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.