Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry; prohibited publication of registrant employment. (SB11)

Introduced By

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry; prohibited publication of registrant employment information. Prohibits the placement of the name and address of the employer of a Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry registrant on the Internet registry maintained by the Department of State Police. Amends § 9.1-913, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
12/01/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16100704D
12/01/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/18/2016Impact statement from DPB (SB11)
01/18/2016Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (9-Y 5-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
01/19/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/20/2016Passed by for the day
01/21/2016Read second time
01/21/2016Reading of amendment waived
01/21/2016Committee amendment agreed to
01/21/2016Engrossed by Senate as amended SB11E
01/21/2016Printed as engrossed 16100704D-E
01/25/2016Read third time and passed Senate (22-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2016Placed on Calendar
02/03/2016Read first time
02/03/2016Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/09/2016Impact statement from DPB (SB11E)
02/16/2016Assigned App. sub: Criminal Law
02/16/2016Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
02/22/2016Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
03/08/2016Left in Courts of Justice

Comments

Mary Devoy writes:

This is NOT the first time this proposal has been made.
1. In 2010 it was SB635 which passed the Virginia Senate Committee and then the Full-Chamber 40-0 but was then “killed” by the House Militia, Police and Safety Sub-Committee of 6.
2. Then in 2012 it was HB413 which made it onto a hearing docket for the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-committee where the 8 members “Laid it on the table” instead of casting an official vote, to “kill” it.

I have looked for the specific piece of legislation (bill) somewhere between 2006 and 2008 (before I was an advocate) that directed the placement of the employer information of those listed on the Virginia State Police Registry to be listed online in Virginia; I can NOT find it anywhere which leads me to believe the VSP made this change on their own with no direction from the Virginia Legislature.

As of December 2015:
- 29 States do not list ANY employer information publicly; five of those States are Federal Adam Walsh Act AWA/SORNA compliant
- 10 States publically post just the address; eight of those are AWA/SORNA compliant
- 5 States post the city, county and/or zip code; 3 of those are AWA/SORNA compliant

44 States & Congress recognize employment as a top priority in an ex-offender's successful reentry back into our communities. Without employment the rules of probation would be broken, court fines and restitution would not be paid and stable housing would be impossible.

A homeless RSO is an untraceable RSO, & that makes registration irrelevant.

If SB11 Became Law What Would Stay the Same?
1. RSO’s would still register ALL their employer information with the Virginia State Police (and their VA-DOC Probation Officer).
2. The Virginia State Police (and their VA-DOC Probation Officer) would still confirm that their place of employment does not violate any State Law AND they would still confirm that the RSO does actually work there.

By publicly posting this information the Commonwealth is currently penalizing Virginia Businesses that are willing to hire citizens who have paid their court-ordered debt to society. Most employers knowing their company would be listed on the VSP Registry don’t hire qualified candidates because they don’t want to be bothered with the criticism, shame, intimidation, harassment and sometimes threats by customers, clients, neighboring businesses and by those who specifically want an RSO to fail.

In September 2013 Texas and in 2012 Kansas both removed ALL employment information from their public registries, Texas actually used Virginia’s 2010 failed bill as the foundation.

It’s Time for Virginia’s Legislature to right this wrong that the VSP did years ago without any oversight which has not only harmed Former-Offenders and their families but Virginia Businesses.

Vote ‘Yes’ on SB11 Virginia Legislators!

Here is the 50 State Comparison for anyone who is interested:

No Employment Information Publicly Listed:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Only Employer City, County and Zip Code Publicly Listed:
Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Only Employer City and Occupation Publicly Listed:
Alabama

Only Employer Street Name and Zip Code Publicly Listed:
Hawaii, Nevada

Only Employer Address Publicly Listed:
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee

Employer Name and Address Publicly Listed:
Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, New Mexico (only releases information for registrants who will come into direct contact with children), Virginia

Safer Virginia writes:

There is no empirical evidence that publishing places of employment on the public sex offender registry prevents sex crimes or increases public safety.

Employers hiring registrants understand that stability reduces the potential for re-offense. The practice of listing employment information on the public registry is counterproductive to reentry and hampers the ability of those who are required to register to find and maintain gainful employment. An isolated, unemployed, and homeless sex offender clearly presents a greater risk to the public than one who is working full time and has a place to live.

Research has consistently shown that stability and support increase the likelihood of successful reintegration for offenders of all criminal categories, not the least of which are sexual offenders.

Registrants are already prohibited from being in proximity to children under Code of Virginia § 18.2-370.2 through § 18.2-370.5. Automatic notification for businesses providing services to children is available under § 9.1-914.

In the last 15 years, 122 citizens publicly identified as registrants were killed or murdered in the United States. The Commonwealth can reduce the potential for workplace violence by joining the majority of other states that do not publicly display registrant employer information.

Kevin Price writes:

I committed my offense in 1985, served 11 years in prison, and another 16 years on intensive supervision which had ended in 2014.I have not been employed since 2010 because I am on the registry as a violent sex offender who has NOT reoffended. I wrote the Virginia ACLU to request legal help because of the punishment that the registry creates, but they refused to take my case. There are all sorts of constitutional violations; ex post facto, due process, etc. However, no one seems to care.

Sandy Hausman writes:

Hey, Kevin. Sandy Hausman here from Virginia Public Radio. If you see this post, please give me a call: 434-293-2515. Thanks.