalent to “detainees.” I suppose that with travel and residency restrictions we are also “detainees.”

And I’ll point out that the AP’s elimination of “illegal immigrant” had a HUGE impact on how people perceived persons who are in the country illegally. It had a HUGE impact on public opinion, and public perception.

You’re right, language is the driver of public perception, that and images, for example that mug shot picture they usually give for Frank whenever there is a story involving him. Where do we write to the AP? I think this is as important as commenting on proposed laws, even more important, because as you said, the laws come about because of the misconceptions promulgated by the media (propaganda). We need a campaign of letter writing to the media. Mind if I copy, paste and edit your post?

My wife and I were talking about this the other day.

The media doesn’t seem to be gun shy about throwing out the phrase “sex offender”. Some get specific and throw out a “registered sex offender”. Perhaps the ones that include “registered” in their label realize that for every “registered” sex offender there are at least another 100 that aren’t registered. Those that never got caught for their “crime”. Peeing on a tree, playing doctor as children, having a underage girlfriend when they were 18, having a naked pic of their underage girlfriend/boyfriend. When law enforcement shows up at my door doing a residency check…I wonder how many of them did something in their past that would have got them on the registry…had they been caught. My crime was 3 underage webcam videos (no force, no adults involved).

As Paul suggests…how we are labeled by the media can go a long way. I get angry when many of the articles surrounding anyone arrested for CP is labeled a “child predator” or “sexual predator”. Not all CP involves children being preyed upon. I’m guessing that a very small percentage of registrants would be labeled as a predator by someone qualified to determine this.

Maybe someday we can pull off being called “registered citizens” rather then “registered sex offenders”. After all…”illegal aliens” were able to do a name change to “illegal immigrants”, then to “undocumented immigrants”, and then to “undocumented workers”. Each time it sounds a little nicer.

All *lives matter in America.

*Sex offenders are excluded from this statement because obviously we have to protect “our children” at all costs.

…but my children didn’t matter to the lawmakers, they were collateral casualties in the war to protect other children.

…and therin lies the insanity.

Paul,

No media outlet should ever say or write the following:

Former drug dealer under investigation for robbery, former serial killer arrested for arson, registered sex offender arrested for identity theft. In other words if someone who committed a crime previously is suspected, questioned, arrested, or charged for something else that has little or no connection to a previous offense the previous offense should not be brought up.

The AP should absolutely not change their guide from sex offender or registered sex offender to registered citizen. They should remove all references of registration from their guide when registration status has no relevance to conduct. As you correctly pointed out no other former suspect or person convicted is subjected to the extraneous label or classification as registered sex offenders/registered citizens are. The only way to balance out the scale is by using registered citizen when absolutely necessary. Also any guide should specify the exact details that ought to be included. For example molestation can mean many different things and each state has a slightly different legal definition for it. Same with sexual assault or battery or harassment. While rape is marginally more easy to find classify it still includes a number of situational factors that make a huge difference. Two drunk people having sex and one being fuzzy on the details of the encounter is not the same as someone being tied up, knocked out, and violently forced into sex. Still both can be rape, but one is far worse than the other.
Moreover raping someone under the age of consent has many variations including statutory rape in which both people may have consented but one legally could not so it’s still rape under the law. Other categories of sexually classified offenses have their own levels and not clarifying exactly what someone really did or was accused of does matter. If the details were not ever made public then no benefit arises from slapping an overbroad label onto someone.

Hello, I am hoping this is ok to ask here. On Monday, I will be attending a parole containment meeting. I have no idea what this is. I can never get straight answers from my PO. I am looking for more information. Is there a chance they will let me off?

I was giving a deal for 3 years inside and 3 years parole. I’m 2 months past my 3 years of parole and they don’t care, even with a written transcription of the judge saying I have 3 years parole. The computer used to have me listed as 3 years and they pushed to have it say 5 years now.

I have had zero problems while on parole, I almost have my degree ( 2 Math classes ) and have attained my Network + Certificate and also my Security Certificate. Companies wont hire me while on parole.

I am just venting now, sorry. If anyone knows what I can expect from the containment hearing please let me know. Or now that they added 2 years to my parole for no reason do I qualify for some kind of good behavior.

Thank your time.

I don’t know what is going on there. If you were sentenced by the court to 3 years parole, then I don’t see how the corrections department has any leeway to make that longer. You need a lawyer to confirm that the court sentenced you to 3 years parole, and then to file a challenge to it being longer. Maybe they are screwing up, but until I know more. I have to think you are misunderstanding something the judge said. Was that comments an aside, or was that actually formally part of the sentenced pronounced?

I can understand why you are worried about the word “containment.” That can mean all kinds of things, yes, including being locked up. But know this: Parole is considered to be a form a custody, meaning it already is containment, so don’t freak out just yet. Gee, it could even be a hearing to decide whether you end your parole and free you completely.

Hey, I just replied to JoJo with what is happening with the parole over 3 years thing.

I have been to two containment meetings. Five minutes tops. You your po their supervisor and personnel from therapy classes are in attendance. They will ask what you did how you feel what’s going on now and then ask the other person’s their thoughts on you. If everything is going well they will drop your supervision. This can mean fewer po visits less polygraphs etc. It can also go the other way of your screwing up. As far as parole length, in California it’s based on the violation of penal code not what the judge said. Depending on the section and length of time in custody I have heard the law changed for some while they were incarcerated so even though the judged said one thing by the time you were placed on parole the law changed this giving you give years. If I can be of any help or you have any other questions please let me know. I have studied in depth about these meetings and my po is very forthcoming.

Same thing happened to my hub. Was told 3 yrs by judge (of parole)
Once he was released, it was 5 yrs parole and just a few months ago, he was told he has 10 yrs parole. He plead guilty to 2 counts L/L. They are running his parole consecutive instead of concurrent.
Im so depressed about it. Was hoping he would be off parole next yr and could move back home. Wont happen now.

Here is a Plea for help and for those of You with Doubts? This Is My Daughter and there ARE 2 Others Un related that can Confirm Her Story…!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p1mec8BVf4

Good luck Bruce. I hope justice will prevail for you.

Hi Anony,
Here is a link to a meeting model used, where a team meets with an offender. I suspect that the victim advocate really works for the D.A. by the way.

http://cpcamerica.com/containment-model.html

Suggestion: Get your own team in place: Supportive Neighbor(s), Pastor, Family, Support or 12 step Group or whoever can help hold you accountable for your behavior. They may not be able to come to the meeting, but referring to them or showing signed statements from them saying they will help “supervise” you will allow the PO to check a box that states you have community support, making you statistically less dangerous.
Hopefully they’ll decide that means you won’t need further parole extension.

Hi Jojo,

My case was spousal rape. It was my wife. We have a daughter together who is 8. My ex-wife now has had a judge drop down the criminal restraining order and parole recently allowed me to travel 100 miles to pick my daughter up from her. They made her write a letter stating she clears parole of all responsibility. Do you think this would be enough for community support?

My transcripts state the 3 years from the judge during sentencing. My lawyer said he could (cant remember name) revert the charges up to the plea but then the other felonies they got rid of they could charge me for and I could go back to prison for them. The lawyer told me the judge made a mistake. I 602 it, it was lost for months finally showed back up after its expiration date and they denied me. I actually showed 3 years parole for 2 years on the computers. The counselor at POC and me would talk about it still saying 3 years. It now says 5.

Anyhow thanks for the information. I really want to believe it is for release because I really need to get a real job/career.

FYI from my experience and what I have been told containment meetings have nothing to do with discharge. I do have a copy of the form they use at the containment meeting if anyone would like a copy. Just be patient I’ll have to find it again if you request it

OK, so they called me and told me they were going to do it over the phone even though I gathered all kinds of beneficial paperwork. They told me that my sentencing was the judges mistake. I was supposed to have 5 years… Anyway, he also told me that he granted me parole but it got denied because I haven’t had my lie detector yet. They just started that here and im now doing more parole because of other people mistakes.

They did say I don’t have to drug test anymore and my 5b Alcohol restrictions are gone as well. Sounds like more rope to hang oneself with. They also say they would see about paroling me in January. Sigh…

My girlfriend died, my motorcycle was hit and wrecked, my car is about to break down, no job prospects( been looking for 4 months), I live in a crappy area between rival Mexican gangs, I haven’t had a complete night sleep because the 13 yr ol above me screws her boyfriends all night, I lose apt next month because I’m broke. Haven’t eaten in two days because of depression. Can’t go to shelter because they won’t take rsos.oh yeah, I forgot, its going to get better. All for a few pics. Oh yeah, I forgot. My arm had two plates put in and can’t use for 7 weeks. And the apt above leaks water on my floor, anyone want to trade? Your all invited to the wake,

Off topic question? Why the hell isn’t some over zealous LA D.A. trying to throw 25 year old Tyga in Jail for having sex with a 17 year old Kylie Jenner? (Yes she’s 18 now, I know) I think it’s pretty well known they were sleeping together. Celebrity’s exempt??

For clarity, I don’t think he should be, just making a point.

I thought about the same thing when I saw the birthday pictures and articles. Well if she ever wants to file a complaint she has until she’s 40. I’m sure they’ll settle out of court so they don’t have to go through the whole legal process. But who knows, maybe they’ll be one of those celeb couples that beats the odds. If you couldn’t tell, I”m being sarcastic.

Wondering the same. Especially when one considers that any criminal case reads “The People of the State of California vs X”. It is NOT up to Ms. Jenner to file a complaint. If there is suspicion of a crime (which in California ANY sexual activity with a person up to 17 years is) it is the DUTY of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute. In the name of The People.

Just like if this were a 17 year old and a 25 year old teacher or coach, the 17 year old’s opinion and conduct would be entirely immaterial and charges would be brought. In the name of The People. Even if the 17 year old did not want him to be charged.

I have said it before…. laws that, absent prosecutorial discretion, would criminalize a large demographic are bad laws. Just bad. This discretionary power makes law enforcement (the executive) also the judge (the judicial).

By the way, I have nobody, how long must “hang in there”. Nothing is getting done! molasses moves faster. Guess making stupid mistakes are no longer allowed I. This country. Luckily I have connections that can get me out . so sick of this B.S. screw u.s.

patience, so getting out may not be a problem, but have you given it any thought about what you would do for a living? Also once you leave you might not be able to come back unless it is to a jail cell. Give it a lot of thought before you do something you will most likely regret. All of us have had loses, probably more than you think, When your arms get well what type of work can you do? What skills do you have that would be valuable to a employer? Maybe you could think of some type of day worker, have you tried that? I knew some guys that started mowing yards then moved on from that after the made some money., Welders have been in demand., life is full of ups and downs, hope you get better. Things do change.

(Humor)

Here’s an interesting flow of logic:

Every notice how they will ready and willing try a 15 year old (or younger) as an “adult”?
It being assumed that SOME teens are “adult” enough to commit adult crimes and be punished as adults.

But there is no provision in the law to take the time to see if any given 15 year old (or 16-17) is or was “adult” enough to have given consent to sex in any particular situation or circumstances with someone 18 or older.

How about if the 15 year old has sex with a 21 year old, then the 15 year old commits a murder.
I’m sure the justice system would be very happy to try him/her as an adult, while at the same time trying the 21 year old for having sex with an “under aged minor”.

Today I received a solicitation letter from an attorney offering his services…identifying me as a registered sex offender. This was the first letter of it’s kind I have ever received since being convicted of possession of CP (3 files) a little over two years ago. Wondered…how would they know? After all…for more than two years I “enjoyed” not being publicly blasted (like most) on Megan’s Law. I knew it could happen any time but was hoping it never would. My wife checked homefacts.com site today (inspired by the letter from an attorney) and there I am. Since homefacts.com states they get their info from Megan’s Law site…I think it’s safe to assume I’m finally on Megan’s Law. Looks like my luck finally ran out.

What services was he offering?

An excellent article for us, on, of all places, the Al Jezeera website, the Mideast Muslim news organization.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/10/17/challenges-to-sexoffenderregistries.html

Oh, yes, a few smaller mistakes of fact, but overall it is very much in our favor. It also includes more statistics than I have seen so far, all of which support us.

But perhaps most surprising: Look at all the comments at the bottom of the story.

I have a question for any of you who may live in or near San Diego. I’m looking to move there from another state next year. I am a lifetime registrant in that other state and I am not on probation or parole. I would like to know from a practical standpoint how this will affect my ability to find housing in the San Diego area not considering the cost of that housing since I know it’s expensive to live there. How are the local police departments interpreting the residence restrictions? I saw the recent court judgement for those currently on parole but how would this affect me as someone not on probation/parole looking to move to the San Diego area? Do I need to have any address approved by the local police department before I move there?

I don’t think this story is of relevance directly to the Carson sex offender issue, but what is related is the relative cronyism of the politicians involved. Former Mayor and current city clerk Jim Dear, who had a street named after him, just got his name stripped from the street, and it will be changed to Stadium Way.

http://www.dailybreeze.com/government-and-politics/20150722/carson-officials-strip-jim-dears-name-from-street-at-proposed-nfl-stadium-site

“Carson officials strip Jim Dear’s name from street at proposed NFL stadium site”

The whole story reeks of buffoonery and general disdain. GOD, I hope that Hanice and RSOL take this city for millions, or at least 6 digits. They deserve to be taken down.

Turns out, Ben Hueso is dirtier than most knew. Coupled with his drunk driving conviction, he admitted to illegally funneling campaign dollars.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2010/oct/28/hueso-funds-for-brothers-campaign-withdrawn/

Can someone please make sense of this. CA says I cant work with the active senior population( personal trainer) on Facility I was contracted on. Not an employee, but they are fine with me working with them privately off campus. I had a 100 person petition signed to keep me,and now the facility won’t let the clients wave facility’s “liability”. But they allow a retired convicted child molester live there.on lifetime parole. I am on 3 yr probation. Janet? Anything like this Cross your desk before? No therapy license involved. Just state bs. The molester could act again_ where’s the child protection

Please get the name of our patron saint correct, its Janice

I haven’t read nor seen any RSOL videos on this subject yet, however this is very pertinent to our situation. It seems to me that approval to work at any facility has a lot to do with that organization’s effort to keep its Liability Insurance coverage under certain terms that threaten of denial. This probably started with Sandusky.
For example: My Church rents some classrooms and outdoor play areas to Head Start Preschool during the week, and the Church Office Manager told me that if anyone anywhere on the whole church property was knowingly hired as a sex offender, Head Start could LOSE their liability insurance. Probably it also includes knowingly having any volunteers present with SO status.
Recently, I volunteered to make dozens of sandwiches at home, delivered to the church by my son each morning for a week-long (non-Head Start) summer kids program that included lunches. I was never on the premises that week, but the church somehow left my name off the print-out of volunteers.
Even with the support I’ve had from pastors there, NO organization will risk losing their insurance. And every organizations might potentially have some vulnerable population present on their property sometime. (I have no idea how this other guy would have kept off the “knowingly hired” category).

Has anyone checked the Ashley Madison data dump to see if Ben Guest has an account?

Congressmen,scutos,and the president should all listen to Pema Chodron. She makes so much sense!

I often wonder if being legally required, under threat of arrest, to produce myself to my local police station, and subject myself to questions by law enforcement, constitutes an “illegal detention”, and a violation of my 5th amendment rights.

Each year, when I call to make my appointment around the time of my birthday, I am asked if anything has changed with regards to my housing, vehicles, etc. Most years, the answer is no. Since my information does not change that often, and the paperwork is the same year after year, why does it take the deputy in charge of registration, an hour or two to complete the process? At what point does this become “unreasonable”? Law enforcement cannot generally detain you for an unreasonable period of time? Clearly, we are being detained during the registration process as we are not free to leave. If we leave prior to the process being complete, we are violating the registration laws and, thus, are subject to arrest. Registering IS a detention by law enforcement!

Being compelled to answer questions, of ANY type, is a violation of our 5th amendment rights. As citizens, we have a right to not speak with law enforcement, or answer their questions. Yet, the law mandates that we provide law enforcement with certain information, thus, requiring us to answer their questions. Again, this is under threat of arrest. How is this not a violation of our 5th amendment rights?

I’ll also add that, since it’s a criminal detention, made by law enforcement, it’s now criminal, and NOT civil.

Had a creepy drive on the 79 going through Hemet/Winchester.. Right on the side of the road was this huge billboard saying “We are watching you Sex Offender” by Valley Watch…
Not sure if that was a threat…

It was probably intended for the person driving behind you.

LOL! What a brilliant way to drive DOWN home values/prices – by announcing to everyone – via billboard – that your community has a (imagimary) sex offender problem! Brilliant! This is as good as Sharon Runner mentioning that there is plenty of compliant housing in her district!

Please stop this cruelty. I. Begging. I just want to see my family and hug my kids. 40 old pictures doesn’t make me deserve this. My career my family my friends NY life is gone. Please stop please. I cry every night for my wife. I may never see her again. I hurt so much. What I did was wrong, but this is torture

Los Angeles is considering harsher penalties for those who solicit underage prostitutes. So….if s/he is 15 and commits a terrible crime, then s/he is charged as an adult. But if s/he has sex, s/he is an underaged minor.
If s/he consents, it’s a felony charge for her/his partner.
But if money is offered or exchanged, it’s only a misdemeanor charge for the partner.
Wait, what???

http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/los-angeles-harsher-penalties-child-sex-buyers-33313282

For I was hungry, and you denied me food stamps. I was thirsty, and you refused to let me take a drink at the park. I was a stranger, and you told the neighbors to be afraid of me. I was naked, and you denied me a job, to earn money to buy decent clothing. I was sick, and you denied me a bed in the old folks home. I was in prison, and you visited upon me the wrath of my fellow inmates.

Then these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and not feed you? Or thirsty and not give you something to drink? Or a stranger and not show you hospitality? Or naked and not give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and not visit you?”

And your King, who you call your savior, will say: “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, those who you mark with the label sex offender, you were doing it to me!”

Amen.

From a Tech Times article about FaceBook logging 1 billion users in one day “Zuckerberg continues by saying how proud he is of the progress that the Facebook community has made, while also claiming that the community founded on the social network stands for allowing all people to have a voice, promoting understanding and giving everyone with opportunities in the modern world.”

But in your illegal Terms and Conditions, you ban registrants. Talk about creative liars.

“A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values,” Zuckerberg also said, ending the post by thanking the Facebook community in allowing the social network to reach the historic milestone and by stating how he is looking forward to what else Facebook can accomplish.”

Judging from how this liar likes to repeat the same big lie over and over, that FaceBook is committed to tolerance and inclusion, I would guess what FaceBook is trying to accomplish would be more scapegoating of registrants.

.