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Dealing with Sex Offenders Through Best Practice NYSCOPA Presentation for NYSAC.

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Presentation on theme: "Dealing with Sex Offenders Through Best Practice NYSCOPA Presentation for NYSAC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dealing with Sex Offenders Through Best Practice NYSCOPA Presentation for NYSAC

2 Presenters  Barbara Mentry, Oswego County  Mary Ellen Still, Dutchess County  William Connors, Albany County  Rocco Pozzi, Westchester County  Francine Perretta, St. Lawrence County

3 Overview of Best Practice  Assessment and Treatment  Supervision  Global Positioning  Public Education

4 Not All Sex Offenders Are The Same Dentist convicted of sexual assaults against female patients Two women arrested in daycare sex abuse scandal Mayor jailed on child pornography charges Prison guard forced female inmates to have sex Parents prostituted daughter in exchange for drugs Juvenile named as Westside serial rapist

5 Assessment and Treatment Mary Ellen Still Director Dutchess County Probation and Correctional Alternatives

6 Supervision William Connors Principle Probation officer Albany County Probation

7 Global Positioning Services Rocco Pozzi Commissioner Westchester County Probation

8 Public Education Francine Perretta Director St. Lawrence County Probation

9 Few of us would question the need for sex offenders to be held accountable for their actions. Yet while holding them accountable, we must insure that sex offender registration and community notification is not used as additional punishment. It is, and is meant to be, regulatory.”

10 Fair, responsible, and non-inflammatory community notification is a reasonable consequence to the acts of the offender; furthermore, it allows citizens to take prudent and rational steps to protect themselves, their children, and their community from the sex offenders they know about as well as those they don’t.”

11 “ The key component of effective community notification is community education.”

12 SLC’s Public Education Learning Objectives  Help Communities understand “managing” sex offenders.  Inform communities about what works and what’s effective.  Discuss the potential roles of community members.

13 Community Notification  Balancing Act Public right to know Offenders right to be free from vigilantism  It is not additional punishment  It is regulatory

14 Community Notification  Notification : “The law is tailored to help the community protect itself from sexual predators under the guidance of law enforcement, not to punish sex offenders.” 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals Russell v. Gregoire 124 F.3d 1079

15 SLC Notification Form “Sex offenders have always lived in our communities; but it wasn’t until passage of the Community Protection Act of 1990 that law enforcement even knew where they were living. In many cases, law enforcement is now able to share that information with you. Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders will not be tolerated.

16 Notification Form Continued Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement's ability to do community notifications. We believe the only person who wins if community notification ends is the sex offender, since sex offenders derive their power through secrecy”.

17 Public Education Campaign  Billboards  Radio Spots  Newspaper coverage  Website:  Public Education Forums in all localities  Collaboration with all agencies






23 Some myths and facts about residency restrictions for sex offenders and recidivism:  Research shows that there is no correlation between residency restrictions and reducing sex offenses against children or improving the safety of children. In fact, these ordinances may make our children MORE vulnerable to sexual predators.

24 Some myths and facts about residency restrictions for sex offenders and recidivism:  Research does not support the belief that children are more likely to be victimized by strangers at the covered locations than at other locations. In fact, children are at greater risk of sexual abuse from adults they know:  In 74% of sex offenses, the victims not only knew their perpetrators, but knew them well.  The most frequent locations in which sexual abuse occurs is in the victim’s home (30.5%), in the victim’s neighborhood (23.8%) or in the victim’s school (15.4%).

25 Some myths and facts about residency restrictions for sex offenders and recidivism:  Sex offender recidivism, contrary to what many people think, is very low. In fact, sex offenders have among the LOWEST reported recidivism rates of all offender groups. A national Department of Justice study conducted by Langan, et. al. in 2003 reported that only 5% of sex offenders were rearrested and 3% reconvicted for sex offenses within 3 years of release.

26 Some myths and facts about residency restrictions for sex offenders and recidivism:  Residency restrictions may have the unintended effect of INCREASING, not decreasing risk and make supervision and management more difficult. We are safe when we know where sex offenders are living and can supervise them closely. We are at increased risk when sex offenders are homeless or at unknown addresses as a result of being forced from their homes, to live away from their families, or restricted from living in geographic areas that are also close to jobs, services, and treatment.

27 Other Considerations  Perception that chasing the offender out of town makes the community safer  Who’s town do we chase them to?  Isn’t a victim in New York the same as a victim in California, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, etc?

28 Other Considerations  Chasing them from location to location is a dangerous game It is NOT in the best interest of the community  Increases offender risk  Increases potential for vigilantism It is NOT in the best interest of the offender  Severely impacts offender accountability  Doesn’t get the offender the help they need  “The whirlwind”

29 Other Considerations It is not in the best interest of law enforcement  Severely impacts law enforcement’s ability to keep track of the offender  Creates more work for us doing failure to register cases  Fosters chaos

30 Collaboration Rigorous community management of convicted sex offenders is vital to victim and public safety  Community management teams should include: Law enforcement Victim advocates Probation and parole Department of Corrections Treatment providers

31 You can take a leadership role in protecting your community by doing “effective” community notification… or

32 You can be part of the problem and help community notification go awry.

33 Remember knowing where the offender lives makes us much safer than if they are in hiding


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