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California to Host National RSOL Conference

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The 5th Annual Reform Sex Offender Laws Conference, “Justice For All”, will be held in Los Angeles during Labor Day weekend. The conference will begin on Thursday, August 29, with an evening social gathering and continue through noon on Sunday, September 1. The conference will be held at the Westin Hotel near LAX airport.

“This is an excellent opportunity for registrants and family members of registrants to learn about the laws and policies that affect their daily lives,” stated Janice Bellucci. “California is honored to host this annual event which will feature distinguished experts from around the nation.”

Confirmed speakers include

  • Catherine Carpenter, criminal defense attorney and professor of law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles;
  • Doctor Suzonne Kline, former administrator of Florida’s Sexually Violent Predator Program; and
  • Doctor Clare Ann Ruth-Heffelbower, Founding Program Director of Support and Accountability at the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno Pacific University.

Carpenter’s primary focus of scholarship is on issues pertaining to sex offender registration laws and sex crimes. Her 2012 law review article, “The Evolution of Unconstitutionality in Sex Offender Registration Laws”, was recently cited in John Doe v. Department of Public Safety and Correctional studies.

Kline is currently in private practice specializing in forensic evaluation, risk assessment, sexual offenders and the provision of exper testimony regarding effective sexual offender management. In her capacity as Administrator of Florida’s SVP program, she was responsible for both screening and evaluation of individuals referred for civil commitment as well as oversight of the Florida Civil Commitment Center, the second larges SVP facility in the nation.

Ruth-Heffelbower is a former minister and has been involved in restorative justice work for more than 30 years. She helped to found the COSA program in 2007 with a start-up grant from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. She has provided leadership for organizations both in North America and Indonesia. Ruth-Heffelbower teaches or has taught graduate courses such as group dynamics, family ministries, spiritual formation and spiritual direction.

Registration for the conference will begin later this month. The cost to register is $100 per person although partial scholarships will be available. Additional information about the conference can be found on the website of Reform Sex Offender Laws.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Janice Bellucci says:

    The conference is a unique opportunity for California registrants, family members and supporters to learn from national experts. It won’t return to California for many years. I’ve attended the past two conferences in St. Louis, Missouri, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and learned a lot! It was also a great opportunity to network with people from other states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +17

  2. JM says:

    There were three of us from San Diego who attended last years conference in New Mexico. I didn’t know what to expect and was a little apprehensive. The speakers were excellent, educational, inspiring and lifted your spirits. To see that there are many people working and speaking out on our behalf is empowering. For me, one of the best things was actually meeting people who I had corresponded with for years.
    I sincerely hope many of you are able to attend this years event.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +12

  3. Mrs.F says:

    I wish my husband and I could attend! unfortunately as a condition of parole he cannot leave the county without permission. We will def put in a request though!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +11

    • http404 says:

      If a parole agent were to deny his request to attend a grassroots advocacy organization’s conference, it would seem to me they are denying his right to participate in the political process. He may not be able to vote yet, but it makes me wonder if that wouldn’t be crossing a legal line on the parole officer’s part.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +16

    • td777 says:

      Let me guess…Orange County?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

    • Tired of hiding says:

      Nope, sorry about that but you are not allowed to leave as condition of probation and you will not be allowed to attend since it is out of the county. The best option you have to have your spouse attend for you on your behalf.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +3

      • td777 says:

        I was allowed to leave the county at will while on parole. But that was partially because my case was in LA county, my family was in LA county, my last known residence was LA county, and the state in their infinite wisdom paroled me to Orange County.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

    • C says:

      Did you request permission to leave the county to attend? When I was on parole (LA County ’94-’97) I was never denied a request to travel. Good luck!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

      • td777 says:

        Most registrants on parole on Orange County are not allowed to leave the county, and rarely are requests approved.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

  4. Scoop213 says:

    Hey Everyone!

    For those of you who don’t know it, there is a National RSOL conference coming up in Los Angeles, California August 29 – September 1, 2013 (Labor Day Weekend). People need to start signing up and paying their fees to attend. This conference is expected to be the best attended yet! However, without your support, we cannot unite for the cause of Reform. Unity breeds Momentum. Momentum Brings CHANGE. You want it? Come get it!

    Come to the 2013 National RSOL Conference, Hosted by California RSOL. Make reservations today! Sign up for the Early Bird Discount. And don’t forget to get your Gala Banquet Ticket.

    If you need more information, go to: nationalrsol.org

    Excellent Speakers! Informative Sessions! Gala Banquet and Entertainment! all in Los Angeles…the Entertainment Capital of The World.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +7

  5. Jeff says:

    I am the videographer who has recorded the last two years of national conferences. I will be doing that again this year in LA. I am also organizing audio visual support. We are in need of knowledgeable computer volunteers to help the speakers and presenters display their power point presentations on LCD projectors. I am hoping that with so many registrants located in the LA area we may be able to find one person who can head a ground crew for this purpose. I will be focused on video and will not be able to assist with this task. As I understand it, serving as a volunteer will enable you to have your conference registration fees reduced or eliminated. Vicki Henry will correct me if I am wrong. We need volunteers for four days starting Thursday morning and wrapping up on Sunday. We are also in need of folks with vans or trucks to transport screens and projectors to the conference site. Experience with sound and video would be an added plus. Are any of you in the Los Angeles area able to help?
    Get in touch with me. skyhook909@yahoo.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +5

  6. Kathy G. says:

    I want to encourage EVERYONE who is able to COME TO THIS CONFERENCE. Don’t pass up this amazing opportunity because your spouse cannot attend! I went last year without my spouse and I am still so grateful that I did. I learned more in the three days I was in New Mexico than you can ever imagine. And I found hope. I found out that there are professional people who know these Draconian laws are wrong, and are willing to say so! I got over feeling isolated and alone because, “We are all in this together!” There were many there, like me, who were willing to do whatever it takes to correct these evil wrongs. I will be going without my spouse again this year, and I’m very sad about that, but I will be doing one of the best things I can to help him, me, and all of us!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +7

  7. Susan Lytle says:

    I would like to say, having studied this subject for almost ten years, that unfortunately, these types of crimes have become a huge American commodity, fueled by hatred, and the media. Pay attention to the sensational language used by media talking heads, from local news agencies to the twenty-four hour cable news channels, when they present a story of this type. Never having been terribly paranoid, or given to conspiracy theories, I’ve come to the conclusion that the blurring of these types of crimes,and the lumping together of the level of danger posed, along with inaccuracies concerning causes, treatment,and recidivism,is no accident. They have been media promoted. These stories have become the bread and butter of networks, and unfortunately, because of their vested interest in perpetuating the lies, we cannot rely on the vehicle of the conventional media to impart the needed public re-education concerning the true science behind the crimes, recidivism, and the correct definition of terms, and how to apply them. We need a new generation to rise up, and to correct the misconceptions with true fact. Energy and effort, in that regard, should begin with our institutions of higher learning, as well as secondary schools. We need lots of grant sponsored advertising, for example, from outlets like NPR. Finally, we need to continue to educate our Congress people, and to oppose, through our votes, those who would continue to promote apostrophe, emotional, and hate based laws.

    I applaud the efforts of Janice Bellucci and others, who are conquering the oppression, in the community setting, by winning back rights, one case at a time. The DOJ, and the Sentencing Commission, recognize the travesty of sentencing guidelines for these crimes, on the federal level. A report, from earlier this year, from both agencies, has been submitted to Congress. There is momentum on every front, for the first time. Let’s keep it going!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +7

    • Staying Positive says:

      Hello Susan, are these reports from the DOJ or Sentencing Commission available online? If so, where?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

  8. Kevin says:

    Just signed up for the LA conference. Don’t be afraid to show your face. Be brave and make a difference. No one ever made change happen by being in the closet.

    Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight.

    ~ Harvey Milk

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

  9. Janice Bellucci says:

    The national RSOL conference is shaping up to be a very memorable event! We’ve got great speakers, we’ve got fantastic workshops and there will be many opportunities to meet new people who are facing the same or similar challenges. This is a UNIQUE opportunity for California registrants, family members and supporters because the conference is in our own backyards. And it’s easy to register at http://www.nationalrsol.org. See you there!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

  10. Sazy says:

    I am sorry for the tardiness of my reply to “Staying Positive.” The Federal Sentencing Commission submitted in February of this year (2013) a report to Congress, specifically with regard to CP offenders, and the need for there to be, in light of ever changing technology, reform with respect to the harshness of federal CP sentences. Most offenders are punished too harshly, and some not enough, due to the way the Feds calculate time, based on computer use, numbers of files and so forth, with respect to CP crimes. (The letter can be found on-line). Most CP possessors have the book thrown at them, since it is believed that they are prime contributors to the “market,” for such material, and it is believed, based on some less than empirical information, that these are people who have already committed hands on acts, or that they will do so, in the future. Most producers cannot be found, so the possessors, or so-called traffickers are punished as substitutes.

    Then, in March, (2013), in a letter to Congress, the DOJ also backed the recommendations of the Sentencing Commission. There is a groundswell of support among Federal judges, defense attorneys, and even U.S. attorneys ( fed. prosecutors) for changes, including the Draconian mandatory minimums, with lengthy sentences, and the way sentences are calculated. Several fed attorneys are actively involved in correcting misconceptions with newer, vetted, empirical studies, and they have had a large part in this. The Butner Study, an unethical research effort of BOP sex offenders, who were coerced in prison, to report misleading facts, has been shown to be flawed, even by the researcher, himself. Yet, this is the study that has been the basis of “facts,” about sex offenders which are still being promoted by law enforcement, from local jurisdictions, and even in the FBI. Fortunately, there are those willing to present vetted empirical research to discredit the studies upon which law enforcement and Congress have relied, as a basis by which to develop prison time for sex offenders, and specifically CP offenders. ( This is great news, since it is becoming easier for vigilantes to take action against CP offenders by planting illegal files on computers of those with previous convictions, using a variety of methods, in order to re-incarcerate, and remove them from society).

    A very valuable document with regard to the vetted empirical research, which is trustworthy, in terms of facts, is a document by Troy Stabenow, a federal public defender entitled, “Deconstructing the Myth of Careful Study: A Primer on the Flawed Progression of the CP Guidelines,” which can be found on-line. Helpful blogs, and reports, are daily being shared on the “Sentencing Law and Policy,”website and also on a very supportive website for folks here-Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM).

    Maybe if we all pool our efforts, even if you aren’t personally effected, by one issue or another,(state or federal) it will come together, in some fashion to turn things around! WE have a lot of reason to hope for dismantling the stigmas, and regaining rights, and true justice, for SOs and families-Stay Positive!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

  11. Norman Pattis says:

    I am a criminal defense lawyer who represents folks accused of sex offenses. I’ve attended two of these seminars. They are fantastic. I encourage anyone considering whether to go to make the effort.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

  12. Dr. Kline says:

    I would be happy to contact Mrs. F’s husband’s po officer if it would help.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

  13. Michael F. says:

    I just signed up for the conference, too. Look forward to seeing you all there.

    Janice, thank you for your generous and courageous help and support. The world for all of us would be a much darker place without you tireless efforts. I will continue to support the cause and donate to CA RSOL and RSOL when able to do so.

    Thank you, again and again…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

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