Does the idea of an audit scare you?
How about an audit where states lose track of registrants?
Out of the Boston Globe, Sept 27 is a great article by Jeremy C. Fox regarding Massachusetts having lost track of nearly 1,800 sex offenders during the period of 7/1/15-6/30/16. (The entire article and audit can be found at www.bostonglobe.com)
State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump reported that during that time period the state didn’t have a current address on file for nearly 1,800 sex offenders and nearly 1,000 of them had yet to receive mandated “classification of their likelihood to re-offend.”
Somehow, the SORB (State Offender Registry Board) neglected to verify addresses of registrants with the agencies that they are supposed to verify with such as the Dept. of Revenue and the Dept. of Transitional Assistance.
I won’t go into the whole article, it’s a good read and so is the actual audit, but there are a few things that are worth mentioning because they illuminate the fact that the registry doesn’t make anyone safer, but it does make money.
Let me be the first to say “The World Didn’t End When Massachusetts Lost Track of Sex Offenders”! There is no evidence, no statistics to show any increase in the rate of sex offenses during the time that unclassified registrants were unaccounted for. There apparently weren’t any complaints from John Q. Public about an inordinate amount of “unclassified” sex offenders lurking about. So, registered or not registered, it’s all the same. A registry makes no one safer.
According to the audit, there were 936 “unclassified” sex offenders. 237 were convicted of indecent assault & battery on a person 14 yrs. or older, 177 on a child under 14 yrs. of age, 143 convicted of rape and 129 convicted of child rape by force.
Add it up. Comes out to 686.
What were the other 250 “unclassified” sex offenders convicted of? Sexting, public urination, unintentional downloading of CP, underage teenage sex? And how many of those indecent assault and battery incidences were by family or friend, not the “Stranger Danger” audit editors want the public to believe it always is?
Guess Ms. Bump finds those tidbits of information “unimportant” so they’re not included in the statistics. If it doesn’t make good “headlines”, it gets left out.
It’s also noted in the audit that the SORB should take measures to update the info on the 936 sex offenders discussed in the findings such as conducting a “death match” with the Social Security Administration to determine if any of the registrants are deceased, incapacitated and now living in nursing homes and to verify current addresses for all others.
Perhaps the Social Security Administration should first check under bridges and in cardboard boxes in the back of the industrial areas of the town, that’s where many registrants, “classified” or “unclassified” end up when they can’t find housing or jobs. Some nursing homes have been reported to refuse to take registrants because of supposed safety issues (although sexual assaults by nursing home employees who aren’t registrants seem to make the news quite often).
And searching for registrants to see if they’re deceased, really? Too bad the Dept. of Transitional Assistance doesn’t put that much effort into checking to see if registrants need help, before they end up deceased or incapacitated.
Interestingly enough, two of the Depts. involved in this “cluster” are the Dept. of Revenue and the Dept. of Transitional Assistance.
I can imagine that the Dept. of Revenue is involved only because there’s money involved in this whole kerfuffle. There are registration fees for registrants and there fines to be collected on “unregistered” former sex offenders.
As for the Dept. of Transitional Assistance, it sounds like a department that should have some hand in “helping” sex offenders when they get out of jail or prison, right? I went to their website and their mission is “to assist and empower low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life and achieve long-term economic self-sufficiency thru state and federal funded programs. This program serves children, elders and people with disabilities.”
There is no mention in the entire audit about actual “Transitional Assistance” specifically for sex offenders? Where’s their assistance in helping with housing, jobs, and health care.? They have a unique set of circumstances to overcome, they’ve got barriers and hurdles to jump that someone whose only problem is low income (and don’t get me wrong, low income alone is a big challenge) will never know. Job restrictions, boundary restrictions, housing restrictions. Perhaps there needs to be a Dept.of Transitional Assistance specifically for Registrants and their specific needs.
The Social Security Administration wants to know whether sex offenders are dead or incapacitated, but no one seems to care if they came out of prison without a home, family or job to go to. Is “Transitional Assistance” only available to registrants when they’ve “transitioned” into the after-life?
It’s all about numbers and money, isn’t it?
Auditor Suzanne M. Bump seems to view sex offenders as just numbers on a page, statistics that fit into either “classified” or “non-classified” categories. She’s an auditor, I guess she’s just doing her job. What I don’t like is that she makes comments about the government’s commitment to providing safety and transparency to taxpayers, and how the public was “deprived” of the access to sex offenders names, addresses, and photographs as well as information on whether one of these “criminals” who are “likely” (another bureaucrat with a crystal ball) to commit another sex crime, lived in their communities during this whole snafu.
Seriously Ms. Bump, sex offenders, registrants, classified, non-classified whatever you want to call them, they are the public. They are taxpayers. They live in the very communities you speak of. They aren’t just numbers or statistics, they are people and most of them don’t re-offend.
Let me guess, for Halloween you will be trick or treating as a CLAIRVOYANT?