Abolishing Sex Offender Registry Wins in New York Debate

Dear Members and Advocates,

If you want to see an interesting presentation on both sides of the sex offender registry argument, we suggest you watch the video of the debate that took place last night in New York. The debate was hosted by Reason.com and the Soho Forum and argued by professors Emily Horowitz and Marci Hamilton. The video can be seen here.

Both speakers were extremely informed on their issues, but in the end, Professor Horowitz’s argument that the registry should be abolished was the clear winner. The FACTS were the clear winner! The debate was a tremendously important opportunity to share those facts with the public. We need to take all the opportunities we can find to present the facts and help educate the public, which, in turn, makes them safer.

Yesterday also, the Plaintiffs and the State of Florida briefed the Court on proposed resolutions to the unconstitutional scheme of restoring voting rights to convicted felons. Their briefs can be found here. It’s clear from the suggestions that the two sides have no consensus amongst them. It’s also clear that whatever is ultimately decided in this case will be appealed to the 11th Circuit. For those of us looking forward to voting, we may be waiting a few elections, but at least we have movement in the right direction!

Something else that came to mind this past week is Florida’s Sunshine Law and public meetings. Pursuant to Florida laws, the public is entitled to have open access to public meetings. But how can you provide open access to a meeting, when you are banning people from attending? As more of our members are looking to become active in educational and legislative efforts (but are being denied access to public meetings because of banishment zones) this issue is coming to the forefront of our attention. FAC, in fact, was invited to participate in Brevard County’s reentry task force meeting, but because the facility where the meetings are held are within a banishment zone, those who arguably have the most to say about the matter were not able to attend.

In the coming weeks we will be exploring this issue further and have come up with a game plan to address it. We ask that anyone who has tried to attend a public meeting but has been unable to because it is held at a place you are banned from going or if there is an upcoming meeting you would like to attend but are prohibited from attending, contact [email protected] and let us know.

We also want to hear from you if you’ve received a notification from the US Department of State or any government entity revoking your passport. The government has started revoking passports of registered sex offenders, requiring them to reapply and pay an additional fee. No word yet on whether the applications are being accepted or rejected, nor the amount of time it takes to have the passport reissued, during which individuals cannot travel internationally.

Recently, invoices were mailed to all members for an opportunity to donate towards the 2018 budget, for those who are able to contribute.  Enclosed is the annual Letter from FAC President, Gail Colletta, that summarizes our achievements in 2017 and our goals for 2018.  With the letter, you will find a Resource form in which we are asking all members to identify resources & referrals in their area that FAC can provide to members seeking help.  We also welcome your suggestions for speaking engagements where FAC can educate the public with our presentations and “Untouchable” viewings.  Send the form back to FAC with, or without, your donation.

Finally, we need volunteers for the following projects:.

  • We are looking for someone who can assist in soliciting each County’s hurricane/emergency management plan for registrants. We do not want to come close to next year’s hurricane season without this information in place. The task would require reaching out to each County’s emergency management office and compiling an informational table for our member’s reference. We will provide the contact information.
  • We are looking for an individual who can assist in the dissemination of our Weekly Updates and calls to action emails. Ideally, because of current internet identifier laws, this person should NOT be a registrant and should have quick access to a computer with internet access.
  • We are looking for a volunteer coordinator. Several individuals have stepped up to volunteer but managing the individuals and the assigned tasks is a position in and of itself. We need someone that can help organize our volunteer efforts.
  • We are ALWAYS looking for help with our media efforts. Contributing articles to our site, posting comments on relevant third-party news stories and reaching out to the press to get our stories published and get our point of view addressed.
With Unity Comes Change!

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee

SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK

How Texas created a new for-profit lockup, which it really doesn’t want you to call a “prison.”

News About Sex Offender Civil Commitment The following are excerpts from a story that ran in today’s Texas Observer. You can read the full article here In early September 2015, guards fanned out across Texas with orders to round up about 200 men, rousing some from bed…

FDLE Warns of Scams Targeting Sex Offenders

Urgent News for Florida Registered Sex Offenders The following email is being sent to registrants: ———- Forwarded message ——— From: EIS-Admin Date: Fri, Feb 9, 2018 Subject: Please Be Advised To: RegistrantsC1   Please Be Advised FDLE has received…

Public meetings should be PUBLICLY accessible.

Florida Sex Offenders Unable to Attend Some Public Meetings We received a member submission about a public meeting to address an issue that will impact the registrants in a particular community. The meeting is proposed to be held in a location he is banished from….

All4consolaws: State Department Revokes Registrant’s Passport

The State Department has revoked the passport of a registrant who was convicted in and resides in California. This is the first known passport revocation following passage of the International Megan’s Law (IML) in February 2016. According to a letter from that federal…

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