Any of you who have read my articles that have been posted here on SOSEN know that I have argued for years that the justification for the registry and all the restrictions that have been placed on registered citizens have been based on the lies of high re-offense rates. You also know that I want to rein back government control that is exerted through the executive branch, namely parole and probation. Their theories on how to treat people with sex crimes while on parole and probation are based on that same mythology’s and lies, they constantly overstep their legal boundaries causing physical, mental, and emotional hardships on the people that they’re supposed to be helping to reintegrate into society.
Most of you also know that I believe that the large percentage of treatment programs that are out there are not only ineffective, but they are damaging. Treatment providers have also stepped far outside their ethical boundaries. They are no longer there to help people, they are there quite simply to help themselves financially and socially. Treatment providers have become an arm of parole and probation. They base their treatment programs on the same myths and lies, many treatment providers have become part of the problem not part of the solution. I look forward to the day when treatment providers start being sued by registered citizens who have been damaged by their programs as well as their family members and the extremely rare new victims.
You also know that I have talked about the collateral damage to family members the unseen victims of the sex offender registry. Especially the children of registered citizens.
Well I receive this letter recently from a friend in another state, the plight of my friend is not new or different from many other people on the registry, in fact it is A typical especially with people that are still on parole and probation. Read what he says below and tell me do you think his parole and probation officers as well as his treatment providers that are involved in setting the rules enforced by parole and probation, (which I also will point out are not only unethical but illegal) are treating him in a manner that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
Well I lost my sister last week. I just lost my friend and mentor last month. This one really cuts to the heart. See, when I was arrested a lot of unfortunate things happened withing my circle of family and friends. My family had only found my sister a few years earlier. She had been born in the 1950’s and her mother had just up and left my father when she found out she was pregnant. She adopted the baby. My Dad had tried to get custody, but they didn’t give fathers any rights to their children back then. So for fifty years he searched for this lost child. Growing up, my other two sisters and I heard the story and we felt as though there was a void for us too. We were only three of four siblings. When we finally found my sister, Elizabeth, it was unbelievable. Our void was not only filled, it was over flowed as she had a whole family of her own with children and grandchildren. As I said, when I was arrested things really fell apart. Sides were chosen, mostly against me purely from the stigma, and my relationship with Elizabeth was damaged as a result. I had made contact with her when I was released from prison. She had become ill. Lung problems. I wasn’t allowed to go to see her by parole as my victim lives within 35 miles of there, which is absurd. She couldn’t travel as she didn’t have a running vehicle and had to have oxygen all of the time. I worried I would never see her again. She didn’t text or call anyone for some time as she just wasn’t up to it. Everyone else went to see her, but I never could. Now, she is gone, the chance to heal the wounds, to tell her I loved her and was soo grateful she had been found and added to the family and so on, are gone with her. I can’t ever change it, I will live with these regrets forever. Just fifty miles between us and because of parole conditions I was robbed of the last two years of my sisters life. Then this new or renewal of the “Walsh Act” is just made it apparent that change is a long way off, if ever. It only gets worse. IML has been upheld, parole conditions keep me from my children, friends and family. I can’t even reflect on memories with pictures, because if a picture has a kid in it I can’t have it, not even my own children or any family members who are now adults I still can’t have pictures of as children, or what’s really crazy is I can’t even have a picture of myself as a child! I guess they think I might molest myself? Lunacy. Not to mention an unconstitutional deprivation of freedom of association, the various court rulings in federal courts granting RSO’s not only visitation, but custody of their children! Oh I have tried to fight back. No lawyer would take my case, at least not without $10,000 retainer. For someone on SSI that may as well be a billion $$. I tried to file myself with Parkinson’s constantly making filling out forms difficult. Only to have the system circumvent even giving a ruling and to suffer retaliation from parole. Now, to top it all off, after months struggling to put together a project to aide other RSO’S with a true reintegration facility, I find myself a few weeks from ending up in parolee housing. Well, if they are gonna strip me of all of my rights one by one until I end up in a “safety resettlement community” (internment camp), well I wish someone would just shoot me now and get it over with. I am ailing, my health gets worse all of the time. I have kept a good attitude despite having to have any potential romantic interest interviewed and screened and eventually chased off by parole, kept from my children and nieces, nephews, sisters, father, left without pictures, harassed everywhere I go by patole from the gps . “Why did you go here, eat there, sit in this parking lot for more than two minutes?” Can’t go to parks, not even National Parks, can’t go to the library, patron anywhere a massage parlor may be close or where children may frequent. Curfew at 8:00 pm, like a child, even though there aren’t any children out at midnight, or even ten at night! Their parents put them to bed, DUH! Forced into therapy designed to force you to realize you are an incurable and despicable excuse for a human being. Have to attend “containment meetings” every quarter, can’t travel outside the metro city area, forced to tell everyone I have a “significant relationship with including but not limited to, church members, friends, business acquaintances, employers, and romantic interests that I am a sex offender and the nature of my case.” However, I tell you what, if I have to go live in the ghetto in a board and care facility where every dollar I get will go to them for rent, well it is nearly as bad as prison, except with the addition of protesters and vandalism and posters neighbors place on nearby businesses with the pictures and Megan’s Law registration info of sex offenders living in those facilities. That will be the straw that breaks my spirits. I am literally at the end of my rope and without hope.
Only today I learned of the passing of George Lartigue in April. Only because today was the day for our monthly meeting. When I arrived home after being told, I looked to see any news or obituaries about his passing. I was completely shocked to only find a funeral date nearly a month ago, but no obituary, no celebration of the life of a man I can only describe as the most honorable man I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Honorable being something nearly nonexistent today. I may seem the most unlikely and unsavory character to want to honor anyone. You see, I am a registered sex offender. While I was in chaos, created by my own life decisions, George had already an extraordinary life. He had marched with Dr. King, stood in the face if oppression and tyrrany, never compromising his morals, beliefs and principles, because as he said many times, "Freedom and equality can not come at the cost of one's soul. Violating your principles to achieve any goal, achieves nothing, because you then become no better than your oppressors." George never was bitter over all the suffering he had experienced in his lifetime. I met George after a term in prison. I was working hard to change my life, but I often felt the system was only designed for failure and it was a difficult and arduous journey. Many would say George was my counselor. By legal definition, that may be true, but he was much, much more. He was my my mentor, my pastor, and my friend. He taught me the value of morality, integrity, kindness, sympathy, compassion, loyalty, principles, and spirituality. He showed me how to be strong in the face of adversity, ridicule and discrimination. He believed in me when no one else did. He did't look at me and see an ex con, felon, sex offender, scum of the earth, beyond reproach or redemption. He looked into my eyes and saw my heart. He saw me as a man and gave me the opportunity to rise above all that this world puts on someone like me, not to say it isn't my own fault, but that the path for anyone with said label is filled with obstacles. George helped me to become who I am today. Someone, for the first time in my life, I can be proud of. He allowed me to overcome fear, or I wouldn't be writing this. George was a pastor and an activist, but what he did with his career was to embrace those who are most despised and help them to change their life course and direct and forge a new path. He was a leader, by example. Today, I am an advocate for social change, a business man, a minister, and I have hope for a brighter future. Thanks to George. To him I would like to say, "We won't limp through the hallways of Parole anymore, you with your cane, me with my walker. You are free of those incumberances for that I rejoice, though I will miss you. God bless you for all you did for us while you were here. May I be half the man you were, because you were one in a hundred million. One day we will meet again where neither of us suffers and we can carry on in our rambling conversations, God willing." Sincerely, LJ77 Here are some links on Georges life. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2014/01/21/participants-in-mlk-service-strive-toward-freedom.html http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2008/02/01/locals-police-relationship-policies-better.html http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2007/07/10/gang-numbers.html http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2007/01/16/remembering-a-true-leader.html