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General Comments October 2015

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

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  1. Double A

    I hope everyone has an uneventful month (referring to anything registrant related).

    It’s kind of nice not having anything in the news regarding any new CA 290 laws. Everything posted on this site is dealing with things from out of state. Although it doesn’t effect us directly, some articles show that there are slight shifts that things may be changing in our favor. The out of state cases also provide some precedence to any new laws created here or elsewhere. As much as I love and respect Janice and everyone at CA RSOL, I hope one day we will no longer need their services.

  2. commenter1

    These bills need our opposition voice:
    https://popvox.com/bills/us/114/s993
    https://popvox.com/bills/us/114/hr1854

    They are generally good bills but they specifically exclude sex offenders.

    • Timmr

      Yes, it just doesn’t make any sense excluding people who have violent or sex offenses from getting mental health treatment. Isn’t treating these people also in the interest of society? It is the old idea that one is beyond help because of the crime one has committed. The re-offense rate of registered citizens show they are very amenable to reforming their acts. So why keep punishing them by denying services. Just to sell a bill to the public?

  3. David

    Double A, thank you for your optimism.
    (I see the news posts here today and my only thought is, “J*C*, this sh#t never ends! More laws, more restictions, more regulations and more punishment every day!”)
    But, thank God, we have CA RSOL and Janice fighting for us!! Count our blessings!

  4. curiouser

    hey, i have a general comment-type question:
    Has anyone here had any success with the 1203.3, 17b, 1203.4 process? I’m coming up on the half-way point for prob (non-contact offense, non-cp, single count felony, no jail, 5-yr formal prob), and I’m contemplating going to court to take a swing at this. I’d love to hear if anyone has gone through the process and how it went. Did you try all three at one shot? break it up into two or three hearings?

    Thanks in advance for any advice offered!
    Keep fighting, all 🙂

    • NPS

      Yes, I did all three and was successful. I also did it in pro per (no lawyer) which saved a ton of money; the process was actually free. Here’s what you need (in addition to the paperwork filed with clerk):

      1. Character Reference Letters
      2. Letter of support from your probation officer (or a status report)
      3. Letter of support from your therapist (or whomever you case worker was)
      4. A really good personal statement reflecting on your growth, what you’ve learned from the experience and what your plans are for the future.
      5. The DA will try to attack your character; that’s their job. Don’t take it personally and maintain that you are a different person today and completely reformed. That’s what the judge wants to hear.

      Sometimes, what it boils down to is which county you are doing this and who the judge is. Usually if your probation officer is in support of your early termination and 17b/1203.4, the judge will look favorably on it.

      Best of luck to you!

      • curiouser

        Thank you, NPS. I appreciate your taking the time to share your experience with me. I will take your advice to heart and prepare accordingly. It is encouraging to hear what you accomplished. Prob guy has actually encouraged me to try for early term, and my doctor from the mandated class was wonderful. Please keep a good thought for me as I head into the fray once again.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Actually, you do not need anything for 1203.4 relief other than to have successfully completed probation — and if you didn’t violate any rules, you definitely completed it successfully, and if you were called on the floor for something, if you did not have probation revoked, went on and finished it, then I would say you still “successfully completed” probation. If you successfully complete probation, they cannot deny the relief — so the court has ruled.

      Now, 17b is another matter. And that is very desirable, to get the offense reduced to a misdemeanor. I’m not sure what 1203.3 ids, so can’t comment about that.

      However, I note, despite what the lawyers too often say — they don’t always know what they are talking about — 1203.4 is NOT limited to misdemeanors. It is for anyone who got probation. There is nothing in 1203.4 that restricts it only to misdemeanants who got probation. So, even if you don’t get 17b, you should still proceed to get 1203.4 — they cannot deny it if you successfully complete probation. You don’t need a good reference letter, the probation officer doesn’t have to like you, he can even say you are a problem. But that doesn’t matter, all you have to do is simply show you have successfully completed probation, that is the standard, not whether the PO likes you or thinks you are a shifty guy.

      • mch

        I was granted relief via 1203.4 with 2 felonies, received only probation and completed successfully. I see this as a stepping stone to a COR and/or a Pardon. Other than that, it has been of no benefit to me. I’m self employed, still on the website, still have to register, etc, etc… The public defender did help, but that’s their job to do so. I can say my record has been cleared, but that’s pretty much it, just words.

      • NPS

        Regarding the 17b: You can still get a 1203.4 for an expungement without a 17b, but if you want to stop registering, the COR is a must. To get that, you CANNOT have a felony sex offense. If your offense is a wobbler, DO get them reduced to a misdemeanor. The courts will NOT grant a certificate of rehabilitation if you have a felony sex offense; only if it’s a misdemeanor. You MUST have a 17b in order to get a certificate of rehabilitation and thus end registration.

        Oh and I definitely concur with what MCH says about the DA. They don’t know their right from left hand. They errored on my charge before I corrected them. Be diligent.

        source: http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/SDCOURT/GENERALINFORMATION/FORMS/CRIMINALFORMS/PKT016.PDF

        • MS

          Has anybody had their felony reduced to a misdemeanor and then vanished from the Megan’s Law website?

          My original attorney told me I wouldn’t be listed on the site. Two years later…there I am. Had one attorney tell me (two months ago) that I would vanish from the site (but still be registered of course) once a 17b was granted. My offense was a single felony count 311.11(a). Three illegal files

        • Joe

          Carefully read PC 290.46 – the section that regulates the Megan’s Law web site.

          Here is where it is and what it says…

          http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&sectionNum=290.46.

          Offenses subject to display on the ML web site per 290.46(b)(1)

          Felony Violation of 311.1 – 311.4 and 311.11 (wobblers)
          311.10 (straight felony)

          These can be excluded from the ML web site if it is a felony and all persons depicted illegally are confirmed to be 16 years of age or older

          The way I read this is that getting your felony 311 reduced to a misdemeanor under 17(b) – assuming you were not sentenced to a prison term – would INDEED remove your ML web site profile.

          Getting a reduction for a wobbler under PC 17(b) can be done without an attorney. It is typically done at the same time of a dismissal / Expungement under PC 1203.4.

          You need to do this yesterday! (if off probation). Anyone convicted of a wobbler should asap.

          If your conviction for PC 311.xx was before January 1, 2014, not only can you reduce a felony if you were NOT sentenced to prison, you can also dismiss the conviction under PC 1203.4. Per se.

          Here is the form:

          http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr180.pdf

          (there is a check-box for misdemeanor reduction)

          DO IT! Do it now. Before they change the law in that unconstitutional space known as PC 290.

          – As always, I should note I am not a lawyer.

        • MS

          Hi Joe,

          Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. I really appreciate all the info you provided.

          I wasn’t on the site until this summer which was two years after my conviction. I have 8.5 months left to go on my probation. Was going to ride it out until I ended up on the site. I’m married with two kids (11 and 9) and live and work in a small town so getting off the site is my #1 goal at this point.

          I have started the process of trying to end my probation early so I can then petition for a 17b and expungement. I took a plea deal in May 2012…pre AB20 (pre Jan 1 2014) so expungement (on constitutional grounds) is theoretically possible for me. I have actually hired a law firm to do all this for me. It’s a national law firm that specializes in post conviction relief. $2,500 for early term, reduction, and expungement. Just started the process and they say it will take 4-6 months. If it all gets granted it will be money very well spent.

          I will post updates on my quest. Hopefully I will have good news to share. Hopefully be a source of encouragement for others in my same situation.

          Thanks again!

        • Anonymous Nobody

          It is very desirable to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor, yes. However, a COR is available to a felony. No, it will not be sufficient to stop registering, at least for most felonies if not all of them.

          Of course, whether a judge will award a COR to a felon — or a misdemeanant — is a very different matter, as there is no standard whatsoever that you can meet to entitle you to it, and it seems the overwhelming number of judges will not give a COR to any sex offender no matter what.

        • j

          This is a breach of constitutional protection against ex post facto punishment. The law has now conveniently declared that it is not possible to be rehabilitated, which flies in the face of statistics put out by the CDCR. So any rehabilitation that has occurred throughout history has essentially been evacuated.

          That is what happens when selfish and purposely uninformed charlatans ram demagogic laws into the books without the benefit of true facts and having to pass proper legislative muster.

          So this is essentially screaming fire in a crowded theater and then directing the stampede to registrants and their families for what appears to be to win a propaganda war thus solidifying political careers on the backs of people who have already “paid” for their crimes.

          Checks and balances? You’ve got to be kidding…

      • New Person

        Anonymous, I got a question about 17b.

        I keep hearing that the reduction from felony to a misdemeanor is discretionary. Yet, reading 17b, discretion exists only at sentencing. In fact, the discretion is making the offense a wobbler. Because if your sentencing isn’t a wobbler, then it’s a straight felony.

        Here’s 17(b) with conditions (1) and (3).

        “When a crime is punishable, in the discretion of the court, by imprisonment in the state prison or by fine or by imprisonment in the county jail, it is a misdemeanor for all purposes under the following circumstances:
        (1) After judgment imposing a punishment other than imprisonment in the state prison…
        (3) When the court grants probation to a defendant without imposition of sentence and at the time of granting probation, or on application of the defendant or probation officer thereafter, the court declares the offense to be a misdemeanor.”

        So the discretion lies within the punishment. The punishment is the test to determine whether you are given a felony or a wobbler. There are two types of punishment: felony and misdemeanor.

        17(b)(1)
        Conviction + Sentencing = Final outcome
        Felony + Felony punishment = Felony
        Felony + Misdemeanor punishment = Misdemeanor.

        I found a document online prepared by a Federal Defender’s office identifies this. And here’s the case reference for it:

        If the imposed wobbler offense is a jail term (as opposed to a term in state prison), “the defendant has, under Penal Code, Section 17[(b)(1)], been convicted of a misdemeanor ‘for all purposes after a judgment,’. Alotis, 36 Cal Rptr. 443, 388 P.2d at 681 (quoting Cal.Penal Code section 17).

        That means if someone were charged with a wobbler and is sentenced to one year or less to a county jail, it is a misdemeanor. All the he/she needs to do is apply for 17(b)(1) b/c the judge made it a misdemeanor when the judge passed sentencing. I fail to see the where the judge can use discretion afterwards.

        But here’s the sneaky part… Most times, you are serving county jail term as is imposed as a condition of probation. You do not qualify for 17(b)(1) b/c your sentence was not imposed, and jail term was a condition of your probation. Translation: You were not sentenced (given punishment). You were given probation instead. Except, in your probation terms, you have to serve county jail time.

        So now let’s try to apply the Punishment test here for 17(b)(3), where there are three separate conditions: (well… there is no punishment, to be clear.)
        17(b)(3)
        Charge + Imposed Sentencing (no Punishment) = Outcome
        1. Felony + [Probation + Declared a Misdemeanor at sentencing] = Misdemeanor
        2. Felony + Probation = Felony
        3. Felony + [Probation + 1203.4] = Misdemeanor

        Here’s my research upon option 2.

        If a defendant has imposition of sentence suspended, is placed on probation, and is ordered to serve one year or less in a county jail as a condition of probation, this is a felony. U.S. v Robinson, 967 F.3d287 (9th Cir1992).

        But this means the person convicted has to remain a Felon forever. How can that be? There was no punishment levied to make the judgement a finality. So where is this test? PROBATION IS THE TEST. You successfully pass probation, then you get 1203.4, which is considered a form of successful rehabilitation. Well, if you pass probation with flying colors, then what? Felon forever still?

        This is where 17(b)(3) was given berth. The whole reason there’s a 17(b)(3) is b/c of this guy named Banks and his appeal way back in 1959. He won his appeal. Then in in 1963, b/c of Banks, 17(b)(3) was amended into section 17(b). Here’s a case quote:

        And here it is to be presumed that the ․ judge who suspended imposition of sentence for [the Vehicle Code violation] did so with recognition that defendant would remain classified as one convicted of a felony within the meaning of section 12021 of the Penal Code until and unless the ․ offense was reduced to a misdemeanor by imposition of appropriate sentence or until defendant successfully completed probation and received the statutory rehabilitation provided for by section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.” (Banks, supra, 53 Cal.2d at pp. 383, 384, 385, 386-387, 388, 1 Cal.Rptr. 669, 348 P.2d 102, original italics omitted, italics added.)

        So let’s review. 1203.4 is mandatory if you successfully complete probation. 17(b)(1) is converted into a misdemeanor the very moment the judge allows a misdemeanor sentencing. But what of 17(b)(3)? It seems quite direct that if you successfully complete probation and awarded 1203.4, then your conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor because that was the punishment test presented before you. Also, it is articulated above in the Banks reference.

        To me it’s straightforward. Discretion exists only at the time of sentencing, whether or not to make it a wobbler. 17(b)(1) is an automatic conversion upon application. 17(b)(3)… well, I haven’t found a lot of cases that support it like it did for Banks, back in 1959. Yet, 17(b)(3) has not changed since it was created in 1963. So one has to assume Banks’ ruling and decision still holds.

        I am befuddled when I read online that it is at the judge’s discretion to reduce one’s felony conviction to a misdemeanor AFTER serving the sentence. 17(b) lists conditions that must be met to achieve a reduction. There’s no discretion involved b/c conditions were set. This should be a check the box option rather than paying thousands for believing the judges have discretionary judgement after sentencing to rebuke the reduction.

        The San Mateo court has a CR-40 form for “Application of defendant for the court to declare the offense for which he/she was convicted a misdemeanor after probation ends; Order (Penal Code Sec. 17 b 3). It’s a simple two page form. No where on that form does it have a place for it to be contested. Page 1 is the application for the defendant. Page 2 is the declaration with the following five persons present: judge, defendant, defendant atty, district atty, and probation officer. That’s it.

        So what am I or anyone else who falls into 17(b)(3) is missing from the rest of this state to conform to what 17(b)(3) represents, besides 17(b)(3) and the San Mateo courts?

        Ohhh btw, if you received the 1203.4, then you’re no longer a convict b/c your case has been dismissed. Which means you have no punishments available to be levied against you – which is probably why Banks won and the judge in Banks’ case articulated so.

        Thanks so much for reading this. If I’m wrong, then tell me where I went wrong. But at this junction, my brain is still wrapped around the actual law and this CR-40 form in front of me. (I don’t live in San Mateo county.) But if someone can tell me I’m correct, then this can help out a lot of people who can simply pro per their application and save a lot of money.

        • George

          New Person, here is some more explanation. Hope it helps.

          http://www.sealedrecord.com/#!restoring-gun-rights/c18sx

          I’m going to look into it more as well.

        • New Person

          Thanks for the link, George.

          It didn’t give much info about whether it’s a check-the-box reduction or discretion reduction.

          It just says to seek reduction. It doesn’t say that specifically “If you successfully complete probation, then you pass the punishment test and it will be declared a misdemeanor.”

          The biggest info I got out of it that’s new was that b/c no judgment was entered, then the defendant has never been convicted for a felony for federal purposes. Yet, it’s still default felony:

          If a defendant has imposition of sentence suspended, is placed on probation, and is ordered to serve one year or less in a county jail as a condition of probation, this is a felony. U.S. v Robinson, 967 F.3d287 (9th Cir1992).

          What I want to know is if what the judge specifically said in Banks’ case holds true today:

          “․ And here it is to be presumed that the ․ judge who suspended imposition of sentence for [the Vehicle Code violation] did so with recognition that defendant would remain classified as one convicted of a felony within the meaning of section 12021 of the Penal Code until and unless the ․ offense was reduced to a misdemeanor by imposition of appropriate sentence or until defendant successfully completed probation and received the statutory rehabilitation provided for by section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.” (Banks, supra, 53 Cal.2d at pp. 383, 384, 385, 386-387, 388, 1 Cal.Rptr. 669, 348 P.2d 102, original italics omitted, italics added.)

          If it holds true, then it’s a check-the-box reduction. It should be b/c 17(b) lists conditions for receiving misdemeanor. Why have conditions and then say it’s still discretionary? That’s contrary to having conditions in the first place. ha ha ha

  5. Someone who cares

    I am curious about early termination as well. Has anyone ever succeeded in Orange County? Also, it was never really mentioned how long the court ordered therapy is. When we first received a list of therapists to consider, I called around, and the first one told me the classes run 52 weeks. Does that differ, depending on which therapist you choose? We went with a different one, but it seems everyone in his class is there for the duration of probation. Thanks for any input on this.

    • curiouser

      Mine was 52 SESSIONS (one per week). Some of the people in my group had been there for several years, trying to complete the 52 sessions. There seemed to be no pressure, at least from our therapist, to complete the process in record time (although I think I may have). All of them paid the doctor with cash or check (I think they paid 40 per session). Some of them didn’t attend every week due to financial issues.

      • MS

        Love how it’s called a 5-week program. Once I started I quickly figured out there was no way in hell anybody got out in 52 weeks. They pack as many people in the group as they can and let things progress as slow as possible.

        First order of business…collect the money from everybody in the room. If you don’t have the money they make sure you know that you better get the money or else you can’t attend which of course means you are in violation. Pay or go to jail. Next order of business…”check in”. How was your week? Rate it. What did you do. blah blah blah. There were times that after all the check ins…there was only a few minutes left. This meant not even one person got to present even one assignment. It was rare that more than 3 or 4 assignments total were presented. It was typically 0-3. They didn’t seem to mind though because they were collecting the money. The kicker…290’s usually aren’t rolling in dough. Lucky to have a job and if you do…probably doesn’t pay that much. Had a person that finally built up the courage to speak up and complain about the lack of progress. We would talk after class…spoke of how tired we were of getting milked out of money each week. Wish I could say I was the one that had the courage to speak up.

        After 16 months of very little assignment progress things finally kicked into gear. 20 months into the 52-week program I was finally able to present my last assignment and get released. This was after passing the poly. I consider myself lucky I finally got released after only 20 months. I saw many people that got released when their probation was ending. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s in the best interest of the therapist and the goons they work for to drag your treatment out. Laughing all the way to the bank.

    • NPS

      I think it depends on the county, your therapist and probation officer. It’s supposed to be one calendar year. I only had less than 5 months of court ordered treatment (less because my therapist was always on vacation or canceling appointments) before it was determined that I did not need sex offender treatment and that I scored less than 1% chance of re-offense. However, because I was supposed to do a calendar year, they moved my case to a therapist for treatment of PTSD (which helped a lot). Once the year was up, I went ahead with the 1203.3, 17b, and 1203.4 process and succeeded.

      I wish you both the best of luck and success. =)

    • D

      I had a pretty good therapist in OC. It was about 80 assignments and we did one every week you were there. You had to be there or you had to do double sessions the next week. I think I completed mine in the shortest amount of time possible.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Early termination of probation is wildly open to challenge by prosecutor and judge. Expect the OC prosecutor to challenge it. And presuming so,then it will depend on the attitude of the judge.

      That aside, let me note, the statute providing for early termination says the judge must make a finding that you have been of “good conduct” and so are deserving of the relief. Make sure your attorney gets that finding on the record, rather than simply having the judge end probation, but not under the statute providing for early termination. You want the finding of “good conduct,” that is something you can show down the line, for instance if applying for a license, or if you should at some point file for a COR. The lawyer very likely will be sloppy and just check the check box for ending probation, not make it a matter of former “early termination.”

      I got early termination. I didn’t realize what I just described was even possible to happen. I ended up without anything on the record specifically “finding” I was of “good conduct,” although my conduct and progression on probation was discussed. My attorney checked the box for simple end of probation, not for early termination! I didn’t need early termination, I spent a bunch of money on a lawyer to get it, and months of hearings, and he screwed up. I wanted it only for the finding of “good conduct,” and I don’t have that on the record after all! Damn! All I can do is show the record and try to argue that that finding is implicit.

  6. Someone who cares

    So, does the therapist decide on the amount of sessions? Should that be in writing? We were just never told anything about the length of therapy, and I am guessing, it will be the entire length of probation. We might just ask to see what he says.

    • D

      It was a per therapist thing. They each their own curriculum (must be approved by the state) some are so many sessions others who are more intertwined with probation rather than actually helping are for the full length of probation.

  7. Paul

    Tis the season when law enforcement trots along the media in an effort to justify their role, and ensure continuing funding, for “sex offender registration and compliance” regimes. With headline-inducing names, such as “Operation Boo”, reporters and camerapersons will spend an afternoon riding along with police officers as they knock on the doors of registered citizens, and puff out their chests to show just how hard they work to protect children from someone who, obviously, spends their entire day plotting the next abduction. Yes, without these police officers standing between YOUR child, and the person whose door they just knocked on, children would never be safe again. Let’s all thank God for these guardians of peace, and keep the money coming so that they can continue doing their jobs.

    If you didn’t pick up on it, there was just a bit of sarcasm in my last paragraph. Unfortunately, it was mostly true. Yes, police officers will spend entire afternoons harassing persons with, in some cases, decades old convictions. Yes, reporters will be right there to capture the event and, yes, such events will have ridiculous names like Operation Boo. And, yes, the entire point is for the police to show just how hard they work for the funding they receive.

    What’s not true, however, is that registered citizens spend their days plotting and planning their next act. And, without any doubt, there is no truth to there being an increase in abductions on Halloween. While a little outdated, Kristen Anderson, of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, stated on October 29th, 2008 to USA Today, that “…the center knows of no child abducted by a stranger while trick-or-treating in the past five years.” Perhaps that quote could be refreshed with a quick call to Mrs. Anderson however, I’m betting my next paycheck that not much has changed.

    I highly encourage you to not participate in this charade. Remember, if you’re not on parole or probation, you have absolutely no obligation to answer the door if the ghost comes knocking. If you do choose to answer, be armed with facts, and spend the time focused on more pressing needs, such as ensuring the reporter actually HAS those facts! Something else I might try this year: correcting the stories via the reporter. Believe it or not, it’s actually quite easy to contact reporters! In fact, most times, the contact info is included at the top, or bottom, of their story. It could be their email address, their Twitter name, or their Facebook profile. Whatever the means, don’t allow stinky bologna to be posted without being challenged. If you see doo doo, clean it up with a little fact checking provided to the reporter.

    That’s my two cents!

    • ocguy

      One of the worst perpetrators of this fearmongering is patch.com, with local editions throughout the nation. These articles have been a staple of theirs for years now.

      Just google ‘Halloween Sex Offender Safety Map’, and they have been popping up on Patch, cookie cutter template, for the past week or so and probably will hit every edition until right before Oct 31.

      IL Voices published a factual rebuttal which might be helpful.
      http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/10/prweb10035290.htm

      And no, no one NOT on parole or probation has to participate in this circus. Or any residence check, any day of the year.

      Thanks for bringing this up at this time of year.

  8. bumblebee

    I have a question for you folks, I hope you can help. My friend is on probation with a 311 charge, and has a severe computer restriction. Most of his resume is his computer skills. On probation, if you don’t have a job or are in school, you get violated. School is not really an option for him right now (at least not until next spring) and his aid eligibility is running out. He’s been having a very hard time finding a job, not only because of his criminal charge, but because the computer restriction is so bad he can’t even submit applications and consent to background checks, which many employers do online ONLY. We’ve been trying the old school way, but even then it’s so hard to find anything he can do, because of his hurt back and eyesight defect. Do you have any suggestions about what he could do? I don’t want him to have to go back to jail for this stupid reason. 🙁

    • Timmr

      Find out if being self employed is an option they will accept. I became self employed to comply with my probation rules of employment or school. I did get a license, but I don’t remember anyone asking me to produce it as proof or show bank statements or whether I was making money or such. They just wanted me to be legitimately occupied.
      I did have a strong back and could use a computer, which is where I did my advertising. Otherwise, I would have handed out fliers or something. Going to jail would have drove my family into homelessness, they suffered enough, so I did what I could to avoid that option.
      I went back to take a college class in the mid nineties, even then one needed access to a computer for class assignments, I am not aware you can do it nowadays without one. Sad. But I did see many times others in seemingly hopeless situations find ways to survive.

      • bumblebee

        He was allowed to use a computer at college only if he was actively registered in a class there. If he could be self employed I’m not sure what he would actually do to make money. He is not allowed to own a computer anymore so freelance computer work is not an option. I would say he could go clean houses or something but he can’t risk being around minors, which is always a possibility in a private residence. Are there any jobs out there that don’t involve computers or breaking your back?

        • Timmr

          Have him write down a list of skills he has, every little one he thinks he has. Then write out possible scenarios to achieve those goals. Bring those back to this forum.
          Avoid looking at the barriers and pursue everything that looks positive. Focusing on the negativity can guarantee failure.

    • Jojo

      Would he ask his Probation Officer if he could use the computer at the “One Stop” Centers through the EDD Offices? I believe it’s strictly supervised for job searches and applications only. Fax machines available too.
      They have workshops like “Parole to Payroll” (so they are aware of offender issues) and a few employers will come interview at their sites.

      • wonderin

        This seems like an excellent comment, Jojo.

      • bumblebee

        He has been through everything the EDD office has to offer–right up until the steps that involve his need to use a computer. His P.O. won’t give approval.

        • NotLikingCalifornia

          What county is he in? Many have temp agencies that are felon friendly and some are even S.O. friendly. I know a lot of people who have been able to get temporary jobs for this (and it sounds like he only needs to buy enough time to get his financial aid for school). Ultimately, I went the self-employed route, but if that isn’t an option for him, I would look at the temp agencies.

    • MS

      Not sure if it will/would work for somebody else but I wrote a one and a 1/2 page letter to my probation officer pleading my case. It’s usually up to probation as to whether or not you are allowed to use a computer. Initially I wasn’t allowed to use a computer but I went into probation for one of my appointments and he was busy so his supervisor met with me. I asked about computer use and she said ok. Months later I got a new probation officer and he said no. That was a huge blow. I couldn’t feed my family (wife and two kids) without being able to do IT work. My degree and job experience would be worthless. I decided to write a very long letter spelling out how critical it was that I be able to use a computer. No computer use can result in no job options which results in no money, no place to live, etc. In the letter mention the fact that he knows that he will have to pass a polygraph as one of his court ordered counseling. One of those questions will almost certainly be verify he hasn’t been viewing pornography. He will need to make sure his web browsers are set to retain web use history (at least 30 days) so probation can check this if/when they do their home visits.

      I think a well written letter to probation is worth a try.

      • bumblebee

        Probation has been dismissive and abusive to him since the beginning. I suggested doing this, but he worries that this will only invite retaliation. We are looking for alternative jobs that don’t involve computers at all. He no longer owns a computer, and is not allowed to have access to one at home.

    • Harry

      Since he is on probation, and therefore under court supervision, he needs to go back to court and have the a judge clarify or change the terms to make his computer use practical so he can have a job.

      • bumblebee

        He already had it amended so that it says he can use computers in search of or at his place of employment, but only with the prior approval of his P.O. … which he refuses to give.

        • Harry

          What County is he in? He needs to get his lawyer to help him here, including filing an complaint about the PO, in court.

        • bumblebee

          Unfortunately I’m reluctant to answer what county he’s in, in case supervision is reading this. I’m sure you can understand, they are not getting along. He’d love to get a lawyer but as he has no job yet he can’t afford one.

        • Jojo

          Here is a lead:
          Department of Rehabilitation
          Michelle L. Navarro, M.S.
          Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor – Qualified Rehabilitation Professional
          818-551-2153
          mlnavarr@dor.ca.gov

          She is supposed to help those currently under supervision, with disabilities, to get a job. Hopefully she’ll refer you to her counterpart in another County if necessary.

        • Harry

          He may get a Public defender office to help. This unreasonable PO needs to be clipped by a judge on this matter.

        • bumblebee

          Yeah, we’ll see what we can do. Unfortunately this P.O. is notorious for being unreasonable. He likes to put his cases back in jail so he can look tough to get a promotion. Yet somehow he never gets reprimanded or fired. He is well known for setting people up (Planting evidence, telling people to go places they are forbidden to go, tries to force people the probationer knows to corroborate in setting up false charges, etc.) Dirty!

      • MS

        Maybe me having a wife and two kids to support helped me. It wasn’t granted right away.

        I spent over a year working for a painter friend of mine that was kind enough to offer me a job. The work wasn’t fun, it was hard work, and it didn’t pay much but it was something. After about a year of painting (18 months into my probation) I wrote my long letter begging to be able to use the internet so I could get a decent job so I could stop bleeding money every month.

        • bumblebee

          I’m happy to hear you had a support network. That’s really essential. I’m glad your supervision was willing to listen to you. Many people are not as fortunate.

    • K

      It is doubtful anyone on probation will be sent back to jail for simply not finding employment. Parole might be different. A probation officer would need to get permission from their supervisor to violate a probationer for being unemployed and, at a hearing, a judge would have to find that the unemployment violated a term of probation. Read your probation agreement and consult your attorney if in doubt.
      That said, no one wants to get into a p*ssing match with their PO. The reason the PO is given authority to approve school or employment is to prevent situations that might be in conflict with terms of probation.
      When I was on probation, my PO wanted me to get a job and told me to go to EDD and search for work. I didn’t want or need employment, but I dutifully went to the job center each week and applied for several positions. On the applications, I always noted that I couldn’t have access to the Internet, couldn’t have any contact with children, couldn’t be in the presence of alcoholic beverages and that I couldn’t work on Tuesday mornings (since that was when I met with probation). Surprisingly, I did not get a single callback for an interview.
      I kept a list of the applications I’d made and shared it with my PO when he asked how my job search was going. After a few months, the PO stopped asking and never mentioned it again.
      Every case, PO, county and court is different. My advice is to always follow your probation rules to the letter and never argue with the PO. If the PO oversteps his bounds, consult a lawyer about your best course of action.

      • bumblebee

        Thank you for that advice and for sharing your experience, we will be careful. Unfortunately, his agreement says he must “seek and maintain employment” and has terms pretty similar to yours. We’re trying to go around the computer application process by having me do it for him. All we can do is try our best.

  9. Patience

    I work 9-5 6 days a week. Ithe barely covers living cost, so I got a roommate in a one bedroom and I sleep on couch. I’m trying to build my train business back up and have 1 client 3x week, once on Sunday. Thid makes enough money to live and pay $450 a month for therapy. I have to rush to make 2 12 step mtgs each week and go to an AA mtg even though I don’t drink. Now my therapist says he doesn’t think I trying hard enough. He keeps Changing the day of our mtg. How can I get through this. Someone please tell me. He even threatens to drop me if I don’t start trying more. I can’t win this game.

    • wonderin

      In what way are you not trying hard enough, according to your therapist?

    • MS

      Easier said than done but try to change therapists and/or counseling provider. I know there aren’t a lot of choices but a bad therapist can make our lives hell (as if they aren’t already). Don’t need one that plays games & tries to make you feel worse than you already do. I had to go once a week. I picked Monday nights (it was group not individual) and it never changed. Dragged on for 20 months (not my fault) but at least I didn’t feel like I was being messed with. I went to a place in San Jose…bordered Milpitas. $46 per week.

    • c

      Train business?

  10. commenter1

    See this story posted today on CNN’s website:
    CNN: Why Mark Zuckerberg is hanging out in San Quentin
    http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/14/technology/mark-zuckerberg-san-quentin/index.html

    Look at their terms of service:
    https://www.facebook.com/terms.php

    Under section 4, item 6:
    You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.

    And that’s right under “You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.”

    So if this guy is all for criminal justice reform you might point out that not only is it a violation of terms for kids under 13 to use it but he is banning those convicted of any sex offenses from using Facebook.

    Those of you with Facebook accounts — can you reach out to Zuckerberg and ask him why anyone convicted of a sex offense is banned from using Facebook if he is all for criminal justice reform? Point out valid reasons for using Facebook and alternative methods of dealing with people that want to use Facebook to commit future offenses. Point out that not all offenses were related to use of the internet.

  11. ocguy

    All those who are here because the State of California contends that a, any person under 18 is too immature to be able to consent to voluntary sexual conduct should be relieved to know that the California Supreme Court finds that a mentally challenged 10-year old boy has the intellectual capacity to competently waive his Miranda Rights when being questioned.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-child-miranda-right-20151016-story.html

    • David

      OCGuy, I suspect that few people, other than lawyers and those in law enforcement/criminal “justice”, fully comprehend all the possible ramifications of waiving one’s Miranda Rights. Certainly, very few minors could understand the ramifications.

  12. j

    We have to realize that these laws represent unfettered Cyber-Bullying of registrants. This is done by both by government agencies and by private enterprise.

    These laws, for the most part, constitute conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of registrants.

    Just sayin’…

  13. MS

    Just did my annual price club membership renewal. Wore a tie this time.

  14. B

    Zach Anderson will apparently avoid the sex offender registry. It’s really not right. He should be on the registry. He got off because he had a great public relations campaign and he got the judge to go outside of the law to get him off the registry. The real answer is to change the laws.

    There are two key points that need to be changed. First, the concept that the registry is not punishment as it is no more consequential than filling out a Price Club application is a) clearly false; b) the foundation for all of the horrible consequences of being on the registry. If exceptions are carved out based on a public relations campaign, then the original sin is never addressed.

    Second, the 14 year old girl did not give consent because she could not give consent. Once again, we have a hard and fast rule that is bent under the pressure of the public outcry over a particular case. There is real harm done to young people regarding sex. And there are many young people who are duped into having sex when they don’t really understand what’s going on. But to just have sharp lines drawn for everyone (except for those who mount a great PR campaign) is just wrong. I think there should be a crime for non-consent and another crime for consent. And in both cases, judges should be given a wide range of options so that the various circumstances can be taken into account.

  15. Patience

    For those of us looking to live in a country that has more lenient laws or fairly new ones, I propose we plead our case to that country and to hell with the U.S. for example, if I were to find 6 other people wanting to move or visit Thailand, we could as a group hire a Thai immigration lawyer and plead our case as one person as well submit individual letters to accompany that, explaining why we are not a danger but contribute to the welfare of our family and friends in that country. It might take some doing, but I for one am willing to try. I only have hope right now, but that’s how good things get come about. Any suggestions would be welcome. Please don’t comment if you are just going to knock my idea.

    Thanks.

  16. Patience

    Does anyone in Ca. Know if Medical covers cost of mandated therapy. They say the cover mental health costs. My therapy is expensive.

    Thanks

    • NPS

      Yes, Medi-Cal does cover mental health coverage. However, Sharper Future does NOT accept private insurance nor Medi-Cal (I asked). They want cash payment. I’m not sure about other mandated programs, though.

    • bumblebee

      If it’s a treatment or management therapy program, unfortunately it’s not covered by MediCal and you’ll have to pay for it. It’s a poor tax/extra punishment. The most common reason people get violated, other than reoffending, is not being able to pay, which is ridiculous. You may be able to have your fee amount reduced depending on your income and situation.

  17. commenter1

    This is a very interesting case that apparently was scheduled for conference in the US Supreme Court last week:
    http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/nichols-v-united-states/

    This is a story about two men convicted of sex offenses before the enactment of SORNA but were required to registered. Both flew out of Kansas City to a foreign country and did not update their registrations in the jurisdictions they left. Each man was prosecuted in a different US circuit and different conclusions were reached — one found that failure to update registration does not violate SORNA and the other one did.

  18. Timmr

    I just heard that the UK has a “Kill List” a la the United States, and according to the attorney representing detainees at Guantanamo, the list includes Pedophiles, which in the UK parlance I think means those suspected of sex crimes against legally defined minors, not the medical definition. The UK government denies even having a kill list, but if this is true, they are expanding the extra judiciary death sentence to those who are not specifically suspected of planning an attack on the home country. Has anyone heard of this? I have found one article through Google search about a soldier in Afghanistan claiming that, among others, the list includes child rapists.

    • David

      Timmr, I believe what you heard/read is inaccurate. In fact, there was a recent news article about two American soldiers in Afghanistan who were discharged from the army because they “roughed up” an Afghan officer for having sex with a adolescent boy. There is a cultural tradition in many parts of the middle east of older men, especially those in power, having “boy toys”. So if what you heard/read was accurate, they would be killing quite a number of Afghan leaders. (and that is not happening.)

  19. ab

    Its time to talk about sex. Though not sex itself or any particular sexual activity, but the perception of sex in these United States of America. Month after month and article after article all sorts of things come up except the impact sexual perception has on everyone.

    As a virgin I perceive sexual matters differently than those who have any experiences. Within the legal context whole behavior ranges are seen as illegal. People’s lives can be ruined by the perception that they did something sexually illegal and the so called justice system has an automatic tendency to mostly support an alleged victim. In fact the very presence of victim impact

  20. Paul

    Renewed my Price Club membership this morning. Historically, this has always been a 10 minute process. In my life, I have registered at three different police departments and, regardless of the department, it’s a 10 minute process. Typically, I call a few weeks in advance and schedule my update. On the day and time I’m scheduled to update, I show up, sign the documents, and I’m on my way.

    This morning, the process took a little over two hours. I showed up at the scheduled time, handed my ID to the detective, and he disappeared. Two hours later, he reappeared with my paperwork, which I signed, and was then back on my way. Time spent with him was, maybe, 5 minutes. Time spent WAITING on him was two hours. At some point, this MUST cross the line into being an illegal detention, right? Police can only hold you as long as is necessary to accomplish the task and, if history says it’s a 5-10 minute process, then two hours certainly violates this doctrine. And, without any doubt, no one in their right mind would ever think that they are free to leave. To begin, the officer has my driver’s license. Second, if I leave without completing the process, I’m subject to arrest as I will be noncompliant. So, if I’m not free to leave, and the officer takes two hours to complete a 5 minute process, I’ve gotta think that my rights were violated.

    Either way, at least I’m good for another 12 months. Happy birthday to me!

  21. j

    What struggle? It would all be cleared up if they read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then applied what they learned. Problem solved. Justice restored.

    Newsflash: There is no right way to do the wrong thing!

  22. mch

    Got a call Thursday morning from my local Sheriff’s office to “come down” and sign a form per DOJ’s request. I was assured it would only take 10 minutes. Great way to start your day. So I go down and they didn’t lie or try to trick me, it was the standard registration form I have to sign every year. I signed and initialed all the provisions then asked the detective if he would like to hear the death threat message on my phone…he said no, but I should report it. I told him I reported it but the Sheriff’s office took no action, just like when my tires got slashed twice and my garage windows were shot out and my house vandalized…no action taken. I asked him if he could possibly look into that for me. Hmmm, no action taken. I then asked him that since I just signed a form that I have to sign next month, do I still have to come down for my annual, knowing that I would. He was polite, cordial and to the point as was I, however, he is law enforcement and cannot be trusted. Sad, very sad.

    • bumblebee

      If I were you, I’d be sure to come back later for your annual, just to be safe. Don’t let them mess with you.

  23. Tim E

    @MCH
    You should go back to the sheriff’s office and find the same detective. Bring with any documentation of incidents shuch as photos taken of the incidents you are describing. If you have any. Start documentation if they continue. And confront that detective WITH anotger detective as witnessing. Bring a voice recorder. And tell them you are recording. Do research. And cite statue. XYZ that compels them to investigate. Reported crimes . Tell them if they dont start an investigation. And another incident. Happens After that confrontation then you will seek legal action against them personally to be liable for damages. And or report them to IA for failing to tdo thier job. Remember them personally,not just the department. If they give you crap or say you cant record. You can. Then tell them you will report. Harrassment.Sorry. i did this on my phone so the grammar. Is off.

  24. Anon

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hundreds-of-cops-kicked-off-force-for-committing-sex-crimes_5636133ae4b063179912afba

    This AP article talks about the thousands of law enforcement officers who commit sex offenses. It seems that no one keeps track of the numbers, just as no one keep track of the number of sex offenders who commit new sex offenses. My guess is that more law enforcement officers commit sex offenses than sex offenders. That’s only a guess.

    If you want to maintain a narrative that law enforcement is good and just and honest and that sex offenders are predators waiting to attack, the last thing you want to do is maintain statistics that might contradict the narrative.

    • NPS

      Seems like the articles are coming out en masse today. I just read and posted the same article out of the San Francisco Chronicle. I have no doubt there are probably many cases of sexual misconduct by officers. By the way, I just read this morning about a Sheriff’s deputy arrested for lewd conduct with a 13 year old out of Southern California. Bet he won’t be decertified.

  25. patience

    I’m sitting here, lonely, scared, and tired. I’ve lost everything, I got a job that doesn’t pay enough to cover my rent, food, and therapy. I can’t stop thinking about what I was. I just want someone to tell me that I will survive this. I’m sorry to bring this here, but I don’t have anyone to talk to. My therapist keeps wanting to talk about my “inner child “, and I guess I just want talk to someone who’s really cares. Life just isn’t what I tried to make it. Why does my country hate mean something much.

    • Anon

      I was where you are 20 years ago. It’s going to work. Just be persistent, look for ways to make small improvements and before you know it, life is tolerable and eventually life can be pretty good. Hang in….it’s going to get better.

    • NPS

      You aren’t the only one, Patience. We’ve ALL had a rough time and perhaps even some of us may have felt so much despair that ending it all is the best solution. It NEVER is. All of us here are surviving, and while we may never return to the life we had prior to what life is now, we do the best we can to make ourselves better. This mentality isn’t restricted just for RCs. It’s for anyone who has had moments of despair.

      Now, what I’m about to say is going to sound a little cold, but perhaps you need it this way because it worked for me in order to snap out of thinking so lowly. Quit “the woe is me” mentality. Quit thinking about the way you were. Dwelling on what once was is never going to help you nor will you get anywhere with it. We’ve all been lonely, scared and tired. But you know what, so does every single individual around the world. Everyone has their trials and tribulations. Why should you or any of us be different? If it’s not the registration, it would be something else.

      Be thankful for what you have. You have employment. You have a place to live. Some registered citizens (heck, even some non-RCs) don’t even have that. You already have a good start toward a positive direction. Just keep moving forward. Don’t expect people to feel sorry for you. The world is cruel, and that will never change. The change has to come from you and deciding on which direction you want to take your life.

      Next time there is a CA-RSOL meeting…Go. I really was hoping you’d show up at the Berkeley meeting back in August because what I said in front of our community was not just a message to all RCs, but I was thinking of and speaking directly to you. These meetings are not only about knowing the latest legal battles and knowing our rights, but networking with others who offer support.

      I truly wish you the best of luck. Keep you head up and focused on the positive (no matter how small those positives are).

      God Bless.

    • Timmr

      Actually, I think you are doing the right thing. You are not running away from your pain, but putting your hurtful feelings and thoughts into words, where you can, if you are willing, step back and observe the extent of them, kind of like it is a landscape of peaks and valleys and streams you explore and all changing as you watch it. And there are limits to them. It may just give you some peace to look at yourself compassionately, without judging yourself or putting a value on the feelings and thoughts — especially values put on you by others. I’m no expert, or looking at my own life, very wise, but such techniques help me obtain some peace. Isn’t this somehow what Buddhism teaches? I hope this helps.

    • Harry

      You need to learn to overcome and not just survive. The difference are that surviving, you are allowing circumstances to control you, where as, overcoming you are controlling your circumstances. Surviving are based on reaction and weakness as overcoming is based on action and strength. You will overcome and be stronger.

  26. Patience

    Thank you soon much. It’s hard.

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