12-27-2006, 10:37 PM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Megan's Law registries all over the map in N.J.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
By TOM TRONCONE
You're moving your family into a new home in Closter or Clifton. Before you close the deal, you check the Megan's Law registry on the State Police Web site.
No sex offenders live in your new neighborhood or near your kids' schools.
Or so it says.
Only one in nine sex offenders living in four of North Jersey's counties ever wind up listed in the Internet registry. That translates into the exclusion of nearly 1,700 sex offenders in Bergen, Passaic, Morris and Hudson who are subject to some type of community notification -- about 88 percent -- based on data from the state's annual Megan's Law implementation report.
The report illustrates a drastic difference from county to county -- and region to region -- in the percentage of sex offenders in New Jersey who are listed in the Megan's Law registry online at njsp.org.
In Atlantic County, 43 percent of all sex offenders end up in the registry. In Cape May County, it's 42 percent.
Report: Implementation of Megan's Law in New Jersey
Search: New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry
But in Morris County, the names of only 8 percent of convicted sex offenders end up posted on the Internet. In Passaic County, only 9 percent of the 870 registered sex offenders are included online. Sex offenders from Bergen and Hudson counties are included at an 18 percent and 13 percent rate, respectively.
Statewide, 23 percent of registered sex offenders are included in the Internet database.
The reason, according to a Monmouth County judge who oversees the Megan's Law judges in every county, lies with individual prosecutors' offices.
"They are the ones who make the determination on whether the person goes onto the Internet," said the judge, Lawrence M. Lawson.
Click on the link to read how it works
Megan's Law 2006
12-28-2006, 12:12 AM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
"All I ever thought about was raising my kids and thinking that one day they would fall in love, get married and have grandchildren. That's what it was all about. Now I think there is nothing more horrible than losing a child," she said. (Mrs. Kanka)
What is wrong with New Jersey? It is a State of Disgrace. I don't want to hear about why they can't get the level tier 1 2 3 . I want to know who is a danger.
I am not talling about the 18 year old teen and the 16 year old girl. I want the bad guys listed. Enough is Enough already.
12-28-2006, 12:46 AM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Let children be children
We all have a responsibility to protect children from the sexual demands of adult predators.
Every life begins with an expectation of childhood. The sense of newness and innocence helps to establish the bond of parent and newborn, and to begin charting a path of protection and love for those who need lots of protection and love.
So why is it that so many childhoods are interrupted and ravaged by predatory adults who seek out innocents for sexual gratification? We may as well ask why the world has not yet rid itself of war or pestilence, but that cannot deter us from trying to understand the causes of child abuse and, failing that, taking steps to prevent it from happening -- in other words, to allow children the promise of life and liberty: To be free of the complications of adulthood, at least until their time comes.
In researching and writing the eight-part series that ends today, "Silent Screams: Childhood Lost," the staff of The Express-Times has sought to shed light on the darkest corner of criminal behavior, documenting the stories of victims, their abusers, and the people in law enforcement, social services, medicine and corrections who deal with the aftermath of child abuse. Those who deal with the symptoms of the disease must, at times, feel as if opening one door only leads to the next discovery of recurring or new abuses.
Such is the nature of this epidemic. Not only is the rate of reported child abuse increasing, but many perpetrators cannot be cured. Sometimes the best that we can hope for is lengthy incarceration, followed by a Megan's Law system of tracking and community notification.
For the truly hopeless cases, the only effective solution is life in prison, or something akin to what the state of New Jersey is proposing -- civil commitments to psychiatric institutions once a prison term is up, for those parolees who are unpredictably violent, prone to strike again, or both. Keeping them out of society is the only certain way to protect our children.
Those who read through the series of articles were no doubt moved by the personal stories of victims and beset by the life-shattering nature of the crimes. Equally depressing is the sense that things on the child-abuse front may get worse before they get better. Experts are still gauging whether the incidence of abuse is rising or victims are coming forth in huge numbers because they are feeling freer to do so.
New evidence suggests victims are feeling empowered to reclaim a part of their lives that they had failed to reconcile or repress, and to shed a sense of guilt for having been victimized. Many of them are now raising children of their own. Some have been liberated by seeing attackers brought to trial; other victims have been traumatized by being drawn into the public process of criminal justice. And millions are just living with the scars.
The necessary involvement of children -- and occasionally, adults who use them as pawns -- creates special problems in the investigation and prosecution of abuse cases. The advent of videotaped testimony of minors in abuse cases, approved by Pennsylvania voters by referendum last November, gives the state an additional tool. But judges, juries, child-care workers and defense attorneys must be alert to children and parents who bring false claims of abuse, and of overzealous advocates who coach young defendants to distort the truth. Adults who use children in this way or intentionally bring false charges should be prosecuted, too.
There is one recurring source of hope. It is that information and awareness leads to prevention. That includes parents teaching children the rules of behavior at an early age, and schools educating kids about appropriate and inappropriate touching. And on a larger scale, informing the public that the price of preying upon children is prison.
A report issued last week by the Roman Catholic Church on the documented incidences of abuse by priests over several decades was greeted with skepticism from those who believe the numbers are higher and that the church still has a way to go to address the grievances of thousands of victims and families. Certainly other religious and social institutions have been complicit in overlooking sexual abuse of kids.
Still, if there was one ray of light in the church report, it was that reports of molestation appeared to have peaked in the 1970s and have been declining since then. Given the nature of the crime and the difficulties in reporting and confronting it, any downward trend must be viewed with a combination of suspicion and hope.
Education, awareness, action. It is up to all of us to ensure that children who once were helpless to defend themselves against sexual predators will be allowed to live their lives as we would want them to as children.
04-05-2008, 03:30 PM #4Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
Personally, I find what is posted below sickening, however I felt it was important to see what prisoners are given access to in order to undo all the hard work that goes into passing these laws to safeguard our children:
Why "Megan's" Laws Are Unconstitutional
From The Front Line
By: Jim Love
The best kept secret in today's society. The truth has become pliable commodity in this nation, distorted to fit political agendas, preying, for the sake of votes, on the most unpopular of all crimes.
For the past year at Lebanon Correctional Institution I have been advising several prisoners facing Classification as a Sexual Predator on how I believe they can prevail at their hearings and avoid a sexual predator label. O.R.C ß2950.02(A)(2) specifically gives the "high risk" of a convicted sex offender committing another sex offense after release from prison as the legislatureís "reason" the statute and reporting requirements are needed to protect the public. Statutes which infringe upon a citizenís privacy must pass a "rational basis," or "rational relationship" test. (See generally, Westís Digest, "Statutes").
Before I start spouting statistics at you, I want to inform you that the only man at Lebanon Correctional Institution to follow my advice won at his Sexual Predator hearing. Instead of being required to report his address every 90 days for the rest of his life, and subjected to community notification of all persons within 1000 feet of his residence for the rest of his life, he was ordered to report his address once a year for the five years he was on post-release control only, with no reporting requirement after he is released from post-release control. Two other men tried to present the arguments below, and even sent their court-appointed attorneys the statistics below, but both attorneys ran "roughshod" over the men at their hearing and refused to present the following argument, even though prior to the hearing, the attorneys promised the men they would present the argument. The man who won had the cohunes to stand up in the courtroom and pull the following statistics out of his jumpsuit pocket, present it to the Court, and force the Court, on the record, to acknowledge his vocal claim the Sexual Predator Statute is "arbitrary and capricious" and "creates an arbitrary class of persons" in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Upon being presented with the following evidence and statistics, an "in-chambers" conference was immediately called, and upon returning from the conference, the Judge denied the prosecutionís request to find the man was a "Sexual Predator."
So if any of you think what I have to say is worth using, be prepared to commit it to memory and present it yourself, because it appears the Public Defenders are in collusion with the State on this and will lead you on, mouthing what you want to hear before the hearing, then abandon the argument and fail to present it at the hearing. One PD just did that to a very good friend of mine at Warren Correctional.
In United States v. Mound, 157 F.3d 1153, 1154, (8th Cir. 1998) (en banc), four dissenting Judges cite Law Review articles citing statistics finding the recidivism rate of released sex offenders is the second lowest rate of recidivism of all convicted felons. In State v. Krueger, Case No. 76624 (December 19, 2000, Eighth Judicial District of Ohio, unreported), two female Judges reversed a Sexual Predator adjudication, finding the statute is based on a false assumption and in essence, an "old wives tale" of popular beliefs contradicted by empirical data.
By writing the National Criminal Justice Reference Center, P.O. Box 6000, Rockville, Maryland 20849-6000, you can obtain the following reports.
NCJ-163392 (February 7, 1997), Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault, finds the recidivism rate of 2,214 convicted rapists released from prison was 7.7% after three years. The only category of crimes with a lower recidivism rate are those persons convicted of murder (6.8%).
NCJ-193427 (June, 2002), Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994, finds the recidivism rate of 3,138 convicted rapists released from prison was 2.5% after three years. The only category of crimes with a lower recidivism rate are those persons convicted of murder (1.2%).
In April, 2001, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) released a report also on the recidivism rate of released sex offenders. In Ten-Year Recidivism Follow-Up of 1989 Sex Offender Releases, Office of Policy, Bureau of Planning and Evaluation, Paul Konicek, Principle Researcher, (available at www.drc.state.oh.us), the recidivism rate of 879 sex offenders released from Ohioís prisons in 1989, after ten (10) years, was found to be 8% for new sex offenses.
The ODRC study finds its results as typical, citing to:
1) Gibbons, Soothill, and Way, found in Furby, Weinrott & Blackshaw, 1989. (Twelve year study finding sex offender recidivism rate of 4%).
2) Gibbons, Soothill, and Way 1980, found in Furby, Weinrott & Blackshaw, 1989. (Thirteen year study finding sex offenders recidivism rate of 12%).
3) Hanson & Bussiere, 1996. (Mega-analysis of sixty-one sex offender studies with a total of 28,972 sex offenders finding recidivism rate for new sex offenses five years after release was 13.4%).
4) New York Department of Corrections, nine year follow-up study. Finding a 6% rate of recidivism for new sex offenses.
These studies are cited on page 11 of the ODRC report.
Page 15 of the report, the overall findings are summarized. The ODRC finds, "Contrary to the popular idea that sex offenders are repeatedly returning to prison for further sex crimes, in this population a sex offender recidivating for a new sex offense within 10 years of release was a relatively rare occurrence." Id. at page 15, ∂ 4.
The entire purpose of the Sexual Predator, or "Meganís" Laws is to protect the public from sex offenders, who, according to the "compelling government interest" expressed in the statute at section (A)(2), have a "high risk" of committing new sex offenses once released from prison. Since this stated purpose is not supported by empirical data and statistics from both the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the "rational basis" underlying the Sexual Predator Statute does not exist. It must therefore fail the "rational basis test" of constitutionality, and it therefore acts to create an "arbitrary and capricious class of persons" subjected to an infringement on their right to privacy, placed on public display for public ostracizing and ridicule, and subjected to reporting requirements to local police agencies and community notification laws, without a legitimate and compelling government interest, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and the protections afforded by the substantive due process clause of the 5th and 14th Amendments, that is, the right to be free from arbitrary and capricious government conduct infringing upon your right to liberty, association and happiness.
The low recidivism rate of sex offenders is the best kept secret in todayís society. The politicians are lying. The Courts are lying. In McKune v. Lile, 122 S.Ct. 2017, 2024 (2002), the United States Supreme Court cites to the DOJís 1997 report on Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault, for the finding that sex offenders have a "high risk of recidivism." Yet this report, cited above, finds the recidivism rate of released sex offenders for new crimes as 7.7%, and that rate is the second lowest rate of recidivism of all released offenders in the study. The context in which the study is cited gives the opposite inference in a manner that is misleading to the reader of the decision. It is a false rationalization of a bad decision.
Most dangerous of all is what these lies do to trials when a man who was once previously convicted of a sex offense faces actual false charges later in his life brought by someone who knows about his past convictions
Judges, in performing the balancing test of "probative v. prejudicial" under Evidence Rule 403, wrongfully assume testimony of a previous sex offense conviction has a "high" probative value, and allow the evidence to be presented by the prosecution. The new Federal Rules of Evidence 412-415 were enacted based on a false presumption that past sex offenses have high "probative" value. And juries, God help us all, misinformed about the true facts and statistics through the media, prosecutorial "sound bite" press releases, and TV shows like "Americaís Most Wanted," "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," and even the now-canceled "First Monday" (which stated the recidivism rate of sex offenders was 80% in its next to the last show), hear evidence a man committed a sex crime 10,15, 20, or 30 years ago, and quit even listening to the evidence presented at the trial.
The truth has become pliable commodity in this nation, distorted to fit political agendas, preying, for the sake of votes, on the most unpopular of all crimes, just as for years these same people have ranted about prisoners in general, and worked to take what few amenities we are allowed away from us.
I guess the last to go was the presumption of innocence. It is not merely perfidious to outright falsify statistics to justify government intrusion into the privacy of citizens, it undermines the very foundation of the ideal of Equal Justice and Rule of Law upon which this nation, and the International Community of Nations is founded. Intellectual dishonesty abounds in both the Republican owned media and in the Courts of this nation, now controlled by the ultra-conservative appointees of Reagan, Bush and mini-Bush. The latter who placates the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican party by handing them control of the Federal Courts, assisted by Orrin Hatch and Trent Lott. In place of Equal Justice we have the appearance of justice, carefully propagated in selected published opinions overshadowed by those unpublished opinions hiding the injustices dominating the majority of the convictions deemed too sordid in nature to be entitled to an honest and careful review for error by those self-righteous demigods called Judges. Not all are bad. But too many are bad now. The pendulum has swung too far. The flag should be flown upside-down. We are in serious trouble in this nation.
Until next time this is Jim Love reporting From the Front Line.
04-07-2008, 02:19 PM #5
I think if you look further out, the recidivism rates are higher. I'm sure that's not cited for a reason. The rates are on the Department of Justice website.
My feeling is that they learn how not to get caught while they are in prison.