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I was denied entry on Apr 3rd, 2016. The immigration would not tell me why. But I am almost positive it’s because of my RSO status. They just handed me a letter stating denied entry due to current immigration policies. I was put back on a plane to the US. I am a US citizen so I should have no problems. The purpose of my visit was business and my other co-workers who went with me passed through just fine. Now my job is sending me to Mexico where I hear it is hit or miss to get in. Would someone happen to have any advice for traveling to Mexico? I’d hate to be turned away again and possibly lose my job.
I was informed today, 10May16, by my Officer of Supervised Probation that the State is no longer allowed to issue “out-of-state” travel permits. I was told I had to go to court, before the judge, and petition to get a “out-of-state” travel permit. I was told this has been in effect since February 2016.
Does anyone have any factual truth about this “rule”?
Free And Happy
Little by little, each day, my little light grows dimmer.
One day my little light will just simply go out.
On that day weep not tears of despair, instead weep tears of joy.
For on that day I will be set free from all the lies, and will truly be free.
For on that glorious day those who have hurt me and sought to justify their crimes, will indeed weep tears of sadness for I will no longer be here to be punished for their crimes, and they can no longer revel in their crimes against me.
Free to be me with no perverse laws that disguise themselves as justice, holding me back from being me.
Free from all the hate and misguided souls who have been caught up in their web of lies.
I truly will be free and vindicated, for they will be left here with nothing more than their lies to gain sympathy from. There will be no one who cares about their lies anymore, but them.
How truly sad they will be.
How truly happy I will be because……
I WILL BE SET FREE on that truly glorious day!
Michael Allan Lewis Sr.
April 22 2016
A law, be it just or unjust, is only words. A law only becomes a real law when someone enforces it.
If the people that are enforcing laws that they believe to be a waste of time stop enforcing them then those laws would become just words.
Anyone in law enforcement can stop this abuse, IF they wanted to.
First of all, let me tell you my story so you know exactly where I’m coming from. My punishment for my crime and my conviction are well deserved, but many of the trials I’ve had to overcome since my release are not. After I tell you my story, I will tell you my views and beliefs concerning the registry and how it will destroy America.
I had a decent career in the US Marines quite a few years back, but I also had an addiction that eventually destroyed that career. I was addicted to pornography.
Over the course of my adult life, my addiction grew into an obsession and while using file sharing program such as Limewire, Kazaa, and Morpheus, I discovered child pornography.
I knew I had a problem. I was afraid to go tell anyone though because for one I was ashamed. For two, I was afraid of being turned in and going to jail. The only “help” out there for people with a pornography addiction was faith based and I am strictly non-religious. I continued viewing it over 7 years because I could not find help without getting locked up. I’m not saying I’m not responsible for my choices because I definitely am, but I think I may have victimized less people and not created a bigger market if I could’ve found help.
In late 2009, I was put under investigation by NCIS and a protective order was put on me against my own children with a CPS case. CPS determined that my computer activities and my fathering were not related, but the protective order remained. I had no due process rights to see my kids because it was an “administrative” measure. The only “due process” for something like this in the military is called request mast, which I exercised. When I went to talk to the Colonel, his Sergeant Major tried to get me to incriminate myself by asking how long I’d been offending. At that point, high ranks in the military didn’t intimidate me much because I knew I was going to jail anyways, so I told him he couldn’t ask me that since the trial was still ongoing.
So, fast forward to late 2010 when I was convicted of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution (since file sharing programs allow uploads). I was sentenced to four years total. Nowhere in my trial was I ever directed to register upon release to satisfy due process.
During my incarceration, I was not allowed to communicate with my children at all as a rule of the brig. It had already been a year from the protective order.
While incarcerated in the brig, we had opportunities to reduce our time incarcerated by attending treatment, CLEP classes, and a multitude of other things to better ourselves. Although I don’t regret any of the things I did to better myself, the time I shaved off ended up being worthless. This was my first experience of the registry screwing me. When it was time for my release, I was being forced to go on “mandatory supervised release” which is really a way of saying parole. This term was reserved for sex offenders only. I was unable to find suitable housing for my release according to my parole officer.
Some of my family didn’t want the “red dot” on their house, while others lived within range of a school, park, etc. I was forced to stay in the brig past my release date by almost 3 months because when I did find someone willing to let me stay with them that was compliant with range restrictions, my parole officer sat on my paperwork. Again, no recourse or due process.
I was finally released in November 2013. One of my most inconvenient restrictions was not being able to use the internet. I was also allowed zero contact with children, so I still couldn’t talk to my kids. I had to get approval to use the computers at the unemployment office to help find a job which I found to be very difficult. After about a month of driving up there (it was about a 15 minute drive) almost every day putting in applications and resumes, I finally got a job at a national pizza chain where I had experience from before the military. I told my boss of my history and that I was on parole prior to being hired. He assured me he didn’t hire underage workers due to insurance reasons already, so it wasn’t a problem.
I quickly worked my way up into an assistant management position and was on par to be in line for a general management position as they opened up. My parole officer did not let me substitute as a driver though because of the odd chance there would be children answering the door of the customer. Once my parole was complete, however, I added myself as a delivery driver since I no longer had that restriction. Within about a week or two of doing that, Papa John’s did another background check on me since I was adding a position and noticed that their store showed up on the registry. The corporate office subsequently terminated me because they didn’t want to be associated with the registry. This is actually illegal in my state, but no lawyer would take my case.
When released from parole, I regained contact with my children through my ex-wife without the courts and went to see them every two weeks. Recently, she cut off my visitation after I asked her to bring them to the city (she lives in the country) to see my new place and scope out the neighborhood. My prior place was in the ghetto and I didn’t feel comfortable with her bringing them there. While I was looking for a place, the impact of the registry was really felt when many apartment communities “redlined” sex offenders on top of range restrictions.
After working a temp job for a little while after the pizza job, I decided to go back to school since I still rated the GI Bill. I applied at the one University that had the degree program I really wanted and they denied me due to my registration status. I am now going to a community type school for a much more generic type of degree. I should mention I tried to go to school while on parole, but my parole officer didn’t allow it because I’d have to use computers.
I then started working as a marketing representative for a carpet cleaning company after working on the labor end. My boss was well aware of my history. I secured a contract with a very prestigious real estate company for our company to be one of their preferred vendors. This was a big contract and was going to bring in a lot of business. Two weeks later, that said real estate company cancelled the contract because my company was on the registry, also illegal in my state, but only the company could sue, not me. This, among a few other reasons, was part of the reason I ended up quitting a few weeks later. My company didn’t deserve that.
Now, I have no contact with my children, which I have to fight in court myself since no lawyer wants to take my case, and I am living off of the GI bill since employment is virtually impossible. I’m working on starting my own business, but I’m sure they’ll have issues with that too.
So, here’s how the registry is completely unconstitutional: It’s a bill of attainder which is specifically forbidden, it consistently violates ex post facto law with retroactive restrictions, it violates due process given to us in the 5th and 14th amendments. The 14th is actually more descriptive saying that nobody will be in jeopardy of life, limb, or liberty without due process. I don’t care who says it’s “administrative” (the government’s way of skirting around people’s rights), redlining, range, restrictions, and the gross violation of privacy on the internet is liberty and should have due process. It violates the 8th amendment of no cruel and unusual punishment considering no other type of crime is held to a registry (yet!) The problem with this is that the Supreme Court has deemed the registry to be constitutional on the grounds that the loss of liberty is not the intent of the law, but community safety is. I fail to see that clause authorized in the constitution, nor do I see that due process is only for criminal justice laws and that “administrative” don’t apply.
Now, they’ve authorized a scarlet letter on passports which has the potential to deny sex offenders the liberty to travel and see the world after serving their debt to society since many countries will deny entrance to the country due to this identifier.
Right now, the people online that still advocate for a registry do so saying it’s a punishment. I have yet to see one person advocate for the NEED of a registry other than we deserve what we’re getting. Anyone that advocates for reform is called a “criminal apologist” Since when is it American to deny the rights of people because the majority just don’t like them? Actually, it’s been American policy for quite some time now. Women were severely restricted for many years. Blacks and other races of color were restricted for many years. People accused of witchcraft, gays and lesbians, the list goes on. Here we are in the 21st century and it’s happening all over again. Granted, the “sex offender class” are people who have been convicted of a specific type of crime which does make it slightly different, but the concept is the same. It’s the same as the Nuremburg laws in Germany prior to WWII.
Here’s the implications if society allows these registries to continue: More registries for other things will start popping up. As a matter of fact, they’ve already started. In Utah, they have a “white collar criminal” registry. Donald Trump is calling for a ban on Muslims and highly restricting illegal aliens. I see a Muslim registry coming if not a Arab registry. I see a gang member registry coming. I see an STD registry coming. I see a Mexican registry coming.
As bad and as ancient as these registry ideas sound, the sex offender registry opens the door because it’s considered “administrative” and “non-punitive” Lawyers and lawmakers will use the existence of the sex offender registry and the case law that goes with it to justify these other illegal registries. This is just the start, but maybe it needs to happen for Americans to wake up! If they fight those registries, it will give the advocates for reforming the sex offender registry case law ammunition to fight ours. Soon, they may even start removing statute of limitations laws for sex crimes since offenders have to register for life anyways. If they do that, most of the country will end up on the registry including John Walsh.
There is hope and I’m going to use this opportunity to present my plan that will restore the majority of our rights while giving the naysayers their stupid registry as well. This plan is not perfect and I truly advocate for abolishing the registry, but things happen more often with compromise which is what I’m proposing. Any concerns or suggestions are welcome.
Here’s the plan:
My son was convicted in Ohio of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and sentenced to (among other things) 160 hours of community service. When my son asked his PO for suggestions where to volunteer, his PO basically said “Good luck, no one wants an SO, you’ll have to work for the police or fire department.” Isn’t his PO supposed to give him a list of qualified community service opportunities? We have checked with the Salvation Army, and they don’t accept SO’s; I searched online for volunteer opportunities in our area and most are either working with minors (prohibited by the terms of probation) or include a background check. Any ideas?
In 1997 I was living in Fort Lauderdale when I was arrested for downloading 28 CP pictures. For the record I knew what I was doing and admit to what I did. I won’t go into detail about the hell I experienced through jail, courts, losing my job, etc. After serving 53 days in jail I found a job, and was able to further my career, eventually starting my own company in 2003.
The condo I lived in with my girlfriend was close to an elementary school. I was able, on two occasions, to petition the local court and got the residential distance reduced to 250 feet. This was on the county level. I wasn’t aware at the time that cities have their own separate proximity laws.
Two years ago I landed a great apartment within the permissible area. Recently the complex was sold and I was forced to move. This is when I found out just how small the area is in which SOs can live in Broward or Miami-Dade Counties. It’s literally a small section of one street in Fort Lauderdale.
After spending hours looking, and hiring my former attorney to scour the county, I got very lucky to find a vacancy in one of several apartment complexes on this street. It’s less than ideal… In fact I hate the place. My fear is that if I have to leave this apartment for any reason, I would have nowhere to go in Florida (at least South Florida), as Miami-Dade County is even worse, with thousands of SOs living under a bridge.
So now I’m hunting the web for cities anywhere in the U.S. with the least restrictive registration and residence proximity laws. I am outraged over the scarlet letter I wear on my forehead, or rather, the life sentence I and many other “low level” offenders are burdened with. It’s been almost 20 years for crying out loud. My only recourse is to hire an attorney and petition the court to reduce my registration requirement. I consulted one who told me it’s essentially up to whoever the judge is at the time – it’s a crap shoot.
I intend to pursue this when I can scrape up the $2,000. But these draconian laws must change, and I thank God I found an advocacy group like RSOL.
Comments and thoughts are very welcomed.
Here is my contribution to “Tales From The Registry.” I love the concept and hope you promote it more. In anticipation of my pending release of the results from the Once Fallen Job & Welfare Survey, my article concerns a story I should have shared four years ago.
“They are absolutely allowed their voice, but they are not allowed to use our platform for that voice.”
By Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com
February 29, 2016
If you are a registered citizen and you have ever conducted a job search, chances are you have at least one job search horror story. My first job interview after my stint in prison was with OfficeTeam, a “temp-to-hire” company. I had lots of clerical experience, had easily passed their aptitude tests, and was invited to come in to fill out the final paperwork to be added to the jolly crew of office mercenaries. Just as I was about to sign the papers, a woman I had never seen before barged into the room, screaming at me that she told me that they don’t hire people like me. I was never told that, and had been honest on my application, so no one had mentioned it before that moment. She threatened to call the police on me and had me escorted out of the building before I was even able to recover from the shock of this woman’s venomous rant against me. I had expected to experience a lot of disappointment and frustration at trying to find a job with this virtual mark of infamy, but it did not make experiencing the discrimination firsthand any easier to absorb.
If you are a registered citizen, you also realize that your right to express your frustration through social media is also limited; not only do states attempt to limit (if not outright ban) registered citizens from social media like Facebook, social media sites like Facebook also bans registered citizens from their services. The story I wish to tell you today is a melding of these two obstacles (jobs and social media) because it concerns my brief life as a contributor to an online news service.
There are a number of online “independent media” platforms, such as AlterNet or the Huffington Post. Many of these websites allow “citizen journalists” to write for the platform; regular folks like you and I can write for them, and the more people who read what you write, the more you get paid. (Granted, you have to have tens of thousands of readers to make a decent amount of money, but making a few extra bucks to do what you are already doing is not a bad gig.) In February, 2012, I filled out an application with Examiner (Examiner.com), which included a sample of my writing, and within a week, I was approved to write for the Examiner. After living off of public assistance (SSI and SNAP) since April 2006, I was hoping to use my experience writing for Examiner.com to establish myself as a decent researcher and writer.
Even today, Examiner.com does not mention the exclusion of registered citizens (much less anyone with a criminal record) from the qualifications, according to their about us page. (see http://www.examiner.com/About_Examiner) They only ask you to be “credible, passionate, & knowledgeable,” be accurate, contribute regularly, be able to offer a “local” point of view, and be open to feedback. That’s it. The fine print reads, “Examiners must be 18 years of age or older and U.S. or Canadian residents. Each Examiner is required to sign an independent contractor agreement prior to activation.” Not even the contract asks about a criminal record. If it did, I would not have bothered signing up to write for them.
Over the course of six weeks, I published four articles for Examiner.com, until my account was abruptly suspended. Curious, I contacted Examiner.com on March 24, 2012. My email read, “I am wondering why my account was deleted without warning or notification. I have done nothing wrong and all my articles have references.”
Having never seen anything about background checks in any of the Examiner terms of service, I asked, “What do you mean by ‘background check?’ Do you prohibit certain people from writing for you or something?”
Kevin replied, “Hey Derek, That’s correct; there are certain offenses that would preclude a person from contributing to the site. We have a third party company that performs these background checks on our behalf, and they’re essentially looking at felony crimes and specific offender registries. They do not contact previous/current employers, nor do they perform credit checks. Hope to have this completed shortly.”
“Specific offender registries” was an obvious euphemism for the sex offender registry. Some states do have other registries of people convicted of other types of crimes, but if you mention “THE registry,” pretty much everyone knows you are discussing the public sex offender registry. So I asked Kevin, “So having a felony record or being on the public sex offender registry bans qualified people from contributing? That sounds like discrimination. Are they not allowed a voice? What is the harm in it?”
Kevin’s final reply—“They are absolutely allowed their voice, but they are not allowed to use our platform for that voice.”
The next day, I was sent an email with a PDF attachment that read, “As part of the Examiner.com Examiner screening process, you have been randomly selected to complete a background check. Attached, please find the appropriate disclosure and authorization forms. Although it is your choice whether or not to complete these forms, please know that should you fail to complete the forms (or fail to pass the background check), your Examiner status review will be deemed incomplete, and you will no longer be eligible to participate as an Examiner for Examiner.com. If you do wish to remain an Examiner, you must complete the disclosure and authorization forms in their entirety, and return them to me within 7 days… Please take this request seriously… if you fail to return the forms within 7 days, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate your Examiner account immediately, without notice.”
I have a hard time believing I was “randomly selected” for a background check. Not coincidentally, this “random” suspension came just days after I had written an article about Ron Book and the ongoing homeless registrant issue in Miami. (You can find this article, “The sequel no one wanted: Bookville II, return of the Miami sex offender camp”, at http://once-fallen.blogspot.com/2012/04/sequel-no-one-wanted-bookville-ii.html, republished from Examiner.) It is possible that a representative from the Book family targeted me for this story. It may even have been possible the work of one of the various “online vigilante” groups targeting registered citizens on the internet. After all, one recent comment directed at me was, “In the unlikely event that you ever achieve anything remotely resembling any kind of significance, you can be sure that a relatively small number of phone calls and emails will be more than enough to completely ruin you and any delusional hopes you might have had of changing the current hell of your miserable existence [smiley face]. Ironically, individuals complaining about me collecting government assistance are also eager to state that if I try to get a job to benefit myself, “a relatively small number of phone calls and emails” will ruin that for me, so ultimately, why bother looking for a job?
No matter who decided to complain about me to Examiner, the bottom line is I’m no longer writing for Examiner.
It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people can be about the difficulties registered citizens face in seeking gainful employment. Even among others within the anti-registry movement, I have been given advice from people who seem to be ignorant of the difficulties of finding a job as a registered citizen. Registered citizens tend to be more highly educated than other people convicted of criminal offenses, yet many of us languish in stressful, low-paying dead-end jobs with little to no upward mobility, assuming jobs even exist.
My experience with Examiner was only one of many job difficulties I have faced since my release in 2003. I have been approached by some good paying jobs over the years, only to be denied because of my status alone. After years of rejection, I have reached a point of having no desire to find traditional employment. I have suffered my own share of anxiety and depression over the years. These days, “jobs” and “work” are four-letter words to me, both literally and figuratively.
The preliminary results from the job and welfare survey I have recently conducted confirm many of the difficulties we all face while carrying this mark of infamy. Some of us carrying this label have found a way to succeed and make decent wages, but not all of us are enterprising or entrepreneurial. Not all of us are good at creating and maintaining businesses with a profit motive. I just so happen to be one of the many people lacking the proficiency to create a successful business. I am grateful that I receive SSI and SNAP (food stamps), because these are the only two programs keeping me from experiencing another bout of homelessness. I will likely remain on these programs until the day I die, unless the general public changes their overall attitude about employing people forced to register as a “sex offender.”
I have a question that I seem not to be able to get a clear sense of what I can expect if my SO boyfriend moves into the home we purchased together last year. His offense occurred in PA but he has since transferred to CT in October at his mothers residence along the NY border. We had purchased a house prior to he being sent off to jail in PA for 3 mo.
Our home is in central CT. I am a director of a large school readies community based program and live within the community in which I work. Ion my role I work with community members, BOE, DCF, etc. my concern is how will this affect my employment? Will I lose my job? If I lose my job, we lose the house. My organization also houses a Sexual assault crisis center and works closely with ConnSACs. He has 4 years probation, attending SO classes, and has poly next week. I have taken the SO supervisor class.
What can I expect? CT has no notification to schools unless their 3. What has been your experience with this? Is the stigma going to be my downfall?