December 20, 2014

U.S. CORRECTIONAL POPULATION DECLINED BY LESS THAN 1 PERCENT FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

12-20-2014 Washington DC:

WASHINGTON – The number of persons under adult correctional supervision fell by 41,500 persons during 2013, dropping to 6.89 million by yearend, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The decline in the correctional population (down 0.6 percent) was less than 1 percent for the second consecutive year.

By yearend 2013, the number of persons under adult correctional supervision was the smallest number observed since 2003. About 7 in 10 offenders under adult correctional supervision were supervised in the community on probation (3.91 million) or parole (853,200) at yearend 2013, compared to about 3 in 10 incarcerated in state and federal prisons (1.57 million) or local jails (731,200).

The entire drop in the correctional population during 2013 was due to a decline in the number of probationers (down 32,100) and persons held in local jails (down 13,300). The parole population (up 2,100) and prison population (up 4,300) increased, partially offsetting the overall decline in the total correctional population.

While the U.S prison population increased during 2013, the number of inmates under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons decreased (down 0.9 percent or 1,900) for the first time since 1980. The growth in the U.S. prison population was attributed to the increase in the number of inmates under the jurisdiction of state prisons (up 0.5 percent or 6,300).

About 1 in 35 adults in the United States (or 2.8 percent of the adult resident population) was under some form of correctional supervision at yearend 2013. This rate was unchanged from 2012, when it dropped to the lowest rate observed since 1997. About 1 in 51 adults was on probation or parole at yearend 2013, compared to 1 in 110 incarcerated in prisons or local jails.

The population-based correctional supervision rate (the number of persons under adult correctional supervision per 100,000 U.S. adult residents) declined to 2,830 persons per 100,000 adults at yearend 2013, from 2,870 per 100,000 at yearend 2012. Since 2007, the correctional supervision rate has declined more rapidly than the number of persons under adult correctional supervision, but half of the decrease in this rate came from the increase in the size of the U.S. adult resident population.

The composition of the correctional population remained unchanged between 2010 and 2013. Probationers (57 percent) accounted for the majority of the correctional population, and prisoners made up almost a quarter (23 percent) of the population. Parolees (12 percent) and jail inmates (11 percent) made up slightly more than a tenth each of the total population.

In 2013, females accounted for almost 25 percent of the probation population, up from about 22 percent in 2000. They made up 14 percent of the jail population in 2013, up from about 11 percent in 2000. The percentage of females on parole or incarcerated in state or federal prisons remained unchanged between 2000 and 2013. Since 2010, the female jail population has been the fastest growing correctional population, increasing by an average annual rate of 3.4 percent. ..Source.. by BJS Press Release

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December 19, 2014

AFT joins calls for Congress to act on campus sex assault

12-19-2014 National:

Dive Brief:

-- The 1.6-million-member American Federation of Teachers is urging Republican leaders in Congress to pass legislation addressing campus sexual assault next year.

-- The federation, one of the largest teacher unions, has launched a petition in support of proposed legislation on the issue, the Huffington Post reported.

-- The president of the union, Randi Weingarten, revealed in an essay on Jezebel that she was sexually assaulted when she was in college. ..Continued.. by Keith Button

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RECAP of 113th Congress: Sex Offender Bills that became law and those that died when the 113th Congress ended

12-17-2014 Washington DC:

The following may come in handy for Advocates planning for next year. This blog will continue to monitor Congressional bills that affect folks in the community. Bills affecting "sex offenses" are not included, they are a world mostly connected to prosecution and sentencing.

These bills became law during the 113th Congress (Now over):
(HR 83) Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015
(HR 803) Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
(HR 933) Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
(HR 3547) Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014
(S 47) Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
(S 1086) Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014

The following bills died when the 113th Congress ended:
Congressional Website: Even though a bill did not become law as Introduced, it is always possible that some or all of its provisions may have been incorporated into another bill which did become law. In the EXAMPLE S-1911 below, S-1911 did not become law, BUT BUT, see the note on that bill "For further action, see H.R.803, which became Public Law 113-128 on 7/22/2014." In addition to "Notes" you need to read the line which says "Latest Action." Both KEY to know whats going on with a bill. So be mindful it may take some research on bills which did not become law -as introduced- to find out if their provision/s were included in another bill. The Congressional website is pretty good mentioning notes and latest actions.:
EXAMPLE
S.1911 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act
Sponsor: Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC] (Introduced 01/09/2014)
Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: 01/09/2014 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Note: For further action, see H.R.803, which became Public Law 113-128 on 7/22/2014.
Tracker: ___ ___ ___
Now onto the list of bills which did not become law:
(HR 5) Student Success Act
(HR 11) Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
(HR 15) Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
(HR 629) Violence Against Immigrant Women Act of 2013
(HR 757) SAVE Native Women Act
(HR 898) Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013
(HR 1525) Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2013
(HR 1669) Public Housing Disaster Preparedness Act of 2013
(HR 1843) Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal HIV Discrimination Act of 2013
(HR 1860) Criminal Code Modernization and Simplification Act of 2013
(HR 1981) Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2013
(HR 2083) Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act
(HR 2278) SAFE Act
(HR 1786) Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2014
(HR 2786) Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2014
(HR 2787) Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014
(HR 2848) Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014
(HR 3461) Strong Start for America's Children Act of 2013
(HR 3530) Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2014
(HR 3610) Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2014
(HR 3902) Child Protection Improvements Act of 2013
(HR 3923) To amend the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 to expand the authority of governmental social service agencies with child protection responsibilities to access the national crime...
(HR 4058) Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care Act
(HR 4573) International Megan's Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking
(HR 4595) School Bus Safety Act
(HR 4660) Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015
(HR 5016) Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2015
(HR 5114) HUMANE Act
(HR 5158) REDEEM Act
(HR 5230) Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
(HR 5352) Pathways Out of Poverty Act of 2014
(HR 5623) National Parents Corps Act of 2014
(S 624) Child Care Protection Act of 2013
(S 744) Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
(S 987) Free Flow of Information Act of 2013
(S 1329) Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014
(S 1362) Child Protection Improvements and Electronic Life and Safety Security Systems Act of 2013
(S 1371) Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2014
(S 1410) Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014
(S 1596) Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act
(S 1675) Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act of 2014
(S 1697) Strong Start for America's Children Act
(S 1733) Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2013
(S 1738) Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2013
(S 1790) REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act of 2013
(S 1911) Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act
(S 2038) Solutions to Long-Term Unemployment Act
(S 2054) Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2014
(S 2437) Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015
(S 2452) Strong Start for America's Children Act
(S 2567) REDEEM Act
(S 2611) HUMANE Act
(S 2666) Protect Children and Families Through the Rule of Law Act
(S 2743) Protecting Children and America's Homeland Act of 2014
(S 2772) A bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
(S 2773) Protecting Children and America's Homeland Act of 2014
(S 2781) Student Visa Integrity Act
...

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Did you know this about the state where you live?

12-19-2014 National:

Enjoy, this is really funny/sad, whats your take?

What Every State in the U.S. Is Worst at?

One thing that makes the U.S. great: no two states are the same. That diversity leads to distinct strengths and weaknesses, but how can you know what makes North Dakota different from South Dakota, besides a made-up line separating them?

Well, in the interest of showing that every state sucks in some way, we picked out one key area where each is most deficient. This is what every state is the worst at. ..Continued Well Worth The Time To Read.. by Kate Peregrina

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December 17, 2014

US Congress OKs 'unprecedented' codification of warrantless surveillance

Note comment: "Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who voted against the bill, told the National Journal that the Senate's unanimous passage of the bill was sneaky and ensured that the House would rubberstamp it without looking too closely:"
12-17-2014 Washington DC:

Congress last week quietly passed a bill to reauthorize funding for intelligence agencies, over objections that it gives the government "virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American", without warrant, and allows for indefinite storage of some intercepted material, including anything that's "enciphered".

That's how it was summed up by Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, who pitched and lost a last-minute battle to kill the bill. The bill is titled the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.

Amash said that the bill was "rushed to the floor" of the house for a vote, following the Senate having passed a version with a new section - Section 309 - that the House had never considered.

It was presented to the House with little debate and only a voice vote expected: what Amash described as a process in which it would simply be declared to have been passed, with "almost nobody in the room."


After asking his legislative staff to quickly review the bill "for unusual language", they found what Amash called a "troubling new provision" that for the first time "statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process."

Amash hurried out a letter to his House colleagues to give them a heads-up about the bill's having been reworked without their consideration.

In that letter, which Amash posted to Facebook, he pointed to the new Section 309, which authorizes the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of private communications, including those to and from US persons, without a court order. ..Continued.. by Lisa Vaas

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UPDATE on 113th Congress

12-17-2014 Washington DC:
The 113th Congress is now over and any bills pending are dead for now.

In the next Congress, 114th, Lawmakers would have to introduce bills again if they sill want them to be considered.

Check back for any updates...if any.

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UPDATE: International Megans Law HR-4573

UPDATE: Given that the 113th Congress has ended, this bill is now dead..
12-17-2014 Washington DC:

Here is exactly what has happened with IML bill (HR-4573):
On 5-20-2014 the U.S. House passed the bill and the bill sat there until 12-11-2014 when it was sent to the U.S. Senate for their consideration.

On 12-11-2014 in the Senate the bill was "Read twice and referred to their Committee on Foreign Relations." Also on 12-11-2014 the bill was "Reported by Mr. MENENDEZ, without amendment" and sent to the Senate floor for their vote. Calendar No. 645.
You can see all these actions by viewing the text of the bill in the Congressional website, link above.

Now, there are rumors floating around about this bill, one is that it is based on Tiers, that is not true. I cannot find a single word eluding to that in the bill. Another rumor is, that it will apply to all registrants for the rest of their lives. As to that, the bill seems to only apply to folks convicted of a sex offense against a minor; and there is a sunset provision on that as well. see
(3) Sunset
The authority of paragraph (1) shall terminate with respect to a child-sex offender beginning as of the close of the last day of the registration period of such child-sex offender under section 115 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16915).
For Rumors Read the Bill: Now it is impossible for me to address every thought (rumor/fact) that is out there, so I suggest this, the links to the bill are above, if you can find something in the bill to support a thought/rumor then MAYBE it would come true IF IF IF the bill passes the Senate.
21 day rules: As to whether this will create new 21 day rules for registrants? Guess what, they are already in effect, the SMART Office tucked them into a past enactment: see General Restrictions: Traveling to Foreign Countries (i.e., International Megans Law): (scroll down to get to that explanation when you get there). Now to make matters worse, at least one state (Michigan) law conflicts with the rules. see HERE it is a long read but shows the MANY MANY problems with these rules.

Ahh, but it seems the rules are not being applied, except in rare circumstances. see "International Travel Issue" links right hand column. There are all sorts of problems with enforcement of these rules, and, this bill will NOT NOT clear them up either. These rules create hundreds if not thousands of questions, and I doubt any legislation can be enacted to clear them up.
The Question: Right now the question is, will the Senate take action on Calendar item 645 (IML HR-4573)? I have no idea, and there is good advise to let sleeping dogs alone lest they bite you, but while true, this bill is not a sleeping dog given the 12-11-2014 actions. Is it?

This bill is bad and if not passed it will be back, Smith doesn't give up, he first introduced a version of this bill in the 111th Congress then again in the 112th Congress now here in the 113th Congress.

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December 16, 2014

Google Has Tagged A Vast Database Of Child Porn Images — Making Them Impossible To See

12-16-2014 United Kingdom:

Google is going to start using a database of thousands of pornographic images and videos of children to block people from searching them.

The BBC reports that "digital fingerprints" of known child sex abuse photographs, identified and compiled by a UK charity called the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), will be used to generate flags that prevent browsers from accessing them.

The IWF has the sole purpose of tackling child sexual abuse online and its team has manually identified the pictures and flagged them as harmful. The organisation says it "uses intelligence to actively seek out child sexual abuse content", and also researches and analyses trends in the area. A further measure is a national hotline service for the public to report alarming imagery, while it also provides the "Online Child Sexual Abuse Reporting Portal" to countries without such a mechanism.

On Wednesday and Thursday UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced Google's technology at the "We Protect Children Online" global summit. The technology is set to be rolled out to other internet search engines: Microsoft and Mozilla are apparently also going to apply restrictions into their web browsers.

The UK government has also created a new offence to stop paedophiles soliciting explicit material from children, in the form of selfies, for instance. The law change in England and Wales, the BBC explains, will close a loophole that has allowed people to escape prosecution. ..Continued.. by Joshua Barrie

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Clymer-area woman sentenced in child porn case

12-16-2014 Indiana:

A Clymer-area woman was sent to Indiana County Jail on Monday to begin a jail term for her conviction for possession of child pornography.

Meri Woods, 43, was ordered by Judge Thomas Bianco to serve six months to two years less one day for the felony conviction. Woods also was directed to serve two years of probation for a companion charge of unsworn falsification to law enforcement.

State police said Woods reported to authorities that she found the porn images on her home computer in August 2013 and told investigators that her estranged husband had downloaded them. But police computer crime experts determined that the date stamps on the image files showed they had been downloaded to Woods’ home computer at a time after her husband moved out of the house under terms of a protection-from-abuse order.

A jury found Woods guilty of the charges Aug. 19. At a sentencing hearing, Woods reasserted her innocence. “This is because I was doing something good that turned out bad against me,” Woods told Bianco. “I only wanted to protect my children.”

Woods’ defense attorney, Thomas Dickey, of Altoona, asked Bianco to exercise lenience and to sentence Woods to a term of probation. He also asked Bianco to delay the sentence until after the holidays.

Assistant District Attorney Sara Ross said Woods’ husband declined a chance to speak in court and instead submitted a written statement about how the incident affected him. Ross asked Bianco to reject the call for lenience because Woods has shown no remorse for the crime.

Bianco said a sentence in the standard range for the conviction was appropriate, and denied Dickey’s request to not immediately impose the sentence.

“You were found guilty Aug. 19, you’ve had almost four months to prepare for this,” Bianco said.

Bianco said the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board determined Woods is not a sexually violent predator, but she would be required because of the pornography-possession conviction to register her address, workplaces and schools she attends for 15 years following her release from jail.

Woods also was fined $500 and ordered to pay court costs of $366. ..Source.. by The Indiana Gazette

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