Sunday, March 30, 2008

Professionals Respond

Below are memorandum, editorials, and letters written by "counseling and legal professionals: I am a counselor who has worked with sex offenders every week for years. I have put in more hours than anyone I know in northern Nevada working to help prevent new sex crimes in our state. I, too, am a businessman in the community; I, too, am a father and a grandfather. I, too, am outraged by the same events that horrify all of us. First of all, the vast majority of convicted sex offenders are hardly up to the standard of "predator." Face it, the word "predator" is overused... What's really going on here though, if you stop and just think, is that we Americans have some sort of weird blind spot when it comes to sexual crimes....Sure, as a parent, I'd like to know about the dangerous people in my neighborhood: but so long as we're outing sex offenders why wouldn't we list convicted drug abusers, meth manufacturers, those convicted of domestic violence, and why not all the drunks convicted of drinking in public and DUI? - Steven Ing (read full letter)

Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification: Past, Present, and Future
WAYNE A. LOGAN key note speaker
Florida State University College of Law:
When information on registrants is made available, without reference to individual risk, as the AWA mandates and now occurs in most states, a saturation effect can occur, which can be detrimental to community members. As the Supreme Court observed in an unrelated context, "when everything is classified, then nothing is classified, and the system becomes one to be disregarded by the cynical or the careless". Secondly, over-broad notification might enhance the prospects of recidivism among otherwise law-abiding ex-offenders.
(read full address; PDF)

Professor Katherine Hunt Federle, Director of the "Justice for Children Project"
The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law
Letter to the Ohio House of Representatives, June 2007:
Senate Bill 10 goes well beyond the mandates of the Adam Walsh Act. Moreover, the federal financial incentives to implement provisions of the Adam Walsh Act by July 27, 2007, are illusory.

Let me first address the question of financial incentives. The Adam Walsh Act authorizes a ten percent bonus from Sex Offender Management Assistance (SOMA) funds to those states implementing the requirements of the Act prior to July 27, 2007. 42 U.S.C.A. 16926(c)(1). The problem is that no SOMA funds have been appropriated. The Justice Department’s SMART Office cannot say when or if it expects SOMA funds to be appropriated, and there is no indication that the current Congress has any intention to appropriate funds for SOMA. Accordingly, neither the ten percent bonus nor the general SOMA assistance money that Ohio will need to implement the Adam Walsh Act currently exist, and they may never exist. ( read full letter)