The Dobbs Wire: INSPECT the hydra!

WATCH OUT for #MeToo–that’s the message in an important essay by JoAnn Wypijewski, just published by The Nation.  What about accountability for sexual wrongdoing?  Shall it be delivered by headlines that have morphed into guided missiles, legal process only an afterthought?  We’re decades into very severe laws and punishments for sex offenses.  Nearly 900,000 people are marked with a scarlet letter and forced to sign the sex offense registry.  Will #MeToo spur progress or bring more crackdowns and draconian measures?  Has #MeToo become a wrecking ball aimed at reason and justice?  “Inspect the hydra” and have a look at this…

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The Dobbs Wire: FINAL performances of America Is Hard To See!

FINAL performances this week of America Is Hard To See, a new Off-Broadway play that takes on a very thorny topic – sexual wrongdoing – and it’s a mind-opener!  Here’s hoping the play gets another bigger run in NYC, and goes on the road. Closing night is Feb. 24th.  There’s more about the play (it’s based on a real life community-in-exile) and how it was made in the reviews and video linked below.  -Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire  info@thedobbswire.com   TICKETS (get two tickets for the price of 1, use code 2FOR1) http://www.here.org/shows/detail/1927/       Reviews   TheaterMania review by…

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The Dobbs Wire: the VIDEO from last night!

The registry:   An unusual event took place last night in lower Manhattan, a rare live public debate about the sex offense registry.  In front of a packed house Emily Horowitz, a sociologist and author of Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us, went head-to-head with Marci Hamilton, a prominent child safety advocate.  The pair debated this  proposition:  “All the laws requiring those convicted of sex offenses to put their names in a registry should be abolished.” It was quite a show!   And timely – with nearly 900,000 individuals required to sign the registry questions about its effectiveness…

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The Dobbs Wire: Blockbuster expose of New York’s special locked facility – MARCY

New York:  Just published, a blockbuster report about conditions at Central New York Psychiatric Center near Syracuse.  The center is a special locked facility where New York State keeps individuals who have already paid a price for sex offenses and served prison time.  After incarceration, indefinite confinement is the next stop–not for anything they have done but for what the state believes they might do.  In a constitutional twilight liberty vanishes on a hunch.  New York’s facility is more commonly known as Marcy; for all practical purposes it is a prison with precious little hope for those inside.  In addition…

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The Dobbs Wire: Events of Interest in NYC , Austin, Washington, DC and on the internet!

The Dobbs Wire:  Events of Interest in NYC, Austin, Washington, DC and webstreamed on the internet!   America Is Hard to See Type:                Live theatrical production Location:           New York City (SoHo) Date:                Jan. 20-Feb. 24  8:30PM Featuring:          Ken Barnett, John Carlin, Joyce Cohen, Amy Gaither Hayes, David Spadora, Valerie Gareth Tidball      Blurb:                During the late fall of 2015, members of Life Jacket Theatre Company travelled to southern Florida to interview the residents of Miracle Village, a rural community for sex offenders buried deep in sugarcane fields.  The team has transformed its research into a moving and unflinching play about…

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The Dobbs Wire: Int’l Megan’s Law — federal court challenge!

International Megan’s Law:  A challenge to International Megan’s Law (IML) was just filed in federal court.  Under the new law the State Department is required to do something that is very likely unprecedented in U.S. history – putting a special mark on the passports of those the government wishes to stigmatize, a sizeable class of people with a record of certain offenses that are sex-related.  In addition to mandating scarlet letter passports, other provisions of the law will erode a cherished liberty, the right to physically move about and travel outside the U.S.   IML was signed into law by Obama…

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Int’l Megan’s Law — federal court challenge!

International Megan’s Law:  A challenge to International Megan’s Law (IML) was just filed in federal court.  Under the new law the State Department is required to do something that is very likely unprecedented in U.S. history – putting a special mark on the passports of those the government wishes to stigmatize, a sizeable class of people with a record of certain offenses that are sex-related.  In addition to mandating scarlet letter passports, other provisions of the law will erode a cherished liberty, the right to physically move about and travel outside the U.S.   IML was signed into law by Obama…

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The Dobbs Wire: Changes proposed to Connecticut registry gather momentum

Connecticut:  The Connecticut Sentencing Commission is pushing for changes to the state’s sex offense registration law.  Two years in the making, the commission’s report including recommendations was just sent over to the legislature.  One major proposal concerns the method used to determine an individual’s registration category or “tier”. Currently the process is based on a person’s offense; the report calls for shifting to a system based on individual risk assessments and creating a “sex offender registration board”.  The recommendations include various prospective and retrospective changes. Connecticut currently has about 5,400 individuals on its registry; according to one news article the…

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The Dobbs Wire: Who should join the fight agains the registry?

Scarlet letters:  In a new essay Guy Hamilton-Smith opens with a wide view of this punishment-crazed country and then comes in for a close-up look at 21st century scarlet letters. The number of people forced to sign the sex offense registry continues to climb and is now close to 900,000.  Evidence mounts that registries do not improve public safety or reduce recidivism but cause much damage to the lives of registrants and their kin.  Meanwhile lawmakers are pressing for even tougher registration laws and are enacting new registries for non-sex offenses!   Pushing back these draconian laws is a huge fight…

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The Dobbs Wire: "DEAD time" — possibly forever??!!

For some with sex offenses, laws have gotten so crazy, cruel and convoluted that getting released from prison – after serving the time – becomes practically impossible. That’s right, individuals are held in prison months or even years beyond their release dates in Illinois (and other states).  Why?  Because while still behind bars they must find housing that meets strict state requirements or no release.   The Dept. of Corrections claims it doesn’t even know how many are impacted;  a 2015 news report put the number at 1,000 annually.  This is just another facet of an ongoing human and constitutional rights…

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