WA: Washington panel considers outlawing community notification of sex offenders

Source: thecentersquare.com 9/28/23

(The Center Square) – Earlier this year, a decision to house convicted sex offenders in cities such as Enumclaw without notifying the community drew outrage from local residents.

Now, the State Sex Offender Policy Board is considering recommendations to the Legislature that could include making it illegal to notify communities when a sex offender moves into the area on the grounds that such policies undermine public safety.

Created in 2008, the Sex Offender Policy Board is composed of 13 members appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee. Its role is to conduct case reviews of sex offense incidents and conduct projects on sex offender policy issues.

In 2021, the state Legislature enacted a law that calling for “equitable distribution” throughout counties of sex offenders housed in community-based rehabilitation facilities. Earlier this year, residents in Tenino protested plans to place 11 convicted sex offenders housed on McNeil Island in their community, in part due to the lack of communication. As reported by Fox13, local government officials said they were not notified about the plan.

At the request of Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry Committee Chair Roger Goodman and as initially reported by Seattle-based radio talk show host Ari Hoffman, the board is examining potential revisions to sex offender sentencing ranges. They are also examining post-conviction policies. 

The proposed revisions have proven controversial nationwide. A group of 35 state attorneys general last year cosigned a letter urging the American Law Institute to reject those amendments to their model penal code. Among those to sign the letter was Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

According to the draft document, many laws placing restrictions on sex offenders “actually undermine public safety, the exact opposite of what lawmakers and the public so confidently assume they accomplish.”

The document argues that while sex offenses are “distinctively unsettling and injurious,” policies such as sex offender registration, notifying the community of a sex offender’s presence, and restricting where sex offenders can live “do not reduce recidivism rates.

Read the full article

Related:

WA Panel Might Push to Outlaw Sex Offender Community Notifications [newstalk870.am 9/29/23]

 

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Man, I love it when government officials make our argument for us. They basically admitted that registries are useless!

The angry mobs *would* be very upset if they didn’t know who to go after with their torches and pitchforks. Given enough time, and with nowhere else to vent their rage, paranoia, and burning hatred, maybe they would just have to turn on each other…

Hallelujah and Amen!

“The document argues that while sex offenses are “distinctively unsettling and injurious,” policies such as sex offender registration, notifying the community of a sex offender’s presence, and restricting where sex offenders can live “do not reduce recidivism rates.”

Ha! Ha! I guess I’m that ‘unsettling and injurious’ type of guy. Whenever these policy wonks give a statement that make registrants not seem so bad, they always have to preface their comment with some negative sh*t!

Wow! People who actually have common sense! If this passes, could it possibly be the first nail in the coffin to abolish the registries?

🤔 That was confirming to me. The article was, supposedly, about Washington State’s community notification.
But, in paragraph 6, it out-of-nowhere pulls in the ALI and it’s Model Penal Code recommendations. 🤷🏻‍♂️
(Maybe it’s just me that found this confusing. 🤷🏻‍♂️)

“At the request of Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry Committee Chair Roger Goodman and as initially reported by Seattle-based radio talk show host Ari Hoffman, the board is examining potential revisions to sex offender sentencing ranges. They are also examining post-conviction policies.”
“The proposed revisions have proven controversial nationwide. A group of 35 state attorneys general last year cosigned a letter urging the American Law Institute to reject those amendments to their model penal code.”

So if I have understood this right Washington State might be the first state to adopt the new model penal code. I believe only a certain number of offenses would be eligible and no notifications but to law enforcement. I thought the new American Law Institute model penal code would take a lot longer to be implemented, so maybe we could see fast change out west.

Wow… Just, wow! =)

Also testifying in opposition to the revisions was Jessica McCoy, who argued that Board Chair Brad Meryhew’s work as a private defense attorney specifically representing those accused of sexual misconduct constitutes a conflict of interest.”

How is that a conflict of interest? Higher penalties for sex crimes, including the registry, make defense attorneys more valuable, especially good ones. And no one screams “conflict of interest!” when a hard-on-crime politician or attorney general or prosecutor advocates for harsher penalties or expanding the registry.

There is a chance I might move to WA. This is promising, but can anyone provide context on how it actually is I.e jobs, renting ? My record is 1204.3 expunged and it’s been over 10 years

As one who was raised in WA, and never been a fan of much of their politics along the way or of the current guvnah since he started his political career, this is warm to read and hopeful, especially coming from the state known for Ted Bundy, Green River Killer, the Wenatchee child care hysteria. Let’s hope they will take the plunge to stay the course with this and make it so for those who just want to live in peace once their debt is paid.

Washington is one of the few states that heavily emphasize the Static-99R.

Wait until they figure out how much of a scam the Static-99R is . . .

Are sex crimes more distinctively ‘unsettling and injurious’ than taking a persons life in cold blood, which in most places said people don’t get community notifications and thus harassment? The man who killed my father in cold blood lives in this very town and is not on a registry, goes to restaurants, and pretty much anywhere and those that sit next to him don’t know he shot an unarmed man through the heart for daring to stop him when he was beating up his girlfriend in his grandmothers house.

In the linked article under the term outrage, the… get this, the victim’s advocate, was absolutely correct in saying ““The onus of keeping your kids safe is on you,” she said, pointing out into the audience.”

The cops have no duty to protect citizens, legislation only increases penalties which has no deterrent, our house and senate can’t decide what to wear to work, and now have about 12 hours before our government shuts down. LOL

I am a former Florida resident who lives in Washington State. Washington is one of the few states in the US that follows the data and models their policies based on some logic with regard to PFRs. It is pretty refreshing! I am on the registry here only because I was (until last week) on the registry in Florida. Here, registration is once a year for levels 1 and 2 (not public), They send an officer to your home to verify your information. Every contact I have had with the officers has been professional and a 2-minute ordeal – “Is everything still current?” and then “See you next year”.

Washington’s has been tier 1 and tier 2 non-public since like 2005 I remember doing a lot of Research on which state would be the best place to live as a PFR it was always Washington or Oregon.

Washington was the first president, so perhaps Washington will be the first state to bring down the registry.

So my offense is so minor, it doesn’t even enter the discussion up in Washington. Yet here in California everybody thinks I’m a monster. Washington it is should they implement this penal code.