T-Shirts and Car Decals and Free Speech?

Vigilantes can now supplement their free subscription to the registry of people who have ever violated a sex law, with motivational merchandise. Inspirational t-shirts and car decals are all the rage thanks to Q anon. They can be purchased from places such as Etsy, Amazon and Ebay, where you can get a “Shoot your local pedophile” bumper sticker to go next to your “I’d rather be fishing” decal. If you find this kind of language threatening, insane, intimidating, or harassing, not to worry; a local law enforcement officer assured me that this rhetoric is protected speech. He compared the feelings…

Continue reading

Virginia bill would end civil commitment of sex offenders

By DENISE LAVOIE — RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Two Virginia Democratic lawmakers are spearheading a push to repeal a decades-old law that allows the state to hold certain sex offenders at psychiatric facilities indefinitely after their criminal sentences if they are deemed “sexually violent predators.” Critics say civil commitment laws are fundamentally unfair and violate the constitutional prohibition against punishing someone twice for the same crime. Supporters counter that the laws protect society from repeat offenders who are unable to control their behavior. Sen. Joe Morrissey and Del. Patrick Hope, both Democrats, are co-sponsoring legislation that would end the state’s…

Continue reading

Fourth Appearance on Crossroads Radio WPFW 89.3FM Galen’s interview

Pre-crime preventative detention was the focus of an almost 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 Galen Baughman talk about how he has been directly impacted by these Kafkaesque systems of pre-crime preventative detention and his work with Just Future Project.

Continue reading

Research Assistant Internship (Remote or Hybrid)

Do you care about criminal justice reform, LGBTQ+ rights, or racial justice? Would you like to spend your semester helping to investigate these Kafkaesque systems and their impact on arguably the most marginalized populations in the United States? Just Future Project is seeking a bright, driven, and conscientious research assistant to a nationally recognized expert in criminal legal policy and directly impacted leader in justice reform.  Your work will support analysis driving an active legislative campaign challenging pre-crime preventative detention laws in Virginia.  The first bill in the country to abolish these laws is currently pending before the Virginia Senate (SB 1244).  You will…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

“Death Sentence” — Across U.S., COVID-19 takes a hidden toll behind bars

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in U.S. jails and prisons, but testing of inmates and staff remains spotty and many confirmed cases are going unreported. The resulting lack of data has deep implications for the fight against the virus, because prison outbreaks can move easily to surrounding communities. By PETER EISLER, LINDA SO, NED PARKER and BRAD HEATH Filed May 18, 2020, 11 a.m. GMT When COVID-19 began tearing through Detroit’s county jail system in March, authorities had no diagnostic tests to gauge its spread. But the toll became clear as deaths mounted. First, one of the sheriff’s jail commanders died; then, a deputy in a…

Continue reading

Inside NACDL: Sex Offender Laws Run Amok

Author: Norman Reimer When America’s politicians latch on to a “law and order” issue, watch out! Their capacity to demagogue an issue, exploit public fears, and enact draconian legislation is limitless. We saw this with the war on drugs1 and the war on terrorism. And now we see it with the proliferation of sex offender laws that impose far-reaching collateral consequences. They are often based on myth and emotion, unsupported by empirical research and broadly applied, and are indifferent to the facts of the particular case. Last month, The Champion reported that NACDL’s recent affiliate survey disclosed that 58 percent…

Continue reading

Going For Wins in Sexually Violent Predator Cases

By Allen Frances, MD July 8, 2011 During the past year, I have been involved as an expert witness for the defense in 14 SVP cases (tried in California, Washington, and Iowa). My role has been to clarify what is meant by the wording of the Paraphilia section in DSM-IV. And it certainly does badly need explaining. The DSM-IV Paraphilia section is written far too imprecisely to meet the high standard of precision needed in a legal context. This is because DSM-IV was written primarily for clinicians– not for lawyers, judges, forensic evaluators, and juries. I wish we had done…

Continue reading

How The Use of Improper Statistics and Unverified Data Corrupts The Judicial Process In Sex Offence Cases (2018)

This is an excellent overview from the 30,000 foot view, of the problems that continue to fuel draconian and unscientific sex-related laws.  As Cucolo & Perlin note, “judicial decisions involving sexual offender[s]…rely improperly on inaccurate and underdeveloped statistics as well as unverified and outdated information.”  This article specifically addresses pre-crime preventative detention laws, calling them explicitly punitive.  And concludes by exploring the principle of “therapeutic jurisprudence” which may offer an alternative to unending and unthinking punishment.         More about the authors Heather Ellis Cucolo Heather is an adjunct professor and current facilitator of the dual degree program…

Continue reading

Authorities retaliate against advocates

The system routinely punishes dissent voiced by those under their control. Advocates who speak out against injustice in the criminal legal system are especially vulnerable to retaliation by unscrupulous prosecutors, judges, and others in positions of official power over their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Nowhere is this more true than in systems of pre-crime preventative detention where a persons indefinite detention may be prolonged at the whim of the authorities based on nothing more than subjective impression, rather than any concrete overt act. This brazenly unethical behavior is another obstacle to advocating for, and securing the…

Continue reading