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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sex Offender News for January 30 2015

Minnesota sex offenders prepare for civil commitment court battle
More than 700 civilly committed sex offenders are suing the state in a class ... Among the issues in the lawsuit, the court is being asked to determine ... 

Nozzolio Announces Tougher Sex Offenders Penalties 
Lansing Star
Nozzolio Announces Tougher Sex Offenders Penalties ... to educate schools, community groups, and clergy on issues related to sex offenders. 

Senator Ken LaValle: Senate Passes Bills to Toughen Penalties on Sex Offenders
Long Island Exchange... 
requirements, and create a public awareness program to educate schools, community groups, and clergy on issues related to sex offenders. 

Scathing audit paints sex offender agency in disarray 
Houston Chronicle
In reviewing $7.5 million in Office of Violent Sex Offender Management ... "We've taken action to correct every one of the issues that have been pointed ... 

Senate passes bills to better protect NY'ers from sex offenders 
Another bill (S.833/A.978) would prohibit level-three sex offenders from ... "The issue of high-level sex offenders taking up residence in emergency ...  

Senate approves package of bills to toughen penalties for sex offenders 
The Daily News Online
“This legislation addresses the serious problem of dealing with those who protect convicted sex offenders who they know have not registered with the ... 

NY Senate approves tougher penalties, requirements for sex offenders - Auburn Citizen (blog) 

NYS Senate passes bills to toughen penalties for sex offenders - NEWS10 ABC 

NY Senate Passes Bills to Toughen Penalties for Sex Offenders My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22

FAC Recent Post for January 28-29, 2015

FAC Submits Complaint to FL Attorney General Regarding Bogus Stings
January 29, 2015

Today, the Florida Action Committee submitted a written complaint to Attorney General Pam Bondi requesting the office investigate the bogus sting operations taking place in our...
Read More »

January 29, 2015 posted the following review of “Pervert Park” a documentary on the lives and conditions of individuals living at Florida Justice Transitions, a...
Read More »

January 29, 2015
Eric Goldman calls our attention to a rather astounding story out of Florida, involving how various Florida police departments are engaging in what appears to be basically sham...
Read More »

January 29, 2015
The United States leads the world in the number of people the country puts behind bars. Although it only has 5% of the world’s population, the United States has 25% of the...
Read More »

January 28, 2015
Our nation loves stories about sex. You throw “sex” into a headline and you’re guaranteed readership. FAC’s legislative committee keeps track of Bills...
Read More »

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Florida Action Committee Recent Posts

January 27, 2015
The following is a well referenced article on the lottery debate, which is republished here. Most reading this article would agree that it’s absurd to create laws...    Read More »

January 27, 2015
News 4 Jacksonville, known for extensively reporting on anything sex offender related, put out the following story yesterday which highlighted some of the problems with the...  Read More »

January 27, 2015
The US House of Representatives yesterday passed the International Megan’s Law which would require the US inform other countries when a registrant intends to travel there..........   Read More »

January 26, 2015
Often, we like to share stupid statements contained in reputable news sources, because it shows how ignorant even the most highly regarded news sources can be. Today, NBC’s...    Read More »

January 26, 2015
Those who have been through the system have seen the corruption and are not surprised by what’s been going on in the State of Florida’s Prison System. The family...    Read More »

The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?

January 26, 2015

By Vicky Pelaez Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States,...  Read More »

Saturday, January 24, 2015

National RSOL Update

Update on the registered citizen with cancer who was granted his dying dream by the Dream Foundation only to have it taken back when his past was revealed to them. If this is the first you are hearing of this, you can catch up by reading this.

After the family made the decision to reject the portion of the gift still being offered to the rest of the family, we put out this action item and this press release:

Dying man suffers public humiliation as direct consequence of 
overzealous operative determined to prevent his final wishes

For immediate release:

January 20, 2015—Dayton, Ohio—Military veteran Greg Poston and his brother are dying of cancer. 

Their physician, Dr. Emily Vannorsdall, contacted the Dream Foundation about their dying wish, to see the Grand Canyon. At first the foundation was on board, and, with the help of the Veterans Service Commission, offered the trip to the brothers and their siblings.

Read the rest of the press release here.

Additionally, Paul Shannon, co-chair of the National RSOL Board of Directors, issued this statement to media in the New England area:

"The decision of the Dream Foundation to withdraw its offer of a special vacation to Greg Poston, a dying man and once convicted sex offender who has fully served out his sentence, is surely a sign of just how much our society has sunk into an abyss of hatred. We have come to believe as a society that there is no redemption and that the best way to make the victim feel better is to make life as miserable as possible for Mr. Poston. See all of you 'Christians' at church on Sunday!"

National RSOL Event Announcement: Advancing Advocacy, Tue, January 27, 2015

National RSOL Advancing Advocacy

Guest: Chrysanthi Leon

Impact of sex offender laws on family members and friends of registered sex offenders 

Through the use of surveys and interviews, our research (in progress) examines the consequences current sex offender policies and laws such as residency restrictions, registration requirements, and community notification have had on the family members of the individual convicted of the sexual offense in the areas of social/family relationships, employment, housing, and community involvement. Telling these stories can help advocates reach policy makers and the public.

Chrysanthi (Santhi) Leon, JD, PhD, is associate professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice with appointments in Women & Gender Studies & Legal Studies at the University of Delaware. Leon received her graduate degrees from UC Berkeley and is a research fellow at the Criminal Justice Research Program, Institute for Legal Research at the Boalt Hall School of Law. She is an interdisciplinary scholar in the area of law and society with particular emphasis on the roles and experiences of women as they relate to the justice system. Her book, Sex Fiends, Perverts and Pedophiles: Understanding Sex Crime Policy in America, is available from NYU Press. Building on this research, Leon consults with groups and organizations grappling with how and whether to welcome sexual offenders as participants in their communities.

Join RSOL on (usually) fourth Tuesdays to learn tips and get answers to questions surrounding sexual offense laws and policies, seeking change among lawmakers and the general public, and in general becoming a better advocate. We will be covering everything from basics to more detailed suggestions on how to approach lawmakers and build working relationships.
Conference "doors" will open at 7:45 p.m. E.S.T. for early birds. Details will be sent once you sign up for the workshop. The log-in and call-in can CHANGE so please always sign up to get the correct call information! Thank you.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Florida Action Committee Recent Posts

NH: A local lawmaker sponsors bills to protect convicted sex offenders

January 23, 2015
If anyone feels compelled to write a thank you message to this representative after reading the below story, here is his email information: Representative Timothy Robertson (d)...
Read More »


Q: Where can I find more information about the registration restrictions?

January 22, 2015
FAC tries to make as much information about registration requirements as possible available on our site, Additionally, there are several online...
Read More »


Article equates sex offender registry to prison.

January 22, 2015
The following is an excerpt from a very insightful article by Maya Schenwar. The article, which discusses the “prison outside prison” world of electronic monitoring,...
Read More »


New Sex Offender Bill Filed in Senate

January 22, 2015
Senate Bill 0336 was filed yesterday. There is an accompanying bill filed in the House the day before (H0387) The bill creates Florida Statutes 921.2312 and makes substantial...
Read More »

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Florida:FAC President to Testify before Senate Criminal Justice Subcommittee

***UPDATE*** The bill was not heard on 1/20/2015 – Will advise on when it will be scheduled.

Posted by on January 20, 2015

"The lifetime GPS bill will be discussed in the Senate Criminal Justice Subcommittee today.
This is a horrible, nonsensical bill that will place everyone convicted of a “sex offense” on lifetime GPS after October, 2015.
It makes no distinction between someone that looks at inappropriate images on their computer from the privacy of their own home and someone who abducted and raped a child in a school yard. It makes no distinction between a first time offender and a serial rapist. Everyone gets a life sentence!
Offenders will have to cover the cost of monitoring and if they can’t afford to do so, they will earn a new third degree felony and go back to jail.
It is critical that we reach out to our legislators and express opposition to this horrible bill.

To watch the testimony go to:"

Note: Meeting should start at 4:00 under the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Florida Action Committee Recent Posts

Man Mislabeled Sex Offender Died Before Suit Could Be Heard

January 15, 2015
Just to illustrate how humiliating and life-threatening the “sex offender” label can be, a Jacksonville man whose drivers license mislabeled him a sex offender sued...
Read More »

Maine Supreme Court Finds Changes to the Registry Impose Extra Punishment

January 15, 2015
Maine is another state to add to a list of Supreme Courts who have found that enhancements added on to the sex offender registry constitute punishment. In this case, individuals...
Read More »


Controling what Sex Offenders do With their Money.

January 14, 2015
There’s been a lot of attention on Jeffrey Epstein lately. The Florida registrant served 13 months for procuring an underage prostitute in 2008. Last month, a victim filed...
Read More »


Failure to Register Carries a VERY STIFF Penalty

January 14, 2015
A 40 year old man in Jacksonville is facing 10 years in prison and a quarter of a million dollar fine for failing to register as a sex offender. The man, who committed a sexual...
Read More »


City of Hollywood to Decide Whether to Allow Adults Without Children in Playgrounds

January 13, 2015
In a move that FAC actually supports, the City of Hollywood, Florida will likely approve a new set of rules tomorrow that will prevent anyone OVER the age of 12 from being in a...
Read More »


Good Read: Disgust, Dehumanization, and the Courts’ Response to Sex Offender Legislation

January 13, 2015
The following appeared in the National Lawyer’s Guild Review. It highlights the impact the negative sentiment towards sex offenders and strong political influence has on...
Read More »


Proximity Ordinances: Does your county have one?

January 13, 2015
Just as our goal for 2014 was to have a legal challenge against residency restrictions (and we were successful in getting one filed), our goal for 2015 is to have a legal...
Read More »


Home in Daytona Houses 9 Registrants

January 12, 2015
Yesterday’s Daytona Beach News-Journal reported on a home in Daytona which as many as nine registrants call home. As if it were any surprise, registrants are clustered...
Read More »


Are You Being Solicited Online?

January 12, 2015
Have you noticed that you’ve been receiving an increased amount of solicitations since you’ve been required to register your online identifiers? There is a suspicion...
Read More »


Florida police lured innocent men into online sex stings and seized their property, records show

January 7, 2015
The following is a cut and paste, so I am attributing the source here.We are really glad this is getting the media attention it is. It’s time to start prosecuting the REAL...
Read More »


The Prince and the Sex Offender

January 5, 2015
Today’s Washington Post features a story titled, “The prince and the sex offender: Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein’s mysterious relationship“. The article...
Read More »

One To See Change Past Posts

One to See Change Blog List

"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.”