About 200 people, including registrants, family members and supporters, attended ACSOL’s third annual conference on June 14 and 15 in Los Angeles. The conference included plenary presentations from Professor Eric Janus, civil rights attorney Adele Nicholas, ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci and ACSOL President Chance Oberstein.
The conference also featured proposed solutions to challenges faced by both registrants and their families in the form of panels that addressed employment, housing, travel, parole and LGBTQ issues. In addition, a presentation was made by Dr. Leah Chankin, a representative of the CA Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB).
“We were honored this year to have a CASOMB representative share with us a description of the work the board performs, including recommendations to the state legislature,” stated Bellucci. “We have worked in the past with CASOMB on important issues including creation of the first Tiered Registry in the state of California and look forward to working with the board again in the future.”
Oberstein and Bellucci led a panel during the conference regarding California’s Tiered Registry which will take effect in 2021. They provided attendees with ways to prepare for implementation of the new law starting on July 1, 2021. Methods include reduction of convictions from felonies to misdemeanors when eligible as well as dismissals pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4.
“It is a good idea for registrants, who are eligible, to apply for and obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation prior to July 2021 even if that does not remove them from the registry because it will provide one form of evidence that one judge has determined that they are rehabilitated,” stated Oberstein.
The conference also included multiple opportunities for conference attendees to network including a dinner on June 14.
“My favorite part of the conference was the opportunity to speak with others required to register regarding how they deal with every day issues,” stated one registrant.
During the conference, ACSOL Board Member Alex Gittinger assisted registrants and family members with emotional issues they face in a panel on that topic. Gittinger also leads monthly Emotional Support Group meetings for registrants and family members. The next meeting of that group will be held on June 22. Individuals can participate in person or by phone.