The year in review

As we look back at 2013 and begin yet another year of activism, our spirits are buoyed by the hope for an even better year to come.  These past twelve months have been a banner year of growth and expansion for RSOL and its affiliate organizations.  And our expectations exceeded themselves in several areas worthy of reflection:

Our Affiliates and Projects:
Our New Mexico affiliate worked to successfully defeat legislation imposing social media bans*, blocked Halloween restrictions*, passed a prohibition against any municipality or county imposing restrictions not already in the state code, and once more blocked a move to make New Mexico AWA compliant;
Our Texas affiliate successfully blocked Halloween restrictions, worked to defeat legislation imposing social media bans*, and helped to pass legislation removing registrants’ employee information from public view;
Our Maryland affiliate’s role in an amicus brief played a key role in a huge judicial victory against ex-post facto applications of registration requirements under certain circumstances*;
And in California, our affiliate helped to initiate litigation against “blackmail” websites* (still pending); effectively lessened Halloween restrictions; and successfully settled a suit reversing residency restrictions in some areas.
* indicates areas aided by National RSOL in some manner

Press relations: 
We had a number of TV, radio, and newspaper interviews featuring RSOL state contacts and affiliate leaders. Among them were Mary Sue Molnar of Texas, speaking both to the foolishness of Halloween restrictions for registered citizens and what research has to say about restrictions keeping registered citizens from places like public parks;
The vigilante murders of a South Carolina registrant and his wife drew significant media attention, and both Brenda Jones, Executive Director of National RSOL and Lila Folster, RSOL contact in South Carolina, were interviewed for television and print coverage;
During 2013, RSOL sent a total of 24 releases, many focused on bad legislation such as park restrictions, Halloween restrictions, forced castration, and the so-called “Vitter Amendment” that would deny food stamp benefits to many registrants.

Annual Conference: 
The 2013 national conference, Justice for All, proved a modest financial success and a tremendous organizational success. With close to 150 in attendance, the sixth annual conference holds the distinction of being the best attended RSOL event ever staged on the extreme West coast of the United States.

A great many of our activities require funds to increase their effectiveness.  For example, we missed several opportunities to advocate on behalf of registrants and their families simply because there weren’t sufficient funds to partner with an attorney. While we were able to provide assistance on a limited basis in Maryland and California, we could be doing so much more.

We have begun to develop a model that has enormous potential for success. The only thing that keeps us from perfecting it is a lack of sufficient funds.  Consider how much more we could do to:

Send representatives to promote RSOL’s message at other conferences. In 2013 RSOL representatives attended the Prisoner’s Family Conference in Houston, Texas; the New York Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers; and the National Conference of State Legislatures Summit in Georgia. These were valuable investments for learning, networking, and identifying new opportunities for advocacy.

Continue involvement with the Corr-Links email program to send the Digest to federal inmates and mailing out printed copies of the Digest to inmates who reside in institutions where email is unavailable.  This is a project that has grown significantly due to RSOL’s growing name recognition and greater demand for the Digest.

Participate in litigation which, if successful, would dramatically impact the lives of registrants living in areas affected by the litigation and further develop the reputation of RSOL as an organization committed to the long-term success of legal reform efforts.

We certainly appreciate the support and financial contributions made in the past. Without your help, it’s hard to say where we would be in the fight for justice and civil rights for registrants and their families.  It is fair to say that we certainly would not have accomplished as much in 2013.

Beginning a new year traditionally comes with a renewed awareness about the areas in our lives that need improvement. RSOL has a robust agenda for the next twelve months. We must continue to publish the Digest and plan for the national conference.  We must support state legal actions and legislative efforts that hold back the tide or press for positive change.  In sum, we must continue doing the hard work of advocacy.

But we must do more.  Much more.  And we cannot do any more than our funds will allow. So please be as generous as your personal finances will allow.  Defending the human dignity of every registered citizen is the most important civil rights challenge of the Twenty-first Century.  With your help, we have come a long way already.  With your continued support and financial assistance, the future remains promising, and the hope for serious reform is well founded.

5 comments for “The year in review

  1. Linda Huhn
    April 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    My son is currently serving a 90 day sentence for stat rape. It was a Romeo/Juliet case, that although he was incarcerated, she became pregnant from another young man and had her child 2 months after her 16th birthday. To date, nothing has happened to that young man that has legitimized her child. I had to pay to have his name taken down off a google website before he went to trial. We pled due to him facing 45 years, or pleading to one offense instead of the stacked four offenses. Now, he has 10 years probation and a life long sentence on the SOR. We are not rich, but will help pay the stupid fines for probation, classes that are not needed. He screwed up, we know it, he knows it and of course this young lady that chased him like a rabbit who is now on welfare with another man’s child has her “justice”. The laws as they stand are outdated. Once a person is off of probation for a stat rape charge, this should be done and over! The judge didn’t give him first offender because it would not have mattered. He is a Sex Offender, so that ruins him right there. We will continue to pursue justice by trying to help change the law for not just him, but for all Class I offenders. They muttle up the SOR because you cannot see the dangerous offenders. I pray one day this will not become a money hungry conglomerate that makes more money off of peoples past mistakes and miseries! One can only hope!

  2. Maria FERNANDEZ
    January 23, 2014 at 5:50 am

    ALL I CAN SAY IS I NOT PRO SEX OFFENDER BUT I REALLY AGAINST STRONG LAW AGAINST THEM, COZ I BELIEVE THE LAW NOT HELPING ANYONE BUT INSTEAD THEY FORCING OFFENDER TO CREATE CRIME AGAIN. WHY COZ THE LAW FORCE THE SOCIETY TO ABANDON THEM. THEY BECOME JOBLESS HOMELESS THEY NEED TO SUPPORT THEMSELF ADTER SERVING THIER CASE. IF THE LAW MAKER NOT REALIZE THE LAW THEY CREATING. JUST DO THIS INTEAD EVERYTIME U MAKE LAW DONT ONLY THINK THE SAFETY OF THE VICTIM THINK TOO THE LIFE OF OFFENDER. THE LAW IS WORST THAN DEATH PENALTY. ITS TRUE.THE LAW NOT HELPING TO STOP SEX OFFENSE, ITS TRUE. INSTEAD LAW MAKER WASTE THEIR TIME AND EFFORT TO CREATE SO HARSH LAW ,THEY SHOULD MAKE LAW THAT CAN REALLY MAKE THE CRIME STOP. MAKE LAW TO HELP THEM REHABILITATE MORE. AND I THINK THE BETTER ONE IS MAKE LAW THAT OFFENDER NEED TO GO CHURCH SERVICES COZ I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE BETTER WAY TO HELP THEM. ALLOW THEM TO HAVE LIFE AGAIN. BELIEVE ME ONLY FEAR FOR GOD JUDGEMENT TRULY HEAL PEOPLE.. SO STOP TO B PERFECT ALL WE R IS A SINNER HOPE IN LAST JUDGEMENT WHEN WE ALL MEET AGAIN WE CAN STILL LOOK STRAIGHT AT THE EYES OF PEOPLE WE JUDGE HARSLY. START GLORIFY THE NAME OF LIVING GOD BY MAKING RIGHT AND FAIR LAW

  3. Mikee
    January 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    What is the latest on the law suite against offendex and other sites that are copying peoples info and not taking it down?

    • sandy
      January 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

      I saw an article about a couple of the sites that were closing–not Offendex, I don’t think. The jurisdiction was ruled to be in Arizona, but I don’t have any more information, sorry, except that it appears to still be alive.

    • mikee
      January 29, 2014 at 2:28 am

      Offendex shouldn’t even be there still taking peoples money and not removing the records. That’s horrible. People do their time for a mistake and have to live with it on Google? Geese!!

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