Overview of PARSOL’s Legialative Efforts

The Legislative Committee of PARSOL is based in Harrisburg. It is dedicated to forming relationships with our elected officials and tracking bills that affect sexual offense policy.

Sexual offense policy includes

  • Proactive measures such as education and identifying effective interventions aimed at preventing abuse.
  • Criminal Justice Reform (CJR) efforts that might impact conditions of parole/probation, access to programming and rehabilitation while in confinement, sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimums, clean slate, etc.
  • Reactive measure that affect people with sexual offenses (for instance, implementing residency restrictions or adding new crimes to the list of convictions that require public registration).

 

Our aim in the Legislative Committee is to bring available research to the awareness of all stakeholders, but especially our State Representatives and State Senators. When proposed legislation is in line with empirical research, we support it. When experts in mental health and criminal justice publish findings that contradict proposed laws, we argue against them.

The Legislative Committee works closely with the Education and Legal Committees to maintain a singular voice: rational sexual offense policy that promotes a Pennsylvania Safe and Just for All.

The Legislative Committee has been working to facilitate communication about more effective sexual offense policy among members of the Judiciary Committee and Party Leadership. Decisions from the Supreme Court of PA regarding the constitutionality of our states Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), also know as Megan’s Law, are expected in April 2020.

Much depends on how the Court rules, and this decision will guide our next steps moving forward. Anticipating that at least some parts of the public registry will be deemed unconstitutional, PARSOL is meeting with leadership of both parties in the PA House and Senate to start a dialogue around the usefulness of our SORNA as it stands.

The Committee is currently reviewing bills that are relevant to sexual offense policy and will post updates about them on this page.

As of 4-26-2020, there are no plans for in-person meetings at the State House due to the global pandemic.

Finally, the Legislative Committee is seeking volunteers to assist in letter-writing, research / bill tracking, and lobbying at the Capitol. If you have skills or interest and want to get involved, please reach out to us via the contact info at the bottom of this webpage.

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2 Thoughts to “Overview of PARSOL’s Legialative Efforts”

  1. Jeff Russell

    Hello:
    I have been trying to find a contact email address but was unable.
    Please ask the Parsol Leadership to review this.
    Thank you.
    Hello:
    Recently I attended the Safe and Just Michigan You Tube conference (here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQUJR9X-kvM&lc=Ugx0cLYEQhkLzN9yop14AaABAg.99FWLQX0tGs99NJTJsXUVj&feature=em-comments )

    I wrote a suggestion in the comments section calling on all Floridians to read a brief (10-15 second long) statement to the registering officer every time, immediately prior to registration.

    I was asked by Judith Levine (a national advocate who was on the panel) to please present this idea for consideration.

    I feel that this must be a national mandate. For, if we are silent, then we give our tacit consent.

    I present this conversation to you, our leaders in this epic constitutional fight, for your consideration and contemplation.

    Here is the text of the statement, which I am recommending:
    ” Before we begin, it is my duty to read the following short statement:
    I fully intend to comply with Florida (or whatever state) law and to provide you with all of the information that you demand during this interrogation.
    However, I am both a Florida and US citizen who currently is under no criminal sanction whatsoever.
    As a representative of the government, you have no right to any of my personal information.
    You are about to violate several of my rights under the United States constitution. And I object .”

    One more thing that I would ask you to consider. Although it may seem to be no more than a ritual to speak the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag, there is a good reason for it!

    And, maybe there is a good reason for us to adopt a “pledge of liberty”, as it were. We should tell them that they are violating our rights and that it will not be forgotten.

    1. Randall

      Thanks for your advocacy and for paying attention, Jeff.

      How has this gone in your practice?

      In PA, the hope is that very few of us will have to publicly register following the state Supreme Court Decision.

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