Councilor: City cable station should broadcast names, addresses and photos of local sex offenders

At-large Councilor Michael Flaherty says Boston Police should start posting the information on Boston's 630 Level 2 and 3 sex offenders on the city cable station for residents who might not know they can look people up on a state Web site.

Flaherty will ask the council tomorrow to approve calling a hearing to ask police why they shouldn't be required to resume the sex-offender broadcasts they stopped in 2008. His request also says police should broadcast the names and photos not just of resident sex offenders but of sex offenders who work in Boston.

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They did

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about 10 years ago, they had some awesome background music too.

well...

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I think it was Comcast local origination channel that was posting the images up, since the channel is now gone, the image posting was discontinued.

Isn't there a simpler solution rather then having the power of the City Council to do something.

Yes, it'd be so useful!

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What's the point of this? To continue to castigate the people on the list?

It turns out that by continuing to keep them in a virtual prison by isolating them from society, you basically lower the threshold of their intent to not recommit a crime. The offender starts to wonder what the point of being good is if they are continually treated like a criminal regardless if they start to fly straight.

http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/201...

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Rehabilitation least likely for sex offenders

if they start to fly straight

Sex offenders have a higher likelihood of re-offending than other types of criminals and the crimes themselves are so much more damaging to victims than something like theft. Hence, that's why identities are made more public for sex offenders than other criminals. Back in the day when neighbors knew each other's business and kept tabs on each other without web sites and cable notifications.

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And.

So?

The basic foundational documents of our democracy were crafted in order to prevent justice from becoming entirely about revenge and retribution.

I think maybe we should honor that original intent.

Also, it would be really nice if Flaherty would supply studies showing that this approach has any merit in terms of public safety, rather than satisfaction of his latest narcissistic grandstanding fetish.

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Agreed

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I doubt there's A N Y data to support that this works. Hell the local sex offender registry kinda doesn't work either (you can only see L3 on the web, L1 and L2 you have to go to the PD)

Honestly outside of the Mrs Kravitz types of folks (and over protective Soccer Moms), why would you want this on your TV? If you want this information, you should go work for it. I also feel that making it TOO easy will just start a bunch of un-needed vigilante justice done on these folks.

I'm not sticking up for baby rapers or something like that but sheesh, plastering someone's picture on TV isn't going to stop them from re-offending, nor does it make you any safer. It just causes more issues than its worth doing.

What ever happened to.. "you served your time (in jail) now its time to move on". How can people move on when every 15 minutes their face is plastered on TV?

Just saying.

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I almost leased an apartment

I almost leased an apartment next door to a sex offender. I casually looked it up on my own one day and was shocked. Backed out of that real quick and gave the real estate agent an earfull. God help if a young girl student ever took my place there.

This information should always be more public whenever possible and it's nothing different than how it is already, the medium is just different. Now if you want to talk about the registry and people labeled as sex offenders for life because their a 17 year old girlfriend's dad made a case, then by all means (somewhere else) but higher levels are dangerous people that need to be known about.

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Exactly

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This is information that I rather seek out. Why put it on TV? So we can be paranoid and feel superior?

And look at the conviction dates. I recently discovered a neighbor on the registry. He was convicted in 1988. Do we need to shame him for a crime he committed nearly 30 years ago? I feel like he paid his debt to society, who am I to judge?

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Really?

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How would you feel if one of those friendly, nice, fully rehabilitated and reformed fellas decided to move in next door to you?

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I wouldn't particularly worry

I live in a crowded city neighborhood. I don't doubt that there are sex offenders -- both of the convicted variety and of the never-been-caught variety -- on my block.

I think it's more important to teach your kids how to live peacefully and comfortably and safely in a world that has people in it who are prone to do bad things, than it either to teach paranoia about strangers or to try to create a sanitized, free-from-bad--people bubble around your house / block / neighborhood.

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Thanks Bob

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We agree on something! :)

I agree.. adding to the paranoia does not help at all.

Some times I wonder if we're eventually going to be like that.. living in this 'safety bubbles' in fear of getting hurt.

Narcissistic grandstanding fetish?

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So if someone like Charles Jaynes or Nathaniel Bar-Jonah moves to your neighborhood, it really isn't appropriate that people be warned, because that would violate the pervert's civil rights? What planet are you from, doctor?

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Due Process

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Due process, look it up, bud. We're a country with law and process, let's try to stick to that and not get all vigilante about it.

You've served your time, it's time to move on. Everyone has that right to that. And not to be pestered about it either. And chastising people about it even more after they get out isn't going to protect anyone and in return may cause more problems because of exactly what your post says.. paranoia. All that will happen is to add to the paranoia people have.

Sure I think people need to be warned, but I don't believe it should be broadcast on TV like its some town crier. The justice system did its job, let the people live in peace. Look I don't like it as much as you do, and I wouldn't want my 19yo niece living next to a rapist, but you know, it's the city, lots of people live here. Many you like, and many you don't like. You take the good with the bad.

Want to feel safer? Buy a gun and a dead bolt. No TV channel telling you where the sex offenders live is going to do that.

Do you have a single

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Do you have a single statistic to back up your alleged facts? Sex offenders in fact have lower recidivist rates than other offenders. And their offenses can range from the most heinous crimes to the 17 yr old who has sex with his 15 yr old classmate. And there is no evidence at all that these registries do anything increase safety. Look it up, the studies are easy to find.

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Really? So these things work?

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Actually, their use (if you'd read the link I provided) seems to be more as a deterrent by keeping first-time offenders from ever offending because of the scare of living in the hell of never being able to remove the scarlet SO from their chests.

Your post basically says "nuh uh". If you're worried about recidivism then the whole point of my post and the linked research is that you WORSEN recidivism by constantly keeping offenders in a pseudo-prison living situation by never letting the stain of what they did behind. If you're worried they'll strike again, then treating them like they'll strike again just makes it so they're more likely to strike again because hell, you're ALREADY treating them like they did...but with none of the "reward" of having actually done so!

I've noticed 80% of the

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I've noticed 80% of the registered address for each name is either the Pine Street Inn or the Shattuck. They could be anywhere.

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So true

Three blocks from me a woman was savagely raped recently. The alleged rapist had multiple previous rape convictions and was released from Bridgewater just a year ago after a jury decided he was not proven to be still a sexually dangerous person. His level 3 registry listed his address as a Boston shelter, but was actually living with his sister in Arlington low income housing. He is accused of raping one of her neighbors.

So, three lessons: 1. Rapists can strike in their own neighborhoods. 2. The sex offender registry is not nearly as effective when so many addresses are incorrect. 3. Level 3 sex offenders do re-offend.

Mass. State Supreme Court Level Two decision

This the the second to last footnote in the State Supreme Court's ruling that level twos could not be placed on the web retroactive. I guess the fact there are so many guns on the street is of little concern to Councilor Flaherty:

FN11. While we recognize that the Legislature enacted these amendments in the belief that Internet access to the registry information of level two offenders would reduce the number of new sex crimes committed by these offenders by enabling individuals to identify them as sex offenders and take cautionary steps to protect themselves and those under their care, there is no evidence in the record to indicate that any sex crime has been prevented, or that the incidence of sex crimes or sex offender recidivism has decreased, by such publication, even though Internet publication of the registry information of level three offenders has been required in Massachusetts since 2003, and approximately forty-two States have posted sex offender information on some form of State-sponsored Web site since 2004. See Coe v. Sex Offender Registry Bd., 442 Mass. 250, 260 n. 10 (2004).

If you are looking for further information about sex offenders go to the U.S. Justice Department's Center for Sex Offender Management: http://www.csom.org/

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We should do all this for gun

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We should do all this for gun offenders. The same way a previous commenter said that they backed out of an apartment when it became known a neighbor was a registered sex offender, I'm sure many would do the same if they knew a neighbor had owned/used an illegal firearm.

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Possible snag

The identities and addresses of registered gun owners is protected information, exempt from public disclosure. On one hand, robbers looking for guns might target those locations. On the other hand robbers not wanting to get shot might avoid them.

So, disclosing the potential location of weapons via previous convictions puts the same info out in public.

Why buy into this?

Okay I'll bite. Why buy into this pandering on the part of ex-mayoral candidate Mike Flaherty?

Obviously, he could have asked the cable station to start running the names again but he chose to make a dramatic statement about it because ... well, because?

We're all smarter than that. I lived in the South End for 8 years most recently and I knew how to find out the names of the offenders - it's public knowledge. Most of the addresses are from the South End - Pine Street Inn and Boston Medical Center. It's no secret.

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A horrible idea

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The only purpose of this is to make Michael Flaherty look good to...well not to reasonable people who know that the sex offender registry is a political tool that does a lot more harm than good.