Dear Members and Advocates,
In June of 2018, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) announced that the total number of people listed on sex offender registries had surpassed the nine hundred thousand mark (900,202 to be exact) and had grown at a rate of 3.3% since the count done six months prior. As of their most recent numbers prepared six months later, (http://www.missingkids.org/content/dam/pdfs/SOR%20Map%20with%20Explanation_10_2018.pdf), it increased again to 917,771 or another two percent. By even conservative estimation, based on current trajectory, the sex offender registry will surpass 1 million people within 2 years! To put that into perspective; the US population of sex offenders is currently larger than the entire population of Wyoming, Vermont, DC, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and soon will be more than Delaware’s.
That’s wrong on so many levels, but speaking literally… that’s wrong. I mean the number is wrong! Our friend Bill Dobbs of The Dobbs Wire reached out to the US Department of Justice’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) and was surprised to learn that they don’t keep counts – they rely on NCMEC to do that. You’d think the federal government would want to keep track of those numbers – especially since they are the ones paying out big bucks for the registry – but they don’t.
NCMEC is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) company that receives its funding through grants from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, the U.S. Department of Justice and donations. It’s former CEO, Ernie Allen, was recently criticized for receiving more than one million dollars in annual compensation. The company has a strong financial interest in inflating the numbers in order to justify the more than 30 million dollars it receives each year from the government. The more “dangerous sex offenders” and more “rescued children” they claim, the more money they get from the government and private donations. Any other corporation using such fudged numbers to solicit money would be charged with fraud!
According to NCMEC and the FDLE, Florida’s count is more than 74,000 people! That’s a large number, but as we’ve been saying for years, that number is complete baloney! The real number is less than half! How? Because Florida includes people who are not in the community on their list. People who are incarcerated, deported, left the state or even died are on the list! If a registrant from another state visits Florida for 3 or more days, they get added to the list for life, even if they never step foot in Florida again. Even if they are removed from the registry in their home state. And because Florida keeps people on for life, there’s zero attrition – nobody comes off – so it’ll just keep growing and growing.
But why? From a public safety perspective it dilutes the focus by adding all these people who don’t exist in the community. From a public relations perspective you’d think that Florida, whose largest industry is tourism, would want to advertise fewer sex offenders, not more.
This past week, Steven Yoder dissected our state’s number a bit in an article for The Appeal and gives us more insight into why Florida wants it’s numbers inflated. It’s all about the money! The FDLE has received approximately $2.4 million in grants since 2008 for registry improvements, all based on applications to the US Department of Justice touting Florida’s “700 percent growth in the number of people on its registry since its inception in 1997” and “almost 99 percent” compliance. Logically, if they can claim they need to supervise 74,000 people, they can get a lot more money than for their actual 26,000 people. Then, they consider the non-existent people “compliant”. Having more than 50% of the list 100% compliant allows them to fudge their success rates as well. Ultimately, the DOJ is being duped and taxpayers foot the bill! Members should be sharing this article with their federal legislators.
This week, please join our monthly Member call, when we will be providing an update on some of the pending legal challenges in Florida. Our guest will be attorney Ron Kleiner, who represents Matthew 25 Ministries, Inc., the named plaintiff in the “In Person” challenge. He will talk about that case and another case in which he was successful in getting an individual removed from the Florida registry. We look forward to having you join us!
The Florida Action Committee
SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK
Today, the Supreme Court of Georgia, in Park v. The State, found that an ordinance requiring that a person who is classified as a sexually dangerous predator – but who is no longer in State custody or on probation or parole – wear and pay for an electronic monitoring…
The dash-cam video of lobbyist Ron Book’s failed DUI field sobriety test has been released to the media. The video shows a clearly impaired Book barely able to walk a straight line – let alone drive a vehicle! It is frightening to think of the high risk to the public…
Piasecki v. Bucks County Court — habeas — reversal — McKee [Disclosure: as explained below, I assisted Peter Goldberger in representing the petitioner-appellant in this appeal.] For a federal court to consider a habeas petition, the petitioner must be “in custody” at…
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in US. v Haymond (for more information about the case reference our post last week) and apparently it went very well. According to Supreme Court blogger Amy Howe all Justices seemed to side with the…