June 21st FEARLESS Meeting Minutes

Paul Goss and Jerry Eitniear from the Department of Corrections were the speakers at our Fearless meeting, they both work in the Sex Offender Coordination Unit and help inmates for their pre-release from prison.  In their presentation, they discussed how they determine levels before an inmate is finished with their sentence,  starting  work on their release a year before the inmate is due to leave prison.  They use the same evaluation tool that we have on our website to calculate their levels, but after the inmate is released, it is up to them to go to their local police should they have a question about their level.  Several factors, such as a job or housing, can change the assessment and potentially lower the level after they are out of prison.  Some of the questions asked are as follows:
  –  The current assessment screening tool was developed in 2002…are there plans in the offing for a State-level  review for pertinence of this sixteen year-old document?  The original tools was developed by DOC with the aid of clinical psychiatrists.  They have periodic discussions about change but there are no active plans.   They had the tool “re-validated” against  clinical data a few years ago.
     –  What State-level training or “doctrine” is available for those persons not part of the DOC that are responsible for using the screening profile tool to assign RSO levels?  There is no official State-level training for non-DOC personnel; however, DOC does provide training for non-DOC police groups that has been well received (this is done on a limited basis since there are only 5 or so people in this DOC group).
     –  What appeal options regarding level assessment are available to RSO’s? There is no “official” appeal process. However, parts of the assessment are “dynamic” i.e.. circumstances change, and DOC suggests that registered citizens see the appropriate police agency to give them updates and see if their classification can be changed.  They also said that the DOC assessment which is done while a person is incarcerated is supposed to be good for 45 days and is to be replaced by the local assessment.
     –  Can a RSO petition for removal from the sex offender registry? Only if the registered citizen meets criteria as specified in Arizona statutes (covers a very limited situation).
     –  Do level determinations receive a quality control review prior to finalization? DOC level determinations are reviewed before they become final.  There is no requirement for the assessments done by local police organizations to be reviewed, DOC feels that they should be reviewed as a “best practice” but they know that that does not happen in all (maybe most) cases.
 

They also discussed how housing is one of the biggest issues they face with people on the registry; they do their best to help, but it is challenging.  For more information on the web-based registry see AZ statute 13-3827.

Pat gave an update on the success of the 10th Annual NARSOL conference.  For a detailed summary of the conference please go to go to the NARSOL website (for example https://conference.narsol.org/workshops-2018/ ).  Again we would like to encourage to be a NARSOL member.  The next conference will be held in Houston on June 69, 2019.
We are working on an AZRSOL education power point.  Please contact Carol Anne at az.rsol.education@gmail.com if you would like us to present to any organization/church group, etc. you affiliate with.  It will include the excellent 7 minute video by David Feige, lawyer and film maker.  The video can be viewed by clicking on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCkFg7o733k..
We are looking for volunteers, your suggestions for speakers, and any other comments/advice you would like to share with us.   If you would like to help the cause, please let us know.
Posted in FEARLESS, Police Enforcement
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2 comments on “June 21st FEARLESS Meeting Minutes
  1. Tambra says:

    When my husband was released from prison, we were not given help to find housing. There was an outdated list of possibilities. I did the phone calls and foot work to find places.
    Also the assessment screening tool has questions that are not pertaining to sexual offenses. There are questions about past behavior and no matter how long ago they occurred, they are not removed. The local police did the screening and used their numbers, not DOC.
    It would be helpful to get an updated list of companies who will hire sex offenders. Jobs are hard to find that just makes life outside more difficult.

  2. Stephen71 says:

    Tambra, thanks for your comment. We agree that inmates are woefully unprepared for their release. We are working on a resource list which should be available here soon. In the meantime, we hope to see you at the Fearless Meetings.

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