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ACSOL Conference Attracts More than 170 People from 14 States, Identifies Future Opportunities in 2019

More than 170 people required to register, their loved ones and supporters from 14 states attended the second annual ACSOL conference in Los Angeles on June 15 and June 16. The conference included four plenary speakers as well as 12 workshops.

“We shared information, energy and support during the conference,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “We also provided essential tools for daily living to people required to register as well as their loved ones.”

After a warm welcome from ACSOL President Chance Oberstein, plenary speaker Laurie Jo Reynolds opened the conference with a unique message — the need to effectively frame the important messages we have to deliver to the public, to elected officials and to judges. Plenary speaker Bill Dobbs later spoke about the fact that it may take many years to succeed at restoring the civil rights of people required to register and compared our movement to the gay rights movement of past decades. Plenary speaker Ira Ellman spoke about the importance of busting myths about re-offense rates such as those used by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 2003 decision stating the requirement to register is not punishment. The final plenary speaker, Catherine Carpenter, focused upon recent progress made in state supreme courts and federal circuit courts of appeal that have declared that the requirement to register constitutes punishment and therefore new laws cannot be applied retroactively.

The conference offered a wide variety of workshops such as Employment Opportunities, LGBTQ Issues, Domestic & International Travel, Registrant Success Stories as well as California’s new Tiered Registry. The conference also included a workshop devoted to Effective Advocacy during which attendees were encouraged to join ACSOL in Sacramento in early 2019 to improve the Tiered Registry law which would require anyone convicted of a felony child pornography offense to register for a lifetime.

During the final plenary session, ACSOL announced that it will join Women Against Registry on September 10 and September 11, 2019, in Washington, D.C., in order to educate federal elected officials and policy makers.

“The year 2019 promises to be full of opportunities to Show Up, Stand Up and Speak Up,” stated Bellucci. “We urge people required to register, their loved ones and supporters to make plans to lobby in Sacramento in February, to attend the ACSOL conference in Los Angeles in June and to participate in the education of federal lawmakers in Washington, D.C., in September.”

Videos of some conference presentations as well as power point presentations will be added to the conference website in about one week.

Join the discussion

  1. totally against public registry

    Thank you Janice and team to inform and involve citizens on the registry. I wasn’t able to make it this year but my husband and I benefited tremendously form the vast amount of information given out at last years conference…

    Thank you everyone for all that you do!

  2. AO

    Thank you Janice. It’s wonderful to have such a great group of people working to help us all. I know many states are not so lucky.

    I have a question regarding various courts having ruled that the registry is punishment and can’t be retroactive. I thought if the registry was punishment, then it couldn’t be applied post supervision, not just applying future laws retroactively? Is there some difference here?

    • Lake County

      It’s because SCOTUS ruled that the registry was not punishment. Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003) We must someday contest this ruling with SCOTUS. Although some States are realizing it is punishment.

  3. David

    Great conference! Next year, can there be at least one session on effective Outreach to other registrants? I would love to see us increase our numbers and multiply our population of activists.

  4. E

    Excellent conference. I hope SW Law School has a larger venue so it can double in size next year! So great to have the meeting at a law school and thanks to the law students for attending and esp Dr Carpenter and other excellent key notes for speaking!

  5. Not Really

    Wow, that 170 is 0.017% of the about million RCs. Isn’t that discouraging?

    • AJ

      @Not Really:
      Wow, that 170 is 0.017% of the about million RCs. Isn’t that discouraging?
      Not Really. 😉 If you subtract out minors, those on supervision, those in hosprisons, those who cannot take off work, those who don’t have the funds, those with mobility issues, and those who don’t go online and knew nothing about it, that 1M number is cut down quite a bit, I’m sure.

    • Tim Moore

      That’s not discouraging to me, because conferences don’t change much by themselves, do they?

  6. Not Really

    Even if the actual number were only 10,000, why not encourage more participation? Do most sit on the sidelines waiting for someone to do something? That was the point.

    • AJ

      @Not Really:
      Even if the actual number were only 10,000, why not encourage more participation?
      I think the encouragement is there, but there are hurdles and barriers across the board for why someone wouldn’t attend. Apathy could indeed be one, hopelessness another, cynicism another, almost off the lists yet another.
      Do most sit on the sidelines waiting for someone to do something?
      Most? IDK. Some? Certainly. I would speculate a large portion are hanging hope on some successful lawsuit(s) somewhere changing things. That seems to be happening….slowly. So for some, that may be sufficient. For others, perhaps not, but they lack the resources to attack.
      Just out of curiosity, were you one of the 170 who attended? I was not, for one or more of the reasons I’ve cited just above and in my earlier post. I’m definitely not apathetic, and do actually have a strategic plan for my situation.

    • Chance Warren

      I am in Indiana I have been out of prison for 5 years at 8 and 1/2 years for something that happened when I was 19 years old at a drunken college party. I am 33. I came out of prison confident ready to take on the World, in shape , four college degrees…. 5 years later I feel so beaten down and crestfallen that there’s nothing more they can do really to make me feel embarrassed or kill my self-esteem. I am ready to take on the world I’m ready to stand in front of the courthouse with picket signs I feel like we are the new group that it is okay to publicly hate not share spaces with, we have always had a group like that we are just the new you can’t sit here’s. I have contacted acsol about trying to start a group like that in Indiana it is so backwards. And ridiculous. I feel so full of activism and I have so many points to make I just don’t even know where to start

  7. Bill104

    I just found this site today, learning a lot, sadly as much as I would love to set in on a meeting or two, I just don’t have the funds nor the means to get to one, if I read correctly you can look for me at the next phone conference.

    • LS 2 Bill 104

      Im glad that you found this site, as Im sure you will find it very helpful. Where are you located? It may be possible to hitch a ride with someone, to a meeting near you. Yes, there are many phone conference meeting, and all are recorded, for future listening, if needed. Do not give up hope.

  8. Gwen

    170 discouraging? This is 170 in attendance more than there was 10 years ago when there was no conference. This is also not counting all the speakers, professors, students and other faculty working to change the laws. When viewed this way I find it is very encouraging to all those who could attend be in attendance.

  9. NotReally/AnotherAnon

    My intent was not to dismiss those who attended. Of course 170 is better than, say, 5, but 500 is better than 170, as is 1000, because it would represent that much more in donations. There are enough who object to these laws to raise the attendance. 10,000 could be possible. The question is how. I once proposed making a mailing list from the registry itself. Good enough for citi-data, good enough for us. Again, how?

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