Sunday, July 19, 2009

Texas sex offender registry includes kids as young as ten

In the Dallas News this morning, Diane Jennings has a story on Texas' policy of allowing judges to place juveniles as young as 10 years old on the sex offender registry ("Some say sex offender registry ruins a juvenile's 2nd chance," July 19). Here's how the article opens:

The faces of child sex offenders are startling – chubby cheeks, big eyes, a mop of hair, or wispy strands held back with barrettes. The descriptions on Texas' public registry are equally jolting: 4 feet tall, 65 pounds; 4 feet, 2 inches, 70 pounds.

"Those are not the people that we're walking around terrified of," says Michele Deitch, a University of Texas law professor.

The inclusion of children as young as 10 on the state's public sex offender registry is a little-known policy – even to juvenile justice experts such as Deitch.

"I'm absolutely a little bit shocked that kids that young can be on the list," says Deitch, who teaches juvenile justice policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

She's stunned because public registration contradicts the purpose of juvenile justice: to give kids a second chance. In the case of some juvenile sex offenders, their criminal records are off limits, but information about their crime is easily accessible on the Internet.

"It is a terrible situation," Deitch says. "The juvenile justice system is designed to rehabilitate kids and to make sure that they can change."

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there is no minimum age for inclusion on the state list. But a child must be at least 10 to be handled by the state juvenile justice system, so a judge may order an offender that young to register.

Indeed, writes Jennings, "according to a Dallas Morning News analysis of the Texas sex offender registry, there are about 4,000 people on the registry who were younger than 18 at the time of their crime, including 1,004 younger than 14." Even folks over at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault were "stunned" that children so young were required to register. I actually was aware (from reading the law) that it was possible for children that young to wind up on the registry, but I had no idea that one-quarter of the juveniles registered were under 14 when they committed their offense.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Because of my own association with TYC, I was aware that this was happenning. In some cases the juvenile is registering for UIP. I wondered when the MSM would discover this and start investigating the true value of sex offender registration.

Boyness said...

Why is this so shocking? The criminal justice system is of the opinion that sex offenders cannot be cured that's why we have the registry. Does it matter that you were 10 years old, in Texas and many states, once a pervert, always a pervert.

Obviously this thinking is insane but then so is the system that created the lifetime registry. Putting people under the spotlight for the rest of there lives for a crime THEY HAVE PAID FOR IN TERMS OF TIME AND SOMETIMES MONEY is just wrong.

Anonymous said...

I am a sexual assault victim and I find no justice in this. The registry is not crime prevention. It is a witch hunt.

sunray's wench said...

Do we have the names of the Judges who thought it was a good idea to put a 10 year old on the SO register?

Anonymous said...

Look, if some 10 year old mollested a toddler, he's definitely headed down the wrong path. When he grows up, he may start dating a woman with children and maybe she could be warned about his tendencies.

Anonymous said...

I really wish juvenille records were ever sealed. Then we could evaluate a person better.

SB said...

"Look, if some 10 year old mollested a toddler, he's definitely headed down the wrong path. When he grows up, he may start dating a woman with children and maybe she could be warned about his tendencies."

A single Mom has to be especially cautious. There are a lot of maybe's here. Stealing something at age 10 does not lead to adult theft. Growing up, combined with higher expectations for these children, works wonders. He is likely to become a more vigilant parent because of his past if given the opportunity. If this was your 10 year old I guarantee that you would prefer a helping hand rather than a kick in the teeth.
Registration leads to vigilantism. Putting the photo's and personal info of children online creates a catalog for true pedophiles. How hard do you think it would be to become friends with one of these kids who has none? What kind of service are we running? The same is true for adult offenders and we are the pimps.

Anonymous said...

12:28-I understand your fears. But- this is a 10 year old person, who-with help and guidance-can learn appropriate, healthy behaviors with the right mentors/environment,etc. Let's not doom a person before they have a chance to live in this world, simply because they made poor choices when they were young. Have you ever thought- maybe this 10 year old is the victim of sexual abuse? New habits and behaviors can be learned if the intervention stresses treatment over punitive only measures. I trained in a mental health hospital years ago, and almost every child there was a victim of sexual or physical abuse.

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree. I think the option to be placed on the registry should exist; however, I think we need to be very careful when placing kids as young as 10 on the list. The majority of 10 years charged with a sex offense are situations where the sibling is the victim and the child himself is a victim. This is not a situation where a kid should be labeled a sex offender and rehabiliation is the ultimate goal.

On the other hand, we had a 12 year old referred to our department for raping a 9 year old girl at knife point in an abandoned building. This young man is a possible candidate for the registry. Do not get me wrong, the effort to rehabilitate is important; but it is not priority over public safety.

The fact remains, sex offenders are a difficult group to work with. They are hands down the most compliant individuals that you supervise. They can easily manipulate a program and appear to successfully complete that program while all along remaining just as dangerous upon completion.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:20 - If public saftey is the primary goal then why not put every violent juvenile offense (or for that matter violent adult offense) on some type of registry?

Mark # 1 said...

The best chance for ultimately ridding society of the shameful scarlet letter of the registry is to expand the idea of registering to even more instances of "threats to the safety of the public." Thus, DWI, assault, robbery, murder, burglary, weapons offenses, and the like are fair game for registration. After all, registration is not punitive, it's only remedial, right?
Not until more of the terrified soccer moms' families are devastated by registering for something, anything--will an opportunity for reasoned discourse regarding the realities of registration will be possible.
It really shouldn't be all that difficult to expand registration, very few oxen will be gored, and the "lawn order tuffies" and the denizens and benefactors of the registration industry will be all for it.
Think of the chaos possible were Texas to have a million plus persons registered for something.

SB said...

The CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Recidivism Studies (CDCR) did a state study on sex offender recidivism rates. 4,204 sex offenders released on parole in 2002 and were followed until the end of 2007. 135 of these parolees were returned to prison for a new sex crime, making the recidivism rate in CA a mere 3.21%.
The last I heard the rate in TX was even lower than CA. They may go through class without learning anything useful but darn few are committing new crimes.How can unbiased studies be waved aside as if they don't exist? This is information that could be used to calm fears but that never happens. We will never be able to wipe out the problem completely and we are about as low as we can go.Before anyone is sent to prison or to class we already know that 3 of them will probably commit another crime.We know that 97 of them are highly unlikely to commit another crime. The money, politics and hysteria surrounding these issues is far out of proportion.

Anonymous said...

This is a textbook case of the self-fulfilling prophecy once known as "labelling" in juvenile justice.

And there are stories out there of even pre-adolescent boys being charged with sexual offenses by public school officials for behaviors that would be considered "normal" curiousity, without malicious intent.

BB

Anonymous said...

Public Safety should always be the primary goal. The reason for that is because rehabilitation is no guarantee.

Anonymous said...

Public safety SHOULD be the primary goal. Has anyone ever been "safe" by all the registered people on there? There is NOT ONE BIT of evidence the online registry has done any good other than line the pocketbooks of sex offender treatment providers and underhanded lawmakers. You get off if you know someone or are the son of a judge or a cop, we've seen that happen in THIS STATE. It's only the people who don't have connections that are on the registry and believe me, I know not ONE violent offender on there and I know probably over 100 or more. Not ONE hurt a child yet they are treated like they did! (and must follow rules like they WILL hurt a child, it's insane what they have to live with). I'm the mother of two, a boy and a girl. I warn my son every day to be careful because let me tell you it is VERY easy to become a registered sex offender in this lovely state of Texas - way easier than being a victim of a sex offender! I also tell my daughter to be careful but it's MY responsibility to teach her, not the governments job - that makes me mad that they have control over what/when/who she decides in her life decisions, amazing no one is fighting as parents. It's not their responsibility to protect my child, period. I wish they'd stop it and start spending our taxes on something not so wasteful.

Shaine Mata said...

I caught this flipping through RSS. Wow, this is definitely something that should be visited by the next legislative session. Who knows if changes can be passed, but it's worth the discussion.

This is completely different from Romeo and Juliet offenders, 18 year old with a 16 year old, for example. Being a minor, it reduces the types of offenses possible to more serious ones.

I think the question should be what offenses merit being on the registry? If it's "show me yours if I show you mine", then this may be excessive. It is possible that school boards with zero tolerance policies may populate the registry with crimes of curiosity. We may be able to alter laws for this.

If, on the other hand, we are talking of actual assault, it is difficult to say that the 10 year old should not be on the registry. Sexual assault is not normal for any child or adult. This type of situation would doom any attempt to change the law.

Anonymous said...

As director of Texas Voices, i have seen many faces of juvenille ofenders on the registry. It is truly sad, for those of us who are commpassionate, reasonable people, to look at those little faces. My GOD, they are the children we are trying to protect. Good counseling for the offender, the victim, and the family would be appropriate. Public registration does nothing to keep children safe. It tears apart families and ruins lives that could have been saved. These laws are sick. Really sick...

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

Public Safety should always be the primary goal. The reason for that is because rehabilitation is no guarantee.

7/19/2009 10:25:00 PM
----------------------------------
OK - Life sentences for all...IDIOT!

Anonymous said...

If you took my comment and came to the conclussion that all people require life sentences for their actions - then you are the IDIOT!

The fact is, all sex offenders can not be cured. It is a FACT!. I work with them everyday. And a sex offender treatment program is worthless if a polygraph is not administered on a regular basis, because, for the most part, sex offenders are some of your more intelligent offenders and are very manipulative by nature.

If an individual is considered high risk, regardless of age, the neighbors have the right to know those individuals live in their neighborhood and their right to that knowledge is priority over the sex offenders right to privacy. I don't believe the majority of juveniles need to be on the registry; however, I have worked with juveniles that will, without a doubt, reoffend!

Only the Truth need to apply said...

On 7/20 @ 7:11 AM Anonymous made this comment:

"The fact is, all sex offenders can not be cured. It is a FACT!. I work with them everyday. And a sex offender treatment program is worthless if a polygraph is not administered on a regular basis, because, for the most part, sex offenders are some of your more intelligent offenders and are very manipulative by nature".

Busted:
Well they cannot be that intelligent! They got caught!! You are no treatmnet expert Anonymous

Anonymous said...

The real offenders are the courts, DA's polygraphers, parole officers, jails, et al. Why? Because they are all in bed in a grand money making scheme. Consider county jail inmates for a moment. The federal government pays a tidy daily per diem to the state for every inmate. Inmates must purchase virtually everything they need while in jail. The county makes a nice profit from the markups.Poygraphers get $600 bucks a pop for each test..the parolee pays of course. Prison labor is exploited for the benefit of prisons. The parolee/Probationee pay each time they see their control agent and all the while struggling to find a job (especially if a sex offender) and a place to live that is compliant and that they are accepted...which is seldom. So if there is recidivism its the fault of the money grubbing state that created the monster. This house of card is going down one day. Finally a 10 year old in the offender registry....it's as laughable as it is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Busted? Are you serious? Are you saying intelligent criminals never get caught? What a profoundly stupid statement.

Anonymous said...

8:24

You liberals are NUTS! You constantly blame the government for our problems while all along saying we need more government!

diogenes said...

I worked with a number of youthful sex offenders in TYC. Most of the ones I had near this age (I had some 11 year olds, but never a 10 year old) were placed on deferred registration for some very serious offenses, not the "curiosity" incidents. Deferred registration meant that if they completed treatment (that's a different topic), then they didn't have to register. By the time TYC got them, they had already failed/refused to comply with treatment at a specialized program. If they failed to comply with and complete the program in TYC, then they were registered. Most registrations were for 10 years post release, not lifetime. Complain all you want about labeling theory, but there comes a point where a predator (some were already predators by the time I got them around age 11-13) needs to be labeled as such, even if they have chubby cheeks and tousled hair.

Anonymous said...

I must disagree that lie detector tests should be run on EVERY former offender. The consensual cases (and those are what I'm talking about) should first of all never have been arrested with a felony and registerable offense -- but those should never be charged with a lie detector test. If you are a treatment provider then you know how ridiculous some of the laws are against young men (age 25 and under) and teens that had consensual behavior. Kissing is now a registerable offense if you are 3 or more years older than a girl is what I understand the law to be. That is insane!

If these young men are so horribly bad, why are they then released to the public if you KNOW they will re-offend? I understand the re-offense rate to be under 4%, and you know all those that will re-offend, amazing.

The registry MUST BE GONE (publicly), it MUST be in the police hands only and if someone is SO DANGEROUS that neighbors should know about him - then he should not have been released into the public in the first place!

The registry should ONLY be used as the Wetterling Act said it should be. Violent offenders only. (not all "sex" offenders)
If we could get the registry back to its original intent with those violent offenders and stop arresting and prosecuting young people being young people (forget the 3 or 4 year age difference, come on, girls LOVE dating older guys like we all did when I was growing up) then it MIGHT work if not public.

Show me the proof the registry is working, I'd like to see it. From every report I've read, it does not work. It would not have prevented one insane murderer from murdering anyone. Period.

I was a teen once, scary how many guys would be on the registry because of me and I didn't sleep with one of them! All the guys I dated were in their 20's. The guys my age wanted one thing, the guys in their 20's just wanted a date! So, a 16 year old that I was, dating guys in their 20's...we'd have about 15 more to add to the registry because I kissed them! What do you think of that? I was not a victim of sexual abuse because I kissed them, consensually. But you do that now, you're a pervert and registered sex offender if you're the GUY. Amazing our lawmakers have done this mess and won't get our state fixed right because of political posturing "it's to save a child!", yah, right. It's to save their career. They forget there are THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of us who know research based laws are SMARTER on crime, and they'd get our votes! We're not Lemmings any longer. We know what is going on here.

Ann said...

It is my belief that few really know who a sex offender is. Most think only child molesters and rapists are on the registry. As 100 are added every week in Texas alone, at some point the general public is going to catch on. I just hope it's sooner than later.

In the meantime, dishonest people in government are advancing their careers at the public's expense. For example, politicians want to get elected and reelected, and supporting the sex offender laws fools an uninformed public into thinking the politician cares about them.

Those working for law enforcement, such as treatment providers and polygraphists are making big and easy money policing those who don't have a pathology or need their questionable services.

Does anyone really think it's necessary to police the 19-year- old kid who sexually touched his consenting 16-year-old girlfriend? The registry is full of consensual cases. You say the 16-year-old isn't able to consent because of her age, but a 10-year- old is old enough to know better? Makes no sense.

Teens and young adults in consensual situations, kids mooning or texting a nude pic, or a guy urinating publically are not dangerous to anyone. While we might not approve, do we really want to send these young people to jail or ruin their lives with probation and the registry?

There seems to be a big difference between the two little brothers in this case. A newspaper article can't tell the whole story, but even if you argue that the 11-year-old is a predator, what about the 10-year-old who touched his sister at the older brother's urging? He got caught up in the lousy system just like his brother.

Boyness said...

Ann said...

Teens and young adults in consensual situations, kids mooning or texting a nude pic, or a guy urinating publically are not dangerous to anyone. While we might not approve, do we really want to send these young people to jail or ruin their lives with probation and the registry?
---------------------------------

Unfortunately Ann, the answer has been YES, we do. "Protecting the public" seems to always be a prelude to some law that places great restrictions on certain members of society while creating incredible and expensive bureaucracy.

The "system" is not really concerned about who or how many get caught up in the "pervert net" as long as it keeps being filled so it can keep on being a money maker for some and a purpose in life for others.

daysofrage said...

they were all victims and continue
to be victims by the hands of government.Many rights are being violated,this is cruel and unusual
punishment,and to young kids it is
a sick madness that cannot be ignored.Beware young people the state wants you,we must stop this.

Anonymous said...

You guys have gotten way off topic!

Anonymous said...

Research from as recently as 5 years ago that I heard presented at the Texas Conference on Juvenile Sex Offenders suggested that juveniles who commit sex crimes are not likely to be recidivists as their crimes are mostly motivated by curiosity and exploration.

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to think that a child who is found "true" of charges of a sex crime is probably a victim himself. Children who have been molested are the most likely to molest. Such a child should be helped and still deserves the same privacy and sealed records as other juvenile offenders. Putting a child on the registry would only serve a purpose if the child were a multiple repeat offender and the public needed to know. Otherwise, it's just cruel and will ensure that this troubled life stays troubled.

Anonymous said...

I worked with sex offenders at TYC. There were some of them, maybe 5 in ten years, who were definitely going to reoffend with a sex crime. So that was a nice truth, even if overexaggerated. I was often amazed by the treatment "experts" within TYC who even admitted that students who failed the program were less likely to reoffend than thos with no treatment and the percentages were very low to begin with.

Sorry to the Producers of "Law and Order SVU," but they are only ppropogating fictions with their story lines. They must be using Rush Limbaugh's fact checker.

Anonymous said...

I worked with sex offenders at TYC. There were some of them, maybe 5 in ten years, who were definitely going to reoffend with a sex crime. So that was a nice truth, even if overexaggerated. I was often amazed by the treatment "experts" within TYC who even admitted that students who failed the program were less likely to reoffend than thos with no treatment and the percentages were very low to begin with.

Sorry to the Producers of "Law and Order SVU," but they are only ppropogating fictions with their story lines. They must be using Rush Limbaugh's fact checker.

SB said...

We still have professionals in the field saying that sex offenders can't be cured. Maybe that is because many of the were normal teens.
If they are so dangerous why do we have such low recidivism rates? I would like the treatment professional to answer that question.

Anonymous said...

Elvis Presley was a sex offender too, along with Woody Allen. Miley Cyrus's boyfriend too.
How is it that schools and planned parenthood can hand out birth control and condoms to teenagers when it is illegal for them to consent to sex? I just don't understand. Teenagers get carded for buying cigarettes, but they can purchase a case of trojans from the bathroom wall of any convenience store or of the shelf of the nearest walmart and never have to show an i.d.(any age) Maybe a legislator could answer that for me. (maybe not) Can someone please tell me how this makes any sense at all. Why are these mostly young men put on the registry for having consensual sex. Hell, my grandfather would have been on the registry. Cathy

Anonymous said...

The fact remains, sex offenders are a difficult group to work with. They are hands down the most compliant individuals that you supervise. They can easily manipulate a program and appear to successfully complete that program while all along remaining just as dangerous upon completion.

Anon 3:20 -- You're so full of shit your eyes are brown. If rSO's are so easily manipulating the system, and they go on doing all of the terrible things that got them there, explain WHY are they the lowest to re-offend BAR NONE? Latest reports at 1.3% of persons going through SO treatment will re-offend. To put it another way, SO treatment has a 98.7 % SUCCESS rate. You make your money off of the fear of sex offenders, or are you one of the idiots in the legislature looking to be reelected?

Boyness said...

We really do not need the government to protect us from anything, we do need something to protect us from the government, especially in Texas.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that s.o. treatment has anything to do with recidivism rate. Most of the treatment providers could care less about the people in treatment. They are after a buck. Most are cruel and do nothing except degrade, dehumanize and treat people as if they are nothing but trash. The treatment providers in Tarrant, Johnson, Parker, Williamson, Mcclennan, and Bell counties are nothing short of hitlers running a concentration camp.

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:38 --

I cannot agree with you about all treatment providers. I took therapy in both Dallas (where crime occurred) and Tarrant (where I lived). The Dallas group WAS dehumanizing, inhuman, and degrading. For the short 3 months I was there we had many abscond, a few even killed themselves. Pity because those young men were so promising.

The group in Tarrant County on the other hand, I found to be incredibly caring. They (IMO) honestly wanted success from the rSO's. Yeah, some say they were praying to be put out of a job?? I say yes, absolutely. There are still people in the world that do a job not only to get paid, but also to help someone succeed. Not many I imagine, but there are some. I was lucky enough to meet them.

What I do know is that if we continue to allow (yes allow) the Texas legislature to pass knee-jerk laws, based on isolated instances then it continues to be OUR FAULT. Allowing the lege to pass a law that gives them the ability to put a 10 year old on the registry is OUR FAULT, and thus we must take it back from the lege. If they do not listen, then we get them out of office. 53,000 people are on the registry. Second only to California, Texas has far too many on the registry to allow for the watching of the truly dangerous. We must look at our legislature and DEMAND that they change the laws, demand that they shrink it down to a reasonable size to watch the true predators and not the Romeos, the one time offenders, the urinators, the 10 year olds, either that or we must DEMAND their jobs back from them in the elections. If the fear of god is put on these asshats in Austin, the tune would change quickly.

We must do this soon however, They have already attempted to take our right to vote away once(2007), they will try it again. Together with our spouses, near family and extended family, we comprise over 2 million people to move these representatives and senators into truly protecting the population of this state, instead of buying votes from the vocal minority. The time is now to change the crap law passed by the likes of Shapiro, and actually make them READ and understand the laws that they are signing.

Anonymous said...

anon12:38, I do agree for the most part. That is why I adrressed as most tretment providers. I am doing my best to see to it that those legislstures I don't agree with are ousted. The only problem is that they lie so much about everything. You can never know when they are telling the truth. With all my heart I wish they would change reform the registry. If they can't fix it they should do away with it. The registry keeps noone safe. I am sorry that you are wrapped up in this mess. It is an injustice that cannont be compared.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that "mooning" someone is a sex offense in Texas?

Is this another way of making 13th Amendment slaves (legal slavery) ? 'Cause once you are on the registry, good luck trying to get a job anywhere except day labor construction jobs, and even then, expect to be harrassed and tortured by undercover public saftey and parole officers...

Anonymous said...

Actually, to counter the person who said "...once you are on the registry, good luck trying to get a job anywhere except day labor construction jobs..." that is not true.

The day labor establishments in Austin will not hire a sex offender either. The only way to get a job is to lie about it and make money until you are caught.

...Guess that is protecting society.

Anonymous said...

I am torn between being grateful that a ten year old is on the sex offender list, and feeling sad for her, as I don't believe that information should be public.

I am grateful because it has only been within these last five years I've started seeing more recognition that children are capable of sexual offenses, and believe me when I say that I've looked. For those that are dubious that such a thing as a child sex offender is possible, think of it, if you will, as a form of bullying, only with sexual motivations behind it. Everyone knows children can become very violent or persuasive bullies, but once you try to label them a sex offender, many would tell you they were only experimenting. Children know not to harm others, and they are taught at a young age peer pressure is wrong. Telling another kid to go steal their parent's cigarettes or money is bad, and they know it. In many instances they use peer pressure, social ostracizing, and the knowledge that no one would believe them if they told to get away with a lot of "bad" things. I believe they are fully capable of being charged as a sex offender. It's usually not even really about sexual gratification, it's about humiliating and harming the other. It's about acting out what may have already been done to them. It's even a way of dealing with their own trauma. No matter the motivation, in most instances, I fully believe child offenders are aware that what they are doing is wrong.

However, I believe children need second chances, and therefore they should go through extensive counseling and must be monitored closely. Putting them on the registry will only impede their recovery. It will convince the child that he/she is a bad person and why change if he/she is already marked "forever"? In many cases, child offenders were previously sexually abused. By publicizing their crimes, the children have just been labeled as the same as their previous abuser.

It is not experimentation when both children know that one of them does not want to participate, but is forcefully persuaded (physically or mentally) otherwise. Children are capable of serious sexual offenses regardless of age and while I do not necessarily believe pre-adolescents' crimes should be publicized, I do not doubt the potential seriousness of that 10 year old's crimes.

Honest Opionion said...

There is a "BIG" problem here and it must get fixed!
Children, teens and young adults, all across this grand country are being ripped from their homes, people are forced out of their homes and away from their loved ones, homeless, unemployed and treated worse then animals! And youths from consensual acts are being imprisoned across our nation! Even in spite of the Supreme Courts opinion in Roper v. Simmon , it's noted, Youths are not mentally mature or culpable when committing murder and deserve rehabilitation and a second chance. But, Sex Offender Laws overrides all reasoning for juvenile protection, in this country a consensual sex act equals culpability, extreme punishment, lifetime registration, tracking humiliation and exiled, way worse then an adult gets for murder? These laws are out of whack and Laws are being broken, the constitution is ignored, human rights are violated and this government isn't willing to stop it, fix it or enforce justice. It is shocking and disgusting that the Government acts as the "Head Hunter"! Of course to "Save the vulnerable children" ! If YOU smacked your own kid in the face, YOU are a child abuser and this government would not care why, you did what YOU did. You would be prosecuted, punished and the division of human services would be all over you your child would be PROTECTED from YOU? This government entity sits and watches the LOSER (Lifetime On Sex Offender Registry) struggle and suffer and they say and do NOTHING! This is Acceptable abuse, it's their law! If ANYONE in this country devised a "HIT LIST" subjecting "anyone" to harm, they would be held responsible, accountable and prosecuted under law. But, when a registered sex offenders is murdered, commits suicide or suffers from vigilante attacks by dangerous people or this government, because of they are listed on the governments GRAND "HIT LIST" it's acceptable? As my government plays "VIGILANTE", I advocate for all the THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of our "FREE" American citizens marked and TARGETED for harmful vigilante antics and destruction!
I "DO NOT" trust this government's practices of what they like to call law or opinion of who is dangerous or not! A kid touching a breast is now a predator, youths having a loving relationship are now heinous criminals, sexting teens are child pornographers, as far as the these law makers are concerned! What's even more unbelievable is that many people in our society are rooting for these laws! They can't be paying attention or are unaware of the real facts, statistic or true understanding of our constitution and abuse of government? As billions of dollars are wasted on mythical and misguided policy's? This entire Government, the dept. of justice, corrections, public safety, legislators, all reap from our taxes, with grand benefits and pension plans. They certainly would NOT want to change and fix this mess? John Walsh, with all the multi million dollar grants to hunt down our children for life, he certainly wouldn't want change! Who will stand up, little old ME?
Being a witness of politician gaining favoritism and wealth on the backs of these poor vulnerable children is my biggest "pet peeve."
I ask America for "HELP" on behalf of our children, caught up in the "LIE"

Honest Opinion said...

Well I have been known to shared my feelings of disgust with these laws and in response to the news of a young man murdered in Texas I contacted Texas' legislators and wrote comments. It really is disturbing that a young man was alone and dumped out into the streets without any resources to survive. NO ONE cares to help this youth or the thousands of others caught up in this mess? While Ms. Shapiro claims her law is to protect children?
I read in an article:
Florence Shapiro of Texas, proudly states' “If one child is saved, then the laws will be worth what we've done.”
I responded to Ms. Shapiro's statement,
Is harming even one child with the mark "SEX OFFENDER" worth what you've done? How about 4000+ lives being ruined. Does she also want credit for ruining the entire family, their spouses and offspring by the "HIT LIST"? Think about it, If anyone makes a hit list you know what happens, they are prosecuted and punished? This "HIT LIST" is not on a piece of paper passed in classroom. This government has the power to pass their "HIT LIST" around the world! No prosecution or responsibility for what happens as a result, that's sick! Sen. Florence Shapiro of Texas crafted Texas' "HIT LIST" to include children, will Florence Shapiro, ever be ready to assume or admit that labeling juvenile offenders may be harmful to children, even deadly?

Texas: According to DPS data, Of the more than 47,000 people listed on the state's Department of Public Safety Web site, only 275 are under 18, while 3,853 are registered based on offenses they committed as juveniles, how many 18, 19, 20, year old, are listed for consensual relationships with younger peers?

Ms. Shapiro there is ONLY 4000+ children juvenile records and youthful MISTAKE being displayed to the world as sex offenders, banished from towns, unemployed, tracked, hunted, hated, forced into poverty and a life of endless turmoil.
One young man felt the wrath of Magen's law and the legislator who crafted the laws in Texas. He now has a place to rest! And the media will fail to mention that he was a kid of 14 who has suffered at the hands of the politicians and their senseless laws. Homeless, poor and now dead! That's rehabilitation and protection that is promised by America for all juvenile offenders?

The heading of the article was:
Murdered Homeless Man Was Convicted Sex Offender
Excerpt:
A 20-year-old homeless man whose body was found in an abandoned building in Bryan was a convicted sex offender.

It should read: At 14 years old boy, a past adjudicated juvenile's life is of no value. Forced to be homeless, unemployed and labeled on the Internet as a sex offender, has been bludgeoned to death at 20 years old.
The article should have said: Senator Florence Shapiro and Texas legislators, influenced the murder of a young boy. Their child protection laws created a painful and disheveled life for young Dale Wayne Ellis. Lets give Senator Shapiro another "Child Advocacy Award", NOT! It is very scary when Legislators are having secret meetings and passing laws in which People even young children all across America are punished, labeled, responsible and held accountable in any law named and based of murdered children, Magen Kanka, Jessica Lunsford and Adam Walsh and the entire world will know who they are, for the rest of their lives to be banned, tracked, hunted and hated because no one wants another child murdered, GET REAL, what happened to my country? These powerful leaders call their vigilante antics "unintended consequences"? This insults the intelligence of all American citizens and makes as all look like FOOLS to the rest of the world! Speak up for our children for God's sakes!

Honest Opinion said...

Florence Shapiro of Texas, proudly states' “If one child is saved, then the laws will be worth what we've done.”
Will Ms. Shapiro be taking the credit for TEXAS' laws that do "NOT" save children but, destroys them? HONEST OPINION: Texas needs to save it's children from PREDATOR law makers, Predator prosecutors and Predator Judges!

Texas Teen Sentenced To Sixty Years in Prison For Consensual Sex (Brandon 17)
Monday, 11 May 2009 03:17

I will never forget that day in June when I heard Judge Banales say, “You are hereby sentenced to 60 years in the Texas Department of Corrections”. My legs felt like spaghetti, my hands went cold. I had no moisture in my mouth. I was numb all over. I wanted to throw up. I could hear my mother’s horrific cries in the background. I turned to see her and I saw my father holding her and my grandmother tightly. He was so scared, I could tell. There were other ladies that were also crying. They felt for my mom, and possibly for me. The judge told my dad if he didn’t quiet my mother, he would have her arrested. My mother had a look of fury in her eyes when they met with mine. I knew right there and then that her love and commitment as a mother would induce a fight for justice. The bailiff was so nice to me. He kept asking me if I needed some water. I couldn’t talk. All I could hear was my mother’s cry, over and over. I couldn’t even hug her goodbye.




When I was 17 years old, I made a mistake, a mistake that will haunt me and my family for the rest of our lives. I had consensual sex with a girl whom I believed to be much older. I was young and immature, drinking and smoking pot like many other teens at our school. I never intended to hurt anyone. I am not a dangerous predator or a violent rapist. I am a young man who has been given a punishment far beyond what is reasonable and just.
story here: http://www.freebrandon.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33:texas-teen-sentenced-to-sixty-years-in-prison

Anonymous said...

HOW MANY LITTLE GIRLS NEED TO BE HURT TILL PEOPLE UNDERSTAND ITS DISGUSTING WRONG AND HORRIBLE , I JUST WISH ALL THE OTHER MOMS WOULD CARE TO BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER WHEN THEIR PERV KID COMES TO [PLAY , OTHERWISE THE ABUSE-SEX APADE CONTINUES ON TO THE NEXT , ALL LITTLE GIRLS AND BOYS ARE CHILDREN OF THE LORD LETS PROTECT THEM NOT JUSTIFY FOR THESE DIRTY PERVS,...MEN LETS BE HONEST 99.5%ARE MEN HURTING WOMEN AND GIRLS AND BOYS AND EVEN BABIES....SO SO SICK ...LETS PRAY AND THEN GO DO SOMETHING LIKE ,HMMM ALL THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN US ONLY MEN GO , IN JUST A MONTHS TIME YOUD SEE A COMPLETE DIFFERENCE , WOMEN WHO FEEL SAFE KIDS WHO FEEL SAFE AND ALOT OF LOVE...NO KILLING ,STEALING AND HURTING=

The Emperor said...

Ah, the wonderfulness of living in a Christian Nation, where there is BIG talk of Jesus this and Jesus that but when it comes to actually practicing Jesus's teachings like mercy, compassion, forgiveness and allowing individuals to redeem themselves or that the laws are too harsh, you are called soft on crime, or even a pedophile (because you believe the laws are too harsh).

But you know, I am all for these kinds of laws and I think they should be more oppressive because such laws breed chaos and anarchy in the US.

Think about it. What pays for prisons? Taxes. How are taxes collected? When people work. If you have "Sex Offender" on your record, regardless if you are a molester, a rapist, a guy that got caught peeing in the street or someone like Brandon the hypocritical maggot population will play the "Protect the Children" or the "We are a Family Values Company" cards (from the bottom of the deck) resulting in the person being denied a chance to get their life back together.

In the end, some may just do something like stage a fight, kill someone, rob a place or just do anything that lands them back in jail where they are burdens instead of producers.

This means that the person is no longer working which results in less taxes being collected, but you still have to take care of the inmates needs and in our atmosphere for "privatizing" everything, you just know that For-Profit prisons are going to overcharge the government to make us feel "safe."

This then results in prison overcrowding and red ink which then translates to prisoners being released early, only to return to become a drain again and again and again.

Must be nice to be "Tough" on crime.

Here's to the Fall of the United States of America. We don't need terrorists. Its the greed, corruption and "morality" that is doing us in.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing that most sex crimes are commited by individuals who were abused themselves. Can we honestly say it is their fault for committing the same crime?

Should the offender be counseled after the first offense, to open their eyes to the fact they were abused, and thus repeating this cycle.

I agree that the majority of offenders will not offend again.

They are sorry for what they did, and now have to pay the ultimate price, punishment for life!

Families are ruined, embarressed,whispered about behind their backs.

Kids are placed in the forefront at school, with their friends, with their teachers. Do they deserve this? Why are the families punished also?

There needs to be a way for RSO's to get off the registery if they complete rigorous counseling, and certified fit to enter society again.

SB said...

That is the way to help stop the cycle. We don't always know who is abused but I think all of our kids could use a boost in self esteem.

I have brought up the counseling so many times in child advocate groups. Here are the type of replies I get. "They are the victims so why make them go through more?" and "This would minimize what happened." Damned right! We could minimize it as much as possible.We could help kids get a decent start in life but the adults want victims. Kids are sacrificed in favor of vengeance.Sexual abuse is said to follow one through life so it surely would play a part in one becoming an offender.

SB said...

"HOW MANY LITTLE GIRLS NEED TO BE HURT TILL PEOPLE UNDERSTAND ITS DISGUSTING WRONG AND HORRIBLE"
Why only little girls? You talk about other kid pervs like your kids would never do anything wrong. Are you one that argues that death is preferable to purity? How did you ever have kids? A dirty, perverted man had to be involved to make it happen.You don't seem to like males.

Anonymous said...

i just wanna ask a question...

first of this is a rhetorical question...

how many of us played house with our cousins at a young age? how many of us had a fling with a cousin?

this leads to my question... How do you feel about a 14yr old boy, honor student, being placed on a SO registry for touching his 9yr old cousin?

he didn't know the extend of his experiment until he was faced with the registry. now he cant attend college and barely made it out of high school.

how do you feel about that? about a boy who had one moment of weakness, and has to pay for it for life. how do you feel about the boy who played a simple game of truth or dare with the 9yr old who brought it up!? Do he deserve to die!? If so... kill me now!

Anonymous said...

My seventeen year old son is about to be charged with aggravated sexual assualt of a minor.He has several witnesses that say this was consensual.He has text messages from her stating she was older than she was, friends that heard her say she was older than she was. His lawyer believes he has the evidence needed to get past this. Still he is devastated-he has changed schools is alienated from his classmates and very humiliated by the accusation.We have spent five thousand dollars on this and have been told it could be much more, this from our retirement account.As his father I am scared to death for his future,regardless of the hope the lawyer offers.He has been told by law enforcement that he could get 25 years to life-his comment to that was he would kill himself. HE IS 17 YRS OLD. She is 13.

SB said...

I don't think you can get past it and my heart breaks for you. It doesn't matter what she said. It happened and the law says there is no defense. Getting him out of itI expect means keeping him out of prison but there is probation and the registry.
Houston has the highest number of 15 tear old mothers in the nation. Until these girls start getting punished for their behavior this will not change.

Anonymous said...

SB i'm only seventeen too. and i rather kill my self that go to prison too... but i got two yrs probation and i finsished that and group and i still have to register for ten years... wheres the future in that!? no college education! um screwed for something me and my cousin did. i accept responsibility but they try to brainwash me into thinkin it was all my fault. when honestly it wasnt...

Anonymous said...

Is the requirement to register as a sex offender always for life? If not what are the exceptions?

Anonymous said...

I was 14 years old back in 1996 when me and my 10 year old brother experimented with one another. We both played with eachother and yet we knew it was wrong to do, I never knew that I would have to register as a sex offender. In fact I had no idea that it was illegal when it took place.

I am 27 now and still on the registry. I am considered a high risk but I am wondering when will be the next time I commit an act! Ummmm NEVER! I learned not to do this ever again BEFORE the court stepped in. However, I am still paying for it with my picture and label on the internet for all the world to see. Including my ex-girlfriend who in which we have a baby together and she holds this against me.

Why do juveniles register but celebrities and judges like Mark White do not? Why are there exceptions to the rule when it comes to money and social status? BETTER YET, I AM 27 YEARS OLD AND I WAS 14 YEARS AT THE TIME OF MY OFFENSE, WHY AM I STILL REQUIRED TO BE LABELED A PEDOPHILE????????

Anonymous said...

Texas' law is extremely out of line, their laws are sadistic and barbaric! There are LAWS against "child abuse", it is illegal and there are consequences. Just not for the government and lawmakers. Think about this? If a parent, an authority figure or a teacher put a child in the corner for as little as 6 hours, let's say? No one would care why this person did this, they wouldn't care what the child did. it would be considered cruel and abusive, It would be considered, "child abuse"! The people would want the offender or affenders, heads on a platter, for harming that child or allowing someelse to harm the child. Everyone involved would be held accountable. People could loss their parental rights, job or licence to care for children. Come on people? Are we civil human beings or NOT? The kids in this country really NEED our help!

SB said...

I have a new op/ed out that you may enjoy.
Dear ohara,

Congratulations, your article Punishment VS Rehabilitation has just been moved to
the Featured Article spot on the homepage. Click here to see it http://www.austinpost.org.


Thank you for providing thought-provoking content to Austin Post.

We look forward to more great content from you.

The Austin Post Team

Anonymous said...

I 28 years old now and was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child when I was 16 years old. I was molested as a child and very confused about sex as a teenager. Of course this does not make what I did okay. I acted out by sexually molesting my younger sister. I did not have sex with her or penetrate her in any way at all. I did not hurt her or behave violently.

Later I willfully admitted to what I had done to my parents and sought counseling. It was only after doing this that the case was picked up and investigated by CPS. CPS dropped the case because I was already in counseling and doing my best to make restitution and rehabilitate myself. But, a detective with the county sheriff's department decided to pursue legal action against me.

I am very truly sorry for what I did. I understand that what I did will affect my sister and my family for the rest of their lives. I did deserve to be punished. I would gladly be tied to a pole and lashed 100 times and have my fingernails ripped out if it would take back what I did. However, I was 15 years old when I committed the offense and it still haunts me, and especially my wife and kids today, 13 years later.

I was required to register as a sex offender for ten years after the juvenile offense. As a young adult my parents moved away and I decided to stay in Texas for a couple of months to work and earn money. I lived with some friends and did not update my new address with the sex offender registry since it would require me to update my driver's license first. Not having time and money to do that, I decided to leave my address as my parents' old house. In doing so I failed to register as a sex offender, which is a felony in Texas.

Eventually I decided to stay in Texas longer, so I went to the DPS office to change my address and then register with the sex offender registration department under the correct new address. I was arrested at the DPS office for failure to register as a sex offender. Not having any money to pay for a good lawyer, I took the deferred adjudication and thought it would be removed from my record. This was not the case. Now my criminal record shows that I was put on probation for the felony of failure to register as a sex offender. I might as well have a conviction on my record. The ironic part is that I cannot seal my adult record because of the offense that I committed when I was a juvenile, which is sealed itself.

I have been through years of therapy and I am positive that I have been rehabilitated. I have begged forgiveness of my younger sister, and we have a very healthy, happy relationship now. I am married to a wonderful wife and have three children. My youthful mistakes, as serious as they were, should not be something that hinders my ability to get a job to provide for my family. I cannot participate in many church activities, scouting activities, coach my kids softball teams, and many other such activities.

I believe in strong sex offender laws, but when it comes to juvenile offenders, I believe that rehabilitation is possible and probable if done properly. There are those who should be required to register, such as those teenagers who hold a knife to a child's neck and rape them, or actually behave violently. But, call it what it is. What I did was not aggravated, nor an assault in any way. Don't make my wife and kids pay the price for what I did as a teenager.

Anonymous said...

I am currently engaged to someone who was place on the registry at the age of 12! He learned his lesson thats why he turned himself in! I will help him pay for this for the rest of our lives simply because of peoples fears. We will never be able to adopt and my dreams of becoming a mother have been flushed. He is so scared of peoples judgments that he wont attend college (a college has the right to post regristry infromation). He is a brilliant man that i love and know with all my heart caould never hurt a child he would die before allowing anything bad of any sort happen to any child! This hole in the law will continue to hunt us down till the day we die!

Anonymous said...

if it is true for a ten yr old to be guided out of this mistake they made is it also true for a 17 yr old 18 yr old...even a 30 yr old to be guided also? im not saying this to be sarcastic. Sometimes it isnt that the "offender" is out of their mind, have a mental disorder, sometimes it is truly just a mistake, an unexpected event. they shouldn't be penalized so young, nor so harshly. once and offender always and offender? i dont think so. for some it could be true, but not for all. it isnt fair to condemn them for life, without any chance for repentance.

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Anonymous said...

I myself am a registered sex offender. I read the article and was a tad shocked that kids as young as 10 are on the site. whats to stop from a true 'pedophile' from doing something? the address and everything is right there on the persons 'profile.' granted yes what i did when i was a teenager was wrong, however i was in TYC. they got counselors that arent even licensed to be working with sex offenders. i was given a 2 year minimum sentence and was released on a new law that released me before i was even in for 2 years. i myself was a victim of the law. and the treatment by other inmates suck. this was by other sex offenders mind you. more or less because im gay but thats different story. but i do think that we have gone too far with our sex offender laws and texas isnt the only one either. florida has the same bs too. why stop only in texas why not take this to DC? registration limits us to where we can work, live, and do things in the community. this is no longer what it was intended for it is now a huge witch hunt and shapiro is at the front lines along with her lawyer husband.

Anonymous said...

A lot of these comments use the terms "WHAT IF", "MIGHT BE" or "COULD HAPPEN" These are the phrases that excuse these horrible laws and registration. These "MIGHT HAPPEN" laws are to protect the possible few unattended kids, but WILL impact the FOR SURE thousands of kids from the other end! Where's the real logic there? I mean the system is already so vast. Let's focus on helping our children not making them into more the victim.

A dad.

Elliander said...

It should be pointed out that if a 10 year old child takes a nude photo of oneself that action will result in the child ending up on the sex offender registry, and in many states already has.

Isn't it creepy that a 10 year old girl can be required by law to only live in areas that sex offenders may live, cannot go to the best schools, cannot participate in most social activities with other children, and will be denied good employment for her entire life all because she posed nude? Now, realize as well that children who were sent such pictures unknowingly were also sent to the sex offender registry.

I might understand if a child raped another child by knife point, but a case like that is rare. Most cases involve self photography, or statutory rape. In the case of statutory rape.

The problem here is the logic behind the laws. We believe that children are not capable of making rational choices and so protect them with laws. We say that a child who consents does not have the legal capacity to consent and that is how we prosecute rapists and child pornographers. It all sounds good on paper, but if a child takes their own picture the child will be arrested, and if two children within an age apart have consensual sex the older of the two is often the one arrested of rape.

It's here that the problem becomes apparent: If a child cannot legally consent how can we hold a child as legally competent when the child takes their own picture? Either the child is presumed to be incompetent by virtue of being a child and therefore should not be seen as competent enough to stand trial, or the child is presumed to be competent enough to stand trial in which case the the logic behind the law is proven false.

In the case of statutory rape I remember this one case some years back: An 11 year old boy had a polyamorous relationship with two girls aged 10 and 12. When it was discovered the parents took the children to therapy after which time the police became aware. The 11 year old boy was arrested, convicted, and placed on the sex offender registry for statutory rape of a 10 year old girl. The 12 year old was not brought to trial in part because there is a bias against boys with cases like these and in part because it would weaken the prosecution's case to portray the 10 year old as both a victim of rape and a rapist simultaneously.

These are the kinds of cases that appear on the sex offender registry. In my opinion, leaving out the details of why they are on the registry makes matters worse for them because people can be imaginative. If it says "rape" we assume something violent, when it could easily have been two people in love. Indeed, people who were arrested for statutory rape as children today have families with the very people they were accused of raping and are still on the registry and as a result limited in what they can do with their own children.