Thursday, February 16, 2006

Watch CBS News (channel 13) in Baltimore Tonight

From: The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter.
February 16, 2006

Vicki Polin, Executive Director - The Awareness Center, Inc.:
I was just interviewed by CBS news (channel 13) in Baltimore. I was asked to comment on a bill that became law yesterday (see below). In Maryland individuals will now be notified if a sex offender moves in or out of a community.

I am not sure if they will use what I said or not.

I suggested that not only the state notify community members, but also educate them on how to protect their children, and also how we can help the convicted sex offender not offend again. Some suggestions included making sure they are in counseling (with therapists trained specifically in working with sex offenders), and also making sure offenders attend all scheduled sessions.

When an offender is Jewish, we need to ensure they have a buddy when they are out in the community. An offender should never be allowed to walk around a synagogue unescorted, especially in hallways or the bathroom. The answer is not to shun them, but to encourage them to find alternative ways of dealing with their issues. Think about how you help a drug addict or alcoholic stay sober. The issues are different, yet similar.

I also mentioned that the majority of sex offenders have never been reporter or arrested. Needless to say they have never been convicted and are not on the sex offenders registry.

Remember it takes a community to help a sex offender from committing another sex crime. Violence is NEVER the answer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Henry P. Fawell
(410) 974.2316
MD Dept. of Public Safety
and Correctional Services
Jacqueline Lampell
(410) 339.5007

Board of Public Works Approves Sex Offender Notification Enhancement
System will provide direct notification to citizens when Sex Offender changes status;
Appriss, Inc., innovator of victim notification systems, wins award
The Maryland Board of Public Works today approved a $160,000 contract with Appriss, Inc., which will provide a community sex offender notification enhancement to the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, a unit of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The Board is comprised of Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer.

This enhancement is part of Sex Offender Compliance and Enforcement in Maryland (SOCEM). The Community Sex Offender Notification Enhancement allows any citizen or organization (such as a school or day care center) in Maryland to register for immediate notification when a sex offender moves into the zip code(s) for which they are registered. They can register (in English or Spanish) using a toll-free phone number or via the SOCEM web site and can be notified by phone or by e-mail. There is no limit to the number of people who can register or the number of zip codes for which they can register. Citizens also may register to be notified when specific types of sex offender(s) have any change in address or compliance status.

"Now, anyone can easily find out where sex offenders are located in their communities, and when they change addresses," said Governor Ehrlich. "It's as simple as signing up either online or by making a telephone call to register."

There is an additional feature that will assist local law enforcement officials who have primary responsibility for registration compliance. They can register and monitor the movement of offenders within their jurisdiction or throughout the state. These officials can be notified if any of these offenders are processed through any detention center monitored by VINE (Victim Information Notification Everyday), which includes all the Maryland detention centers and the majority of detention centers in 40 other states. VINE also is provided by Appriss.

"I am pleased that we are able to implement a notification system that will enhance our comprehensive sexual offender initiative for communities and law enforcement officials," said Governor Ehrlich.

Since 1994, Appriss has provided innovative technology solutions that help hundreds of local, state, and Federal government agencies to serve and protect their citizens. Through products like VINE, Appriss is noted for improving the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of government agencies across the country.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you go girl!

February 16, 2006 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be out tonight, do you know if they will put something up on their web page?

February 16, 2006 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Vicki for doing this. You are a light for so many survivors.

February 16, 2006 1:41 PM  

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