"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Florida Action Committee Recent Posts: February, 18, 2015


As Lauren Book Hints at Run, Some Question if Her Charity Could Become Political Tool 
February 18, 2015

Courtesy of Lauren’s Kids Lauren Book has started a political fundraising committee, fueling speculation she might be considering a run. As she climbed the hill leading to...
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We posted about this yesterday, however it’s such a crock of ____ that it was worthy of adding this article to the pile. It seems that, In Florida, if you are a politician,...
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The following article appeared in USA Today. Before anyone in Florida gets too excited, the preemption argument was tried here already several years ago and failed.  ...
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Is this article for real?!?! Can someone tell me where they got the statistic that one in three middle school children are being targeted for sex trafficking?   Story by...
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This article is not so newsworthy or republished here because a police officer got off easy after sexually assaulting multiple victims. We know that’s not anything new or...
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In a victory for fundamental fairness, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held today that New Hampshire’s law requiring the registration of certain criminal offenders is...
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Florida sex offender allowed to spend $3 million lottery jackpot winnings despite alleged victims’ lawsuit 
February 16, 2015

A convicted sex offender can spend his $3 million Florida lottery winnings any way he wants, over the protestations of two of his alleged victims, a judge ruled Friday. Timothy...
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Five Questions with Pervert Park Directors Frida and Lasse Barkfors | Filmmaker Magazine

Five Questions with Pervert Park Directors Frida and Lasse Barkfors | Filmmaker Magazine

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ohio’s child-molester sentencing law is unconstitutional, justices rule

Ohio’s child-molester sentencing law is unconstitutional, justices rule

Florida Action Committee Recent Post: Feburary 14, 2015

Florida ‘Sex Offender Village’ becomes refuge for the reviled

February 9, 2015
PAHOKEE, Florida (WTLV) — Stuck like a sandspur to the eastern edge of Lake Okeechobee and surrounded by thousands of acres of sugar cane, Pahokee is about as remote as...
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Teen sex a crime? Ky high court to hear case

February 9, 2015
The following is a repost of an article in Cincinnati.com that was significant to share here.   The eighth-grade boy and his seventh-grade girlfriend had been dating about...
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Sex offender had only one place to live: a parking lot

February 15, 2015
TAMPA — As a convicted sex offender, Antonio Rodriguez Rivera was ordered to live in a small parking lot on Channelside Drive. Rivera, who had been prosecuted for impregnating...
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

UK: Child prisoners more likely to become sex offenders, report suggests


Telegraph.co.uk

Child prisoners more likely to become sex offenders, report suggests ... about issues such as equality, respect, sexuality, gender identity and sexual ...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Florida Action Committee Recent Posts


February 5, 2015

This article reminds us that serious consequences come for failing to register. The offender committed his offense in 1997, almost 20 years ago, but now is being held in jail...
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February 5, 2015

As a Detective, Dione Thompson’s job was to inform the community of Sex Offenders. Ironically, prior to that role she was a school resource officer who is alleged to...
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February 4, 2015

Currently, a registrant who has a child enrolled in a school is able to be present on school property to drop off and pick up their child and attend school functions when their...
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Florida lawmakers to revisit sexting law

Florida lawmakers to revisit sexting law

BS National: Military sex offenders can fly under states' radar




USA TODAY

When a sex offender is released from a military prison, the Department of ... "We recognize that due to jurisdictional issues there are gaps in former ...

In New York and Vermont Legislation

vtdigger.org
As the law stands, a sex offender who is completing his or her maximum ... All sex offenders are required to tell the state where they plan to reside within ... issues with the registry, such as inconsistencies in registration requirements ...

LongIsland.com
... sex offenders evade registration requirements, and create a public awareness program to educate schools, community groups, and clergy on issues ...

The Daily Voice
Under current law, offenders only are required to register their primary ... to schools, community groups, and clergy on issues related to sex offenders.
 


 
 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Florida Action Committee Recent Posts


REMINDER: Call To Action – STOP Lifetime GPS 
February 2, 2015

We are currently in Pre-legislative session when all the bills are being considered. This year, as we have mentioned, there is a “Lifetime Monitoring” bill which will...
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No other industrialized country treats sex offenders this way. 
February 2, 2015

With the recent attention incarceration rates have received, we wanted to share some excerpts from Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, by Marie...
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WI: Residency Restrictions Backfiring 
February 2, 2015

A Wisconsin news station ran this report in which the reporters, politicians and their department of corrections acknowledge that the residency restrictions have backfired. Now,...
Read More »

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pervert Park - The Movie




YEAR 2014

SECTION World Cinema Documentary Competition

COUNTRY Sweden/Denmark

RUN TIME 75 min

 The sex offender label is a scarlet letter in the United States. Individuals given this designation are relegated to a life of public shame, their photos posted online for all to see, with few opportunities for redemption. Only a small number of facilities, such as the beaten-down trailer park at the center of Frida and Lasse Barkfors’ unflinching new film, offer people the chance to confront their crimes and re-integrate—as much as the law will allow—into society. Although the formal title of the place is Florida Justice Transitions, local neighbors have nicknamed it “Pervert Park.” Within this outcast community, a handful of offenders tell searing personal stories that paint a troubling portrait of abuse and justice in America. Pervert Park seeks neither to forgive nor defend its subjects, some of whom have committed acts so atrocious they cannot even forgive themselves, but it does question the severity of laws designed to stifle rather than rehabilitate those yearning for a second chance. —H.V.



COMPANY Ginsberg/Libby




Sex Offender Stigma: Barkfors Take Taboo Tour

By Amanda Yam on January 29, 2015



It’s not an easy subject to broach let alone discuss. The scarlet letter burns bright as sex offenders attempt to navigate a world that scorns and condemns them. With crimes ranging from offensive to heinous, their stories break the silence that detains them to the outskirts of the world to which they used to belong. Frida and Lasse Barkfors’ Pervert Park is an intimate look at a specific group of sex offenders who live in a compound where they cope with their inner demons and past transgressions in the attempt to preserve remnants of their humanity.


Aptly named, Pervert Park follows a group of sex offenders who live in a trailer park (Florida Justice Transition) while adjusting to their new social statuses post-incarceration. The compound was first created by Nancy Morais’ desire to help her son find housing after he was deemed a sexual offender. What started as a solution to an individual problem grew into a communal asylum where there is a cultivated mutual understanding between the residents who live with as much freedom as they possibly can. They undergo group therapy, speak about probation, and even attend barbeques. Their broken backgrounds affixed together create a safe haven–far from idyllic yet the best that they can hope for.


A veteran resident, William Fuery, who helps maintain the park, is one of the more prominent subjects. His story, which includes a family tragedy and his own abuse from his parents and babysitter, contains a level of honesty, which arises only from years of self-examination, torment, and ultimately acceptance. Tracy Hutchinson’s gut-wrenching story also helps reinforce a familiar cyclical pattern that reappears throughout. Though there are different subjects, their collective willingness to share is so indicative to just how muted their voices are.


As first time directors, Frida and Lasse Barkfors approach their subjects generously. There is no shying away from details nor do they feel heightened for dramatic effect. Like the park itself, the Barkfors offer a safe platform for the offenders to share their stories as unadulterated as they come. The subjects are on their own personal journeys whether it be towards reconciliation or redemption.

The Scandinavian produced documentary does not condemn but it also does not force empathy. In fact, the offenders’ profiles are displayed which include their personal details, ones that could easily be found from a quick Internet search. It is a reminder that these offenders have indeed committed a crime but that there is depth beyond their portraits and vice versa. Consisting of expected talking heads and a bit of wondering around as the residents pass through the compound (many are restricted due to house arrest), despite the predictable approach, Pervert Park allows the subjects and their stories to come to light for what they are, and for who they are.


Reviewed on January 28th at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival – World Cinema Documentary Competition – 77 Mins.


See more at:






Additional links:






Peter Debruge: Here we are, approaching the end of the Sundance Film Festival, and let me just say, having spent the last year attending festivals abroad, I miss American independent cinema, far too little of which lands overseas distribution. Sundance is the place where we can all stock up on all those squirrely, hard-to-categorize movies that come out between the blockbusters and cookie-cutter releases the rest of the year, and this year’s bounty leaves me optimistic — and for more reasons than just sheer entertainment value.

This is the most diverse Sundance lineup I can remember, featuring new films from black, Asian and Lgbt filmmakers set in their respective communities (“Dope,” “Seoul Searching” and “I Am Michael”), and while hardly a minority — except in Hollywood — a wealth of films directed by women, including the terrific, sexually liberated coming-of-age movie “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.”

But more interesting than that »

- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang





29 January 2015 6:00 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Sex Offender Stigma: Barkfors Take Taboo Tour

It’s not an easy subject to broach let alone discuss. The scarlet letter burns bright as sex offenders attempt to navigate a world that scorns and condemns them. With crimes ranging from offensive to heinous, their stories break the silence that detains them to the outskirts of the world to which they used to belong. Frida and Lasse BarkforsPervert Park is an intimate look at a specific group of sex offenders who live in a compound where they cope with their inner demons and past transgressions in the attempt to preserve remnants of their humanity.

Aptly named, Pervert Park follows a group of sex offenders who live in a trailer park (Florida Justice Transition) while adjusting to their new social statuses post-incarceration. The compound was first created by Nancy Morais’ desire to help her son find housing after he was deemed a sexual offender. »

- Amanda Yam





28 January 2015 8:53 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Do sex offenders get a bad rap? Would you want a sex offender as a neighbor, around your children? These questions are seemingly easy to answer. When someone gets convicted of a sex offense, they become defined by the crime by law and by society; their motivations are left unquestioned due to the devastating nature of the crime. "Pervert Park" offers a fresh and notably controversial perspective on the subject, as it explores the humanity of the offenders in question. Documentarians Frida and Lasse Barkfors take us into the Florida Justice Transitions, a private community that houses over one hundred sex offenders. Founded by Nancy Morais, mother of a convicted sex offender, the private institution provides homes for those who couldn't find a place to live after they were convicted. The residents, both men and women, have developed a tightknit community, bonded by their similar situations as they learn to »

- Sterlin Johnson





23 January 2015 6:52 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

"Pervert Park" is a film that follows a group of sex offenders as they struggle to integrate back into society. It's a hard look at some of the hardest to look at criminals, and with this documentary, Frida and Lasse Barkfors manage to pull off the deceptively difficult task of portraying both the offenders and their offenses in as truthful and unflinching manner as possible. What's your film about, in 140 characters or less?It’s about Florida Justice Transitions - a trailer park in which a group of sex offenders try to reintegrate into society.  Now, what's it Really about?It’s about crimes that are often too painful or uncomfortable to discuss and about the stigma that comes with it. It’s about the people behind the crimes, people that no one wants as a neighbor, and therefore have been moved out of our society. Although many of their crimes are unspeakable, »

- Rosie Narasaki






First-ime feature filmmaking couple Frida and Lasse Barkfors set their sights on unraveling the taboo yet widespread condition of the sex offender in Pervert Park. At the Florida Justice Transitions trailer park in St. Petersburg, the film’s ostracized subjects work towards societal reintegration through group therapy and unflinching self-reflection. Filmmaker spoke to the Barkfors about building relationships with guarded subjects, objectivity, and how they first came across Fjt. Pervert Park has its North American premiere in the World Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival tonight.  Filmmaker: As Scandinavians, how did you come across Florida Justice Transitions, and what led […] »

- Sarah Salovaara





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"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."
~Adlia Stevenson U.S. Vice President (1893–1897) and Congressman (1879–1881)

On a Personal Note

Thanks for the opportunity to express my thoughts regarding the issue of citizens’ rights, particularly addressing certain sex offenders’ crimes that do not fit the devastating, inequitable and endless punishment given.


As you know, many young men and women lives across the nation are being destroyed by incarceration, life-time registry and restrictive laws that do more harm than good. For those individuals, there is no second chance.

Below is a personal letter to President Obama:
* * * *
“Dear President Obama,

I truly agree with your sentiments that individuals, such as ex-felons, should be able to receive a second chance at life. Since we all know that one can veer off that path of life and travel along rough, rocky terrain, sometimes running off and ending up in some ditch. We all have made our fill of mistakes and sometimes those held a costly consequence that changed life forever. So we lived through it, trying harder to make things right with family, friends and those around us, but what about those who aren’t able to make things right even if they tried…because they’re labeled as too dirty, a leper, a person who is rejected from society and home.


But what if they’re a seventeen year old and had sex with a fifteen year old, consensual at that? Or they’re a teen that had gotten so enraged after a breakup that he sent out naked pictures of his girlfriend on his cell phone or email? Or an individual urinates where someone just happens to see them?


All are wrong and a travesty but do they deserve the life of no second chance with a registry that ends all. They are labeled, no jobs, no where to live…they have been deemed a menace to society, a plague. These certain circumstances, and many other situations similar to these, I believe still deserve a second change.

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution


Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


After my son’s early release and two years of prison, I thought I had handled that fact graciously knowing after serving his time he would be able to get that fresh start, that second chance. He was an exemplary inmate, GED, college courses and vocational classes. Little did I know that a second chance on the outside was the farthest from the truth? He now struggles and lives in a trailer park sharing a trailer with another and surrounded by others in the same rocking boat, one to float endlessly in shark infested waters. I see him little because of probation requirements (he couldn’t live with us because we were 800 feet near a school). My family is afraid of what would happen to them if he lived with them…vigilantism. My son has no other place to stay since others condemn him of his crime that is screamed from the highest rooftop. Sex offender, sex offender!

Not all sex offenders are pedophiles or predators but some are simply young kids that make one stupid and rash decision that eventually changes everything, and they have no idea what they’ve done until their life is never their own. Exactly, where is that second chance for those sex-offenders who are lumped together with pedophiles and predators? Now, it makes me sick to think of my son’s future and many like him that are on the registry and many with no second chance…ever. I am asking you as a mother and as another concerned citizen of the United States that these laws are looked at again and taken into serious consideration in what they are doing to the Constitution of the United States, not for sex offenders in general but the future rights of every citizen, before anymore are put into effect. They unjustly strip an offender of their rights and place them in a guillotine that can be easily set off by anyone and at anytime. Where is the second chance for ex-sex offenders in the present, pending and future laws?”
* * * *
What truly saddens me is the weakness and deterioration of what the sex offense issue is doing to our once, great nation. Across Europe, others are seeing the injustice and disregard of rights, but we ignore this problem and it makes me wonder where humanity is heading….

We have become a hysterical society in which our latest witch-hunt is a sex offender--no matter his/her crime.

Below is a email sent from a foreign advocate to a father of a sex offender:
* * * *
“The tragic story of your son's death is just so sad that it's difficult to explain how. It was very hard to read your letters. It seems almost unbelievable that this can take place in a democracy! From our point of view, there is no justice in this. Not in any way: not for you, your son, the former girl friend – or even the state.

It is an abusive legal system. It seems barbaric. And we are so very sorry that this takes place. That's why it's so important for us to try to neutralize the debate with this…, hopefully making some changes. ….. to show the every day life of the sex offenders, trying to show how they keep on being punished, even after served prison time…..But we will for sure tell the story of the injustice that your son has been exposed to.”
* * * *
I appreciate everyone's commitment and backing to protect everyone's civil rights, plainly as noted in the Constitution of the United States and is presupposed, giving ALL men are “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”