Friday, May 1, 2015

an introduction to lifetime supervision

In the federal system, a term of supervised release is usually tacked on to one's sentence. My husband will have five years of supervised release when he comes home.

Listen to the frustration of a man who was recently released from prison and has to endure lifetime supervision:
You say I can’t own a PlayStation 4, or enter an arcade.
I also can’t go to a movie theater, or rent an R-rated movie.
Or write to all of the friends I’ve made over the past five years because they’re convicted felons. ...
I can’t enter a public park.
Or go to a library and read (since so many other things are off-limits).
And then you say that I can’t even have a Kindle because it has Internet access. 
And can I afford to buy books? No! This is because you say that I can’t return to my career. I’d need a computer to do my job, and we can’t have that, now can we? 
So I’ll get a job at McDonald’s, I tell you. And then you say I can’t do that because minors work there. ... 
You say here’s what I need to do:
Surrender all my financial records — my assets, my bank accounts, and my credit card information for your continuous review. 
You tell me to enter SO treatment weekly for at least five years. Plethysmograph testing twice a year. And polygraph testing quarterly since I’m obviously a liar.
Oh, and you say I need to pay for it all with the job I don’t have.
There's more and it is no easier to read than what I have quoted here.

In a comment following his post, he says:
I’m in society, but I can’t do anything. In some ways I actually have MORE freedom in prison. In prison I have access to email. In prison I have access to both the institutional library, and a local library that loans books to prisoners. I have to BUY all my reading material on the street. In prison I’m never polygraphed. I’m never harassed by a probation officer that looks at me like a problem to be solved rather than a human being. In prison I am free to associate with persons similar to my criminal background. Mind you, it’s not because I looking for a partner to hatch some nefarious scheme; I just want to talk with someone who can empathize with my pain.
Being outside is better than in? That’s a notion I continue to struggle with. I thought I’d be happy to finally emerge from prison after five years. Instead what I’ve found is that I’m now in the fire rather than the frying pan.
This is no way to encourage sex offenders to live a law-abiding life!

And yet...and yet:
Even with all the barriers to society they must cross,
even with the severe criticism they face,
even though family members and friends have abandoned them,
even with difficulties finding employment and housing,
even suffering public humiliation...

Registered sex offenders still have an extremely low rate of re-offense, just as they did before there were public registries.

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