Mike Smith

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Month: October, 2013

Sex Offender numbers in Community Correctional Centres

Today I received part of my original access to information request from Corrections Canada (CSC), asking for the number of sex offenders in Community Correctional Centres (CCC) on stat release, with residency conditions.  The answer from Corrections Canada, based on a snap shot taken on October 6, 2013 is  25 %.  That represents one in four inmates in CCC are sex offenders.

Lets look at why they are released to a CCC on residency condition.  The answer is simple, it is because they are too volatile to be released without conditions. Doesn’t sound like the neighbour anyone wants, now does it.  Also remember that none of these sex offenders are cured so they still require structor and supervision; so why hurriedly place society at risk by releasing them back into community contact before warrant expire.  Consider this, when you loose your license for impaired driving for one year, the system does not give it back to you after 2/3 of your sentence.  Are we in society not correct to assume that when a sex offender is removed off the street for a time period imposed by a court, that they will not be back on the street till that time is served?  Are victims and society not owed this, I think so. So what the rush?  Remember they have committed one of the most descicable crimes, so why give them any breaks to get out soon.

A CCC is not really a prison. While they fall under the authority of the Correctional Service of Canada, they are just a glorified hotel staffed on the evening shift and mornings by non-CSC uniform staff.  As you might not know inmates in these places are even allowed to keep cars or motorcycles on the premise if they own them or buy them.  Not sounding much like a prison is it.

Victims and society are owed better than this.  Sex offenders committed the crime and they need to pay what society asks of them.  Zero tolerance for despicable crimes. Lets keep sex offenders in no less then a medium security prison.  We owe it to the victims and vulnerable members of society.

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Sex Offenders in England

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/8201521/Sex-offenders-including-paedophiles-should-be-allowed-to-adopt-Theresa-May-told.html

 

Check out this news article from England, about allowing sex offenders the right to adopt kids.  

Sex Offenders

The Correctional Service of Canada, as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control. — Mission Statement

 

A mission statement is meant to be more than just words. It is the philosophy, beliefs, and practices of an organization.  So why when asked about sex offenders in Community Correctional Centers, not having access to community gyms where youth and other vulnerable members of society may be, do they (Correctional Service of Canada) not answer the question?  After all keeping sex offenders away from these people is “respecting the rule of law.”  All sex offenders are prohibited from being in contact with them, so this information should be readily available.

In previous blogs, I have shown that in a response to an access to information requests, that I made, they indicated that they did not have this information.  I was told that this would be very expensive for me if I wanted this answer. Am I expected to pay them to find out the information that they should already have at their fingertips?  After all respecting the rule of law would mean that they ensure that sex offenders are not coming into contact with youth and vulnerable members of society.  Further I have written to Corrections Canada on this issue on Oct 4, 2013, in an e-mail, and even followed up with another e-mail to see if they received the first one, and still no acknowledgement of receipt.   Is it not an important enough subject?  I am willing to bet that for parents and victims it is.

The struggle for this answer continues, as I  will engage the department through political means if necessary. Stay Tuned.

Criminals Voting in Federal Elections.

Unfortunately in Canada, the rights of criminals sentenced to federal prison are really not curtailed, as one would expect.  Lets look at the most elementary of democratic rights, the right to vote.  While most Canadians would assume that once you have crossed the line far enough to earn a federal prison sentence, that the wheels of justice would now set down your future, with restrictions, clearly indicating society displeasure with you. After all they have shown society that they do not care about its rules and what it means to be a responsible person, so why enjoy what we enjoy.  Remember that even the most despicable of human beings, a child rapist and murder, are today allowed the same basic right to vote that the rest of us, who live a law-abiding life receive.

Is there something wrong with this picture? There has to be a level that once crossed, society says enough and it starts to impose more drastic restriction upon you.  I am not talking about those sentenced to provincial time, 2 years less a day, but rather those who have graduated to the big league and now are doing federal time. If you can’t live in society as the rest of us do, then why should you have a say in how society runs, via voting.  Its time to end the vote for federal criminals.

Sex Offender Programming

The attached link is from the Correctional Service of Canada’s web site, Correctional Program department, and is about sex offender programming provided by CSC.

http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/prgrm/cor-pro-2009-eng.shtml#_Toc231830457

After reading the program description, decide for yourself, if after a sex offender takes this course, would you feel comfortable with them moving into your community without added protection, or is the program enough to make you feel safe.  Also consider that when one of these sex offenders who has taken the program, escapes, or does not report to his community parole officer, the Police in the community always lists them as dangerous.  Never do they say, “Don’t worry they took a sex offender program.”

Of interest is that the program is divided into intensity levels of High, Moderate of Low intensity, and lets not forget about the maintenance program that is often suggsted. I for one do not fell that any convicted sex offender, still under sentence, has any place in the community until warrant expire, and then they need to be placed on a trackable database, for all to monitor.  Right now they are in our community, attending community events, and there is very little monitoring on them.  The focus appears to be on the rights of the sex offender and not on the rights of the most vulnerable members of society.

Again review this material and you decide.

Sex Offenders in public contact

Are sex offenders in Community Correctional Centers (CCC), who attend public gyms a public relations nightmare for Corrections Canada (CSC)?  The answer is potentially.  I say potentially because if after raising this question to CSC, as I did, and a sex offender was to sexually assault a vulnerable member of society at the gym or on the way to or from the gym, it would be inexcusable.  This is a worst-case scenario for public relations, but to hold on to the hope that it has never happened before, so it will possibly never happen, is Russian roulette, a game society does not want to play.

A good public relations move would be to investigate, and if found that they are using community gyms, to end this practice.  Being proactive is something society can appreciate, and it shows an evolving process to make society safer.

Why I bring this up is because while I have previously blogged on this issue, I have also copied my blog to CSC, sent e-mail asking this question, and encouraged CSC senior managers to engage in my blog, as it educates society.  I have yet to receive an acknowledgement that my e-mail has been received, although it was 4 working days ago. I do not expect an answer to my question but a receipt for a message received on such a sensitive issue is not too much to ask and is appropriate. Consider that this department has media staff to monitor and respond to these types of potentially explosive messages. Further something of this nature would require a brief prepared for the minister by the Parliamentary Relations Officers in the department, in the event that the Minister was questioned on this matter, so why no response?  Remember I explained that the CSC member I spoke to at National Headquarters told me that they did not have this information and it would take time and money to find out the answer.  Also I overheard a conversation where it stated that this is going on.

Anyhow this is not a subject that will disappear, and I will pursue till a response is delivered.  Those of us in society who can, have to act for those that cannot.  We need to protect the vulnerable members of society.

Sex offenders risk managed in the community.

Sex offenders in Community Correctional Centres (CCC) with access to community gyms

As stated in my previous blog, I submitted an access to information to Corrections Canada to find out the percentage of sex offenders in CCC’s, and how many of them have access to gyms in the community, walk by schools to get to these gyms and gyms that have a daycare at them.  

This morning I received a call from Corrections Canada.  The first thing I was reminded about was the $5.00 fee for my request to be processed, which I informed the individual it was in the mail with the original request form.  The next part is more troubling, the Corrections Canada rep told me that the only way they could find out the information about sex offenders going to community gyms, would be to have those sex offenders in CCC’s files reviewed. He wanted to advise me that this would take lots of time to find out and would be very expensive for me. I was glad he called to inform me of this information, as it could get very expensive.

The message I get out of Corrections Canada’s response is that they do not know and would have to investigate to find out.  As a parent and community member this does not sit well with me.  I expected 100% compliance on issues that affect vulnerable members of society, but right now I am not sure what percentage of compliance there is.  But can there be another reason for the response.  It is very possible that this has never been thought about before.  Maybe Corrections Canada simply overlooked the issue of sex offender going to these areas were vulnerable member of society often go. After all it is a big organization, and dealing with sex offenders is a complicated issue.  

So how do we address the issue.  In the first place the protection of vulnerable members of society is the priority.  If Corrections Canada has not thought of this before, then we need to ask them the question, and if it is overlooked, we have to have it addressed.  After all it is about the protection of vulnerable members of society.  So to find out the answer I will e-mail a copy of this blog to the commissioner of Corrections Canada as well as other senior members and ask them the question.  I will relay their response when I receive it, and if it is something that is a new issue, then I know they will fix it.  

Stay tuned, but once again this is another example of why we need to have electronic monitoring on all sex offenders.

Sex offenders in community gyms with vulnerable youth

A question has come to mind that I think needs further exploration.  What is the proportion of sex offenders in Community Correctional Centres (CCC), on stat release with a residency condition, as compared to non-sexual offenders, and how many of them have day passes that permit access to youth in places such as gyms, walking by schools to go to gyms and or that have day care centres attached to the gyms?  Not sure of the answer, but worthy of a access to information, I think.  If anybody knows the answer, please let me know.  Lets find out.

Electronic Monitoring and Tampering.

The attached 2 news articles are of an individual described by Police as a “potentially violent high-risk sex offender.”  This individual was on court-released conditions, when he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet, threw it away and fled.  So what good is the electronic monitoring system? Opponents of electronic monitoring of sex offenders can use this situation to show that this technology builds a false sense of security. But is this correct?

My position is that electronic monitoring bracelets, while vulnerable to this sort of action, actually perform, as they are suppose to.  The moment that it is cut, or tampered with, an alarm is raised, so the police automatically know. Further the system will shows where the wearer is at the time they tampered with it, thus giving Police a jumping off point to begin their search or warning of residents in the area.

Now consider this same individual on the same release without any electronic monitoring system.  At best he would have condition to report to Police once a day, stay away from certain areas, contact restrictions, and some other conditions.  The only difference is, that once he checks in with the Police, he basically has a 24 hour window of opportunity before anyone would now that something was wrong, because unless arrested he does not check in again for 24 hours.

While not perfect, the system performed, as it should.  With the ability to program areas that the wearer must stay away from, real time tracking, and possibly house arrest features, all meant to track and ensure public safety, society is in a position to know sooner rather then hours later, and possibly saving or preventing someone else from becoming a victim(s). This technology needs to be expanded to all sex offenders in the community or with community contact.  We owe it to the vulnerable members of society to fight for their protection.

http://www.albertapolicereport.ca/2013/10/01/high-risk-sex-offender-cuts-off-monitorihttp://

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/01/michael-sean-stanley-wanted_n_4025842.html#slide=760108ng-bracelet-and-disappears/