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Kat’s Blog: The Pandemic Without Computer Access

During the coronavirus pandemic, when an individual’s virtual lifeline to the rest of the world depends on internet access, some registrants, especially many of those on parole, continue to be denied computer/internet access.

While the pandemic affects everyone, with businesses closed, when even our physicians don’t want us coming to their office, many registrants on parole are without computer access, a technology that has become a basic function and a necessity for daily living. Now more than ever, we must be online to keep in touch with loved ones, order our groceries, work from home, tele-connect with our physicians, etc.

The internet is an essential part of our lives, even more so during this pandemic.

News. Without internet, registrants may not have access to the information they need regarding the coronavirus, health updates, testing facilities or stay-at- home orders. The P.O. idea that registrants can get their information from television or newspapers just doesn’t fly, many registrants are homeless, they don’t have those luxuries.

Medical. Access to telemedicine doesn’t happen for a registrant that is only allowed use of a phone from the dinosaur age, a phone with no internet capability, no texting capability, no camera, no email, just a basic phone.  While P.O.’s may say that a basic “phone appointment” with your physician is just as good as a smartphone appointment, I’m sure they themselves would probably rather have a telemedicine appt where they can actually see and be seen by their physician. Making appointments with practitioners, reviewing your lab results, messages from your physician, they are all done on patient portals, online, on a computer, a basic medical necessity that registrants are denied the use of.

Banking. Some banks are closed except for drive-up. Banking “on-line” is how we do business nowadays. Because of the registry many registrants can find jobs, they can’t afford cars to “drive-up” in.  What about online bill paying? Many registrants are forced to pay for stamps which increase every year, then they must trek to the post office, utility company, etc. just to pay their bills while the rest of us, with the click of a mouse, voila, our bills are paid.

Groceries. In some areas, grocery shopping online isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity, especially in areas where stores have gone to “on-line shopping and pick-up only” during the pandemic. Registrants who have compromised immune systems, those who are unable to physically get to stores are denied access to the technology they need in order to obtain their food, a basic necessity of life.

School, job training, paystubs, schedules, appointments, email responses, medical research, locations, phone numbers, it’s all online now.  There are no longer phonebooks, paper checks, phone call reminders from physician’s offices.  To fix your cable tv problems you’re required to go online and chat with technicians. We are a technological world and without access, registrants are out of luck.

While our world has changed over the years, registry laws that were put in place when the registry was conceived, before computers became a necessity, not a luxury, haven’t changed. Food, water and shelter may have been our only basic necessities then, but now, as we see with this pandemic, computer access has become a basic necessity, even for registrants on parole.

If their offense was an internet offense and they abuse the internet privilege, then that’s on them. But there are many registrants, even those who had internet offense, who have been rehabilitated, who have received treatment and who would now use a computer more responsibly.

All registrants, even those on parole, need computer access.


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I have been denide also I have internet access but am still not being allow video calls to my Dotors I have a rash that can’t be cared for because my doctor can’t see the rash also my therapist offers video care but I am not being allowed that eilther even the sex offender therapist/Doctors that parole says is manditory to attend offers video classes /groups being denide that to only phone no video and even if it was put in by your Judge at sentencesing saying you have no computer restriction it doesn’t mater to them because it just… Read more »

by speading covid 19 killing grandma and grandpa

Not having access to the internet at this time has got to be a human right’s violation. In my state, unemployment can only be applied online. All offices are closed. DMV and a bunch of other sites are basically only online too. Sure, they have a mailing address, but the information on how to do stuff through the mail is FOUND ONLINE. Plus it is in constant flux. For instance, our state DMV was only doing registration updates online if your safety sticker was current. Two weeks later, they announced ONLINE that they would start accepting registration updates without current… Read more »

As someone who’s on supervision for an “internet sex crime”(I still can’t figure out how they came up with the sex crime label for people who neither had sex with the internet or any person depicted on the internet) it’s a very difficult road when we have to sneak around and get online for basic stuff like making medical appointments and checking our bank account balances, or just making a comment or two on this forum, this place of refuge and solidarity. When I disappear for sometimes weeks, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you all, I just can’t get… Read more »

Well I watched CSPAN this morning. It seems the U.S. Supreme court has deemed to necessary to do REMOTE oral arguments and to broadcast via the internet live. The court in the past has resisted giving the general public access to this important but complicated doings. Covid 19 it seems has forced their hands on the issue. More and more we are witnessing how the electronic infrastructure is becoming increasingly central and perhaps integral to government agency operations. There is great danger to this trend. While the move here by the court makes good optics, as it seems readily apparent… Read more »

@Tim in WI, et al

One reason SCOTUS and others have resisted cameras in the courtroom is the court should be free to do their work without the possibility of the participants playing to the camera. Telephone will be interesting to say the least:

Yeah, I remember my parole hearings via video. It was a cold setting and many interruptions, hard to hear, and me against them. 99.9% of those in the prison I was in never saw parole, they maxed out as I did.

However, I do think we, as a population of the USA, need to stay the hell away from each other (family units living together excepted).

I’m sure these big wigs would be upset if they didn’t have computer access just as much as the one on the registry. Even businesses would be downsized without computers today. Living without computer access one would say is hard. Would it be taking advantage of others or part of one’s punishment. Seems people want their cake and eat it too in this day and age but doesn’t this pandermic tell us something. Don’t these amber alerts tell us something also. One wonders who is watching who and who is trampling on who.. So where is the moral the value… Read more »

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