originally posted 2/24/2010
The opinions in RSOL blogs and tales are those of the person sending in the blog or tale, and are not necessarily those of RSOL. We do not endorse this man’s proposal, but he has taken a lot of time to make a serious start!
My Story with a Law Suggestion:
NOTE: PC290 is the designation requiring sex offenders to register in California.
Over 20 plus years ago, I was out of control with myself. I was also out of control with drugs and alcohol and had a lot of stress on me. I was very young (23), had 2 children and worked long hours trying to support them. Being so stressed and with the drugs and alcohol, I was out of touch with reality. I came home after spending the day with alcohol and drugs and inappropriately touched the young girl who was our babysitter. I was not attracted to the baby sitter, she was at the wrong place at the wrong time and I wasn’t in control.
She finally had the courage to speak up and my life has not been the same since. At first it spiraled to the lowest a life could be. When I finally sobered up, I was devastated at what I had done, how could I? I still had to deal with the legal issues with what I had done and at the same time I had to turn my life around getting sober and dealing with the stress and issues that I had in life . To prevent giving additional stress to the young lady whom I violated, I plead guilty. I did my time, I paid for all of her counseling. I had to file bankruptcy and I lost everything that I had. The counseling costs were put into an account that I made payments into when I was released. The fees created a financial hardship on me and my family, but I stayed up to date with them until they were all paid.
I have spent the last 20 plus years improving on myself, becoming a very good, responsible person. Today, I am in full control of my life. I am very responsible, have high morals and have a great respect for others and myself. There should be something that is given in return. The law has decided to post all sex offenders on the internet. That posting is considered a list of people that are a danger to society, whether or not that was the intention, that is what it is. That posting is putting myself, my family, my household and my career in serious danger. On top of all of that I have been pretty much banished from society as the people and neighbors that know me find out about my past. Putting my personal information on the internet next to a repeat offender or a predatory child molester, adds additional danger to me and my family. Society will think that I am just as a dangerous to them as they are.
Many other people, as well as I, consider this to be cruel and inhumane punishment. When people think of a sex offender all they can think of is the worst of the worst shown on TV, not the offender who made one serious mistake in life and can be rehabilitated. It is being said that posting the personal information of all types of offenders on the Internet is not cruel and inhumane punishment. But the impact of this posting is great on everybody’s life.
It is a huge psychological and physical punishment on those posted. The offender who spent many years trying to improve him/herself only to be banished in society. Unable to find a job, then a place to live and then becoming homeless. Some of them out of desperation become criminals by moving and not registering. These are people that are normally law abiding citizens, but they can’t take the pressure of society banishing them and not being able to live in peace.
The law states that it is against the law to harass offenders from the information on the internet, however we all know that the police can not stop it and they will not spend the resources to investigate. The assaults, badgering, names written on houses and cars will never stop. I have been informed by people that do not know that I am an offender that they use that listing to check potential employees. If they are on there, they get disqualified. In my case, I applied not for a position around children, but for an Engineering
position. They just don’t want any offenders. no matter what their qualifications are. No, this is not a documented process and it is against the law, but not enforced. The recruiter just claims that somebody else is more qualified. That makes finding a job next to impossible for many people.
States are now implementing curfews for offenders on Hallowe’en. This is just another version of house arrest and should be reserved
for the worst.
In order to keep my job, I travel 65 miles each way to work adding to the commute traffic and gas consumption of our society. For what? The law went too far. If somebody at work sees me on the internet, my career is over. Since writing this originally, people at work found out about my past. They have since stopped communicating with me, making it impossible to do my job. I have transferred to another division, now it is just a matter of time before they find out also. Is this what I truly deserve for working so hard over the 20 plus years?
Then there is the impact on offenders’ children at school and in the neighborhood. The harassment that they have to endure. Those children will have scars from that impact for the rest of their lives.
So, I ask, are you really saving a child or demolishing many thousands of lives? The law is in place mainly for political reasons, it got the politicians’ votes to create a blanket sweep of all offenders, no matter what. We are people too, we make mistakes also. The law should give those who have fixed their lives and have proven so over many years the opportunity to be removed from the Internet posting.
There are neighborhoods hiring attorneys trying to take legal action to get offenders out of their neighborhoods, the offender in turn has to spend money to defend him/herself. Home builders are taking legal action against offenders that purchase homes in their development. The posting was also used in at least one case where offenders were targeted and murdered!
I am desperately asking you to contact your representatives to ask them to change the law:
Allocate resources from those that they know will not offend to track and control those that are of a real danger to society to actually protect society.
Stop destroying more lives, adults, children and families without giving society the protection that it needs.
Stop depreciating home prices. Home prices are the heart of many people’s investment and retirement. The government is endangering that very investment by going too far.
These changes will not apply to offenders that fall under the following categories:
Crimes that include multiple victims
Repeat convictions of a sexual offense
Crimes that include sale/distribution of child pornography
Crimes that include kidnap or murder
PROPOSED PC290 Rehabilitation Requirements
If you are approved for both steps of the certificate of rehabilitation, the offense will not be removed from your record, you will only be relieved of the requirement to register as an offender. This will be a two-step process. These steps will not take place automatically; you must petition the courts for these.
It must be a minimum amount of years since completing incarceration and probation.
Misdemeanor offense 10 years.
Serious offender 15 years.
The following crimes do not qualify for the certificate of rehabilitation
Predators do not qualify.
Crimes that include multiple victims do not qualify.
Crimes that include the sale or distribution of child pornography do not qualify.
Crimes that include kidnap and/or murder do not qualify.
You must not have been convicted of any felony for the listed period of time. If so, you do not qualify.
Misdemeanor offense 10 years.
Serious (felony) offender 15 years.
You must obtain a record clearance from the courts.
You must pass a hair follicle test or equivalent for illegal drug use.
A court-recognized psychiatrist must evaluate you to determine your risk to society.
After being approved for step 1, you will be given the following:
Your information will be removed from the Internet.
You must still register as an offender, however instead of yearly on your birthday, it will be within 15 days when changing
After being approved for step 1, there must be a minimum number of years since being approved.
Misdemeanor offense 5 years.
Serious felony offender 10 years.
You must not have been convicted of any felony for the listed period of time. If so, you do not qualify. You may keep the step 1 status.
After being approved for step 2 you will be relieved of the requirement to register as an offender. However the offense will stay on your record.
If you are approved for a certificate of rehabilitation and you are convicted of any sex crime afterwards, your certificate of
rehabilitation will be revoked and you will never qualify for it again.