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MA: Mass. legislators call for hearing after report details sex offenders received trade licenses

[wickedlocal.com – 12/17/19 – Employment restrictions]

The chairs of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure want an oversight hearing and an “immediate and thorough investigation” into how sex offenders were able to obtain state licenses to work in various trades and professions.

Sen. Paul Feeney and Rep. Tackey Chan issued a joint statement on Monday afternoon, responding to a Boston Globe report that found 68 registered sex offenders held state licenses, including 21 electricians, and that officials at the Division of Professional Licensure had failed to check applicants against the sex offender registry from August 2016 through May 2019 because of what the division described a technical glitch.

Chan and Feeney called the report “deeply concerning” and said the reported firing of an employee who “stepped forward to bring this to light” raises additional questions about the division.

Read more

Related:

To Help Ex-Offenders Get Jobs, Some States Reconsider Licenses [pewtrusts.org – 3/8/17]

 

Join the discussion

  1. Eric

    Wow! this is not only disgusting but terrifying. This is nothing but fascist persecution of a minority group. They asked how did people on the registry get licenses, well, it is quite obvious, they worked hard, studied hard, completed all the schooling, and passed the state exams that’s how they did it. I know, I have received a license after completing a very lengthy apprenticeship program and schooling. Thank God I don’t live in a fascist state that has dictators that feel they can take that from you simply because they don’t like you. Can people convicted of drug offenses, burglary, DUI’s or other offenses get state licenses in Massachusetts? So it is only people on the registry that aren’t’ allowed to improve their lives and make a livelihood by learning a skill. This is nothing but denying people the right to basic civil liberties, the right to an education, the right to work. Without these rights there is no possible chance of living those promises of inalienable right s of humans granted under the Declaration of Independence. This is pure tyranny, nothing short.

  2. Shawn

    Historically events like this have been precursors to genocide. Terrifying to say the least.

  3. NorthEastPENN

    “…including 21 electricians…”

    You have got to be kidding me. This is outrageous!!!!

    When I was in state I took the electrical trades course. We are not talking about a 10 hour course to teach you the names of tools and that electricity can kill you we are talking about gaining a certification in the electrical trades. I spent countless hours in class each day and studying each night back in the cell learning my trade that I am proud of. When released I had full certification and was able to obtain an electrical license from the city I lived in.

    When I started the course I did not know anything about even changing a receptacle in the wall and at the end I knew how to wire an entire house by code. If it was not for this trades program while I was in state I would have had no opportunity when I was released to make any sort of a living. I used my time in state wisely and to my benefit. Ask all my former customers (retired now) if they were not totally satisfied with my work.

    My PO did not mind me being an electrician and only cared that I had gainful employment and that it was legal employment.

    Not being able to get a license on the outside after all of that would have been like them cutting off one of my arms. “Here, you are released but we will make it 1,000 times harder for you to survive than any other ex-felon!!”.

    This nonsense must stop!!!!

  4. Sc

    How dare you be gainfully employed in a trade that might give you a decent living wage? It’s this mindset that has me contemplating moving out of the country.

    However, this documentation can go towards showing how these “civil” limitations on a select group of people are in fact punitive.

    Continue with the madness I say.

  5. JohnDoeUtah

    The main question here in any future legal challenge, is how would debarment of any state license, or more specifically as an electrician, have a rationale relation to public safety. We are getting mighty close to the statement in Smith v. Doe that the registry does not affect where offenders live or work.

    • Will Allen

      Well, an electrician could very likely end up in a private home and doing work there. I’m sure that Registry Nazis (RNs) think that is a risk. They probably imagine other scenarios as well, who knows.

      But none of it is acceptable. Any restrictions on that would be just as useless as the Registries are. I have to watch out for literally ANY worker who comes into my home. It doesn’t help me at all if Nanny Big Government (NBG) keeps out some people. Not at all. Doesn’t change my risk level in any way.

      It is just pure harassment and nothing else. It’s unacceptable to any American. It’s especially unacceptable that NBG keep a hit list of people and they only apply punishments/harassment/restrictions against THOSE people. If a person is on probation or parole, then let a supervising professional determine what is or isn’t acceptable work. Other than that, forget it. Anything else is just an act of war.

      I am in people’s private homes ALL of time for various reasons. NBG knows nothing of it. The people have no idea I’m Registered. It is completely trivial to do. Anyone who wants to do something nefarious can easily do the same thing. They can find a situation that will work for them. The harassment Registries aren’t going to stop anyone.

      Personally, when I see thing like this it helps to solidify my commitment even more to hang out with random children, completely anonymously, very often. Most of it is just a normal way to live. But I do mentor a lot of children. Just because it’s normal. And because of the Registries. I’m certainly a better and more trusted mentor to any child than an RN would be. Isn’t it hilarious that a person can be listed on the Registries and children will come to your home and hang out with you, learn, and do work? That is exactly what the Registries and RNs deserve.

      Wage war on RNs. Today.

      • NY won’t let go

        My thought on this whole thing is that

        1. The people who complained and is trying to get everyone fired and disenfranchised watched a lot of porn.

        2. They hired a plumber electrician or plumber who happened to be in the registry thinking that since they are a “deviant” they will most likely do it like movies.

        3. The person got rejected by the tradesman.

        4. The person got pissy and wanted revenge for not getting to act out their fantasies.

        5. The registry creates a perfect scape goat if the husband or significant other walks in while they are cheating

        🤷‍♂️ Just my 2 cents

  6. Illinois Contact

    @JohnDoeUtah “Close to the statement in Smith v. Doe that the registry does not affect where offenders live or work?” We are clearly way past that characterization of the law in this decision which now governs all of our lives. In Illinois, people are being thrown out of their homes at Christmas time because of a new ruling that the permissible distance from a park playground is to be calculated not from your doorstep to the fence of the playground, but to the outer perimeter of the entire park. And, not just where we are permitted to live and work, but in Illinois, where we are permitted to be “present.” We can’t be on any “park property” or in any building on park property, unrelated to where children might be, like a playground. In Chicago, that means we can’t (technically) visit the Art Institute or the Harris Theatre of Music and Dance, both of which happen to be on park property. I just don’t understand how this SORNA ruling is still the gold standard of registration, when so many thousands of state and local laws now clearly go so much further than was ever envisioned by Roberts in his Price Club analogy. It would just have to be overturned if a case ever got that far. Once again, I have admiration and thanks for work of Janice and her colleagues like Adele Nichols and Mark Weinberg in Illinois, but unless some of these local cases move up and get a new ruling from SORNA overturning the entire registry regimen, nothing will change for most of us from this nibbling around the edges strategy.

  7. Agamemnon

    And how many of those committed a crime while holding trade licenses?

  8. Illinois Contact

    I meant to say a new ruling from SCOTUS.

  9. so tired

    Instead of complaining here, do like I did and email the guy and tell him hiw screwed up his view and actions are. He is listed on web with email and phone#. Easy enough to contact and voice your opinion directly.

  10. 290 air

    Is there some reason a sex offender shouldn’t be an electrician? Or maybe we should all just be plumbers since we’re so good at dealing with the shit they give us. They didn’t give them daycare licenses…

    • Will Allen

      A sex offender absolutely should not be an electrician because he/she should be in prison. That’s easy enough.

      But for those of us who are not sex offenders, not in prison, and are merely listed on the nanny big government Registries, I do believe that we should strive to own daycares. I fully expect that I already partially own daycares but I think I will add a personal objective to own one 100% myself and directly. I can do that. I can own a lot of businesses that I never work at. Yep. But owning it will certainly allow me to visit there whenever I feel like it. I’m also sure it would be easy for me to know plenty of people who work at daycares who will give me plenty of access. That is the proper, moral response to the illegal, immoral Registries.

      • Jessie

        Why do you thing Gov. Wants to STOP BUSINESS LICENSE, precisely what you are talk about…also its great to be Honest, but Not Judgemental….Im my Brothers Keeper and HELP PREVENT BAD things from happening…by empowering men to be Leaders and men and Not Judging….Undermining, sidestepping and Outright giving Women our PLACE in the home and Society Is what brought Alot of these Crimes to Reality !!!
        Thanks for your long over due Support….

        • R M

          @Jessie: I’m not the most intelligent person in the world; I did not comprehend your message though.

  11. Joe123

    Here is what I wrote to these, for a lack of a better word, imbeciles, including the journalist who wrote the article:

    With All Due Respect,

    Tackey Chan & Paul Feeney

    It is clear from this news today that you want to Hinder Family’s Safety, Prevent an Individual’s Freedom to Make a Decent Living, thus Destroying Families, potentially making people Homeless, and putting the entire Commonwealth In Danger, is that correct?

    You have an issue with a person who SERVED THEIR TIME and proceeds to better their lives by getting technical training to become a Plumber or Electrician and to continue living their life peacefully, is that correct?

    Do You People (elected politicians) even Research 30 minutes worth of studies or emperical information before jumping to ‘immediately’ react to an emotionally-stirring piece such as the one that Andrea Estes (CCed here) wrote?

    If you spent ANY time, even a whole 30 seconds, researching this information you would find endless statistics and reports from DOJ and other government entities about how ‘Citizens with a Registerable Sex Offense’ have one of Lowest Recidivism rates out there. I don’t see Any effort at all being made by Righteous lawmakers to curb Domestic Violence, Violence Against Women at home or children. How Shameful.

    Let’s please stop labeling people as “Sex Offenders”, as if they are out Sex Offending, raping and pillaging a town 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days a week. I don’t see you referring to former Armed Robbers as such, or Arsonists, or the plethora of other offenders who have a Well Documented Re-offense rate as many of which are ‘career criminals’. You teach your children not to Label people, but you aren’t Adult enough to hold the same standard for yourself? The people you are Bullying are ‘Citizens with a Registerable Sex Offense’, meaning they have been Forced by lawmakers like yourselves, not Judges who are the correct people to be making such decisions, to be placed on the Sex Offender Registry, for Horrible Offenses such as a 19 year old being with his almost-16-year old girlfriend, or someone seeing images of someone under 18 in a sex act, because obviously nobody under 18 has ever done anything sexual, including yourselves, right? Yes, you are correct. Offenses like these are ABOVE murder and Physical Violence against Human Beings. Yes, you both are DEFINITELY targeting the right group of people, you are REALLY protecting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    If someone is SO dangerous that we need to prohibit them from working, then they are likely still locked up in jail. If people with offenses have been let out into the public, then they should have the same rights as everyone else. PERIOD. There is no ‘selecting of who we don’t like more and take their rights away as Human Beings’. NO. That’s slavery of people. Who do you think you are, God?

    Out of all offenses, you’ve chosen people with sex offenses to BULLY, which is exactly what you are doing, Bullying decent people who have started to rebuild their lives. The amount of children killed during Halloween every year raises ZERO interest, but people who have made a mistake in their lives and have now made steps to move on and be better people, THOSE are the people you’re going after. How about the men, especially oddly enough police officers, who are known to be Wife Beaters? Why aren’t you focusing on them to prevent Real and Imminent harm from happening?

    SHAME absolute SHAME.

    I apologize if my tone comes off as too harsh. I believe for the most part you are all decent people, but you need to really think about what you are doing and saying. I am fighting for the nearly 1,000,000 people on the registries across the United States, some of which are living in homeless camps due to residency restrictions (Miami-Dade County), as if residency restrictions have Ever had anything to do with a single sex offense. I am NOT ok with seeing people’s lives further destroyed by Lawmakers. I have a voice and I will use it. Nearly 1 million people are rated as “2nd tier citizens”, the vast majority of which being first-time offenders simply because they made a mistake and Lawmakers single-handedly, without any evidence, decided that These People should be treated worse than a Child or Wife beater or someone who’s intentionally murdered/dismembered someone. I am baffled, absolutely FLOORED how someone who has been sent to jail for dismembering their roommate/lover/etc is out on parole after 20-25 years, yet someone in Texas who had a mental issue and collected underage nudity/pornography is rotting away for 100 YEARS in jail. What kind of world are we living in? Is there no Human sense anymore?

    I hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas, and take a moment to think of the people living in homeless camps Today who are unable to spend time with families due to the laws passed in their respective states/counties.

    • James I

      Dear Joe:

      Really well said! Especially the emotional power of that last sentence of yours.

      I am doing well enough, I’ve got no complaints, (well I’ve got plenty of complaints…but who would listen?!?…lol), yet at this time of year, even I am cut off from family…part of my people live in a very restrictive residence establishment state…and they may beg and cry and whine…but I ask them, How devastating would they feel if I went against my better judgment and…and got arrested and locked up because I went and visited them?

      I say, “No,” for their sake.

      Sure it would be bad for me…but for them, the guilt would maybe never end. So I don’t travel back east to protect them…I also have a lovely ex-wife in London that doesn’t know of my situation and does not understand why I won’t visit her….

      Because I can’t.

      I know I’m lucky in these regards…my heart goes out to everyone else.

      I may be lonely…but I know I still got it good.

      I wish everyone happiness these holidays…keep you head up…love yourself, (besides, what most of us did, while bad…wasn’t all that bad either {in my humble opinion….sometimes maybe yes, sometimes no, but regardless, Forgive yourself).

      Best Wishes, James I

    • Eric

      @Joe123…Outstanding letter. The time must come when we all share your courage and come out of the shadows and start demanding to be treated as citizens. Thank you.

  12. C

    Is there any state that allows Former Citizens to retain trade licenses once their status is known?

    If so, is there a resource which lists states that allow Former Citizens to get and keep trade licenses?

    I am pretty sure California is a case by case basis and that the licensing board for each trade makes the determination. Most are denied. I know that I was denied a vehicle salesperson license because my crime was one that included “moral turpitude.” (sex crime).

    Has any reader here been able to obtain AND keep an Occupational License in California? If so, please detail, because I have never yet met anyone who was able to keep their license once they were convicted or if they applied after conviction.

    • R M

      @C: In Ga, the state law also uses “moral turpitude” as a guide leaving the decision up to the board. I never applied for a license knowing/guessing it’ll be denied. I know that didn’t answer your question.

      • Grant

        I live in Alabama, and its difficult to not get in trouble just goung inside a Mcdonalds, or many places of business,
        !
        So try and get a business like most people, yes you can KILL yourself pouring your SOUL&BODY TO ESTABLISH…..THEN AUTHORITIES/PEOPLE WILL RUN YOU OUT OF TOWN…IF YOU LIVE ANOTHER DAY TO TELL !!
        GOOD LUCK !!

        • R M

          @Grant: I actually had a conversation with my PO last week on the the “where I could go” thing (I knew already). He usually asks at his visits “any charges, any contact with children” and then leaves. I as one not only under registration, but also under supervision (omg, I’m a monster) asks questions, not only to waste their time already knowing the answers but to also gauge their understanding.

          He understands, finally, that I am no more as a threat than the next guy. He always has, I believe, as we have had conversations about recidivism and who commits new crimes. We did have a short conversation about going to places in public and I mentioned that if he ever tried violating that, we’d be in court.

          Being in public, McDonalds or elsewhere, will bring on a whole new constitutional violation.

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