Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc

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Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. is an organization that "envisions effective, fact-based sexual offense laws and policies which promote public safety, safeguard civil liberties, honor human dignity, and offer holistic prevention, healing, and restoration."[1]

It has affiliates in some states (links on their website). Some state chapters, such as California or Florida, are quite active, others less so.

With its affiliates, RSOL keeps track of the legal scene, lobbies, writes letters, works with the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the ACLU. They have an annual meeting in Dallas and monthly conference calls that are open to anyone. The members are sex offenders, friends or relatives of sex offenders, concerned legal professionals, sex abuse victims, and other concerned citizens.

Purpose

While RSOL believes that offenders should be held accountable in court of law, it criticizes current sex offender registry laws in the United States. RSOL asserts that current sex offender laws are not based on scientific evidence and are counter-productive, making the public less rather than more safe.[2][3][4] These claims are supported by scientific research[5][6][7][8] and professional organizations such as Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers have presented similar critiques.[9][10]

Support Hotline

RSOL originally began a Support Hotline to offer support and encouragement to registrants, families, and others affected by current sex offender laws.[11] The Hotline later was managed by SOSEN (Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network),[12] and is now run by Women Against Registry (W.A.R.). It is an all volunteer project staffed by private citizens concerned about the damage sex offender laws impose on registrants, families, and friends of registrants. Currently the Support Hotline is entirely funded and maintained by Women Against Registry.[13]

Lawsuits

RSOL's Californian chapter CA RSOL challenged ordinances governing registered sex offenders in federal court across the state of California.[14][15][16] During 2014 over 20 municipalities has been sued by RSOL.[17] As of October 11, 15 of the lawsuits had been settled, 38 cities had avoided litigation by revoking their sex offender ordinances, and 6 cities had chosen to discontinue enforcing the ordinances. At the time, sex offender ordinances were under review in 18 additional cities.[18] These efforts culminated in March 2015 when Supreme Court of California declared residency restrictions unconstitutional citing their unfairness and counterproductive effects.[19]

RSOL's Maryland chapter, FAIR (Families Advocating Intelligent Registries)[20] has played a significant role in reversing the retroactive application of registry laws in the state of Maryland. They were part of the Amicus Curiae cited in the March 2013 Court of Appeals decision Doe v. DPSCS[21][22] which declared that Maryland's existing sex offender registry laws are punitive in effect, and therefore could not constitutionally be applied retroactively to persons whose crimes pre-dated registration. This decision was further solidified in 2014 with the "Doe 2" decision.[23] The full impact of these decisions in Maryland is still being effected.

References

  1. http://nationalrsol.org/about-us/vision-mission-and-goals/
  2. Assertions. Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc.. Retrieved on 15 November 2014.
  3. Education is Key. Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc.. Retrieved on 15 November 2014.
  4. Are We Looking at Sex Offender Management Backwards?. Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. (April 15, 2013). Retrieved on 15 November 2014.
  5. Prescot, J.J. (2011). "Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?". Journal of Law and Economics 54 (1): 161–206. doi:10.1086/658485. 
  6. Agan, Amanda (2011). "Sex Offender Registries: Fear without Function?". Journal of Law and Economics 1 (54): 207–239. doi:10.1086/658483. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/658483. 
  7. Hanson, R.K.; Morton-Bourgon, K. (2004). Predictors of sexual recidivism: An updated meta-analysis.. Public Works and Government Services.. Ottawa, Canada. 
  8. Hanson, R.K.; Harris, A.J.R. (1998). Dynamic predictors of sexual recidivism.. Ottawa: Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. 
  9. The Registration and Community Notification of Adult Sexual Offenders. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (April 5, 2010). Retrieved on 14 November 2014.
  10. Sexual Offender Residence Restrictions. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (April 5, 2010). Retrieved on 14 November 2014.
  11. "Help! I Want to Kill Myself So My Family Gets the Insurance.", Slate, 16 January 2014. Retrieved on 24 November 2014. 
  12. SOSEN, Inc.. Sosen.org. Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  13. Registrants and Families Support Line. Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc..
  14. "We can do better on sex offender laws", The Dallas Morning News, 17 July 2014. Retrieved on 14 November 2014. 
  15. "CA RSOL Challenges El Dorado County Sex Offender Ordinance", In Eldorado County News, 21 July 2013. Retrieved on 14 November 2014. 
  16. "Attorney files sex offender lawsuit against Lompoc", Lompoc Record, April 24, 2014. Retrieved on 14 November 2014. 
  17. "County sued over sex offender ordinance", Daily Press, Oct 21, 2014. Retrieved on 14 November 2014. 
  18. "SPECIAL REPORT: Pair seeks repeal of sex-offender laws in California", Daily Breeze, 10 November 2014. Retrieved on 14 November 2014. 
  19. "Housing Restrictions For Sex Offenders Unconstitutional, California Court Rules", The Huffington Post. 
  20. FAIR. Fairegistry.org. Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  21. John Doe v. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Case No. 125, Plurality Opinion by Greene, J. (PDF). Mdcourts.gov. Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  22. CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE (PDF). Mcdaa.org. Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  23. [http://www.mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2014/1a13m.pdf STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION AND NOTIFICATION ACT (“SORNA”)] (PDF). Mdcourts.gov. Retrieved on 16 December 2014.


See also

External links