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Re-Entry Policy Council Sex Offender Housing Project December 31, 2006

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With funding support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, CSG is currently developing a 30-50 page policy guide for state and local government officials seeking housing options for people convicted of committing a sex offense who have been released into the community. The focus of the guide will be to identify stable living arrangements for sex offenders given the range of residence restrictions against these individuals. It will not attempt to help policymakers formulate new legislation that establishes exclusion zones and other residence restrictions.

The guide will include several short program descriptions. In order to write these descriptions, we are looking not only for programs that target people convicted of committing a sex offense, but also for examples of broader programs / initiatives that have successfully housed these individuals in the past.

If you know of jurisdictions or programs / initiatives in the field that are tackling the issue of housing for people convicted of committing a sex offense, or have suggestions for people we should contact to learn more about such programs, please contact Jordie Hannum at (646) 383-5718.


Your Chance to Talk with Oregon Legislators December 28, 2006

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The Partnership for Safety and Justice is inviting anyone who wants to participate in this Community Conversation with our legislators on the 18th of January 2007 at 6 pm to 8pm at 555 Court ST NE Salem , OR 97301 ( go in front entrance, hearing is on the left) Please tell everybody who you come in contact with to come . Thank you
RSVP –by January 10th
Patty Katz 503 335- 8449

Constitutional Violation Ruling Raises More Questions About Reliability of Norfolk 4 Convictions December 27, 2006

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A Norfolk, Va. Circuit Court Judge last month overturned the conviction of a former Navy man, one of the Norfolk 4, who was sentenced to life for a crime he did not commit. Following is a statement from attorneys (Hogan & Hartson, Holland & Knight and Skadden Arps) who represent the Norfolk 4. For additional background on this case of innocence, please visit www.norfolk4.com.

“We are extremely pleased with the ruling from Judge Everett A. Martin which overturned the conviction of Derek Tice, one of three former Navy men who were sentenced to life in prison for a crime they did not commit. Rarely does a court in Virginia overturn a murder conviction, but did so today because of egregious constitutional violations. At the center of the court’s reasoning was its conclusion that the police violated the well-established rule that once a suspect has invoked his right to remain silent, the police must stop questioning. For each of the Navy men, that overly aggressive police questioning led to unreliable confessions insufficient to hold any of these innocent sailors in prison.

Three innocent men remain in prison despite overwhelming evidence of their innocence and it is time for Governor Tim Kaine to right this wrong by granting clemency to the Norfolk 4.

Today’s ruling underscores that the Navy men’s unreliable confessions were not sufficient evidence against them to hold them in prison for life. ‘There was no fingerprint, DNA, or other scientific evidence against [Tice], no independent eyewitnesses implicated him; no physical evidence implicated him,’ the judge explained. The judge concluded it was likely the jury would have acquitted Tice had the confession not been part of the trial evidence.

As we have stated, the police failed to honor clearly established rules of law during the interrogation process. Detective R. Glen Ford, who led the interrogation, had a history of obtaining false confessions from other innocent men in Virginia. Detective Ford used forceful, intimidating tactics and threatened the Norfolk 4 with the death penalty until they falsely confessed.

An objective, comprehensive review by leading experts in forensic pathology, crime scene reconstruction, and false confessions has left no doubt that Derek Tice, Joseph Dick, Danial Williams and Eric Wilson are innocent and we call on Governor Kaine to correct this egregious injustice.”


Charting the Safe and Successful Return of Prisoners to the Community

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There is an informative website that shares information regarding the increasing number of people leaving prisons to return to the communities they left behind.

In 2001, the Council of State Governments established the Re-Entry Policy Council to assist state government officials with this issue. To find more information, go to http://www.reentrypolicy.org