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Janice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: But It’s Not Punishment

As Executive Director of ACSOL, I communicate with registrants and their families almost daily on a variety of topics.  One of the saddest types of calls I receive are from registrants who were recently released from custody for an offense that is not a sex offense.

These calls are sad because they are about the fact that a person is being required to comply with the same parole conditions required of a person just released from custody after a sex offense conviction.  These calls are also sad because there are no legal remedies available to help solve the problem that was created by a new law that was passed while they were in custody and has been applied retroactively.

The requirements include but are not limited to wearing a GPS device for 24 hours a day throughout the entire parole period and complying with at least 100 additional parole conditions.  It’s bad enough that these requirements are being levied upon a person recently released from custody after being convicted of a sex offense.   It’s terrible that these requirements are being levied upon individuals convicted long ago, even 30 years ago, of a sex offense.

Many of these individuals are being required to comply with restrictions they did not have to comply with when they were released from custody after their sex offense conviction.  For example, they are being required to take polygraph exams – often at their own cost.  They are also being prohibited from using a computer even if their offense did not involve a computer or the internet.

How can government demand that registrants comply with these new requirements?  The answer, unfortunately, is simple – the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Smith v. Doe – which many government organizations have viewed as a blank check that allows them to pass harsh new laws and apply them retroactively.

As an organization, ACSOL is dedicated to overturning Smith v. Doe, knowing full well that it may take another 10 years or more to do so.  In the meantime, many individuals are going to suffer.  They will suffer by wearing a GPS device 24 hours a day for three years or more that requires charging twice a day for at least an hour each time.

They will also suffer by living in fear as they try to navigate the minefield of parole conditions as well as their parole officer’s interpretation of those conditions.  For example, is the Angry Birds app on a registrant’s phone a toy meant to entice a minor?  Similarly, is a small bat handed out at a professional baseball game a souvenir or a toy?  Does a condition that prohibits contact with minors mean that a registrant must leave a grocery store if he or she sees a minor in that store?

They will also suffer if they violate their parole conditions because they will be returned to custody.  It’s a good thing that the requirement to register is not punishment.  Right?


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Come on. What about the thousands who signed agreements (contracts) with the government and had them wiped away with the stroke of the legislative pen? This is what concerns me about this most recent step forward. There is NOTHING to prevent it happening again.

I also see the outrage of the “advocates”… The made lesser agreements to get that retroactive punishments (and they DO think of it as punishments) to have it snatched away

Does that mean, I’m not applying for relief? No. It means I am painfully aware that the basic principals of our society, as they were taught to me, have little meaning today and I have to plan for that eventuality.

Step one: Break the chains
Step two: find a way away from the original jurisdiction.

Not perfect, but my odds are better.

A chimp can recognize that the registry is punishment!

Many thanks to you Janice and the ACSOL family for all the legal wins. I have been thinking lately about how grateful I am for ACSOL. And in spite of all struggle from being on the registry, I have been blessed beyond measure. I have donated in the past and tonight I rekindled my commitment. I will be donating $250 a month. I urge everyone to give what they can afford. Legal battles take money and lots of it.

Thank you, Berdoo, for your generosity! The funds you have provided and will provide in the future will be used wisely to help restore the rights of registrants and their loved ones through education, legislation and litigation. Hope others will follow your example at whatever level they can afford.

It is obvious that, in order to maintain the illusion of registries promoting public safety, registration for violations of “sex crimes” must be applied retroactively. One could not realistically claim that a person committing an act the day before passage of a law is not dangerous while someone doing the same thing the next day is. The curtain would be pulled back, just as Toto did in Oz.

So that begs the question of how far back in time the law should apply. The illusion requires that there be no time limit. A day? A year? Ten years? No, it must be applied to everyone regardless of when the crime was committed. To do otherwise would be a tacit acknowledgement that registration laws are not based on empirical data. And we all know they are not.


Putting teenagers on the registry for life for dateing other teenagers is just plain stupid, I don’t think people out there know their teenage son or daughter could be placed on the registry for life for dateing one of their peers in high school.
Megan’s law is definitely punishment but people forced to register are to afraid of law enforcement agencies to come out of the shadows and fight back.
If people forced to register in California supported each other like the LGBTQ community support each other, Smith vs Doe would have been overturned a long time ago.

Last edited 22 days ago by AERO1

Good point. If only we could make the events planned for [March 2023] as our “Stonewall” moment–without any violence of course.


@Aero1, the problem is that teenagers are not teenagers for long. My conviction was when I was an adult teen but when people look back at what I did they look at me and don’t look at the age I was but rather look at the age I am now and then look at the victims age as it was then. So as an example, rather than seeing things as an 18 year old with a 14 year old, they see it as a 42 year old with a 14 year old even though that’s not what happened at all. In other words the victim doesn’t age. So now the 42 year old is thought of as a dirty man that likes 14 year old girls even though that’s not reality. Then they say that guy needs to be on a registry forever because look at him.. he likes 14 year old girls.

It was designed to shame and keep you from feeling like a normal person in Society, which leads to fear and isolation.
I use to struggle with this alot and sometimes I still do but at this point who cares, worrying about what people think about me isn’t gonna put any money in my pocket and it daam sure ain’t gonna relieve me of my duty to register so who cares, people are just speed bumps on the road to freedom.

They might not call it punishment; however it’s the steroid of punishment. It’s the chip off the ole block of violating rights of the hatred while filling up pockets.

I still maintain that attempting to overturn Smith v. Doe is the wrong approach. I think it would be smarter (and easier) to demonstrate how lawmakers have legislated it obsolete. I would think there is precedent holding that a law isn’t constitutional simply because it was intended to be as well.

As I have long said, the intent vs the reality of it are two different things that those in robes realize are different but will side with what they believe is best for their thinking and beliefs. The gamemanship is crazy when it comes cases deciding the punishment vs not punishment thinking.

Thank you for all you do.

Yeah, they say this doesn’t have any parallels to any past punishment. No, it is past punishment on steroids. Public shaming on a worldwide scale, banishment-shit we wish- no we are forced to live in society as outcast no matter where we go-if we can go anywhere, the one thing that they claim the registry does is deterrence-which it has zero effect in reality.
Overturning Smith in ten years-we all have to suffer until then-nice…. How about making them do individualized dynamic risk assessments to start for now. F the tier system without them. Ridiculous and shameful that ACSOL or any other org is not fighting for this right now…. That is right, I am saying it-thank you for what you have accomplished Janice and team, but as Biden would say, come on man…..

I agree 10 years is a long time and its not even guaranteed.

I say the supreme court and the […] judges who made this ruling are terrorists. They should be dealt with accordingly.

All people who support the Oppression Lists (OLs) are terrorists. I make sure the OLs impact them a lot worse than me.

A few states have proven that new registration legislation is punishment and cannot be retroactively be applied.

I wonder if CA registrants who were tier 1 or were not subject to ML’s broadcasting before the SB-384 (the new tiered registry) and now are tier 3 or subject to ML’s broadcasting can file a suit against the state because those changes were not done with scientific reasons. Smith v Doe, 2003 was pushed into law using false scientific stats. Yet, CA made sweeping changes that are not supported by any science, especially when CASOMB reports reveal the re-offense rate is very low (iirc, under 1% for a few years).

Janice now if its not punishment and not punitive than it has to be a measure of deterrent cooperability. Still that would not justify anything both would be just as guilty. I think we all should be mad, upset of this OL list. You saved a good comment. One seems to try to understand but I’m sure its illegal for much of this registry. Some of the methods are out of balance but I’m no judge.

Since it is not punishment then why is it the machine has taken away our ability to thrive

in all survival aspects. We cannot get jobs or travel to, cannot find safe residence,

socially ostracized threatened and regulated to banishment. Sounds to me like we are

disabled and should receive a disability check $$$. This is how we go after them, we

show them what they have done to us and make them pay for our existence. Wow

sounds like the constitution?

Just the emotional abuse and mental toll of knowing that people want you either dead or in prison UNTIL you’re dead IS the defacto definition of punishment. Society doesn’t care about your personal case specifics, they simply can’t see past the hate, negativity and controversial nature of the label.


Odd thought here…

Is in-person reporting classified as a disability by the federal government? In Smith v Doe 2003, this was a point that the registry wasn’t punishment because Alaska’s registration was via mail.

If in-person reporting is a disability according to the federal government, then can California dictate it is not punishment? It’s like the US Gov’t saying slavery is unconstitutional, but the southern states still push it is constitutional.

It is Definitely punishment. And retroactive application IS a violation of the Ex Post Facto clause. Michigan has determined it to be punishment and rightly so.
In my view, GPS Monitoring alone violates one’s Constitutional rights as a Loss of Liberty in that while the rest of the population can bathe and swim, those with GPS monitors may not. In addition, 2 hours per day tied to an outlet for charging said device is also a loss of liberty. For 60+ hours each month (720 hours per yr.) a person with a monitor does not have freedom of movement. This is akin to being incarcerated an additional 720hrs. each year.
The OIG’s report in 2014 determined that GPS monitoring does not deter crime, it is simply a convenient tool for Parole Officers to keep track of their parolees. In the same report CDCR readily admits that the sole purpose of GPS monitoring is to help Parole Officers and that GPS Monitoring was not intended to deter crime.
The courts may continue to determine that this is nonpunitive and call it a “civil regulatory scheme”, but we know better. Public Safety is also often used as an excuse to uphold Ex Post Facto violations but more and more studies are emerging that prove the public is not more “safer” because of the imposition of the plethora of ridiculous conditions.
Pretty soon the dam’s going to break

This violates expo facto laws, see “Stogner” and “Lent.” In addition there have been numerous cases since Doe that negate parole conditions. See “Manning” and “Powers” and “Taylor.”

Here is your punishment: GPS. Twice a day you must be detained for an hour then another hour. This comes out to 5.5 months during a 5 year parole. ANOTHER Sentence. Your liberty seized. Fear of arrest plus detention is punishment. There it is there.

Janice… Don’t you think as I’m sure many do that when the truth comes out government is priming the pump with much of this sex registry via the internet and its is a bit mundane for any government agency? Sure protecting and serving are good but much of this rhyme and reason is a bit callous for any just government in a usurping way. Even the way much of this construction of the registry goes in many ordeals that the registrant faces.
 Are authority’s going against even their code of bias efforts and judgements in many ways? Sure government wants to be right. Anyone wants to be right that study’s anything, whether its civil laws, tax law, or Government law. Even government laws seem to usurp and/or intimidate. While justice should be truth in any of the 3 branches, this registry needs a bit of toning down. And yes my dad had to know tax laws even working in small utilities way back when. So this registry has its pitfalls in many ways. Hey I’m not at liberty to say how this registry is constructed but it is very deadly and at times irresponsible to judge one another in much of this vain way.

We all do still have rights. A sex offender voting in this GOP never thought of it that way. That resturant I mentioned in one comment was called Crackle Barrel. Will Allen is gonna shoot me now lol.

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