Mike Smith

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Tag: electronic monitoring

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.

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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/

Sex offenders transfer to minimun security.

The transfer process for sex offenders from higher security to lower security, including minimum security occurs in the following way.

Upon entering federal custody in Canada, a Parole Officer is assigned to the inmate, who then performs an intake assessment.  The Parole Officer goes over file information, including judge’s reason for sentencing, police reports, court transcripts and all other relevant documents.  The Parole officer will also interview the inmate and then draft a Correctional plan.  The Correctional Plan is a road map, of what the inmate must do if they plan on being granted transfer to lower security, community contact, statutory release or eventually parole aspirations.  The correctional plan includes issues like maintain family contact, educational upgrading, programs such as sex offender programs, living without violence, cog-skills, and all other identified programs that the Correctional Service of Canada offers to address the inmate(s) needs.

The next thing the inmate has to address is what is called a risk assessment.  This issues addresses, institutional adjustment concerns, escape risk and threat to the public safety.  The rating for this is Low, Medium, High.

Institutional adjustment concerns encompasses, being charged free, no behavioural issues, following correctional plan, no intelligence concerns, no security concerns.  These are all measurable things. 

Escape risk concerns issues such as if they have the ability to escape, outside influences, have tried to escape before, intelligence suggest they may try to escape, or are high profile. These are very much subjective.

Threat to public safety, for the most part, is subjective.  Unless there is something tangible such as threatening victims or witnesses, it cannot be anything else but subjective. The risk is then examined to determine how low it is and can it be managed in a less secure environment.

The process starts with the sex offender submitting an application to transfer to lower security.  The parole officer completes a progress summary report, either recommending or not recommending the transfer. Next the Manager Assessment and Intervention (MAI) either support or writes a dissenting opinion.  From there it goes to the warden who has the final say.  This transfer is what is called warden’s decision.

From this process a sex offender, if he follows along, can find himself in a minimum-security prison eventually, back in community contact.  It is impossible to determine how long this process can take, or how short a time it takes.  It is my personal opinion that if they have to go to minimum security, where they have access to society that they be made to wear electronic monitoring.  As others have reported these monitoring can be programmed to alarm if these sex offenders go near certain areas.  Remember we have no cure for sex offenders, so we have to put tight controls on their movement.  My preference would be that they never go beyond a medium security, and once released they go on a registry as the government is planning.

Society has to protect the vulnerable from the predators.

Sex offenders in the community

When anyone thinks of sex offenders in prison, the image that comes to mind is that of them behind bars removed from society and no longer being able to harm anybody.  For many sex offenders this is not the case. With placements in minimum-security prison and halfway houses these individuals are afforded the opportunity to once again mingle with society including its most vulnerable through community escorts.  For these sex offenders, when they go out into the community, they are not always under the supervision of Correctional Officers or Correctional Service of Canada employees, but rather under the supervision of a citizen volunteer.  That rights a volunteer from the community. Also worthy of mention is that some of these inmates being escorted by volunteer citizens come from medium security prisons.  Is this what victims believed to be how the sentence would be served?

 

As stated many times before, sex offenders who take programs as dictated by their correctional plan, are not cured, at best it can only be said they attended the program, no measuring of success.  So lets now compound the fact that these sex offenders, who it can be argued are untreated, are now out with a volunteer community member.  For the majority of these community members, they are seniors, or retired, believing they are performing a valuable service.  These civilians are not peace officers, not armed, not trained like a Correctional Officer, who receives proper training, and really have no responsibility to intercede in the unlawful activity of the sex offender beyond calling the Police. Once again the Police become the one’s expected to deal with this issue, an issue that is preventable.

 

It is my position that all sex offenders, in either a minimum-security prison or halfway houses, need to have electronic monitoring bracelets attached so as to track them. Remember they are in facilities where they can at any time just decide to walk away, and in many cases are not detected missing for hours. For those deemed to need an escort, it needs to be fully trained Correctional Officer. Further any sex offender coming out of a medium security facility should at minimum be by an armed Correctional Officer in restraint equipment. We owe it to all victims and the vulnerable members of society to ensure the utmost of public safety.