NY: Court of Appeals orders new risk level classification hearing for registered sex offender

Source: nydailyrecord.com 6/23/23 New York state’s highest court has ordered a new hearing to determine the risk level classification for a registered sex offender. The Court of Appeals ruled that the Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) court deprived defendant Michael Worley of due process rights by changing his risk level assessment without giving him an opportunity to contest the determination. … At the SORA hearing, the prosecutor acknowledged that Worley was incorrectly penalized for refusing to attend sex offender treatment. In fact, he was never able to attend because his…

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Senator John Cornyn introduces bill to help child abuse victims following Larry Nassar investigation

Source: click2houston.com 10/14/21 HOUSTON – Larry Nassar, the doctor for Team USA Gymnastics, is now a convicted sex offender. … The proposal would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal law enforcement agencies to utilize the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) model when investigating cases that involve child abuse, which has been seen as one source of the failures during the FBI’s investigation of Nassar. The bill will also require the use of the MDT case review model to make sure cases don’t fall through the cracks because of…

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NY: After 25 Years, It Is Past Time To Reform New York’s Sex Offender Risk Assessment System: Part II

[law.com – 2/9/21] In Part 1 of this article, I outlined what I believe are the significant flaws in the Risk Assessment Instrument (the RAI) New York courts are required to use to assess sex offender risk under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA or Megan’s Law, Article 6-C of the Correction Law). Under SORA, courts are required to designate offenders as being at low, moderate or high risk to re-offend. The rankings not only determine the length and intrusiveness of sex offender registration and community notification, which often last…

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NY: After 25 Years, It Is Past Time To Reform New York’s Sex Offender Risk Assessment System: Part I

[law.com – 1/5/21] In this article, the author outlines the significant flaws of the sex offender risk assessment instrument. A second article to be published later will explain why these deficiencies are not adequately corrected by court departure determinations. Convicted sex offenders under New York law must have their risk of reoffense assessed by courts under the Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA” or “Megan’s Law”) with courts determining whether offenders are at low, moderate or high risk to re-offend. The rankings not only determine the length and intrusiveness of sex…

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Kat’s Blog: Future Risk

We hear a lot of talk about the “unfairness” of the registry, how everyone on it is “treated the same” no matter what their offense.  Lumping all registrants under the “sex offender” label is wrong, especially when there’s so many offenses under the umbrella, high risk, low risk and even no risk offenses that may be at opposite ends of the spectrum. Released from incarceration, many registrants are mandated to attend one-size-fits-all “sex offender” treatment groups. There they are continuously reminded of their “sex offender” label and the need for…

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CT: Sentencing Commission Makes Last-Minute Plea To Senate

With less than two weeks to the end of the legislative session, the state Sentencing Commission is asking Senate leaders to bring two potentially controversial proposals to a vote. SB 1113 would create a new sex offender registry board, which would set the length of time a person could be on the registry based on their risk of reoffending and not just the offenses they committed. Full Article

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Title: Evaluation of the Implementation of the Sex Offender Treatment Intervention and Progress Scale (SOTIPS) [paper on assessing risk]

[nij.gov – 5/2018] This report that details findings from a study designed to follow sex offenders on probation over time in two geographically diverse settings to assess recidivism and the predictive accuracy of Evaluation of the Implementation of the Sex Offender Treatment Intervention and Progress Scale (SOTIPS). Results indicate that SOTIPS is a promising instrument for assessing dynamic risk factors in sex offenders on probation. Download the paper  

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How ‘Pseudo-Science’ Turns Sex Offenders into Permanent Outlaws

[thecrimereport.org] A New York Appeals court has rejected the notion that risk prediction under the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) should have a scientific basis. According to the July 2017 decision in People v. Curry, courts must not only adhere to a risk assessment instrument (RAI) that has been repeatedly exposed as pseudo-scientific humbug, they may not even consider a scientifically validated instrument such as the Static-99. It wasn’t the first time. For the 20 years since SORA was enacted, courts have used the RAI to classify individuals after…

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NY: SORA – The human cost of junk science

Of the nearly 40,000 persons on New York’s sex offender registry, 9,679 are displayed on its public website as Level 3, a warning that he or she presents the maximum risk of committing a sex crime of maximum seriousness. 14,087 persons are displayed as Level 2, meaning they’re moderately likely to commit a moderately serious sex crime. With so many Frankensteins at large, it’s a wonder anyone dares leave the house. How does the State know these people are so dangerous? Because they’ve each had a SORA hearing where a…

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The Field Validity of Static-99/R Sex Offender Risk Assessment Tool in California

Policies that differentially apply to sexual offenders at different risk levels require defensible  procedures for classifying offenders into risk categories. The current study examines the reliability and validity of Static-99 and Static-99R sexual offender risk assessment tools as implemented in the State of California. California is a valuable case study because it is a large jurisdiction that has devoted considerable resources to the implementation of risk tools. Paper

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Putting the Cart Before the Horse: The Forensic Application of the SRA-FV

As the developers of actuarial instruments such as the Static-99R acknowledge that their original norms inflated the risk of re-offense for sex offenders, a brand-new method is cropping up to preserve those inflated risk estimates in sexually violent predator civil commitment trials. The method introduces a new instrument, the “SRA-FV,” in order to bootstrap special “high-risk” norms on the Static-99R. Curious about the scientific support for this novel approach, I asked forensic psychologist and statistics expert Brian Abbott to weigh in. Full Article

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Static-99 developers embrace redemption – Sex offender risk plummets over time in community, new study reports

And now — drum roll — the authors of the most widely used actuarial tool for assessing sex offender recidivism are conceding that even sex offenders cross a “redemption threshold” over time, such that their risk of committing a new sexual crime may become “indistinguishable from the risk presented by non-sexual offenders.” Tracking a large group of 7,740 sexual offenders drawn from 21 different samples around the world, the researchers found that those who remain free in the community for five years or more after their release are at drastically…

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