Fourth Appearance on Crossroads Radio WPFW 89.3FM

Pre-crime preventative detention and the stress caused by the current global pandemic was the focus of a fourth hour-long conversation on the Crossroads Radio show hosted by Roach Brown and Nkechi Taifa  on WPFW 89.3FM, known as “Washington’s station for jazz and justice” Click Play Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. to listen to Nkechi, Roach, and their special guest talk about how all persons serving time are directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus and their work with Just Future Project. Throughout the radio appearance, Kirsten and Bernida work together to describe the abusive and unconstitutional application of…

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Third Appearance on Crossroads Radio WPFW 89.3FM

Pre-crime preventative detention was the focus of a second hour-long conversation on the Crossroads Radio show hosted by Roach Brown and Nkechi Taifa  on WPFW 89.3FM, known as “Washington’s station for jazz and justice”   Click Play to listen to Kirsten Darby and Bernida Thompson talk about how their families have been directly impacted by these Kafkaesque systems and their work with Just Future Project.  Throughout the radio appearance, Kirsten and Bernida work together to describe the abusive and unconstitutional application of these sex offender laws — especially highlighting the case of Galen Baughman in Virginia, which was the focus of a…

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A Backdoor Around Double Jeopardy

  The original sin of so-called “sex offender civil commitment” laws is that they were never meant to be “nonpunitive”. Legal scholars, civil libertarians, and human rights defenders, have challenged the prison-length nature of these carceral institutions. Many of these opponents to systems of pre-crime preventative detention focused on how these laws have been applied in practice to impose de facto life sentences on those who have already repaid their debt to society.  The following quote comes from a state report published two years before the first so-called sex offender “civil commitment” law was passed in the United States and…

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Bed Space – Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation (VCBR) Expansion Project

The original Burkeville facility included 300 beds. The Virginia General Assembly approved the double-bunking of 150 cells at VCBR in 2011, which increased their total capacity to 450 beds. “Construction has begun on the expansion of VCBR in June of 2018, which will increase bed capacity to 632 residents.” (From Daniel Carey, “Sexually Violent Predator Referrals, Commitments and bed utilization forecasts for FY 2019- fy 2024,” DBHDS (Nov. 15, 2018) @pp 2). 632 beds (according to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources) minus 450 current beds at VCBR equals an additional 182 beds added through the VCBR expansion. Michael…

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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Memo

  What is HIPAA? HIPAA, (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)¹, was originally created in 1996, with an original purpose to protect and secure an individual’s medical information electronically. HIPAA works to combat against abuse and fraud from the healthcare industry.  Who Does HIPAA Apply To? The point of HIPAA is to protect privacy rights of patients from disclosures by health care professionals and corporations. The provisions of HIPAA only apply to health care providers, health care companies, and some employers². HIPAA does not restrict the activities of anyone who does not belong to one of those categories.  Can…

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MORE from OCEAN

Included below is a letter from Mr. Saengchanh, a fellow detainee at MSOP in Minnesota. “Mr. Saengchanh’s letter illustrates the injustice of detaining someone who has serious language barriers. He cannot study law as easily as an English speaking person can. He cannot communicate with his therapist as effectively either. There are some random words in English and Laotian. This is normal for Mr. Saengchanh, who is always trying to learn English, yet always feels that it’s never enough. The letter also illustrates Mr. Saengchanh’s respect for his roommate, “John” and advocates for him lovingly.” – Daniel A. Wilson Letter…

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N.J. psychologist surrenders state license after alleged relationship with sex offender patient

By Chris Megerian/Statehouse Bureau Natalie Barone, left, and Michael Bordo. TRENTON — A top state psychologist who was fired after allegedly having an affair with a sex offender patient surrendered her license to practice today, records show. The consent agreement, which described the allegations as “boundary violations,” allows psychologist Natalie Barone to avoid a public hearing for now. However, the State Board of Psychological Examiners could still decide to investigate the case. Barone, 37, was previously responsible for about 100 staff members providing treatment to 426 civilly committed sex offenders, currently housed at two Avenel facilities. The Department of Human Services fired…

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Virginia Deaths in Custody

Source: Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services Discharge Report From 01/01/2003-03/02/2020. These numbers seem suspiciously low compared to other death-in-custody data we have reviewed. Specifically in Kansas, 260 individuals are indefinitely detained and the facility has 45 deaths to date, whereas in Virginia we have 460 people currently committed and 15 deaths. Because Virginia has much broader use of conditional release, we suspect they are artificially decreasing their death statistics. While the discharge report generated by DBHDS said that it was “death in hospital,” Virginia Center for Behavioral Health (VCBR) is in fact not a…

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