For those people who have asked for guidelines on what to send to the members of the newly appointed Florida Safety & Justice Task Force, I am posting my thoughts but would also like for others to add their own ideas in the Comments’ Section along with any research that you feel these members should be aware of.
I will not be putting out a specific template as they have proven to be ineffective. What we send has to be individualized.
- Whatever you send, make it brief. I will personally be sending only one issue/concern per single mailing. If you send too much information, people tend to skim over it, missing important details. Make your comments half a page or less. You can give a short summary of what the research or article says along with a link or enough information that the recipient can find the actual study/report/article. You can also send the report as long as it does not violate any copyright laws.
- People do not tend to listen to other people’s concerns unless a name is attached to the letter, along with contact information (email address, physical address). I am getting better results if I use my name. I realize this is a problem for many of our members, and I truly understand and am not asking anyone to do anything to jeopardize their situation. If the only way you feel comfortable contacting these task force members is through the mail without giving your return address or name, then do so.
- A hard copy (letter sent through snail mail) is usually more effective than using email. It is too easy to delete an email; the old-fashioned letter could sit on their desks for a longer period of time. Address the envelope by hand, making it more personal and showing more effort. Again, though, if the only way that you want to send the information is through an email, then please do so. I could not find emails for all five members, so please send any additional email addresses that you find to [email protected]
- For those who are willing, please send one letter/email approximately every two weeks to all five task force members, until you have covered all the topics that you want the members to be aware of before making their recommendations this summer.
- It is okay if more than one person sends the same information; the task force members will understand that more than one person is concerned about the need for a particular reform.
- Research and articles can be found at the FAC website in the dropdown menu for Media. Additional research can be found under Resources (then chose “Articles and Studies”) at the NARSOL website (narsol.org). If you have additional research/articles that you would like to send for consideration for being added to the FAC list, please send them to [email protected].
- You can also share your concerns and comments without including research, hoping that the task force members have the common sense to relate to your circumstances.
Here are some topics that I personally hope this task force will look at, while many of you will have additional topics that you can include in the Comments’ Section for us to add to our list:
- Residency restrictions
- Numerous county/municipal ordinances on top of state statutes
- Branding driver’s licenses
- Proximity statutes/ordinances passed by the state of Florida and local districts
- Ineffectiveness of the registry
- The need for empirically validated risk assessments (which are not based on the offense) to remove law-abiding citizens from the registry
- Low sexual recidivism rate for people with a past sex offense
- At least 90% of future sex crimes will be committed by people not on the registry
- At least 93% of minor victims know their perpetrator, debunking the “stranger danger” myth
- The different offenses that can land a person on the registry
- Bloated registry
- Posting of signs in registrants’ yards
- Collateral damages of the registry
- Registry is punitive
- Justice Kennedy and the stranger danger myth
- What does work
- Aging registrants denied access to nursing homes
- Registrants being denied access to emergency shelters – must go to local jail instead
- Your own story
Members of task force:
- State Attorney Andrew Warren, Chair (Hillsborough County/Tampa)
- Public Defender Carlos Martinez (Miami-Dade County/Miami)
- Sheriff Walt McNeil (Leon County/Tallahassee)
- Marcia Brown, Executive Director, Teen Leaders of America (Duval County/Jacksonville)
- Asha Terminello, MS; Chief Executive Officer; ACTS, the Agency for Community Treatment Services (Hillsborough County/Tampa)
Mr. Andrew Warren
419 Pierce St
Tampa, FL 33602
Sheriff Walt McNeil
Leon County Sheriff’s Office
P. O. Box 727
Tallahassee, FL 32302
13720 Old St. Augustine Rd, #8-123
Jacksonville, FL 32258
4612 N 56th St.
Tampa, FL 33610