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UT: Officials consider streamlining Sex Offender Registry, using better data

State officials are considering changes to the sex offender registry, starting with deeper data gathering to determine whether it is safe for more offenders to be removed from the system after long-term treatment and no repeat crimes. Full Article

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  1. JohnDoeUtah

    Good ole Paul Ray…

    You can’t say definitely that sex offenders are underreported when the survey is based on untested allegations of crimes that have not been determined in a court of law.

    I sent mr. Ray and his committee a ton of data this last legislative session with regards to low recidivism and the doze versus Snyder decision based on a bill that they were trying to pass with massive additional restrictions on registered sex offenders. Needless to say after my information and threat to initiate litigation the bill was severely watered-down and only included a restriction to be a coach of Youth Sports. Dictated not typed.

  2. Resident

    Utah? Using actual data? I’ll hold my breath, but it looks promising.

  3. Saddles

    Seems someone is using their brains a bit in government out in UT instead of lumping all up into the same catagory. At times I can’t even think for me but its thinking of others that is the better way. This registry is more like a crusifying one thats just trying to make their bills meet or household payment.

    Maybe sometimes its better tro be incarrcerated with this pressure of this registry. See its not the amount of Christianity one has or how one walks its the understanding and wisdom of the knowlege one receives. Sure one can go with a bible theory on all this registry going on even about this gay rights, people living together as some of my nephews are doing right now with their girlfriends but it is about true value. And yes Justice plays a roll in this justice as well as other advocates for justice. Even constitutional change has its merits.

    If some have to keep looking over their shoulder thats not a good way to llive. Sure I’ve had my beers in the past. Tequila Sunrises, things of that nature but this sex registry intirgue’s me. Course thats just me and I’m sure a few others.

    You have human nature mixed up in this ordeal, sexual intent of both parties, one of the parties just happens to be a servant of God and here that person is leading one, lying,deceiving to another to overcome another. Doesn’t sound like a good formula. Sounds more like a jerry lewis comedy of errors but the one element of supprise is the sex issue and the protection factor. Thats like putting out a fire with lghter fluid.

    One could see it as a tug of war of the conscious when we are all carnal by nature. Yes things can get worse in this offender ordeal of this sexual type but honestly we should all think about that 25 or 35 year old getting caught up in all this. Isn’t that thinking of others.

    When you take a car to a mechanic shop or body shop to they work on the outside of the body or the inside first. See its not whaqt always comes out of the mouth thaqt kills, its what comes out of the inside. Why do you think the bible said the heart is deceitful.

    Much of this sex offender ordeal is a bit off or do we all need a quality control check. Maybe one should start with Will Allen. But in all theirs good and bad in everyone. I’m just glad that Utah is taking a look at all this registry and classifications as I’m sure much of this registry is ready to crumble. I’m sure everyone on here would be ready for that also.

    • Will Allen

      Sir, the Registries aren’t going anywhere. There are not enough strong people to simply admit the facts and destroy the Registries industry. Too many people grifting too much from it now.

      All they are doing is talking about the Hit Lists as if they are sensible and useful, and they just need to polish them up a little bit. They only need to create the possibility and paths where the “decent people” who are on the Hit Lists can at least say that they have a chance to squeak off of them one day. Only after big government has “determined” that they are rehabilitated, LOL. It’s all just security theater.

      Once Registries, Inc. determines just who are the 200K or so people who are the “worst of worse”, who don’t matter, who none of us have to care about, and who are too weak and small to defend themselves, then the Hit Lists will list just THOSE people and be “just right”. The Hit Lists will have been perfected and will be saving children all over the world.

      That is all they are going for. Then the people who are part of Registries, Inc. can come around every couple of years and try to get more clients and $$$$$ however they are able. The grift isn’t going to stop.

  4. Gralphr

    “A lot of this is under-reported and we don’t know how many (offenders) are out there,” Romero said. “We don’t want to forget all those victims and survivors out there.”

    Thats the thing that gets me. Going to prison is supposed to be the punishment. They’re basically saying lets treat them inhuman because we must think about the victims. Just when are people supposed to move on with their life? The very person who killed my father in cold blood is out on the streets, under no registry, and no one is concerned how me or my siblings feel, we’re expected to go on with our lives ever since I was a child. Why are crimes that fall under sex offences the exception?

    • Mp

      And the “under reported” are people not on the registry, for one, as that is why it is difficult to “capture” that data. It does not increase community safety as these crimes are generally relational, not a proximity issue, for two. And for three, “we don’t want to forget those victims and survivors”, which means this is punishment. If the end goal was to prevent as much of these types of crimes we would be putting in place outreach, appropriate education by age and so forth. But trying to solve an issue is not in the DNA of most legislatures.

  5. Brandon

    Utah the home of former Senator Hatch I wouldn’t trust that state and it’s backwards way of thinking. Hopefully they actually get rid of the database and leave people alone, but that doesn’t scare people does it.

  6. SR

    This doesn’t seem right. It sounds like they’re going to attempt and use empirical data?

  7. M C

    This sounds like a potential improvement but here’s the problem. Even if these officials agree a change should be made as soon as they try and make these changes it will be all over the media and especially on social media that the officials and politicians that allowed the changes to be made. They will be called out for protecting pedophiles and there’s a high likelihood thet backtrack any changes they would have considered due to this pressure.

    Anyone who actually looks at the real data knows that any registry requirement after enough time of being offense free for most offenses is ridiculous but they won’t put their job on the line to stand up for a sensible approach.

  8. herebygrace

    If the rules Barr wants to pass are approved then this most likely won’t matter. Federal standards are then going to overrule the state. But I really hope I’m wrong.

  9. Facts should matter

    “”A lot of times, with the rape culture, sex offenders are under-reported,” Burton said. “Capturing data is difficult.”

    “Rape Culture” is another myth and falsehood trotted out by the media and metoo just like “trafficing” for media attention, emotional passion plays and shock value.

    “”We don’t want to forget all those victims and survivors out there.”

    Here we go again… either you’re a victim or you’re a survivor, you can’t be both at once. Make up your damn minds. The registry was never supposed to give victims/survivors aide and comfort, nor sanctuary to begin with!!!!

    Their emotional biases and preconceived notions are so immense, it prevents us from from correcting their ignorance on this subject. They are actually comfortable with their collective willful ignorance with the “I ONLY CARE ABOUT THE VICTIMS” mindset!

  10. Dustin

    My take is when they get the data they want and it refutes all preconceived notions about the registry and associated issues, they’ll simply disregard it. Happens more often than is publicized.

    • JohnDoeUtah

      This is true. In 2013 Larry Bench, PhD, did a study for up to 25 years and found a recognition rate of 10% in Utah.

      He tried to publish it in a popular corrections periodical in Utah, but the Deputy Chief of UDOC refused to publish it. Until Dr. Bench used his political connections with the governors office.

      • Facts should matter

        Yup. They want to keep the public scared, outraged and misinformed on this topic. Speaking “truth to power” is not an effective strategy for us because of the fear, ignorance and hate threshold. They won’t listen to reason or come to terms with the actual truth on recidivism or anything that dials back the registry. Hell, they get offended when you attempt to correct their ignorance! When you explain the registry was a product of it’s time and has always been – and will be – an ineffectual boondoggle, they dig their heels in that much more!

        You can’t be nice to them.

  11. Saddles

    Actually I just sent my donation to ACSOL along with a few things I do here in Virginia. and I sent the team some buttons and things I make. I have worked with various winery’s which is one of the big agriculture business of the state. Lived out in Utah when I worked in the Grand Canyon.

    My grandmother had disagreements about on religious grounds but to me it is fascinating for those who have had a chance to visit Utah. Course that was back in the 80’s when my dad passed away. Was flown back home went out to the canyon the next year came back on the AZ side if I remember right.

    Yes the laws are very differnet from one state to another. Lived in Flagstaff which is a nice western town but I’m sure it’s grown and yes dirty politics all around and now the registry has came up by a lot of error in many ways. Can it all be traced back to man against man or who cursor’s out another. Seems one President is doing that in a sort of ethical or verbose way without using four letter words. I can here my English teacher teaching all of us that word.

    If my grandmother was living she would of gave me a one two lecture.
    Actually I really wanted to go to court on the whole matter of this registry as much of this isn’t right for true justice.

  12. Underdog

    The most startling takeaway from the beginning of yesterday’s CASOMB meeting was the emphasis that was placed on all the data. Yet, nary any of the statistics/percentages align with the treatment that is affixed to registrants. This bottled lunacy is dispensed into the public and then imbibed by far too many people. NEWS FLASH: The Emperor is not wearing any clothes.

    I coached baseball for twenty years. If I had developed game plans that completely ran afoul of the clear data I had, my coaching career would have ended pretty darn quickly.

    Perhaps Utah will prove to be a State that provides Hope.

  13. TS

    This is interesting given I see TV ads looking for current Mormons (or former) for a class action suit against the Morman church who were sexually abused while they were a member of it. Are these under reported? What does the church think of these considerations?

    As said above, the data will be disregarded once the obvious results appear.

  14. Jason

    Does an actual RSO website with factual data exist? Would developing one not run or paid by for by the gov’t help? Lobby and push it towards legislators to make correct unbiased opinions. Maybe an extension off of this website? Just a thought.

  15. G4Change

    “Low-risk individuals are offense-free 97.5% of the time” after five years, Diaz said, prompting the question, “Is there still a need to keep them on the registry?”

    Imagine that!
    Yeah, two point five percent is certainly frightening and high indeed. [sarcasm]

    • Will Allen

      It doesn’t matter if it is 2.5% or 75%. The Hit Lists don’t help. The Hit Lists do nothing to constrain crimes or even slightly hinder them. So the recidivism rate is irrelevant.

      Why would people even care to keep those 2.5% listed on the Hit Lists? To destabilize them? To encourage them to commit crimes? To help them harm other people? To grow their hate and rage?

      The Hit Lists are dumb. Full stop.

  16. w

    The SOR is one of the most useless pieces of legislation to have ever existed and its wasteful consumption of man-hours, money, and mind share is an embarrassment to witness. Yet the people and politicians fall for it every time.

    “$ave the ©hildren”

    Yeah right, it doesn’t save anyone from anything. It’s more likely now than ever to cause some innocent person to be falsely accused and/or killed than to save any actual lives. People are idiots and the supporters of this scheme are the dumbest of the bunch. But you couldn’t tell them that, they’ve already made up their mind.

    Stand up and expose the world they refuse to see.

  17. JohnDoeUtah

    This is part of my response on this Article, to Mrs. Diaz, the Director of the Utah Sentencing Commission:

    “…Two weeks prior to my trial my victim and I had a son, and subsequent to my release we reunited. At the time of my release she was 16 years old, and our relationship did not violate any state or federal laws going forward. Soon after my release I was embattled against the Utah DCFS over my parental rights to the child. During those proceedings I was evaluated by a state certified sexual offence treatment provider, which included a penile plethysmograph . The initial prognosis was that I was not a violent offender nor a pedophile, but was evaluated a low-moderate risk of re-offense due to my continued relationship with my victim. The judge responded by requiring that I complete a sex offender treatment program with the evaluator. This consisted of individual treatment which resulted in an evaluation as a “minimal risk to re-offend.” I was subsequently awarded full parental rights to our son in Utah’s Second District Court, against the objections of the state, because I had shown that I was not a danger to the child, or any child, nor a public safety risk. We have continued to raise our son, although we never married and are no longer together, my victim and I remain very close friends. I have our son nearly every weekend, he is now 15 years old. I also have a daughter, who is six months younger, that resulted from a consensual adult relationship prior to my conviction whom I also have joint legal and physical custody.

    Regardless of the findings of that case, I was nonetheless required to register even though I posed little to no threat of sexual recidivism. However, while on the registry I was subject to many conditions and faced employment and housing hurdles often.

    Article Feedback:

    I would agree that sexual offenders, as an ever-growing class, do not have a high likelihood of re-offending sexually. Granted, there are those sexual offenders who have a clinically diagnosed sexual psychopathy and those offenders were likely the intended target of the registry laws in the early 1990s. However, as the years have gone on, politicians have included many other behaviors to the registration requirements based purely on the offense committed and not on any adequate or objective public safety risk. This balks at the “rational relation” doctrine used to uphold the constitutionality of these laws.

    I would like to point you to a 2016 Federal Circuit opinion out of the Sixth Circuit, which is still playing out in a subsequent lawsuit, which is attached, a.k.a. Does I. It is noted that Michigan did appeal this decision to SCOTUS, which denied review; thus, it is inferred that if this decision was contrary to Smith v. Doe (2003) then SCOTUS would have corrected it. One striking statement is:

    “In reaching this conclusion, we are mindful that, as Smith makes clear, states are free to pass retroactive sex-offender registry laws and that those challenging an ostensibly non-punitive civil law must show by the “clearest proof” that the statute in fact inflicts punishment. But difficult is not the same as impossible. Nor should Smith be understood as writing a blank check to states to do whatever they please in this arena.”

    The empirical evidence of the sexual recidivism of sexual offender was also evaluated in Does I, and was relied on heavily to establish that “clearest proof.” As stated,

    “Intuitive as some may find this, the record before us provides scant support for the proposition that SORA in fact accomplishes its professed goals. The record below gives a thorough accounting of the significant doubt cast by recent empirical studies on the pronouncement in Smith that “[t]he risk of recidivism posed by sex offenders is ‘frightening and high.’” 538 U.S. at 103 (quoting McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 34 (2002)).”

    Also, the specific finding of SCOTUS in McKune, was premised on a Psychology Today article that has been debunked. See, Ellman, Ira Mark and Ellman, Tara, “Frightening and High”: The Supreme Court’s Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics” (2015). Constitutional Commentary. 419, https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/concomm/419. Additionally​, other studies have determined that the registry has not deterred sexual recidivism and may in fact increase recidivism. See, Prescott, J. J. “Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?” J. E. Rockoff, co-author. J. L. & Econ. 54, no. 1 (2011): 161-206, https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1079&context=articles; and, Sandler, J. C., Freeman, N. J., & Socia, K. M. (2008); Does a watched pot boil? A time-series analysis of New York State’s sex offender registration and notification law. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 14(4), 284–302, https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013881 (finding that 95% of all new sex crimes are committed by non-registered persons, casting doubt on laws that target repeat offenders). Also, a 2013 Study by University of Utah Professor Larry Bench, PhD, stated a 10% reconviction rate for sexual offenders in this state, which infers that 90% of the state’s registered citizens are not of high risk to reoffend sexually. In fact, most recidivism of registered citizens is because of technical violations of the registry/parole and not sexual recidivism.

    Michigan has of course been sued again, under a class action (a.k.a. Does II), to enforce Does I regarding all registered citizens. See, Does # 1-6 v. Snyder, No. 16-cv-13137 (E.D. Mich. 2020) (Permanent injunction granted for pre-2011 class registrants for all SORA requirements, the State of Michigan is unable to enforce SORA against any pre-2011 class registrant, permanent injunction granted for all current registrants include internet identifiers requirement and residency/presence restrictions.); see also, Reid v. Lee, Case No. 3:20-cv-00050 (M.D. Tenn. Aug. 5, 2020); Doe v. Rausch, 382 F. Supp. 3d 783, 788 (E.D. Tenn. 2019).

    Conclusion:

    This brings us to the notion that sex crimes are under reported. While that may or may not be true, it is definitely not objectively defensible, and appears to be the default defense of politicians and the Attorney Generals of several states and the federal government. Those studies are, at their heart, based on untested allegations of sexual abuse. Without evaluation of those allegations by an unbiased court or jury, they cannot be seen as an implication of guilt or recidivism risk – innocent until proven guilty. However, we do have factual recidivism data of those previously convicted of a sexual offense, and the factual data of all the state jurisdictions and the federal government shows a low recidivism rate. (Some states count re-arrest; however, an arrest alone does not equate to actual guilt of a recidivist sex offense). Facts matter in a court of law.

    Utah has developed a system that brands all sexual offenders as moral lepers, so dangerous that the public must be notified about their whereabouts, sometimes for life, based solely on the offense they committed and not on their actual risk of recidivism.

    “Indeed, the fact that sex offenders are so widely feared and disdained by the general public implicates the core countermajorit arian principle embodied in the Ex Post Facto clause. As the founders rightly perceived, as dangerous as it may be not to punish someone, it is far more dangerous to permit the government under guise of civil regulation to punish people without prior notice. Such lawmaking has “been, in all ages, [a] favorite and most formidable instrument[] of tyranny.”
    The Federalist No. 84, supra at 444 (Alexander Hamilton),” quoting Does I.

    Utah is just one motivated litigant away from being challenged in the same way as Michigan. Specifically, on the issue of the irrebuttable presumption doctrine, Utah already has an alternative law allowing for the civil commitment of those “dangerous” sexual offenders, dubbed “Lonnie’s Law,” after Lonnie Johnston (2011). See, Commonwealth v. Gruver, 166 CR 2019 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pl. 2020). I implore your committee to continue to evaluate this issue and create a law that actually does something to protect the public, if at all possible.

    • TS

      @JDUtah

      Very well written… nice smackdown with facts.

    • JohnDoeUtah

      Received a response.

      Dear Mr. XXXXX,

      I appreciate you reaching out and all the information you have provided. I will review it and make sure it is considered by the working group reviewing Utah’s registry. I can assure you that we will continue to review the registry, gather data and information, and make suggestions for improvement driven by that data and information.

      Best,
      Monica

      • Mike G

        @JohnDoeUtah

        I want to express my appreciation for your yeoman efforts. It is very encouraging to have someone such as you taking your time to competently reply to uninformed or uncaring government officials. If only all of us could do that, we would be a serious force to reckon with.

      • Looking for Answers

        @JohnDoeUtah,
        Thank you for your efforts from me also, not only are you extremely well read and smart, you write exceptionally well and do us all justice with your commentary, research and comments.

  18. Saddles

    JohnDoeUtah. now when I worked out i the Canyon I was under employment of Fred Harvey. It is interesting about this Company and its history. Today what does the person upon the sex registry up against. One calls it a hit list, some say its all about the data machine factor, some say percentages is wrong, the women’s’ me too movement has somethig to do with is but no one talks about human behavior or where is that in Government by a state bias check.

    Are groups revoting today. or were does that leave the sex offender on the registry in this war type of crime in this Love american style triangle of a birth defect endeavor in this game of hop scotch. Oh we are cleaning up the internet and men that want to talk to teenagers when they themselves play the role of the pretended teen. Seems someone or many of these authorities forgot their biblical ethics. So who’s playing “back alley poker”.

    One person on here talked about killing himself. If police got wind of that he would be ready for a trip to the head shrink. Much of this ordeal presents ill will to anyone that goes thru this and the American Public doesn’t even know about much of whats going on. Society looks at these ordeals in one vain view in this outlook of true justice.

    My suggestion is to get something like this in newspapers all around the country Call or write to the editor. See if someone can get an article in it that is about the registry and not about the individuals in general. All so of these newspapers can do is say No. The United States says’ take pride in America…doesn’t pride goeth before the fall? Get something like this in the Washington post and maybe leaders will take notice. Trying is good but trusting is a bit better.

    One wonders about the sex registry about some of this back alley justice or who is losing respect for government?

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