ACSOL President Chance Oberstein and ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci made a presentation to the California Sex Offender Management Board during the board’s monthly meeting on September 19. During their presentation, the ACSOL leaders informed the board about changes needed to the Tiered Registry and asked the board to support those changes. Also during the meeting, CASOMB members reported on the number of registrants in the state.
The Tiered Registry should be modified to allow individuals convicted of child pornography (CP) offenses to be removed from Tier 3 which requires lifetime registration and to be assigned to Tiers 1 and 2 instead, according to Oberstein and Bellucci. Federal guidelines support these changes which recommend that a person convicted of CP possession be assigned to Tier 1 and that a person convicted of either CP production or distribution be assigned to Tier 2.
In addition, the ACSOL leaders recommended that individuals assigned to Tier 3 be allowed to petition for removal from the registry after 30 years provided they were not convicted of a subsequent sex offense. Although several board members asked questions during ACSOL’s presentation, they did not agree or disagree with ACSOL’s recommended changes to the Tiered Registry.
The ACSOL presentation to the board also included information regarding lawsuits filed on behalf of registrants and their families that have led to the eradication of presence restrictions for those not on parole or probation. In addition, ACSOL told the board that a total of 39 lawsuits have been filed in order eliminate residency restrictions in the state.
Also during the meeting, the CA Department of Justice reported that the total number of registrants in the state is 108,484 which does not include individuals convicted of a sex offense in California, but who live in another state. Of that total, there are 78,435 registrants who are not in custody but instead are living “in the community”. The agency also reported that there are 16,858 registrants who are “in violation” for a number of reasons including failure to register.
ACSOL’s presentation to the CA Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) does not reflect the ultimate goal of the organization or the movement. Instead, it was a step in the right direction in the form of a request that CASOMB join us in modifying the existing Tiered Registry Law. CASOMB was created by the state legislature and is considered the state’s policy expert on registrant issues. CASOMB makes recommendations to the state legislature and therefore they have an important voice in any future changes. CASOMB is not willing at this time to recommend abolition of the registry, however, they may be willing to request changes to the Tiered Registry Law. There are different methods, including lawsuits, to get to the Tipping Point where elected officials and the public will understand how ineffective and useless registries are to achieve the stated goal of increasing public safety while at the same time harming hundreds of thousands of families in the U.S.