Janice’s Journal: It’s the End…It’s the Beginning

Today is the last day of 2023.  It has been a year full of progress.  And it has been a year full of challenges.

One form of progress in 2023 was a growing number of people whose petitions have been granted and are therefore no longer required to register in the state of California.  This progress was due in large part to an appellate court decision, that shifted the burden of proof from the person required to register to the district attorney. 

Specifically, the decision stated that a district attorney must prove that the person required to register poses a current danger, not that the person required to register must prove that he does not pose a current danger.  When a district attorney cannot meet that burden of proof, then the court must grant the petition and the person is no longer required to register.  The shifting of this burden of proof is immense and has muted district attorneys who once declared that the reason they objected to a petition was “because we can.”

Another sign of progress was a decision by ACSOL to file its first lawsuit outside the state of California.  That lawsuit was filed in a federal district court in the state of Missouri challenging a law in that state that required all individuals required to register to post a sign on their home on Halloween.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, an application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) was filed.  The court granted the TRO and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn the TRO after the Attorney General of Missouri filed an emergency motion to stop it.

Yet another sign of progress was a decision by the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) to recommend several changes to the state legislature regarding the Tiered Registry Law.  ACSOL requested those and other changes to that law in early 2023.

Challenges came in many forms.  For example, it is still unknown to whom the new SORNA regulations apply.  This uncertainty has caused and will continue to cause significant problems for individuals who may or may not be required to register more than once a year, may or may not be required to notify local law enforcement before they leave their home for seven days or longer or may or may not be required to provide a 21-day notice before traveling overseas.

Another form of challenge is uncertainty for individuals who are no longer required to register in one state and want to visit or move to another state.  Are they required to register in the state they plan to visit or move to?  The answer to that question is not obvious because the registration requirements in every state are different and could depend upon the conviction offense.

That is the look behind.  Now let’s look ahead. 

Tomorrow is the first day of 2024.  Looking forward, there are things that we know and there are things that we don’t know. 

One thing we know is that there will be one less member of the ACSOL board of directors due to the resignation of Chance Oberstein.  Another thing that we know is that ACSOL will file a second lawsuit outside the state of California when it challenges a Halloween sign requirement in the state of Arkansas.  We also know that ACSOL will conduct its annual Lobby Day in March to request changes to the Tiered Registry Law even though the legislature is unlikely to make those changes in a Presidential election year.

Despite the uncertainties before us in 2024, we know that we are resilient and can pivot when necessary while staying focused on our end goal – to end the registry for all.  Please join ACSOL as we move forward to that goal by participating in Lobby Day, attending monthly Zoom meetings, joining Emotional Support group meetings and donating to ACSOL when you can.

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Janice, ACSOL’s accomplishments in 2023 and plans for 2024 give me hope for the future. I appreciate what ACSOL has done to help registrants and their families.

Janice,

Thank you for your words of hope. For those of us facing another year of fear, anxiety, loneliness and continued pointless free fall through an existence that only sometimes resembles an actual life, your words and the hope they bring, are priceless. A ray of light shining into what seems to be endless darkness.

Many would simply walk away, resting on upon their well earned laurels. Turn their backs on all the challenges this struggle constantly creates. I have done my part, let others do theirs, would be the more common response to this, but not yours. You press on undaunted. That is a rare and fine quality, and I thank you for that.

May all you hold to be good and true shine upon you, and all those who fight with you. May you all be strengthen and kept well. May these things bring you all the hope and joy that you bring to me. In equal measure, and eternal gratitude.

Thank you

Thank you Janice and ACSOL for all the hard work and accomplishments you all have done for 2023 and look forward to many more accomplishments in 2024!

Is the residency law challengable? Cause that has given me a lot of problems. Thank you

Thank you for everything that you have done to help us registrants and our families this year, Janice. You give us a much needed voice and offer us a glimmer of hope when others choose not to simply because they are uninformed or blinded by hatred. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for the cause in 2024. Know that I am cheering for you in Illinois just like others are cheering for you in other states across the country.

Janice , thank you for your hard work . I am still hopeful especially in my situation where some day soon there will be an off ramp to be removed from registration. Thank you for your hard work . God bless .

What was your final tally @Janice?

Thank you Janice for all that you do, and all that you will do and ACCOMPLISH!!!

You are amazing and so effective! You are a power house!!!! So many people benefit from your remarkable efforts and work.

You are really making a difference in your life, and the lives of so many directly, and indirectly, related to those who are Registrants.

Thank you!!

Happy New Year and Thank you to Janice, Chance, and everyone at ACSOL for all you’ve done and continue to do. Your steadfast determination and your relentless dedication to this cause are greatly appreciated beyond words.

Janice- A shining beacon for all who have anything to do with registration or registrants. Mere words cannot ever express that strongly enough!!

Thank-you for all that you do to inform everyone what is going on. I wish I had the money to contribute but I’m hopeful that 2024 brings positive changes to everyone. Arbitrary laws that don’t match sentencing, at least in Wisconsin, make convictions endless and are so Unconstitutional.
Most registrants just don’t have the means to fight convictions – sadly that is why there are so many. Peace and blessings to everyone reading this !

Everyone should stay focused and be aware of the “beginning” of the year antics, tactics and so-called “initiatives” lawmakers and council members will trot out to further oppressive and demonize us with. The laziness and generic thinking almost assures of this happening.

Yes, it’s an election year, but to us, every year is an election year as new performative nonsense is constantly being laid at our feet The trick is to get out in front of their bs narratives by calling them on the fear mongering and false claims before it even reaches the floor for a vote

Thank you Janice and ACSOL for all the hard work and accomplishments you all have done for 2023. I would like to give a shout out to Chance Oberstein: Chance has played a pivotal role in providing substantial support to registrants and their families within the community. His choice to transition from his position at ACSOL is a testament to his unwavering commitment to redirecting his time and expertise, thereby creating a positive impact on our community. He continues to make a difference through his dedicated law practice in California, which you can explore further at  https://www.obersteinlaw.com

Thank you for your work on our behalf. Happy New Year.

Thanks Janice u are appreciated 🙏

Good to see so much progress in the steady march forward for those on the registry
Please encourage others to donate their time, talents and resources in support of ACSOL. No donation of time and/or resources are too small. As Jance has said, “We are in this TOGETHER.” We can do this!