Monday, February 22, 2010

MD: Groups to Oppose Proposed Sex Offender Bills Groups to oppose proposed sex offender bills.

Sex offenders have been a hot topic in Annapolis this session, with a number of bills submitted and Gov. Martin O'Malley reactivating an advisory board. But several groups plan to oppose the bills Tuesday at a House of Delegates judiciary committee hearing. I'm ripping this straight from the press release I just received from the Justice Policy Institute:

Annapolis, MD – Representatives from the Justice Policy Institute (JPI); American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland; the Maryland Office of the Public Defender; the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the Office of the Ohio Public Defender will testify Tuesday, February 23 before the Judicial Committee of the Maryland Assembly, as the Committee considers a host of bills aimed at increasing penalties and post-incarceration requirements for people convicted of sex offenses.

In particular, some bills will expand Maryland’s sex offender registries to come into compliance with the controversial federal Adam Walsh Act, which requires states to include many youth on registries. Other bills would limit employment, living, civic and other opportunities for people who have been convicted of a registerable offense.

WHAT: Hearing by the Judicial Committee of the Maryland Assembly on numerous bills related to sex offenses

WHO: Various experts on sex offense policies and Maryland advocates, including:
Amy Borror, Public Information Officer, Office of the Ohio Public Defender, to discuss the failure of Ohio’s sex offender policies and registries to improve public safety (while costing that state millions of dollars);
Nicole Pittman, Esq., Juvenile Justice Policy Analyst attorney, Defender Association of Philadelphia, on the negative impacts of sex offender registries on youth; Sarah Bryer, National Juvenile Justice Network, on developmentally appropriate responses to youth that have committed sex offenses; Tracy Velázquez, Justice Policy Institute, on the research around what policies are effective in promoting public safety, and collateral consequences to youth and adults of registration and other punitive policies; Cindy Boersma, ACLU of Maryland, on the threat of juvenile registries to public safety and the importance of focusing sex offender management on effective prevention and deterrence rather than stigmatization. Laurel Albin, Esq., Maryland Office of the Public Defender, on the dangers of juvenile registries and importance of risk assessment-based sex offender supervision.

WHEN: 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WHERE: Maryland House of Delegates, Judiciary Committee Room, Six Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD