Monday, January 14, 2019

OnceFallen 2018 Annual Report: Website & Assistance Requests increase greatly, contributions remain steady

OnceFallen wrapped up its 11th year of operations in 2018. Much like last year, our website saw exponential growth in usage, and our prison newsletter (The ICoN) has also increased by leaps and bounds. 

FINANCES

OnceFallen had a few major expenses -- The Art Protest Project in Maine (the biggest & most expensive project of the year, about 60% of the total expenses), the appeals for the lawsuit in Florida, and a new laptop, annual website fees, and regular expenses for the prison ministry (stamps, paper, ink, etc.), and for the second year in a row, expenses exceeded contributions. For the first time since 2015, OnceFallen was operating with a deficit. (Thankfully, a few contributions following the new year has risen the OnceFallen balance into positive territory.) Contributions remained steady, raising a similar amount to 2017, which was a third below 2016. As a reminder, OnceFallen generally has a low overhead, so small contributions go far. This year, we expect to work on projects closer to home to keep costs extremely low and looking ahead to bigger things for 2020. 

WEBSITE

Website total visitors: 334,687 (228,275 in 2017, a 68.2% increase and a 150.7% increase from the 133,491 visitors in 2016). Visitors increased every month, peaking in August, and declining slowly as winter arrived. Media appearances and the unfortunate negative press from losing the Florida SLAPP suit (now in appeals) had little impact on website usage. 

CONTACTS
  • ICoN Users: 350 (+129 from 2017; 63% increase) 
  • Inmate Letters: 172 (-8 from 2017; 1% decrease)
  • Media Appearances: 9 (+1 from 2017)
  • Individual Contacts: 401 (-21 from 2017; 5% decrease)
  • States w/ one known contact: 43 & DC
  • States w/o known contact: HI, ME, ND, RI, SD, WY
  • Non-US known contact: UK (1), Brazil (1)
  • States from most to least known contact: 26 (OH); 25 (FL); 22 (CA); 21 (NY); 15 (IL); 13 (AL, PA, TX); 12 (CO); 10 (MI); 9 (AZ, GA, TN); 7 (KY, WA); 6 (NJ); 5 (MN, OK); 4 (MD, MO, NE, NH); 3 (AR, DE, KS, MA, MS, NM, NV, VA); 2 (CT, DC, IN, LA, MT, UT, WV); 1 (AK, IA, ID, NC, OR, SC, WI)
  • First Contacts by type: Email (160); Phone (113); Corrlinks (52); Letter (47); Text (22); Facebook (5); Twitter (2)
  • First Contacts By Month: Jan (42); Feb (60); Mar (34); Apr (26); May (29); June (32); July (30); Aug (21); Sept (40); Oct (32); Nov (33); Dec (37)

Individual new contacts and inmate letters (which are mainly info requests) decreased slightly in 2018, but the ICoN received huge increases in membership. 

PLANS FOR 2019

OnceFallen's plan for 2019 is to spend most of the year catching up on writing and finding ways to improve the website. There are not any planned protests, but we want to improve upon the campus awareness event we had in Maine. Most likely, any events similar to the Maine event in 2019 will take place close to home. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Unsung Heroes of the Anti-Registry Movement

Do you love football? I do. It is playoffs season. The NFL playoffs started this past weekend, and the NCAA college football championship is tonight. Chances are, even if you aren’t a big football fan, or even know much about the sport, you probably know that the quarterback is the flashiest, most well-known position on the football field. Even when you played backyard football going up growing up, you most likely wanted to be the quarterback. The quarterback gets the most attention, when’s the biggest awards, and usually makes the most money.

Even in the anti-registry movement, most folks want to be the quarterback. However, a football team needs more than a quarterback.

Have you thought about what it takes to make a football team successful? Obviously, you need more than a quarterback. There are 11 people on offense and defense. You need people who can catch the ball, you need running backs you can run the ball, you need people who can block, and you need people who can kick the ball. Then, there are the coaches; you have the head coach, assistant coaches, and coaches that work specifically on a position. For every level of football below the professional level, coaches work for the school, and it is up to the school to adequately raise the funds needed to field a successful team. It is really no different at the professional level, except that responsibility falls on the hands of a private owner rather than a school. Don’t forget the support personnel, from the cheerleaders to the water boy to the people working inside the medical tents. Every one of these positions on and off the field must click together to be successful.

Obviously, in our efforts to reform the registry, there are some people who received the most attention because they are the heads of various organizations. However, there are plenty of people working at various positions in this movement that don’t receive a lot of attention. Their positions aren’t the flashiest, and obviously they receive little attention. Some of them don’t even want their names to be listed publicly. That is very understandable. After all, we are a very unpopular team. However, we have plenty of fans who support our efforts, even if they don’t proudly sport the team colors.

Since this movement has settled into his current form in 2008, many people have come in to play various positions within the movement, and left for various reasons. Some have died, others left because of personal reasons, and if you may have left because they did not feel they receive the recognition they deserve. In football, teams are always dealing with personnel changes, as players retire, get injured, or transferred to another organization. Obviously, not everybody can be the quarterback. Even a fanatic of a particular sports team cannot name a journeyman utility player from five years ago. However, that player came in and performed in that position to help their team to success.

I wish there was a better way to recognize these people. Not everybody we have worked with over the years shared their identities with people nor have they wanted anyone to know who they really were. Many of us fear taking the field because if we get recognized, it may cause us to be attacked, harassed, or lose our jobs and homes. However, those of us who have fought hard for this team, our anti-registry team, should be recognized for our efforts.

In December 2016, I went to Miami to hand out underclothes and toiletries to the homeless camp. Even though I was the “QB” of this event, I did not work alone; a member of SOSEN and his wife had shown up to help me put together the care packages. They lived somewhere in the central part of Florida, and drove down to help. They had also helped me buying some of the clothing items and toiletries. There were over 250 people listed as living at the homeless camp, so even after raising $1000, that came to a mere four dollars per person. Everyone who donated also helped to make this event a success. That money was used to make small miracles happen in the lives of the homeless registrants. I even had enough money left over to buy them other supplies in need by a handful of registrants living at the camp. One of the men we had  met previously at the camp also helped me distribute the care packages. “Christmas at the Camp” 2016 was indeed a team effort.

I want to talk a little more about the couple who came down to help. The husband was someone who had actually showed up at my “Rally in Tally” 2015 protest against the Books, the people responsible for making that homeless camp in the first place. It was a longtime member of SOSEN. However, his wife had been afraid for him to show up at my rally, and for years was reluctant to help the cause out of fear. She was also not of great health. Yet, she wanted to help the people at the homeless camp. She came down and helped with putting together the care packages. I took them to lunch, a modest meal at KFC, and we stopped at the store to buy some last-minute supplies, and then they had to leave. (After all, it was a 4 Hour drive just to get to Miami.)

A couple of months later, I had learned that the SOSEN member’s wife had passed away due to health issues. However, there was comfort in knowing that before that day had come, she had taken the field to be part of the game after years of fearing even being in the stands. I was honored to have both of these people attend and help during Christmas at the Camp.

There are a many other people will come and gone in various ways. NARSOL has endured the deaths of a couple of their staff members over the years, and last year we lost eAdvocate. But not everybody who passed away is known to us. We are constantly faced with finding new recruits to help fill in the gaps, just as every football team has to draft new people to fill in injured, lost, or retired players.

I would like to recognize those who have contributed to this cause over the years. There are so many people behind the scenes helping to keep this team on the field, and, as imperfect as we are, we have made great strides in changing how people view the public “sex offender” registry. While we can’t all be quarterback, I believe we can give recognition to our punters, our defensive players, and even sure support to those whose only contribution is finding our efforts. It takes a collective effort from every position to make our team’s success, so while our quarterbacks might indeed lead our team to victory, we should not forget the rest of the team doing their part to help us in victory.

In another week, I will start voting for the annual Shiitake Awards. However, I also want to give recognition to the BEST of those that have helped to reform the registry. And to be honest, I cannot pick just one single person to offer this award to, so I’ll just pick a few people. I have named it the Duval Award in honor of Mary Duval, so it is fitting that I recognize the staff at SOSEN as my inaugural Duval Award winners. For years, SOSEN has offered an online forum for support and research for registered persons and their loved ones. SOSEN has provided these services free of charge. In the past year, SOSEN has also helped OnceFallen with projects like the ARM Art Protest in Maine (two SOSEN staffers helped in person at the event) and through the posting of various topics on the front pages of their forum. For years, I have offered SOSEN’s forums to those who contact me seeking a support network. Recently, SOSEN also suffered a death in their ranks, a long time behind-the-scenes advocate who had helped Mary Duval during her trip to Miami in 2009. Thus, I find it fitting that everyone at SOSEN should be recognized as the inaugural Duval Award.

I hope that in the future, I can recognize more people, and I want individuals throughout the year to share their stories of success, whether big or small. Again, not everybody has to be to quarterback, but everybody can do their part, no matter how big or how small, even if it is not much more than writing a letter to a legislator, comforting or assisting a fellow registrant, or simply donating to one of the various organizations out there (I suggest donating to OnceFallen, of course). Football games are not won by throwing for the touchdown every single play; sometimes it helps just to advance the ball to inches closer to the goal line. So please, do your part to make 2019 the most successful year for our anti-registry movement ever.

Monday, December 24, 2018

First Step Act of 2018 Final Report

FIRST STEP ACT FINAL REPORT

The First Step Act (S.756 - 115th Congress) was signed into law on 12/21/18 and now we have the clearest picture of what the First Step Act means for federal SO inmates. The short answer is that very few people, especially SOs, will benefit in any way from the First Step Act; the Act is aimed primarily at “low level drug offenders”. It is important to note that S.756 was originally a completely different bill called the “Save Our Seas Act,” but the text of that bill was replaced with the First Steps Act (which was originally S.3649) so people researching the bill progression on the congress.gov site or other bill tracking sites need to know this so they won’t get confused. Also, I’m only covering the parts relevant to SOs so I won’t be covering every provision in this Act.

The First Step Act contains 6 Titles: Title I covers “Recidivism Reduction,” creating various prison programs that certain inmates can take to earn credits towards early release, among other privileges. Title II is the BOP Secure Firearms Storage. Title III prohibits restraints on pregnant and post-partem women. Title IV covers sentencing reforms. Title V reauthorizes the Second Chance Act of 2007. Section VI covers miscellaneous criminal justice issues.

Title I, Section 101 creates a “Risk and Needs Assessment System” and will amend 18 USC 229. Under subsection 3632, the USAG will have 210 days to develop & publicly release a risk and needs assessment program. (Of course, it will likely take longer to actually implement the plan.) This plan will include incentives for program participation, such as phone and/or video conferencing privileges up to 30 min/day and 510min/mo., transfers to institutions closer to release residence, and optional incentives like increased commissary limits, more email privileges, consideration for transfer to preferred housing units, and other incentives.

Subsection 3632(d) covers rewards, and of particular interest is 3632(d)(4) which allows prisoners to earn 10 days good time for every 30 days of successful participation in prison programs, plus those deemed a minimum or low-risk of recidivism can earn an additional 5 days for every 30 days of successful participation (this does not apply to programs taken BEFORE this law is implemented). Time credits earned under this paragraph by prisoners who successfully participate in recidivism reduction programs or productive activities shall be applied toward time in prerelease custody or supervised release. These credits will NOT be retroactively applied to your participation in past programs.

Subsection 3632(d)(4)(D) is the list of inmates NOT eligible for the above-listed incentives. Again, I’m only covering SO-related offenses ineligible for the incentive programs: 18 USC 116 (Female Genital Mutilation), 18 USC 55 (kidnapping)18 USC 109A (sexual abuse), 18 USC 2250 (Failure To Register as SO), 18 USC 2251 (Sexual Exploitation of Children), 18 USC 2251A (Buying/ Selling Children), 18 USC 2252 (Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors), 18 USC 2260 (Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the US), OR an offense described in section 3559(c)(2)(F), for which the offender was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year, if the offender has a previous conviction, for which the offender served a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year, for a Federal or State offense, by whatever designation and wherever committed, consisting of murder (18 USC 1111), voluntary manslaughter (as described in 18 USC 1112), assault with intent to commit murder (18 USC 113(a)), aggravated sexual abuse and sexual abuse (18 USC 2241 and 2242), abusive sexual contact (18 USC 2244(a)(1) and (a)(2)), kidnapping (18 USC 55), carjacking (18 USC 2119), arson (18 USC 844(f)(3), (h), or (i)), or terrorism (18 USC 113B). On a related note, if you’re subject to deportation after you complete your sentence, you are ineligible for this program.

[ADDENDUMS TO THIS FIRST STEP ACT REPORT: Another reader pointed out that I omitted one type of offense in that lengthy list of ineligible offenses under Title 1 of the First Step Act. “One of the ineligible offenses under Subsection 3632(d)(4)(D) is "(xxi) Any offense under chapter 77, relating to peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons, except for section 1593 through 1596". Included in this chapter are sex offenses (1591, 1592, & 1594) used to prosecute "pimps, prostitutes, and Johns”. Also, it seems that when I copy-pasted the list of ineligible offenses, I omitted the fact that 18 USC 2252A, Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography, ARE ineligible for the Title 1 programs in the First Step Act.]

This is a lot of offenses to cover so if are unsure which statute you fall under, I can only suggest to consult the US Code to see if your specific offense is a part of this list. (Reminder: I only covered sex offenses; numerous other crimes were also excluded.)

Under Title I, Sec. 602, the AG has 180 days to implement the plan once the AG report mentioned in Sec. 601 is finalized, including assigning risk levels to prisoners. Thus, the Act gives the AG until 1/15/2020 (390 total days from 12/21/18) to implement this incentive program. Expect a request for an extension of that deadline.

Under Title I, Sec. 102, (b)(1)(A), 18 USC 3624 is amended in subsection (b)(1) -- (i) by striking “beyond the time served, of up to 54 days at the end of each year of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, beginning at the end of the first year of the term,” and inserting “of up to 54 days for each year of the prisoner’s sentence imposed by the court,”; and (ii) by striking “credit for the last year or portion of a year of the term of imprisonment shall be prorated and credited within the last six weeks of the sentence” and inserting “credit for the last year of a term of imprisonment shall be credited on the first day of the last year of the term of imprisonment” and replacing it with a section discussing prerelease options for eligible prisoners.

In light of the amount of misinformation the prison “grapevine” tends to spread, I want to point out that the First Step Act DOES NOT increase good time from 47 days to 54 days. 18 USC 3624(b)(1) already offered UP TO 54 days a year, so the First Step Act didn’t really change good time. Since the law states the prisons can offer UP TO 54 days means that prisons can offer any number of days from none to 54 days. This does not mean any of you WILL earn 54 days a year.

Nothing in Title IV regarding sentencing reforms benefit anyone except non-violent drug offenders. Title V only covers reauthorizing existing programs under the Second Chance Act of 2007 and making a few semantic changes to the language of the bill.

Under Title VI, Sec. 603(a)(5), Section 231(g) of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (34 USC 60541(g)) is amended to create progrms for terminally ill patients in need of special care. However, eligibility for this program is defined as “serving a term of imprisonment based on conviction for an offense or offenses that do not include any crime of violence (18 USC 16 (a)), sex offense (sec. 111(5) of 34 USC 20911(5)), offense described in section 18 USC 2332b(g)(5)(B) or 18 USC 37.”

Finally, under Title VI, Sec. 609, administrative changes as listed below:

ENSURING SUPERVISION OF RELEASED SEXUALLY DANGEROUS PERSONS.
(a) Probation Officers.—Section 3603 of title 18, United States Code, is amended in paragraph (8)(A) by striking “or 4246” and inserting “, 4246, or 4248”.
(b) Pretrial Services Officers.—Section 3154 of title 18, United States Code, is amended in paragraph (12)(A) by striking “or 4246” and inserting “, 4246, or 4248”. This is merely an administrative change referring to record keeping. 4246 refers to 18 USC 4243 - Hospitalization of a person found not guilty only by reason of insanity, and 4248 refers to 18 USC 4246 - Hospitalization of a person due for release but suffering from mental disease or defect.

In sum, very few people will see any real benefit from the First Steps Act. If you do, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

The Bill Text can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/756/text

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

THE FIRST STEP ACT OF 2018: HOW DOES IT HELP US?

THE FIRST STEP ACT OF 2018: HOW DOES IT HELP US?

The Senate Version of S3649, The First Step Act of 2018, passed 87-12 on 12/18/2018, and the media reports the House and the President will pass the bill. (The House Version passed 360-59 in May 2018.)This First Step Act is the first major criminal justice reform bill since the Second Chance Act, but sadly, this reform bill will do little to benefit Registered Persons.

Even before December’s debate over S3649, a number of sex crimes were excluded from the Act. Senate Republicans, particularly between one faction led by Tom Cotton (R-AR), who successfully derailed a similar criminal justice reform bill in 2016 (1), and the other faction led by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Lee (R-UT). Cotton wanted to expand the list of exclusions to cover every sex and violent offense, playing on Predator Panic in an attempt to derail the bill. “Now that the Department of Justice has confirmed that the Senate FIRST STEP Act offers early release to multiple categories of sex offenders in several provisions of the bill, Congress should fix these problems instead of ramming this bill through. There is no such thing as a ‘low-risk violent sex offender’ who deserves earlier release than under current law," Cotton wrote in an emailed statement to Politico. In response, Lee wrote, “Just because a federal offense is not on the specific list of ineligible offenses doesn’t mean inmates who committed [a] non-specified offense will earn early release; All inmates must first pass a DOJ risk assessment before they can even begin earning good time credits. And then they must secure certification from their warden that they are not a threat to safety before they can be released,” and added that opponents were spreading “fake news.” (2)

Lee’s claim opponents were spreading fake news, particularly Cotton, was a legitimate concern. In an op-ed to the National Review (a conservative publication), Sen. Cotton used an anecdotal example relying on Predator Panic in an attempt to derail the bill. Cotton misrepresented the story of a former NASCAR driver who was convicted in August of “trying to force a twelve-year-old girl to have sex with him.” He added, “Crawford’s sex crime was not obscure, low-level, or “victimless.”  Quite the opposite.  His crime had the potential to shatter a child’s life.”(3) In reality, there was no child involved; the driver was nabbed in an online sting operation. The Sentencing Law and Policy blog added, “But to say he tried to force a 12-year-old to have sex seems off since there never was an actual 12-year-old.  Indeed, I think it fair to call C's crime ‘victimless,’ though the case really serves as a great indication of how hard it is to place accurate short-hand labels on various crimes (and how easy it is for Sen Cotton to make a crime sound worse than it was is using short-hand labels).  To allow C., who is 60 years old and appears to have no criminal history, the chance to earn "time credits" by completing evidence-based programming to reduce his risk of recidivism seem to me sensible, not scary.  (And, as I understand matters, if a risk assessment procedure were to classify Crawford as "high-risk" he would not in fact get any sentence reductions.)” (4)

Cotton also claimed that, “According to the United States Sentencing Commission, there are 1,466 sex offenders convicted under 18 USC 2422(b) that will be eligible for the credits unless this amendment is passed.”(5)

Interestingly, the Senate replaced the S.756 - Save Our Seas Act of 2018 with the text of the First Steps Act, which has led to confusion and difficulty in following the events of the Senate vote. This means at this time, I have no idea exactly when the change to add Failure To Register was added to the bill. However, it has been reported that Cotton’s amendment to make all sex crimes ineligible for the early release programs (SA4140) failed.

Regarding the passage of the First Steps Act in the Senate, the 12 Senate Nea votes came from Barrasso (R-WY), Cotton (R-AR), Enzi (R-WY), Kennedy (R-LA), Kyl (R-AZ), Murkowski (R-AK), Risch (R-ID), Rounds (R-SD), Rubio (R-FL), Sasse (R-NE), Shelby (R-AL), and Sullivan (R-AK). Lindsey Graham (R-SC) abstained from voting.

Keep in mind that the First Step Act only applies to federal prisons, not state prisons. Since I’m only covering the sections that impact Registrants, the summary of the bill’s provisions listed below is not a summary of the ENTIRE bill, as passed by the Senate. The House might still make changes before going to the President. However, I wanted to pass along my personal analysis this along since I’ve been getting dozens of calls, letters and emails about it. Ultimately, I believe this will benefit only a precious few SOs currently in federal prison.

Link to bill text:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/756/text

Title 1, Sec. 101, Subsec. 3632. Development of risk and needs assessment system

‘(d) EVIDENCE-BASED RECIDIVISM REDUCTION PROGRAM INCENTIVES AND PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES REWARDS.—The System shall provide incentives and rewards for prisoners to participate in and complete evidence-based recidivism reduction programs as follows:

(1) PHONE AND VISITATION PRIVILEGES.—A prisoner who is successfully participating in an evidence-based recidivism reduction program shall receive—
‘(A) phone privileges, or, if available, video conferencing privileges, for up to 30 minutes per day, and up to 510 minutes per month; and ‘‘(B) additional time for visitation at the prison, as determined by the warden of the prison.

(2) TRANSFER TO INSTITUTION CLOSER TO RELEASE RESIDENCE.—A prisoner who is successfully participating in an evidence-based recidivism reduction program shall be considered by the Bureau of Prisons for placement in a facility closer to the prisoner’s release residence upon request from the prisoner and subject to—
(A) bed availability at the transfer facility;
(B) the prisoner’s security designation; and
(C) the recommendation from the warden of the prison at which the prisoner is incarcerated at the time of making the request.

(3) ADDITIONAL POLICIES.—The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall develop additional policies to provide appropriate incentives for successful participation and completion of evidence-based recidivism reduction programming. The incentives shall include not less than 2 of the following:
(A) Increased commissary spending limits and product offerings.
(B) Extended opportunities to access the email system.
(C) Consideration of transfer to preferred housing units (including transfer to different prison facilities).
(D) Other incentives solicited from prisoners and determined appropriate by the Director.

(4) TIME CREDITS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—A prisoner, except for an ineligible prisoner under subparagraph (D), who successfully completes evidence-based recidivism reduction programming or productive activities, shall earn time credits as follows:
(i) A prisoner shall earn 10 days of time credits for every 30 days of successful participation in evidence-based recidivism reduction programming or productive activities.
(ii) A prisoner determined by the Bureau of Prisons to be at a minimum or low risk for recidivating, who, over 2 consecutive assessments, has not increased their risk of recidivism, shall earn an additional 5 days of time credits for every 30 days of successful participation in evidence-based recidivism reduction programming or productive activities.

(B) AVAILABILITY.—A prisoner may not earn time credits under this paragraph for an evidence-based recidivism reduction program that the prisoner successfully completed—
(i) prior to the date of enactment of this subchapter; or
(ii) during official detention prior to the date that the prisoner’s sentence commences under section 3585(a).

(C) APPLICATION OF TIME CREDITS TOWARD PRERELEASE CUSTODY OR SUPERVISED RELEASE.—Time credits earned under this paragraph by prisoners who successfully participate in recidivism reduction programs or productive activities shall be applied toward time in prerelease custody or supervised release. The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall transfer eligible prisoners, as determined under section 3624(g), into prerelease custody or supervised release.

(D) INELIGIBLE PRISONERS.—A prisoner is ineligible to receive time credits under this paragraph if the prisoner is serving a sentence for a conviction under any of the following provisions of law:

(v) Section 116, relating to female genital mutilation.
(xxxi) Any section of chapter 109A, relating to sexual abuse.
(xxxii) Section 2250, relating to failure to register as a sex offender (COMMENT: Sen. Cotton got this added to the bill at the last minute)
(xxxiii) Section 2251, relating to the sexual exploitation of children.
(xxxiv) Section 2251A, relating to the selling or buying of children.
(xxxv) Section 2252, relating to certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.
(xxxvi) Section 2252A, relating to certain activities involving material constituting or containing child pornography.
(xxxvii) Section 2260, relating to the production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States.
(COMMENT: This covers nearly every category of sex crime especially if a minor was involved.)

SEC. 603. FEDERAL PRISONER REENTRY INITIATIVE REAUTHORIZATION; MODIFICATION OF IMPOSED TERM OF IMPRISONMENT.

(a) FEDERAL PRISONER REENTRY INITIATIVE RE21 AUTHORIZATION.—Section 231(g) of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (34 U.S.C. 60541(g)) is amended—

‘(D) ELIGIBLE TERMINALLY ILL OFFENDER.—The term ‘eligible terminally ill offender’ means an offender in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who—
(i) is serving a term of imprisonment based on conviction for an offense or offenses that do not include any crime of violence (as defined in section 16(a) of title 18, United States Code), sex offense (as defined in section 111(5) of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (34 U.S.C. 20911(5))), offense described  in section 2332b(g)(5)(B) of title 18, United States Code, or offense under chapter 37 of title 18, United States Code… (COMMENT: This means those convicted of sex offenses will not be eligible for early release due to terminal illness. )

SEC. 609. ENSURING SUPERVISION OF RELEASED SEXUALLY DANGEROUS PERSONS.

(a) PROBATION OFFICERS.—Section 3603 of title 18, United States Code, is amended in paragraph (8)(A) by striking ‘‘or 4246’’ and inserting ‘‘, 4246, or 4248’’.
(b) PRETRIAL SERVICES OFFICERS.—Section 3154 of title 18, United States Code, is amended in paragraph (12)(A) by striking ‘‘or 4246’’ and inserting ‘‘, 4246, or 4248’’.

(COMMENT: Merely an administrative change referring to record keeping. 4246 refers to 18 USC 4243 - Hospitalization of a person found not guilty only by reason of insanity, and 4248 refers to 18 USC 4246 - Hospitalization of a person due for release but suffering from mental disease or defect.)

REFERENCES

  1. Zak Cheney-Rice. “Tom Cotton’s America Is Not a Free America.” NY Intelligencer. Dec 2018. Online at http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/toms-cotton-first-step-act.html
  2. Burgess Everett & Elana Schor. “Cotton wields sex offender report to tank prisons bill.” Politico. 26 Nov 2018. Online at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/26/tom-cotton-criminal-justice-reform-senate-republicans-trump-1015149
  3. Tom Cotton. “Fix the First Step Act and Keep Violent Criminals behind Bars.” National Review. 17 Dec 2018. Online at https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/first-step-act-amendments-keep-violent-offenders-behind-bars/
  4. “Some of Senator Cotton's suspect claims in his latest case for amendments to the FIRST STEP Act.” Sentencing Law & Policy. 17 Dec 2018. Web. Online at https://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2018/12/some-of-senator-cottons-suspect-claims-in-his-latest-case-for-amendments-to-the-first-step-act.html
  5. Tom Cotton. “Myths vs. Facts on the Cotton-Kennedy-Toomey-Kyl-Barrasso amendments to First Step.” Online at https://www.cotton.senate.gov/files/documents/Final%20Cotton-Kennedy%20Myths%20v.%20Facts.pdf


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Has the use of registrants as a political weapon spiked this year?

The use of Predator Panic as political footballs is nothing new but it seems to be a lot more commonplace this year. If you watch any TV at all or even caught news online that you whitelisted on your Adblock, you likely saw quite a few political ads. Living in Ohio, I was bombarded with this ad:

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20181024/ad-watch-democratic-groups-harsh-claims-about-dave-yosts-record-are-misleading

THE AD: “Bad Deal,” a 30-second spot financed by the Democratic Attorneys General Association that targets Republican Ohio attorney general candidate Dave Yost about his record as Delaware County prosecutor, a post he held from 2003 to 2011.

WHERE TO SEE IT: The $1.2 million buy will run in markets across the state through the Nov. 6 election, a spokeswoman for the association said.

VIDEO: Full-color images of a little girl crying, then of a little boy, followed by muted shots of Yost and jail cells.

SCRIPT: “As a prosecutor, he failed to keep our kids safe. Now Dave Yost wants to be our attorney general. Time and again, Yost offered plea deals for child predators. A deal for a man indicted for raping a young girl. Released after just six months. A deal for a child pornographer. Released after 90 days. Now Dave Yost is running for attorney general. That’s a bad deal for Ohio families.”

ANALYSIS: In elections involving lawyers — especially those for judicial positions or offices that enforce the law — it’s common practice to dredge up old cases that candidates either prosecuted or defended. The point of the exercise, of course, is to find cases that make the candidate look as bad as possible.

But this wasn't limited to any one candidate or any one party. THIS AD was run in GA:

https://politics.myajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/kemp-assails-abrams-actions-sex-offender-trafficking-bills/aK9ZsLpevRVcm4gWDaTCVJ/

In the tight race for governor, supporters of Republican Brian Kemp launched a new television ad Friday targeting female voters on the issue of sexual assault.

The ad features a mother of two, identified only as Amy, who backs Kemp and blasts Abrams over her response, as a legislator, to proposed legislation dealing with human trafficking and sex offenders. Amy says she was a victim of sexual violence.

The 30-second spot is paid for by the Georgia Republican Party.

The plot

The ad opens with Amy telling viewers she’s known Kemp, a former state lawmaker and Georgia’s current secretary of state, for 10 years.

“He’s incredibly decent and honest — almost to a fault,” she says. “That’s why I’m so proud to support Brian.”

Amy then declares that Kemp’s Democratic opponent, former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, “should be ashamed of her false attacks.”

She assails Abrams for supporting legislation “letting sexual predators work near our schools” and opposing a bill “cracking down on human trafficking.”

“Abrams even voted against collecting DNA from registered sex offenders,” Amy says as Abrams’ picture appears. “Victims of sexual violence deserve better. I know because I am one.”

The context

Both candidates or their supporters have made claims suggesting that the other has been soft on criminals who prey on women. Both deny the other’s claims.

Abrams has repeatedly hammered Kemp for failing to revoke the state license of a massage therapist for sexual misconduct, something Kemp says he can’t even do.

The GOP’s new TV ad renews criticism of Abrams on votes on bills dealing with restrictions on where sex offenders can live and work, human trafficking and DNA testing of registered sex offenders. It targets her votes in 2008 on Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 908, her refusal in 2017 to vote on House Bill 341 and her opposition in 2007 to House Bill 314,

Let’s look deeper.

Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 908: House Bill 908 would have reinstated a range of restrictions that limited sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate, including schools and churches. The other, Senate Bill 1, was originally proposed to prohibit registered sex offenders from photographing children. HB 908 was pushed by Republican lawmakers as an answer to a Georgia Supreme Court ruling in 2007 striking down broader restrictions that were hailed as the toughest in the nation. Some Democrats and civil liberties groups said the bill was too onerous. For instance, when school bus stop locations can change from year to year. These groups also expressed fear that the legislation could drive many sex offenders to desolate areas where few services are available.
The provisions of HB 908 were later tacked on to SB 1, which ultimately cleared both chambers and was signed into law by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.

House Bill 341: State Rep. Bert Reeves, a Kemp backer, has said that Abrams “deliberately avoided taking a public position” on House Bill 341, a measure he sponsored in 2017 to crack down on sex trafficking. He said Abrams did not vote on the measure even though she was at the Capitol at the time of the vote. Reeves also said he had listened to Abrams’ guidance and “accommodated her requests” to try to ensure that the bill had bipartisan support. The measure allowed prosecutors to charge people soliciting a victim of sex trafficking with human trafficking violations. An Abrams spokeswoman responded at the time of Reeves’ press conference, saying the candidate opposed the bill because it limited the discretion of judges.

House Bill 314: Abrams was one of two House members who voted against this bill. Seven others were excused from voting. The bill requires a DNA analysis for anyone placed on probation from a felony conviction for crimes including rape, sodomy, child molestation and armed robbery.
Abigail L. Collazo, a spokeswoman for Abrams, said Friday in response to the new ad: “These tired and misleading attacks by Brian Kemp continue to show just how desperate he is to hide from his record of failing women — refusing to restore funding to a rape crisis center and renewing the license of a massage therapist who pleaded guilty to sexual assault.”

She said Abrams was recently given an award by Tabitha’s House, a testament to “her work supporting survivors of sex trafficking.”

“She is the only candidate for governor who voters can trust to take decisive action to keep our families and communities safe,” Collazo said.

These ar merely two examples. Male or female, Democrat or Republican, no one is immune. I know there are many more examples but I could be here all week just trying to list it.

The question now is-- can we do anything about it?

Educating the legislator is an ongoing project. This obviously includes candidates for state and federal legislators. (I personally find Attorneys General and Prosecutors to be lost causes. They're inherently evil.) If you are trying to follow legislation, following legislators (or potential legislators) is important for that task. If a candidate is running a negative ad weaponizing the registry, Of course, we can always attend campaign rallies and hopefully get to ask questions, so that would be a good time to put these pols on the spot.

I welcome more ideas on how to address this issue.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The use of registrant status as a weapon is something we don't discuss enough

If you are a registered citizen, you are highly likely to experience the use of the registry as a weapon against you at some point in your life. There are many ways we expect this to happen, such as vigilantes and legislators. It is a different story when the people who use the registry to attack you is a friend or family member. 

I'm a rather reclusive person, but I still have friends and at one time, a family. When my mother passed away in 2010, I lost my last real family. We had made amends for her abandoning me in a hotel room, leaving me to the foster system as a child, and so my mother and I had gotten close again. Her death was my first real experience with someone close to me dying, as I had lost connections long ago It was a rough time for me, and my ex-wife decided to leave me 2 days after the funeral. She then used the registry status as a way to cause me a great deal of emotional pain during a low point of my life. Her father worked for the town in which we lived so I began suffering harassment from local authorities as well as an online vigilante group. But I endured and moved on, never looking back. 

I have done well in those pas 8 years. I've always told people I have no living family all this time. The truth is, I simply had no connection to a family I never knew existed and never knew I existed. My mother tasked me before she died in 2010 to find her daughter up in Canada and gave me some info, but the info she gave me was not enough to find anyone, so over the years, I put that request on the backburner and turned my attention back to activism. 

But I have a living "half brother," a person I do not consider family. He's the type of person that thinks of me when he needs me to cosign to get his utilities turned on because I have stellar credit and he doesn't, or when he's getting a divorce and asks me what the Alabama divorce law reads about alimony. So in the 8 years since my mother passed away, I've maybe had 3 conversations with this guy. I don't consider him family at all. 

Well, out of the blue, I get a series of text messages. It seems someone on my mother's side of the family contacted him after finding records on one of those genealogy sites. (As an aside, it seems leaving me out of mother's obituary made it harder for folks to connect my name to hers, as intended.) So my alleged half-brother forwarded the info but then decided to start drama. I have enough drama in my personal life without adding whatever petty dispute he was having, so I told him I wasn't interested in hearing about his complaints. He was triggered and after a few choice words, he stopped texting. Good riddance, I thought. I reached out to those he sent info about. One of those people was a clown named Frank, and apparently, this alleged half-brother of mine informed him of my registry status, so my simple request to connect was met with insults about my registry status. (So much for Canadians being polite, BTW.) 

Well, I can take solace knowing that mother's request to connect with her lost family was eventually completed, albeit by someone else, but as far as i'm concerned, I still have no REAL family. You want to know who I consider my REAL family? My true allies in this movement. Y'all are my real family, because DNA alone isn't enough to make someone family.

But the point is that in both these instances, once by my ex-wife and once by this other person my mother gave birth to, but definitely not family, the registry was thrown up in my face as a way to attack me on a personal level and attempt to harm me. Of course, I tell this story not because it did anything more than to piss me off in the same way seeing Rick Scott win the FL Senate race did last night, but because it is yet another aspect of life on the list we are forced to endure. Hell, this has even happened to people I have tried to help in the past who were also registered persons, people like Clay Keys (T-Sand), that hippy guy from Oregon I tried to help, or Shaun Webb. I actually find it more reprehensible for someone on the list to use the registry as a weapon than for a victim cultist like Lauren Book or even a family member to abuse the label, since they should know better. 

I think this is one aspect of life on the list we haven't spent much time discussing. Perhaps you get into a family feud or argue with a friend, and the next thing you know, he's leading online protests against you or turning friends and family against you. We all handle it in our own way. I have a support network that blood ties certainly cannot provide, and that is good enough for me. But in our future discussions, we should bring this issue to light. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Addressing the #MeToo narrative of "underreported sexual assaults" and "only 2% of sexual assault claims are false"

I found even the title of this chart to be misleading. 

This morning, I read an article from The Economist entitled, "After a year of #MeToo, American opinion has shifted against victims." The very title implies every accuser is a "victim." The article laments the growing skepticism against people making high-profile accusations:

"Yet surveys suggest that this year-long storm of allegations, confessions and firings has actually made Americans more sceptical about sexual harassment... The share of American adults responding that men who sexually harassed women at work 20 years ago should keep their jobs has risen from 28% to 36%. The proportion who think that women who complain about sexual harassment cause more problems than they solve has grown from 29% to 31%. And 18% of Americans now think that false accusations of sexual assault are a bigger problem than attacks that go unreported or unpunished, compared with 13% in November last year."

The article adds the following statement: "According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Centre, an American non-profit organisation, 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police, whereas between 2% and 10% of assault cases are falsely reported."

This statement is very misleading. Below is my comment left on the website. If anything, we have overestimated underreporting while minimizing the number of false accusations. This discussion is worthy of a complete analysis on my main site, but for now, I wanted to share a few thought on this subject.

*****

The statement about 63% of rapes/ sexual assaults going unreported while only 2%-10% of sex assault claims are false is an intentionally misleading statement by the victim advocate cult.

The claim that 63% of sexual assaults/ rapes go unreported is a bold conclusion stemming from the National Crime Victimization Survey. The NCVS is a “self-report study” that includes “attempted” as well as “completed” acts, including “verbal threats.” The study relies on the survey taker, not a trained law enforcement official, to determine whether an act is an “unreported crime.” It is completely up to the survey taker to determine an act is a "crime."

But what are "attempts" and "verbal threats"? Some feminists feel looking at a woman too long is "stare rape." If a woman goes to a bar and gets drunk, she can decide if her subsequent sexual acts are consensual or not. There were feminist discussions considering whether a guy who was about his feelings about his lover just to engage in intercourse or who cheated on them during a relationship was rape.   A woman made headlines recently for accusing a child of "sexual assault" after his backpack brushed against her backside. Had there not been security cameras and witnesses, she would have been accounted this alleged one in five women.

The NCVS understands it has limitations: “The estimates of rape/sexual assault are based on a small number of cases reported to the survey. Therefore, small absolute changes and fluctuations in the rates of victimization can result in large year-to-year percentage change estimates. For 2010, the estimate of rape or sexual assault is based on 57 unweighted cases compared to 36 unweighted cases in 2009." That is 57 "unreported cases" out of sample size of nearly 71000 people: In 2010, 40974 households and 73283 individuals age 12 and older were interviewed for the NCVS. Each household was interviewed twice during the year. The response rate was 92.3% of households and 87.5% of eligible individuals." Still, the survey strongly suggests the amount of under-reporting may be over-reported. (2010 NCVS summary)

The NCVS claims of underreporting dropped from 63.7% to 50% in the 2000s but has climbed to 67% in recent years. No doubt the campus rape scare and MeToo claims play roles in this, but with those movements came false claims. Remember the Jackie UVA case in Rolling Stone? Then Janice Dickinson admitted she lied about Bill Cosby harassing her to sell memoirs. Now we have the Kavanaugh case. While Ms. Ford stated certain memories of an assault were "indelible in the hippocampus," so were the memories of many people who made widespread claims of the 1980s and 1990s about satanic pedophiles and child sacrifices in daycare centers across America. Only problem was those claims were proven false, just as a fair number of these claims today are found to be without merit.

But even if only 2% and 10% of sexual assault claims are false, that means there are between 18,080 and 90,400 falsely accused people forced to register as "sex offenders" right now.

We used to have something in this country called "innocent until proven guilty." We've seen that concept under attack by campus sex assault accusations leading to college inquisitions in which presumed innocence was a foreign concept. We're now seeing the consequences of those actions. And now we see the MeToo Movement calling for similar inquisitions. Well, for every action is an equal and opposite reaction. MeToo is past due for a backlash, and the Kavanaugh hearings have become the Jackie UVA of the MeToo movement.

-- Derek Logue of OnceFallen

Friday, September 14, 2018

Brief on the ARM Art Protest in Portland, ME

Derek, Gini, and Harry

The ARM Art Protest event at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME is over, and I am on the bus home. After all of the chaos that came with planning and traveling, I am relieved that the event is completed.

The trip to Portland was a complete disaster. Amtrak sent my luggage to a mill in Richmond. I would love to know how that happened. I arrived in Portland without most of the art for the event. Thankfully, my travelling companion had a half dozen pieces of art, and some entries were photos and graphic arts, so I spent all of Tuesday buying last minute supplies for the event. I had a dozen pieces to work with so it was enough to fill a display.

My travelling companion, Gini, and I stopped by Lowe's to pick up supplies when Gini spotted a 6 foot growling Halloween decoration. Since USM's mascot is a Husky dog, and the werewolf looks kind of like a husky, Gini had the idea we should buy it for the art show. It turned out to be a good idea, since ol’  Harry got a lot of attention. We placed a torn US Constitution in his hands. (One student said it looked like the USM president, others thought it was the mascot.)

Gini and I arrived about 7:30am and started setting up. We were later assisted by Tigger from the sosen.org website. It did not take long before people started stopping to talk to us. The majority of those who stopped listened to us and were open to hearing a viewpoint. I am used to having Tom as my protest partner, and we typically maintain an informal count of yays and nays; the USM attendees were mostly receptive, so mostly yays. There were a couple of nays; one guy drove by twice to shout obscenities, and one woman was triggered by the sign saying shame on USM President Glenn Cummings. She said people should not be shamed, which was ironic given the fact she had just stated she supported the registry.

The rest of the art finally arrived at noon, so I left Gini alone to pick up the package with the art, so Gini had to deal with the lunch crowd alone. She had to deal with a couple of MeToo campus feminists alone but she handled them like a pro. By 12:30, we finally had the rest of the art out for people to see. (Sadly, the diorama and a couple of pics did not survive the trip, thanks to Amtrak mishandling of the luggage.) We stayed out until 4:30pm.

We did not attract any media (except from the USM Free Press, the student newspaper), and Amtrak compromised the entire operation by shipping my luggage to Virginia,  but we managed to salvage the operation and make it a success. I could not have done it first and foremost without Gini from SOSEN,  who rode the train all weekend to attend. I also want to thank Tigger from SOSEN for helping especially during the busy part of the day. Also, thanks to all the artists and supporters who donated to this project. I hope this has not only inspired fellow activists to engage in more public events, but educate those we have spoken with and broaden their horizons.

More pics from the event:





Saturday, September 8, 2018

ARM Art-Protest “Life on the List”: List of Art works for the event

Below is a list of the art for the ARM Protest Event on Wednesday the 12th of September, 2018

ARM Art-Protest “Life on the List”: List of Art works



1. ARM Logo on Brochure
Created by: Anonymous, NY
About: The ARM Logo is a take on the Statue of Liberty with the torch forming a flaming sword and a shield. This particular version is created in a Goth style.



2. ARM Banner
Created by: Anonymous, AK
About: ARM logo utilizing the Statue of Liberty, popular with many registry reformists


3. “Bookville aka Thank You Ron Book” (Diorama)
Created By: Jon of SOSEN
About: Inspired by the continuous homeless registrant crisis created by lobbyist Ron Book in Miami FL


4. “Safe Harbor” (Ship/ Lighthouse Painting w/ red background)
Created by: Jon of SOSEN
About: Looking for a safe place after facing the ostracism of being on the list


5. “Isolation” (Black nighttime painting with full moon)
Created by: Jon of SOSEN
About: Symbolizing the isolation experienced from living on the list



6. “Forsaken Sunset” (Sunset w/ two sets of palm trees on each side)
Created by: Jon of SOSEN
About: A sunset the artist thought he may never see again now that he is on the list



7. “Blackballed” (Painting of Baseball player w/ Newspaper Headline)
Created by: Derek Logue of OnceFallen.com
About: Inspired by the Oregonian’s attack on a college baseball player who was convicted of a sex crime as a juvenile, derailing his career



8. “Survivor” (Sketch of two hands with “Survivor” tattoo)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A number of women arrested for sex crimes also struggle to survive

9. “Forever Judged” (Sketch of House with hateful signs)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A common fear among prisoners facing release is impending life of the list rousing hatred by the neighbors



10. “Monster-Damned” (Abstract face with words “Monster” and “Damned”)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: Illustration of how ashamed one feels at being on the list


11. Trapped” (Sketch of man with finger pointing at him)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: Those on the list feel as if a finger is constantly pointing at them

12. “Lips of Truth” (lips with descriptions)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A reminder that there is a person with real feelings behind every name on the list


13. “Invisible” (face in box with various words)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: An illustration of the various labels we feel people mentally tattoo to our faces

14. “Voices in my head” (Sketch of woman holding her hands up to her ears)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: Sometimes our own guilt and shame works to attack us


15. Untitled Poem
Created by Sarah Mcleod, Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A poem about the cycle of abuse



16. "The Eye in the Sky" (Face in sky with pyramid and tears)
Created By: Anonymous, Perryville AZ Women's Prison
About: "We will be watched all our lives”

17. "Notch" (Girl with ball and chain and bucket)
Created by Tina, Perryville AZ Women's Prison
About: "Another notch in the belt of the SO requirements never-ending punishment.”



18. “Wounded and Unwanted” Intentionally blurred pictures of man sitting in depressed slump)
Kawika (pronounced kah-VEE-kah) of Hawaii
About: “A man who hates himself for what he did but cannot move on with his life due to the constant shame thrust upon him.”

19. “Death of Christ” (Aztec-esque painting of Christ)
Created by: Unknown
About: Piece auctioned at the National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws (NARSOL) Conference 2012; prison art (and religion) is a common means of financial and emotional support for inmates



20. “Left Behind/ Left Out” (Lonely baseball left on field)
Created by Gini of SOSEN.org
About: Symbolic of park bans and of being forgotten


21. “Banished” (Face peeking out behind a tree in the forest)
Created by Gini of SOSEN.org
About: A person looks afar at places he can no longer visit because of his status



22. “Censored” (Censored sign over mouth with social media logos)
Created by Derek Logue of OnceFallen.com
About: A number of online businesses that deny their services to registered citizens and/or attempt to silence them altogether



23. Shalom (sketch of two friends with word “Shalom”)
Sent by Joy M, Brooksville CI in FL
About: Despite the label, a female offender has a caring friend while she serves time at Hernando CI in Brooksville FL. They share words of encouragement, hope, and peace



24. Isolation By Association (Punk/ cyborg-esque sketch)
Sent by Joy M, Brooksville CI in FL
About: Submitted by a 14 year old daughter of a female offender in Brooksville FL. She expresses in her art what she can’t find the words to say out loud, as represented by stitched lips. The button over her right eye shows the distortion she feels toward herself as the result of how society sees her- the child of her mother who is Once Fallen.



25. Inmate Bob 100761 (Old man in prison garb)
Sent by Joy M., Brooksville CI in FL
About: Was drawn by a devoted husband of a female offender serving a 10 year sentence; she resides in the faith-based dorm. This image captures the commitment made to his wife that he also experiences the restrictions, limitations, and condemnations of society. His wife defines them as her superhero

26. “Burn Them at the Stake” (Cycle chart)
Sent by Joy M., Brooksville CI in FL
About: A perception of the criminal justice treatment process from an inmate’s perspective



27. Gorilla and Turtle (two 4x6 colored sketches)
Submitted by: Joel Kline of IL
About: Prison artist cards are often created and sold to pass time as well as buy other things in the prison economy



28. Bad Dog! (Husky shredding Constitution)
Submitted by: Derek Logue of OnceFallen.com
About: This is pretty much why we are here; USM shredded the 1st Amendment by censoring the art from a registered citizen


29. Scarlet Letter
Submitted by: Anonymous in NY
About: The feelings about being labeled as a registrant as a dark person whose heart is on display

Monday, June 11, 2018

ACTION ALERT! ARM announces Maine Art Exhibit protest project “Life on the List”

OnceFallen and the Anti-Registry Movement proudly presents a new public awareness campaign. Please see the info below for details:

(For the sake of simplicity, I've been referring to it as the Maine Event)

***********************************

OnceFallen.com Presents an Anti-Registry Movement (ARM) Public Awareness Campaign

ARM Art Exhibit
“Life on the List”

WHEN:  September 12, 2018 (Fall Classes for USM Begin 9/4/18)

WHERE: Public venue just outside campus of  USM, Portland, ME

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:
August 21, 2018

What is needed:
  • Monetary donations for art displays and public awareness materials
  • About 24 works of visual art from registered citizens (and loved ones) with theme of “Life on the list”
Send art or monetary donations to: 

OnceFallen.com
C/O Derek W Logue
8258 Monon Ave., Apt. 3
Cincinnati OH 45216
Phone: 513-238-1873
E-mail: iamthefallen1@yahoo.com

NOTE: IF YOU ARE SENDING A CHECK/ M.O., MAKE CHECKS OUT TO DEREK LOGUE, NOT TO ONCEFALLEN OR ARM, AS NEITHER GROUP HAS BUSINESS ACCOUNTS!

In protest of the University Southern Maine’s recent move to remove art from an exhibit due to the artist’s sex crime conviction from 20 years ago, the Anti-Registry Movement is hosting an outdoor art show/ awareness campaign  in front of USM’s campus once Fall classes begin in early September. We will be passing out literature as well as displaying visual art created by registered citizens and their loved ones. This is not a traditional “protest” and not many volunteers are needed. However, to make this a success, we need people willing to share their art & support this innovative awareness campaign by donating money to the cause.

The art itself is our greatest need! 

If you are donating art, then submit it with the following: Your name (pseudonyms, aliases, and initials are all accepted), your home state, name of artwork, and a brief visual description of what the art depicts. Also, please tell us if you want the art returned to you once the project is over. (I can return it, or keep it as a donation for future art shows or sell to help fund future projects.) Donations are also needed to cover the cost of transporting and displaying the art. Contacts in New England would be helpful.

MORE DETAILS:

MONEY NEEDED: Cost of hotel, travel, and art displays all go into the cost of this event. Portland is roughly 1000 miles from SW Ohio. At this time, the displays have been purchased, and if we follow strict rules (noted below), we won’t have to pay for a permit, which can run $50 to $300/hr, so it is important we follow the rules. Still, the other expenses runs roughly $1000. There should be at least 4 volunteers, looking for a few more closer to Maine.

ART NEEDED: About two dozen pieces of art, preferably from SOs. Art theme is “Life on the List,” so art should be relevant to the theme. Only art that will be rejected, however, would be those that would get me arrested. I don’t mind controversy, just keep it from being obscene.
Along with the art, I need the following info from you:
Name (You can use street names, pseudonyms, initials, aliases, or even “anonymous”
Your State
Name of the art
Brief description of the art (mainly, how it ties into the project). This is open to interpretation. For example: one art piece going on display will feature a beautiful sunset. It was painted in Mexico by a traveling SO. She can no longer travel to Mexico thanks to IML. Now this paining reminds her of what she can no longer do.

If you want the art back after the event, arrangements will have to be made to return the art (keep in mind I’m a one-person operation and I’ll be the one handling the art during the event). The intent of this event is to use the art as a protest. Art cannot be sold during the event itself due to Portland’s local street vendor regulations. However, in the event someone asks about buying art from the event, artists can send me a suggested price and I can discuss the possibility of selling the art after the event is over. Otherwise, all unclaimed art will be kept for possible future art-related projects.


HOW THE EVENT WILL WORK: I will be joined by fellow activists as we break into two groups, posting art in front of two areas by the USM Campus along public sidewalks. (Portland regulations require we use no more than 12 cubic feet of space per location with 4 feet of passing space in front of us, thus offering some limits to what we can display in terms of size. On the upside, breaking up into two groups helps us cover more ground.) We will be passing out literature and talking with passersby (and presumably the media).

LIABILITY: There is a chance, given the culture of today’s feminist campuses and the #MeToo Movement, some people will be offended, but that’s at least part of the point of this event, since it is a PROTEST of USM’s censorship of art by SOs. There is a very small chance that someone could be offended enough to destroy an art piece. Please keep in mind that there is a risk involved with sharing this art, albeit a very small risk. (In my years of engaging in public awareness events, no one has been assaulted or experienced damage of property.)


Our really nice 8 panel display, this thing is great. 
UPDATE 7/5/18: I'm still waiting on confirmation on the permit but initially, I've been told a permit will likely not be needed. That'll help lower costs. I have a few people looking to invest artwork but donations are still needed. As of 7/5/18, only $45 has been raised for this event.

UPDATE 7/9/18: An important first step was taken, as we acquired a very nice 8 panel display for the art for a bargain price of only $70. In addition, we have at least 10 people committed to sending art thus far, one of them being a diorama that represents the Miami homeless crisis. We'll be sharing pics of the art as it comes in.

UPDATE 7/12/18: We are up to $175 in total donations, with two more verbal art commitments added. We're still $825 short of our goal of raising $1000.  Art and Monetary donations are still needed, of course, but the pieces are falling into place.

UPDATE 7/15/18: I acquired another nice display for $35+ tax from a second closing store, needed for the second group to set up shop. The second display is a little smaller but has a spot up top for the diorama one supporter is creating for the event. To save on expenses, I spent pretty much all day pushing that display the 6 miles from the mall to my house.

UPDATE 7/18/18: Thanks to two generous donors, I raised enough to pay for the hotel, and I've completed reservations. Working on getting the proper estimate for travel costs, but now the hotel and the displays are paid.

UPDATE 8/11: To date, enough money has been raised for transportation, hotel, and displays, though financial donations will still be needed for assorted supplies and shipping costs. The first of the art for the art show has been delivered. In addition to Jon from SOSEN, at least half a dozen more arts have verbally committed to sending art. Don't forget, the deadline for art submissions is only 10 days away!

The Centerpiece of the art show, by Jon of SOSEN
Update 8/20/18: I received 11 pieces of prison art from the women's facility in Perryville AZ. I am working on getting them mounted for the event and due to an issue with transporting my displays, I had to order different displays for the art show (at a very low cost, thankfully). Tomorrow is the proposed deadline but some art is still needed, as well as financial contributions to help offset the costs needed to transport the art. I'm hoping to raise roughly $300 to cover the last of the necessary costs.