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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Sandy Rozek

Warning: Integrity of judicial process at risk

by Sandy Rozek, NARSOL

Testimony from individuals at a sentencing hearing has one primary purpose: to give the court additional information on which to base a sentencing decision.

Victim impact statements focus on the harm done, while statements on behalf of the convicted are intended to paint as thorough a picture as possible of the person, with an appeal to mitigating circumstances.

A sentencing hearing recognizes that an individual is more than the crime for which he or she has been convicted, more than the harm that he or she has inflicted on another or on society. People are encouraged to give testimony that better gives the court a feel for the totality of the person about to be sentenced.

Kristie Torbick, through a plea agreement, was convicted in early July 2018 for the sexual assault of a student, one whom Ms. Torbick in her position as a guidance counselor at Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire, was counseling. 

At her plea-and-sentencing hearing, colleagues and friends did what colleagues and friends do at sentencing hearings: Some had written letters; others spoke on her behalf. They were not supporting her choice to commit a crime. They were not supporting ...

American hero or manipulative monster?

by Sandy Rozek

This is the insidiousness of being on the sex offender registry: No matter what you have done before, no matter how noble or brave or selfless, everything done after is seen through the prism of that label. Sex offender. Monster. Destroyer of children.

Who, really, is Michael Cain?

In 2003, at age 22, he was serving in the United States Army stationed in Iraq, where he was maimed by a land mine while on a volunteer mission delivering water and food to an encampment of fellow soldiers. He lost both legs. He came within a razor-thin edge of losing his life.

His surgeries (for his amputations and then 12 more to remove blast debris from deep within his muscles), treatment, and therapy were agonizing and tortuous. When visited by President George W. Bush and asked what he wanted the president to know, Mike told him that the men back in Iraq didn’t have enough water.

The bouts of physical pain and the more debilitating mental and emotional depression and despair almost brought him down. Once it was clear he would live, he wanted to go back to Iraq to fulfill his responsibility there. He keeps photographs of ...

Coast to Coast, Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Waste Money, Create Havoc

by Sandy Rozek

If every shred of evidence showed that traffic lights, while costing large amounts of resources to install, did nothing to decrease auto accidents and actually created a host of undesirable consequences, would cities still install them at every major intersection?

This is exactly what happens with the creation of what are euphemistically called “child safety zones.”

The emergence of sex-offender registration and notification laws in the mid-1990s created awareness of convicted sexual offenders living throughout communities and neighborhoods. This led to the notion that restricting these individuals from living (and often from just being) within close proximity to areas where children congregate would help prevent the sexual victimization of children. Today, 35 states have statewide residency restrictions, and many of the others allow individual jurisdictions to establish them.

This ignores the most basic fact about child molestation, a fact that has long been known but largely ignored: Children are not sexually abused by strangers lurking in parks and school playgrounds. Virtually all molestation of children is committed by those in the children’s lives in trusted positions, the majority in private residences.

The clamor for residency restrictions

Every month, new communities demand the creation of these “protected” ...

The Sex Offender Registry: It’s Not What You Think

by Sandy Rozek 

“Texas sex offender added to 10 most wanted sex offenders list.” “Virginia man arrested for sex crimes after third victim comes forward.” “Arizona sex offender sentenced to 100 years for child porn.” 

These are the sorts of headlines that inundate the news and media outlets regarding those in the criminal justice system because of sex crime charges. The cumulative result is to leave the public with the impression that everyone who is labeled a sex offender has done some horrible things and deserves not only lengthy sentencing and harsh punishment but also inclusion on a public sex offender registry for as long as possible. 

However, the headlines that would show how untrue this is are seldom if ever seen. 

On March 12, the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned a sex offender parole violation for a man who has been imprisoned for more than three years. Forbidden any internet usage by terms of his parole, Bobby Ross was revoked and imprisoned when the parole board learned that his girlfriend with whom he lived owned a computer with internet access. In spite of the fact that he did not know the password for the ...

The sex offender registry: It’s not what you think

By Sandy Rozek 

“Texas sex offender added to 10 most wanted sex offenders list.” “Virginia man arrested for sex crimes after third victim comes forward.” “Arizona sex offender sentenced to 100 years for child porn.” 

These are the sorts of headlines that inundate the news and media outlets regarding those in the criminal justice system because of sex crime charges. The cumulative result is to leave the public with the impression that everyone who is labeled a sex offender has done some horrible things and deserves not only lengthy sentencing and harsh punishment but also inclusion on a public sex offender registry for as long as possible. 

However, the headlines that would show how untrue this is are seldom if ever seen. 

On March 12, the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned a sex offender parole violation for a man who has been imprisoned for more than three years. Forbidden any internet usage by terms of his parole, Bobby Ross was revoked and imprisoned when the parole board learned that his girlfriend with whom he lived owned a computer with internet access. In spite of the fact that he did not know the password for the ...




 

Federal Prison Handbook

 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual

 

Federal Prison Handbook