Dear Members and Advocates,

This week FAC was featured in two news outlets. First, Orlando’s WESH, aired a report on sex offenders in theme parks which featured commentary from FAC’s President, Gail Colletta (that report can be found here: https://www.wesh.com/article/sex-offenders-at-florida-theme-parks/27269367) and second, the Miami Herald printed a letter to the Editor concerning the “scandal” at The Boy Scouts of America (that letter can be found here: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article229710479.html).

It is an incredible opportunity for FAC to present our perspective on newsworthy stories. In both cases, we were able to offset a lot of the hype and hysteria that comes with these sensationalized events and remind the viewers and readers that statistically these stories making headlines occur extremely rarely. Without the opportunity to inject facts and reason, the public would be left to believe that their children will likely get molested at an amusement park or in the scouts unless “something is done about it.”

Just a few years ago this would not have happened. In the past, we contacted the media, wrote letters and op-eds and were almost certain our perspective would wind up in the trash bin. However, we remained persistent, we stayed on top of research and case law and we did our best to grow our network. Today we are not only getting our comments printed, but journalists are beginning to recognize the Florida Action Committee as an authority in sex offender issues and reach out for our take on relevant events.

With increased exposure we can start changing public perception of persons required to register and the “registry” in general. When the public’s perception changes, communities stop crying out for blood whenever a rare tragic event happens. When constituents stop demanding their legislators “do something about sex offenders”, it becomes easier for politicians to be more open-minded when it comes to considering proposed legislation. When politicians can be more open minded, knee-jerk laws don’t get passed.

Now we’re not deluding ourselves into thinking we have gotten to where we need to be. We know there’s a long road and continued tough fight ahead. We might not have a seat at the head table, but at least we are getting invited to the party and beginning to make a difference. As members and as individuals, you should also stay persistent. If your legislator doesn’t acknowledge your message asking them to oppose HB 987, call or write again. And again. And again. We need to work ten times as hard as everyone else, but when we chose to work eleven times as hard, we get ahead.

Join us this Thursday May 2 for an update on the 2019 Legislative session, our Call to Action, and preparing for what follows next.  To participate, dial 319-527-3487 at 8pm ET.

Stay relentless!

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee

Please consider donating to FAC’s General Fund. We are currently raising money so that we can attend the 2019 National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability.

SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK

Florida Appellate Court Reverses Probation Violations for Non-Willful Violations

Last week a decision came out of Florida’s First District Court of Appeals that should provide some peace of mind to those unable to afford the cost of treatment and supervision. The appellant was convicted of violating his probation for (1) failure to comply with his…

What role should social media sites play in preventing child exploitation?

Last week, the New Jersey attorney general’s office announced the arrest of sixteen individuals as part of “Operation Home Alone”. These individuals, which included a police officer, minister a teacher and other professionals were allegedly speaking with people they…

Bahamas now turning away persons required to register

According to Registrant Travel Action Group (RTAG), persons required to register as sex offenders are now being denied entry into the Bahamas. Add Bahamas to the growing list of countries coerced by the United States to turn away people.

NOTE:  The information contained in this post was based on anecdotal information provided to RTAG. If you are a registered person and travel internationally, please share your experience with RTAG (positive or negative, admitted or denied entry, etc.) so that the information can be compiled and used to guide others who intend to travel on what others are experiencing.

 

ACLU pushes for removal of sex offender registry

MICHIGAN — Could the sex offender registry soon be a thing of the past? The American Civil Liberties Union wants to possibly get rid of it, saying the registry doesn’t work. Right now, there are two cases out of Michigan, including a class action lawsuit, claiming…

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