Janice’s Journal: We’ve Got Your Back

The Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) was created about 10 years ago to protect registrants and their families from a constant and continual assault of new laws that added additional challenges to daily life.  The challenges included restrictions on where a registrant could visit, where a registrant could live and whether a registrant could celebrate Halloween.

During this 10-year period, ACSOL and its foundation has filed more than 100 lawsuits which have resulted in the repeal or non-enforcement of every presence restriction and residency restriction for registrants who are not on parole or probation.  In addition, laws requiring registrants to post a sign on the front door of their homes on Halloween have been stricken.

Because of ACSOL, registrants in California have greater freedom and fewer restrictions than registrants in most states.  We are proud of that record.

However, ACSOL is not content to rest on its laurels.  To claim victory and to sit quietly while the flawed Tiered Registry Law takes effect.

To be clear, the Tiered Registry Law that ACSOL lobbied for during a six-year period is not the law that was passed.  ACSOL asked for a tiered registry law that was based upon the current risk, if any, that a registrant poses.  Instead, the legislature passed a law based upon the offense for which a registrant was convicted and even assigns some people who pose no risk to the highest tier.

ACSOL acknowledges that some of the current provisions of the Tiered Registry Law are fundamentally flawed.  That is why the first lawsuit was filed earlier this month challenging one provision of that law.  The filing of any lawsuit is a risk.  However, it is the only way in which the Tiered Registry Law can be changed without engaging the state legislature which is unwilling to act at this time.

There are many reasons, or excuses, for the legislature’s unwillingness to change the Tiered Registry Law during the current legislative session which began in January 2021 and lasts until December 2022.  The most common reason given is that the legislators want to wait and watch the results of the petitioning process which begins in July 2021.

ACSOL could have decided to wait until the end of the current legislative session to request changes to the Tiered Registry Law.  Instead, we have decided to start challenging in court provisions of that law beginning with its weakest links.  ACSOL will file more lawsuits challenging additional provisions of the Tiered Registry Law in the near future.

No one will be left behind.  No one.  We’ve got your back.

We ask for your patience as we take one step forward at a time.  Each step builds on the last step until we have reached the goal.

There are many ways you can help ACSOL reach the goal by Showing Up – Standing Up – Speaking Up and by making a financial donation.  And for those who would criticize ACSOL and its methods, please know that we will help you, too, cross the finish line and reach the land of Freedom from the Registry.

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“No one will be left behind. No one. We’ve got your back.” I hope this holds true in our case. My fiancé fully expected to be in Tier 1. His offense is one listed for that Tier, but they placed him in Tier 3 based on risk assessment. Per our attorney, who represented us at the time, no Static-99 was ever done or requested by the DA. His offense is not considered serious, and not all offenses are scored on the Static-99. I am assuming his offense falls in the ineligible for scoring category. Furthermore, he was never on the public website. There are 4 categories: Home address, Zip Code only, exclusions (one would have to apply for this exclusion and show that the risk score was low to low-moderate – this was under the previous law), and then there is a category called “others” that falls into the non disclosed category, and those offenses can by law not be displayed on the public site. My fiancé’s offense falls into this category since he was never publicly displayed, and he never had to file for an exclusion. So, what allows DOJ to place him in Tier 3 if they can only do so if he scored a 6+ (well above average risk) on the SARATSO (State Authorized Risk Assessment Tool for sex offenders)? The SARATSO for California is the Static-99R and since 2007 the Dynamic Stable 2007. If these are the only tools the DOJ uses to designate a Tier, yet neither of these assessments were done for my fiancé, they can’t just arbitrarily assign a score that is not based on the Static-99R. Please someone enlighten me on this.

Just to keep it brief: Who here was ever given a Static-99 score, and if you got one, were you informed about the result, or is this something that only probation and the DOJ will know?

I have to give a huge thanks to janice and chance. I wish we here in Michigan had a couple great people like the two of you.

I have been a registrant since ‘94. I am profoundly grateful for your advocacy.