Updates

Updates

How many are held under “sex offender civil commitment” laws?

Data is important for advocacy.  But shadow prisons are so shrouded in secrecy that no one actually knows how many people are locked away in these “treatment” facilities in the U.S.  Here is a brief look at what we know (or don’t) and why the number that you often see cited is wrong.

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Should we push candidates to reform the Sex Offense Registry?

Blank & Pink sent out a “2020 Election Survey” in vol. 9 issue 6 of their newsletter (p.25) One of 4 questions solicited opinions from members of the Black & Pink family living behind the walls on whether sex-related offense policy should be a focus of their political advocacy during this presidential election cycle.  YES, and here is why: 

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Civil Commitment in New York is Worse Than Prison

Shadow prisoners held for “treatment” at CNYPC in Marcy, NY experience conditions of confinment more explicitly punitive and restrictive than those in the actual prison system in New York. A new letter to state elected officials from people living behind the walls describes the desperation that pervades systems of pre-crime preventative detention in the U.S.  Ever wonder why we at Just Future use the term “shadow prisoners” to refer to people in so-called “sex offender civil commitment” facilities?  Read this letter.

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Letter from men at Central New York Psychiatric Center — effectively stand up for their rights and demand change

The shadow prisoners at the Gulag in Marcy, New York are formally demanding better treatment.  The following letter was sent by a committee of men who are organizing themselves at the Central New York Psychiatric Center.  Just Future applauds their concise articulation of concrete demands coupled with clear citations to the statutory language being violated.  This letter might serve as an example for the people in the other 20 systems of pre-crime preventative detention on how to effectively stand up for their rights and demand change. To: Director DEBORAH McCULLOCH c/o JEFFERY NOWICKI August 1, 2019 From: SOTP RESIDENT LIAISON…

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Homophobic Outrage in Virginia

Last month, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) succeeded in his aim of incarcerating a gay man indefinitely for sending text messages. AG Herring maintains the man – who has never been accused or arrested for any act of violence – is a “Sexually Violent Predator.” Virgina’s treatment of Galen Baughman, now 36,has attracted protests from LGBT and criminal-justice groups, and at least one Virginia lawmaker. His case highlights the dangers of Orwellian civil-commitment laws that allow indefinite confinement of people to prevent possible future offenses.

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APA Opposes Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders After Prison

APA’s Board of Trustees approved a task force report on sexually dangerous offenders at its meeting last month in San Diego recommending that psychiatrists vigorously oppose sexual predator laws. Opposing such laws is necessary “to preserve the moral authority of the profession and ensure continuing societal confidence in the medical model of civil commitment,” states the report. The report was written by the Task Force on Sexually Dangerous Offenders, a component of APA’s Council on Psychiatry and Law, which endorsed the report before it went to the Board for action. Paul Appelbaum, M.D., was chair of the council when the…

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Some Virginia sex offenders held long after sentence up

By Dena Potter, Associated Press Nov 19, 2011, 12:15pm RICHMOND, Va. — Having already served their sentences, hundreds of Virginia sex offenders are held behind bars for months — some for years — while waiting to see whether they’ll be sent to a psychiatric center indefinitely, an Associated Press review has found. Judges acting on the requests of both prosecutors and defense attorneys routinely shrug off the legal deadline for making that decision, leaving the inmates in limbo well beyond their designated punishment and without access to the very kind of treatment the state says they may need. Attorneys and…

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Vladimir Bukovsky, 76, exile who exposed use of psychiatric hospitals to jail dissidents.

Critics of “sex offender civil commitment” laws often liken them to the Soviet practices of imprisoning dissidents in psychiatric hospitals. The man who was credited for exposing this soviet practice, Vladimir K. Bukovsky, died recently at age 76. We wanted to remember him and remind Just Futurists just how alike these practices truly are.

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Update on the Galen Baughman Civil Commitment trial

by Charlie Clark, September 4, 2019 5:27 PM Our Man in Arlington. A culture-clash of a trial will resume in late September in Arlington Circuit Court. The scantly reported-on civil procedure involves the disturbing topic of predatory sexual behavior and the Virginia laws intended to protect potential victims. The trial, preliminaries for which I attended Aug. 26, involves an Arlington family eager to spring a son from an open-ended incarceration they feel the state is pursuing to make a statement against a gay man. Galen Baughman, 35, a graduate of H-B Woodlawn Secondary program who studied opera at Indiana University,…

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Patrick Hope column: Virginia’s sexually violent predator laws have gone too far

By: Patrick Hope Sept 29, 2019 The “lock ’em up and throw away the key” era of criminal justice is over. Virginians have reassessed their views on criminal justice to better address mass incarceration weighed against costs and the likelihood to reoffend. Policies ripe for reform include: resentencing prisoners who were convicted as youth; repealing mandatory minimums; legalizing marijuana; abolishing the death penalty; ending solitary; reinstating parole; ending cash bail; and creating alternatives to incarceration. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has a strong track record of criminal justice reform. But there’s one enforcement aspect his office needs to re-examine: the…

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Sex Offenders Locked Up on a Hunch

The essence of the American criminal justice system is reactive, not predictive: You are punished for the crime you committed. You can’t be punished simply because you might commit one someday. You certainly can’t be held indefinitely to prevent that possibility. And yet that is exactly what is happening to about 5,000 people convicted of sex crimes around the country. This population, which nearly doubled in the last decade, has completed prison sentences but remains held in what is deceptively called civil commitment — the practice of keeping someone locked up in an institution for months, years or even decades for…

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Prominent voices chime in on Twitter

Lots of folks are talking about the abusive, homophobic, and blatantly unconstitutional use of pre-crime preventative detention laws in Virginia. Here we have aggregated some prominent voices expressing their outrage on Twitter. ⁦.⁦@MarkHerringVA⁩ has made exceptionally strong statements on ways to improve our criminal justice system. Civil commitment, however, is an area where Va law and enforcement is an injustice and a violation of civil rights. Here’s a prime example: https://t.co/7kVW1wDSIg — Patrick Hope (@HopeforVirginia) August 24, 2019 All the power to you for trying to undo this great injustice https://t.co/SPw4aKEkWr — Arax (@araxkl_arax) September 20, 2019 Another injustice. Help…

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Letter to the editor in WaPo on reentry for people living on the registry

Persons with sex-related convictions are often deliberately excluded from the reentry picture.  This LTE points that out to the Washington Post and argues that everyone is entitled to a just future.  Kudos to Kirsten Darby for using this important advocacy tool to register her perspective as a member of the community, with the newspaper’s editor. I read with great interest the September 3 article [in the Washington Post] by Tracy Jan documenting the legal hurdles of those formerly incarcerated. I’ve led a faith based prison pen pal ministry for many years and have seen first hand the struggles these men…

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passport

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO GERMANY UNDER IML PASSPORTS

This is a very interesting video about a man that left the United States while on probation to Permanently live in Germany as his new home to live as a free person.  He shows what the new International Megan’s Law marked passports look like and talks about the reasons that they are not a problem for entering Germany.  Everyone should watch this video.  Those currently on the sex offender registry in the United States and those that think they will never ever have to be on the sex offender registry.  Everyone that cares about the future of the United States…

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In Memoriam: Lives Lost While Imprisoned After Their Release Date in Kansas

The people who run these programs pretend that they are for “treatment.”  For at least 45 people who were sent to Larned State Hospital it was a death sentence.  The following names, placed here in memoriam, are a stark illustration of the false promise of therapeutic intent.   These names remind us everyday of why we work to abolish pre-crime preventative detention systems.       Individual Names of Commitments Pursuant to the Kansas Sexual Predator Act   Master List:   Time:  6:43 PM                                                                                     Revised:    Wednesday, November 28, 2018 Individual…

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LGBTQ coalition letter to Virginia attorney general Mark Herring re: Galen Baughman

No one should be imprisoned for imaginary future crimes. Virginia’s repeated attempts to commit one young gay man illustrates the absurdity and dangerousness of the states ability to lock someone away for what they might do in the future.

On July 26, 2018, a coalition of more than 100 LGBTQ rights organizations, civil rights advocates, law professors, and concerned citizens of Virginia endorsed a letter to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring calling on him to end the homophobic prosecution of Galen Baughman and meet with representatives of the coalition to discuss how Virginia is abusing its pre-crime preventative detention statute.

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In Memoriam: Lives Lost While Imprisoned After Their Release Date in Illinois

IDHS-TDF RESIDENT DEATHS SINCE 1999 The people who run these programs pretend that they are for “treatment.” For at least 45 people who were sent to The Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville Illinois it was a death sentence. The following names, placed here in memoriam, are a stark illustration of the false promise of therapeutic intent. These names remind us everyday of why we work to abolish pre-crime preventative detention systems. NAME DATE OF DEATH IDHS LOCATION CAUSE OF DEATH WILLIAM HILL 2000 SHERIDAN, IL AIDS CICEL HOLIDAY 2003 JOLIET, IL CANCER TAD PRATER 2003 JOLIET, IL UNKNOWN TERRY…

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Kingsley Breathes New Life Into Substantive Due Process as a Check on Abuse of Government Power

Overlooked by Karsjens Plaintiffs and by both Judge Frank and the 8th Circuit, in 2015 SCOTUS decided a case involving application of the substantive due process guarantee in favor of a pretrial detainee suing jail personnel for physical abuse. Significantly, SCOTUS declined to apply the Lewis requirement that the court’s conscience must be shocked by the government officials’ misconduct (including that it must be malicious and sadistic). Even more significantly (to us), those confined under commitment to mental health facilities are held to be entitled to greater deference than those held in jails on pretrial detention. The following article excerpts…

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Committed SOs in North Dakota Land Two Hard Blows Toward Freedom

…In summary, the court hereby adopts the magistrate judge’s report and Recommendation and Supplemental Report and Recommendation in their entirety and hereby incorporates the analyses by reference in this order. Upon de novo review, the undersigned is not persuaded by any of the evidence submitted or arguments advanced for reversing the magistrate judges analysis set forth in the Report and Recommendation or Supplemental Report and Recommendation.  For the reasons stated therein, summary judgement is GRANTED in favor of all defendants as to the following claims: (1) all claims based on allegations that Rodney K. Ireland, Matthew Graha, Christopher Simon, John…

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Missouri’s SVP Law: Time for a change?

Sam Newman, “Missouri’s SVP Law: Time for a change?”, 60 St. Louis U. L. J. 711 (Summer 2016) Text excerpts: Newman, 721: In Kansas v. Hendricks…. the Court added that the mental condition must cause the individual to have difficulty controlling his or her behavior As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Hendricks, the clinical condition actually causing a loss of ‘volitional impairment’ is essential to SVP statutes”. Newman, 722 : …[A]ccurately determin[ing] when… a ‘mental abnormality’ is actually causing volitional impairment… is such a difficult task that the American Bar Association (ABA) considers it nearly impossible.  In…

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Sexual Deviance over the Lifespan: Reductions in Deviant Sexual Behavior in the Aging Sex Offender

Howard E. Barbaree & Tay Blanchard, “Sexual Deviance over the Lifespan: Reductions in Deviant Sexual Behavior in the Aging Sex Offender,”  Barbara & Blanchard, 37….[A]lthough some individual traits and predispositions underlying sexual deviance, such as sexual preferences or antisocial traits, may persist to the end of life, the expression or performance of sexually deviant behavior decreases with age.”  Barabee & Blanchard, 39: “The Role of the Male Sex Hormone Testosterone” “Mammalian gonads and adrenals secrete several male sex hormones called ‘androgens’.  All are steroid hormones produced primarily in the Leydig cells in the male testes, although some small amounts of…

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Constitutional Law and the Role of Scientific Evidence: The Transformative Potential of Doe v. Snyder

Melissa Hamilton, “Constitutional Law and the Role of Scientific Evidence: The Transformative Potential of Doe v. Snyder”, 58 Boston College Law Rev. E-Supplement 34 (2017) Text Excerpts: Hamilton, 35 …[T]he Sixth Circuit expressly recognizes scientific studies showing that sex offenders as a group do not pose a significant risk of recidivism risk. ….Snyder makes a contemporary case for the relevance in constitutional decision-making of data gathered from interdisciplinary scientific fields, particularly where such data conflict with legislative assumptions” Hamilton, 36  …A foundational principle underlying these policies is the assumption that sex offenders pose a uniquely high risk of recidivism.  In…

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The Endless Punishment of Civil Commitment

The Endless Punishment of Civil Commitment By Guy Hamilton-Smith “Prosecutors can subject those convicted of sexual offense – and sometimes, those with no conviction at all – to an indefinite period of civil punishment at the end of their criminal sentence. In January, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Bianco ruled that after spending nearly two decades detained by the state of California without trial, George Vasquez was a free man. Unlike the 536,000 people held pretrial in the criminal justice system in America, Vasquez, 44, was not being held because he was accused of a crime. Instead, Vasquez…

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How We Plan to Create Change

We are committed to creating lasting change.  Read on for a crash course in how we plan to make a difference.  If there were an Official Underground Handbook for Just Future Project, this would be the “Introduction”. BACKGROUND Indefinite detention laws may seem entrenched and unmovable, but in reality they remain a relatively new area of law that continues to be deeply controversial and vulnerable to attack.  The American Psychiatric Association has categorically opposed so-called “sex offender civil commitment” programs since 1999, calling them a “misuse of psychiatry” and a subversion of the “medical model of civil commitment.”  Even the…

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