Weekly Update for 2020-03-16

Dear Members and Advocates,

Two words I’ve heard a lot this week have been “panic” and “uncertainty”. It has been interesting to watch how much chaos has emerged from this “panic” and “uncertainty”. Financial markets have collapsed, families scramble to find alternative arrangements to accommodate school closures, people are having so much difficulty finding basic amenities. There is pandemonium everywhere. As I watch those around me worry, I think to myself, “welcome to my world!”

I have lived with “panic” and “uncertainty” for more than fifteen years. I panic every time my doorbell rings. Will this be my address verification? Are my neighbors outside to witness this humiliating ritual? Is someone here to arrest me for violating some obscure registration rule I wasn’t aware of? Uncertainty has become the definition of my life. Will this customer find out about my status? Will my child withstand the bullying? Will some new law be passed that will make my work, living, or family situation more impossible than it is now? I’ve had to ’scramble’ to find to find a job or a place to live multiple times.

When I look at the community around me scrambling in a state of panic and uncertainty, the one comfort everybody seems to have is that one day the Coronavirus will be contained. The world’s resources are working on finding a vaccine and whether it’s a week, month or year, this will pass and life will one day return to normal. I want to think the same about our lives. I genuinely believe the same will be true of the registry. I can’t predict whether it’s going to be weeks, months or years, but I do believe that at some point, a court will deliver a panacea to our population that will end the panic and uncertainty that currently plagues our population.

Still, as we go through it, there’s plenty of panic and uncertainty going around, and that especially covers our registration obligations at the present time. In certain counties, registration offices in courthouses or jails are closed. For that reason, we will be posting a static post on the top of our website, www.floridaactioncommittee.org, where we will share county-by-county advisories as to what procedures each county is taking to accommodate registration during this period. Please do not use that post to add comments and questions, they will not be published. ONLY use the post to add your own County’s procedures for complying with the registration obligations in light of any office closures.

As more information comes out, we will continue to bring it to you through more frequent updates if necessary, or via our website. For our board and volunteers, it is business as usual. We will remain online to answer questions from our members and hopefully alleviate any panic and resolve any uncertainty that arises. Please look after your health, apply best practices when it comes to avoiding exposure to the virus, monitor the CDC and your local news to know which services and businesses will remain open and naturally continue to monitor our site for news relevant to our population and share information that will be relevant to others.

Best in Health and Safety!

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

Dr. Caren Neile will also conduct a 4-hour workshop in Apopka on Saturday March 28th and Delray Beach on Saturday April 25th. The workshops will prepare those who wish to have their stories videoed and shared in various public platforms.  To attend one of the workshops, RSVP to [email protected] or text name and phone number to 904-452-8322.


SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK

FAC sends letters to FDLE re: scams and COVID-19

FAC sent letters to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to address two issues of significant concern for our population. The first is the scam. This scam has been allowed to perpetuate for more than 2 years now. In February 2018 the FDLE sent an email…

GA: Bad bill advances through the legislature (lifetime probation and Halloween signs)

The following is an update from an advocate in Georgia. If anyone is in Georgia and would like to be connected with the advocate group there, please reach out to [email protected] Here’s an update on Georgia HB 720 which would require Judges to issue…

Please participate in SORS (Sex Offense Registry Study)

This is a legitimate study. We are looking for research participants who can help us learn about important issues related to sex offense registries. We are collecting anonymous information from people required to register. WHO?  You are eligible to participate in this…

Should Nicki Minaj’s husband still be registered?

Last year, when rapper Nicki Minaj married Kenneth Petty, the big news was not the nuptials, but the fact that he is on the registry. The world questioned her judgment – as if it is outrageous to marry somebody on the registry. This past week, Petty was arrested for…

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