I am sharing this because I think there are injustices in the system that need to be looked at and addressed. Among those things are the use of lies and myths that are based on emotion to pass laws against people who in reality have the lowest re-conviction rate of all the criminal classes for a repeat similar type of crime. The use of a group or class as a political scapegoat that has grown so far out of proportion and control and has stripped constitutional rights from that class, and if not stopped will carry over into other groups and classes and because of that it is now seen by many as political terrorism, this is similar to what happened in the1930s in Germany, Because in reality, first they came for what they considered the sexual deviants and the criminal classes before they ever started on religious groups and political enemies. So our government is setting the stage to strip everyone’s rights in the name of public safety
I don’t believe that Americans are willingly giving up their constitutional protected freedoms that were granted to us by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, but the citizens of this country are in fact through their fear and apathy allowing government to strip them away in the name of community safety. Many of us have said from the beginning that the sex offender registry was a testing ground for government to steal our rights, since then, the government has passed more laws making many more things criminal that were not before and increasing the penalty levels, things that were previously misdemeanors are now felonies. As you may know more classes of people are being added to the registry, how long before your name or a close family member shows up on it?
I went seeking help for myself and my victim, and in that way I turned my self in. I was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for my crimes. After prison I was lucky enough to be able to get back to work, that was primarily because in the state that I lived in at that time you did not have to register or have community notification if you were still on Post-Prison Supervision. I was able to work my way back up into the my field and end up in a short amount of time as a plant manager for a major local printing company, a situation that wouldn’t have happened if I would’ve been on community notification. Later after completing Post-Prison I moved to another state to take care of my 85 year old father.
About 5 years after my release from prison I remarried, and later, when the laws changed the community was notified. My stepchildren and second wife received harassment, threats, and lost many of their friends, as well as having our property vandalized. After notification finding jobs became more difficult and I ended up taking low-paying jobs to support my family. I have lost two jobs because of the community notification. Although we were not forced to move because of community notification per se, we did move a number of times, simply because we were not accepted by the community, or because of threats coming from the community. We tried to make it work for over 4 years after community notification, because of all the stress and all the problems I am now separated from my second wife and step kids. I am living alone with basically with no local friends and no community contacts, even the local church wants nothing to do with me, I am now ostracized and rejected from society.
After my initial separation from my first family I had hopes of one day at least being able to have some contact with them, even if it was only letters, but Child protective services had other ideas. They forced all members of my family into treatment programs whose only purpose is to make sure that any type of contact never happens. CPS’s goal was to destroy all links between parent and child through the use of their alleged treatment program, unlike Child Sexual Abuse treatment program (CSATP) from Santa Clara county, California, whose goal was treatment of offenders and victims, and family reunification, with the success rate of 92% of the families staying together and a offender re-offense rate of less than 1% over a ten-year period. But since I didn’t know at the time, what CPS was doing, I set out to change myself.
During the time that I was in prison I involved myself in a number of different programs. I completed more than 2500 hours of voluntary programming to try to make myself into a better person. I completed ‘Breaking Barriers‘, ‘Breaking Barriers Facilitator training‘, ‘Pathfinders‘ (a 6 month 7hrs a day 5 days a week program), ‘Franklin Reality’,’New Horizons‘, ‘S.T.E.P. Program‘, ‘Parenting 1’ and ‘Parenting 2‘, ‘S.T.O.P. Orientation’, ‘Correction Treatment Services’, ‘Relapse Prevention Program for Sex Offenders’, and ‘Sex Offender Day Treatment Program’ (lasting 5 ½ a days a week, 7 hrs a day for 6 months), Chuck Colson’s prison ministries program. At different points during that time I came in contact with other inmates within those programs. In the pathfinders program we were encouraged to talk about our offenses and the effects they had on us and others. When we discussed the victims I felt mine was the most serious crime and the most damaging to the victims because it involved my children, and because they would forever carry the mental and emotional scars of my stupid misconduct.
Others told me that mine was not the worst, but that theirs were, one inmate told me that while burglarizing a home he found out that the entire family was home. He tied up the mother and father, and then he tied up the children, I don’t remember how many children, he told them that if they ever reported his crime or pointed him out that he or someone affiliated with him would come back and kill them. He kept them tied up in their laundry room all day long and at different times made threats on their lives until after it got dark and he could leave. During that time, to make his point, he killed their family dog and cut off its head in front of them . He told me that he felt that his crime was much worse, even though he never touched any of the victims other than to tie them up. He felt that they would be traumatized for the rest of their lives.
Another inmate told me of how he had got in a fight outside of the bar. The other person that he was fighting was half drunk and he was not. He beat the person down, and because he was angry he broke a beer bottle and took the jagged points and cut up the man’s face and took out his left eye. His point was that that man will never be able to see, and his family will be traumatized because what had been done to him and they will see it every time that they looked at him. He felt his crime was much worse than mine.
Another inmate was drinking and driving and involved in a car accident. Of the people in the other car the driver, a mother of three, was paralyzed for life, two children were severely injured by flying glass cutting their faces, and the third child almost had their hand severed and will probably never be able to use it. His point was that he thought that he had done more damage, physically ,mentally and emotionally to that family than I had ever done to mine.
Their reasoning was that even though I had committed a terrible crime against my children I had not done it to them because I did not care what happened to them, out of anger, or to threaten or scare them. One of the inmates asked me if I had ever beaten my children, or burned them with cigarettes or intentionally wounded them, or threatened to kill them, to this I honestly answer no. Another asked me if I had ever degraded my children by telling them that they were stupid or worthless, to this I had to answer no also. They asked me if I ever let my children go hungry or without the necessities or refuse to take them to the doctors so that I might have things that I wanted, to this I also answered no. My children’s needs came before mine, except for my sexual needs. Both I and my wife did without many things that we wanted so that the children could have new clothes and presents for birthdays and Christmases and proper things for school . They repeated to me what they had said before that my crime was not as bad as theirs and that I had been trying to be a good parent and had made terrible mistakes.
I am not writing this to justify my actions, because I still feel that my crime against my children is horrendous, and I’m absolutely sure it is devastating to all them. I hope that at no time in their lives, will they ever feel that they let me down or were in any way at fault . After I had been in prison for a while and because of the therapy that they were in they sent me a letter signed by each of them telling me that they never wanted me to have contact with the them again. Even though it has been the hardest thing that I have ever done, I have honored their requests for the last 20 + years, to this day I don’t even Google their names on the Internet. They were the most wonderful family that a person could have, and I’m the one that screwed it up. I have never for one day felt any of them were at fault for my situation and I have never stopped being ashamed of my actions. I know in my heart that I will never see or get to talk to them again, but that hasn’t stopped me loving or caring about them, all that I can do is wish them well within my heart.
After my time in prison I came in contact with two of those inmates. In both cases they were released from prison after me and had longer Post-Prison times than I did. In both cases they only did less than one quarter of their Post-Prison time and were released from it early while I did my full Post-Prison sentence. Since then each of my former inmate friends have been allowed to get on with their lives, while I have had community notification that has made it hard for me to make friends, become involved in the community, find work or housing, or have a stable life with my second family.
Community notification serves no purpose other than to shame the offenders, their families, and friends, at the same time making all their lives more difficult. People who say community notification makes the community more safe, need to stop and consider that the chance of their children being emotionally or physically harmed by individuals in their family or close friends and people NOT on the registry are as high as 99.87%, .and that the harm will come from somebody on the registry is far less than 1%. The studies have shown that community notification has made our community is less safe, and that the registry has physically and emotionally damaged over 500,000 children of people on the registry not to mention the over 200,000 youth that are on the Registry. The reality is that It has not saved one child, but it has caused the death of literally thousands of children.
The people that support the registry and especially community notification think nothing of allowing their children to get into cars with people that have been convicted drinking and driving, or even using drugs, and they have knowledge of neighbors who are involved in domestic violence, and yet they allow their children to go over to those homes.
Quite honestly it would appear that people are more looking for a scapegoat. Someone that they can point to and say what a terrible person and the people that associate with him must be terrible people also, than out of any true concern for their children’s safety. Because of this my personal viewpoint is that people who support the registry and community notification are either doing that because of misinformation presented to them or because they themselves are bullies, bigots, and sociopaths who enjoy causing pain and suffering for others.