Thursday, September 27, 2012
Miami Northwestern marching band in racy music video with rappers Juicy J, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz - Schools - MiamiHerald.com
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
CURE's Expectations for a Justice system
Because we believe that…
• No one deserves to be measured only by the worst thing she or he has ever done.
• Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and have his or her human rights preserved.
• Justice systems should be restorative rather than retributive.
• There is no way to create a perfectly safe world. Expecting that of our justice systems leads to policies that are counterproductive.
• Detention must be justified by a legitimate public safety concern.
• Those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they need to turn their lives around.
• No one should be incarcerated for his or her immigration status.
• National and international human rights documents provide a sound basis for ensuring that justice systems meet these goals.
• The politics of fear should not be allowed to influence sentencing practices or parole policies.
• All efforts should be made to depoliticize justice system offices.
• Drug use should be decriminalized and treated as a public health issue.
• All juvenile cases should be handled in the juvenile system that is geared toward rehabilitation and education rather than incarceration.
We therefore believe that the following practices should define our justice systems with respect to…
Anyone accused of a crime shall be represented by an attorney who has the qualifications, resources, and time to thoroughly explore the circumstances surrounding the crime and advocate for the defendant. This is true whether the crime is considered violent or nonviolent and whether it is resolved by trial or plea agreement.
The justice system shall understand and consider the individual’s background and accomplishments, as well as the mitigating circumstances of the crime as thoroughly as
they understand and consider the aggravating circumstances.
No plea agreement shall occur without negotiations that are done with an engaged and competent attorney, in a manner that does not result in harm to any other defendant, and includes the judge.
Anyone who refuses to negotiate a plea agreement and is subsequently tried and convicted shall not be sentenced to a longer term than was offered in negotiations.
The defendant shall not appear in court in shackles, restraints, or jail “uniform.”
Any action that results in the deprivation of an individual’s liberty shall be decided based only upon the beyond a reasonable doubt standard.
There shall be no loss of voting rights as a result of a criminal conviction.
The criminal prosecution system shall consider evidence of someone’s innocence,
regardless of when that evidence becomes available and whether or not the court process or representation was flawed.
We shall not incarcerate persons who are mentally ill.
We shall not incarcerate persons who are developmentally disabled.
Juveniles shall never be housed in adult facilities.
There shall be no death penalty.
No one shall be sentenced to life without parole.
There shall be no mandatory sentences, since they prevent adequate consideration of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
We shall utilize non-incarcerative sanctions whenever possible. Those include, but are not limited to:
• Forfeiture of all gains from economic crimes
• Therapeutic solutions
• Restorative/transformative justice (Alternative restorative justice programs shall be provided to an individual when the victim is unwilling to participate.)
• Community service
• Fines and fees based only upon one’s ability to pay.
No one shall be sentenced to a prison term unless it will serve a greater purpose than
The minimum sentence for any offense shall be only long enough to complete an appropriate, well-defined, treatment and training program. Programming shall be provided in a timely manner.
Time added for aggravating circumstances shall not exceed the sentence for the basic crime.
We shall not give significant weight to prior criminal history when crafting a sentence, without considering the probability that recidivism represents a failure of the justice system.
Felony murder statutes shall be eliminated.
All mandatory minimums shall be abolished.
The cost of the sentence shall be identified at the time of sentencing.
TREATMENT OF THE INCARCERATED:
The Prison Litigation Reform Act shall be eliminated.
Persons who are incarcerated shall have access to earned benefits (e.g. retiree health insurance, veterans health care, veteran’s educational benefits, etc.) in cases where the department of corrections cannot or will not provide comparable services.
No one shall be subject to long-term restraints (greater than 4 hours) unless authorized and monitored by a medical doctor.
Individuals shall be provided timely and appropriate health care. No fees shall be charged for health care.
Persons entering the system shall be evaluated to determine their educational, psychological, and social needs. Every effort shall be made to address those needs while the individual is incarcerated.
No one shall be held for a lengthy period in a facility (e.g. jail) that provides very limited
programs and services.
No person shall be held in isolation for a nonviolent infraction.
No person shall be held in isolation for a total of more than four hours for a violent
There shall be mechanisms to prevent overcrowding, since that contributes to inhumane
No one shall be shackled or restrained during labor or if it will interfere with the delivery of medical care.
Every effort shall be made to compensate for lack of education that may have contributed to a person’s criminal behavior. GED classes shall be standard and provided free by the state to all prisoners without a diploma or GED. Aptitude testing and vocational training shall be provided to ensure job readiness upon release.
Individuals who are incarcerated shall be able to access Pell grants and other similar aid programs to facilitate their pursuit of a college education.
Programs, policies, and tools shall ensure that individuals are able to maintain their social networks through fair and friendly telephone, surface mail, email, and visitation services, including private family visits. Restrictions shall be imposed only if needed to protect specific victim(s). Family members in the free world shall be able to visit any and all incarcerated family members. Subject to security screening, there shall be no limit to the number of persons on a visiting list or call list. At the very least, persons who are indigent shall be provided with postage and writing materials to facilitate contact by surface mail and at least one call per month to family or friends.
While incarcerated, individuals shall be given responsibilities and decision-making opportunities. Every opportunity shall be made to utilize the talents of those who are
incarcerated. Those opportunities may be in the form of facility operation and maintenance, tutoring one another, or providing public services. Where it is possible for an individual to gain certification in an area of expertise that shall be encouraged. Those who are incarcerated shall receive adequate compensation for the work they perform.
Persons shall be paid a minimum wage with a portion going to fines, fees, child support, victim restitution, and savings for use upon release. To the degree possible, community service programs shall be available for interested persons.
The United State shall ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture
(OPCAT), and shall set up a mechanism that will operate to prevent abuse and torture in the country’s confinement facilities.
No person who is incarcerated shall have administrative, disciplinary, or supervisory
power over others who are incarcerated.
There shall be no involuntary interstate transfers.
Housing shall be by consent.
RELEASE OF THE INCARCERATED:
Regardless of the length of sentence, individuals shall be released if they become permanently physically incapacitated and are no longer a risk to the community.
There shall be a presumption of parole at the earliest release date.
Release decisions shall be based upon validated, dynamic risk assessments and performance (including therapy) while incarcerated. The nature of the offense of conviction and criminal history shall not be a factor other than the impact they may have on the outcome of a risk assessment.
Lack of programming staff shall not be used as rationale to delay release. Based upon validated risk assessment results, persons who have not completed programming through no fault of their own shall be released to the community where they shall receive community treatment and monitoring to ensure their successful re-entry.
Everyone past his or her minimum release date shall have an opportunity for release annually.
No one shall be denied release because of a pending appeal or for lack of a home placement. If the individual is not able to live with family members, adequate housing shall be provided outside of the prison system.
No fee shall be charged by the state for probation or parole services. This is the responsibility of the state government.
Licensing restrictions shall be imposed only if there is a strong correlation between the crime(s) committed and the activity being licensed.
Anyone released from a prison shall have access to a re-entry program for assistance with housing, transportation, job searching, health care, and other needs.
Incarceration shall not be extended through mechanisms such as civil commitment,
lifetime parole, or home confinement. No individual shall be subject to residency
Community supervision, in the form of probation, parole, or registration shall be imposed only if a dynamic risk assessment indicates it is warranted. Persons shall be listed on police registries only if they screen high risk on a dynamic risk instrument. There shall be no public registry.
Social security, veteran’s benefits, pension payments, etc. shall be available to the person leaving the prison system.
All persons leaving prison shall have their birth certificate, social security card, and state ID card.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
My name is Alyssa Dawson, and I am a graduate student as Colorado State
University. My ex-partner is a registered sex offender, and I have a
child with him. The consequences of this relationship have led me to be
interested in studying women in a similar situation for my master’s
The population I am studying and trying to get a hold
of are women who are currently in or have been in a relationship with a
registered sex offender and have children under 18 with that RSO. The
purpose of this research is to understand how this dynamic effects the
life experience of these women. This topic and population is highly
under-researched and it is my hope that my research sheds light on the
situation and prompts further research on what can be done to help these
Attached to this email are two documents: One is titled
Dawson Project Introduction - This document introduces myself and the
basic parameters of the project. The second document is titled Dawson
Consent Cover Letter - This document outlines all that a participant
will be consenting to for this project. These two documents should
provide all the information needed to understand what I am trying to do
and what I am asking of my potential participants. My email is listed in
both documents so any women who are interested in participating or
simply have questions can email me directly.
I would like to
explicitly state that there will be absolutely no bias throughout the
interview process. I will simply be listening to each person's story,
and asking clarifying questions, in order to understand the realities of
their situation. I know as well as any of the women I am seeking to
interview that this can be a very difficult topic to discuss. I am
hoping to give women like myself the opportunity to share their story in
hopes of changing those realities perhaps for ourselves but more
realistically for women in similar situations in the future.
Thank you so much for helping me reach more women!
Department of Sociology
Colorado State University
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
Media request for personal stories from those struggling with collateral consequences
Indiana sex offender list violates due process: court
Pass this on.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Sex Offender Reports, Charts and Other Papers: Indiana sex offender registry full of inaccuracies...
One To See Change Past Posts
- ► 2016 (210)
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- Links of Interest 9-24-2012
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- FAC Membership Orientation
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- Another great way to contact lawmkers in congress ...
- Articles of Interest 9-3-2012
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~Adlia Stevenson U.S. Vice President (1893–1897) and Congressman (1879–1881)
On a Personal Note
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.”