A local “sex offender treatment group” recently had a guest speaker from the sheriff’s office. He was there to speak about the do’s and don’ts of the registry.
My first thought was “shouldn’t everyone in group have been informed of the do’s and don’ts when they were first put on the registry? Isn’t that when registrants should be provided with all the information they will need to be informed registrants? Instead, they wait till the registrants are all assembled in a treatment group that the registrants are paying for to be given “iffy” information that they should have received for free, on day one. Never mind that having a guest speaker takes up an entire treatment session which puts everyone’s individual presentations back another week in the already snail’s pace progression of treatment.
Registrants live in a gray zone, ironically that’s the color on the local registry map where they are allowed to work and reside. The gray zone is also the answer to many questions registrants may have when it comes to the registry’s do’s and don’ts.
The guest speaker brought up an example of a working condition for a registrant. His example was as follows: If a registrant has his own business, for instance, a lawn care service which he operates from his home, well then the registrant would be OK to go cut lawns anywhere, even within restricted buffer zones because his job is static, he’s not staying in one place very long. WHAT??????
I think it’s fairly safe to say that if the police happened to check the ID of a registrant that was just minding his own business, mowing someone’s lawn but it was within the restricted buffer zone of a school or a playground, he would be carted off to jail fairly quickly, no questions asked.
The gray zone. How one officer interprets the law is not necessarily the same way another interprets it.
A P.O. in the group was surprised to learn that her charges could go to McDonald’s after years of telling them they couldn’t because many have indoor/outdoor play areas. Playground, play area, it’s all open to individual interpretation because nobody seems to have a definite answer. The gray zone.
When one registrant asked if he would be able to “float” to a different facility he worked in, just for the day, even if it was in a buffer zone, the answer was “that’s a gray area you’ll have to ask you P.O.”
Shouldn’t everyone involved with the registry be playing by the same playbook?
The answers need to be clear cut for everyone.
There are so many jobs where an employee needs to attend a company function that’s outside of their regular work space. Can they attend or not? It’s not their “regular” workspace, if they’re only there for a short time, isn’t that “static”, isn’t that the same as the guy on the lawn mower?
The gray zone turns many registrants into hermits. They are afraid to come out of their houses for fear they will somehow violate a registry restriction, a restriction that neither they nor their P.O., nor those running the registry fully understand.
This gray zone is cruel and unusual punishment.