FAQ List

 

1. Why is SORETRA necessary, and will it replace the Sex Offender Registry?



2. Will judges sentence offenders to the SORETRA Zone rather than to prison? Iím afraid that many offenders who should go to prison will instead be sent to the SORETRA Zone instead.



3. How long will offenders have to stay in the SORETRA Zone?



4. Will offenders be able to leave the SORETRA Zone to work?



5. How will SORETRA ensure that my kids don’t get contacted by the offenders from the Internet or other communication process?



6. Can offenders leave the SORETRA zone for vacation or travel?



7. Will sex offenders ever be able to leave the SORETRA zone permanently and live in our communities, near our schools and children?



 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Why is SORETRA necessary, and will it replace the Sex Offender Registry?

SORETRA was borne out of the realization that most people are protective of their children, and that the Sex Offender Registry was not doing enough to alleviate their concern. While unquestionably providing a service to parents and communities of offenders in the midst, the unintended consequences included vigilante action that threatened the lives not just of sex offenders but of their families and innocent bystanders, heightened fear in the neighborhoods with the exposure of sex offendersí addresses, and affect real estate prices by the presence of sex offenders.

These situations resulted in states and communities unilaterally creating an ďarms raceĒ of laws that progressively banned sex offenders from residing in their communities, creating pockets of offenders in areas that essentially shifted the burden from one neighborhood to another, from one community to another, and in some cases, from one state to another. This escalation is, frankly, more harmful to the public than it is to sex offenders. Not only is the cost of enforced relocation or subjugation of offenders high, many offenders started using the courts to assert their rights, forcing municipalities to spend resources defending their sex offender regulations.

So rather than continue in the madness of subjecting our citizens to sex offenders by shuffling them from one place to another, increasing vigilante action, and other uncivilized results that come more from political grandstanding than actual protection for children, SORETRA was created to develop an ultimate and constitutional solution that is acceptable for all people. Hence, SORETRA is not a replacement, but rather a civilized evolution, of the Sex Offender Registry.

2. Will judges sentence offenders to the SORETRA Zone rather than to prison? Iím afraid that many offenders who should go to prison will instead be sent to the SORETRA Zone instead.

The SORETRA Zone is intended for offenders who are on parole, probation, or otherwise free and clear of their court-ordered correctional system duties. While certain privileges for offenders whom are clear of the court system will obviously be greater than those whom are still on parole or probation, the SORETRA Zone will constitutionally have NO impact on a judgeís decision for imposing initial punishment for an offender. In addition, offenders whom are considered for parole or release from prison will still have to bear conditions, such as active GPS monitoring, meeting with parole officers, and of course follow all the rules and regulations regarding all SORETRA Zone offenders.

The bottom line: The SORETRA Zone is NOT meant, and can NOT be used as a replacement or alternative to a court-ordered punishment. Crimes against children should ALWAYS incur harsh, long sentences in a penitentiary, not sent to a SORETRA Zone instead. The Zone is meant to constitutionally and effectively segregate our children from convicted sex offenders for the entire length of their state- or federally-mandated registration period following their release from a correctional incarceration facility.

3. How long will offenders have to stay in the SORETRA Zone?

Offenders will have to stay in the SORETRA zone for at least the length of their stateís or federal registration period. In most cases, offenders will have to reside and work a minimum of ten to twenty-five years in the SORETRA Zone following their release from incarceration. In some cases involving lifetime registration, offenders will never be allowed to reside or work outside of the SORETRA Zones for the rest of their lives.

Interestingly, some offenders may elect to live in SORETRA beyond the period of their registration. In general, that will be allowed, but they will still have to follow the rules of SORETRA and even be subject to its penalties while residing and working in the SORETRA Zone.

4. Will offenders be able to leave the SORETRA Zone to work?

Absolutely not! All offenders will be assessed work skills, and work in a variety of jobs available in the SORETRA Zone, and paid according to their skills. In addition, payment for services rendered will be administered by the SORETRA Zone finance officer. This will allow withholding for all services, utilities, taxes, and other payments to ensure that they do not abscond on their financial obligations. But at no time will their employment authorize them to leave the SORETRA Zone.

5. How will SORETRA ensure that my kids donít get contacted by the offenders from the Internet or other communication process?

All communications by telephone, postal service, or digital communication device from SORETRA Zones by offenders will constitutionally be subject to monitoring without warrant. This includes a ban on cell phones, two-way radios, and other devices that offenders can potentially use to contact new or existing victims. All telephone calls can only be made to pre-approved individuals, such as adult family members or friends. In addition, the Internet will be available to offenders to a very limited degree. In fact, the computers that offenders will be allowed to use will not even have disk drives for storage; instead, all computing operations will be handled from a centralized server farm and be subject to frequent monitoring by law enforcement operatives. This farm will provide a complete and inalterable record of all computing tasks that an offender can do, including writing letters, playing games, or visiting websites. In addition, ONLY websites that have approval by SORETRA Zone administration or, if necessary, by Federal courts will be allowed, and emails can only be sent to pre-authorized accounts, such as adult family members and non-convicted friends. No Instant Messaging accounts, chat room identities, or message board site activity such as MySpace that cater to children under the age of 18 will be allowed AT ANY TIME.

If an offender is found to have violated any of the above restrictions, then the offender will be charged with a major felony and sent to prison if convicted.

6. Can offenders leave the SORETRA zone for vacation or travel?

Yes, they can, if they are not on parole or probation. However, they have to undergo several costly restrictions in which they are required to pay. For instance, all offenders will have to provide a thorough, comprehensive itinerary to each law enforcement jurisdiction they plan to visit, as well as the U.S. Marshal agencies in each district tye plan on visiting. All offenders will be required to be accompanied by a non-offending adult, properly cleared by law enforcement, at all times. All offenders will have to submit to active GPS monitoring. Offenders can only stay at pre-approved hotels or motels, or with pre-authorized adult family or friends. Offenders will not be allowed at any location where children congregate, such as schools, parks, arcades amusement parks, and children-themed restaurants, and other places which the local authorities have deemed off-limits. In addition, offenders still have the restrictions with regard to telephone calls, Internet usage, and other regulations, and are subject to felony and incarceration if such usage is proven. ANY infraction can subject the offender to immediate violation and even arrest as a federal fugitive.

These are a few of the extensive safeguards to ensure that offenders are kept in check. No contact with children will be allowed at any time, except under situations authorized by law enforcement. The offender will be required to pay for all monitoring and itinerary clearances as well, with estimates running around $75 - $125 per day. Such costs will, indeed, ensure that offenders who are on vacation will be as heavily monitored as any other criminal in the country. Since most offenders will be required to live in the SORETRA zones and not in the communities, it will become much easier to focus more resouces on the offenders on vacation.

7. Will sex offenders ever be able to leave SORETRA and live in our communities, near our schools and children?

For some offenders, yes. Some offenders have registration periods that are finite, as recommended by the Adam Walsh Act and other state Sex Offender registration protocols. If that is the case, offenders whom are eligible to be released from the Sex Offender Registry will be allowed to petition for their removal. If the petition is granted, the offender is then removed from the registry and can live anywhere he wants.

Keep in mind, though, that offenders who go off the list will NOT be invisible from the public eye entirely. Their whereabouts will always be monitored by law enforcement personnel. But also understand that many offenders will never have the opportunity to leave the registry, or spend upwards of a quarter century in a SORETRA Zone prior to release. As a minimum, at least ten years, plus their incarceration period, is the amount of time that an offender will have prior to integration into the community.

Incidentally, as part of their petition process to be removed from the registry, offenders will have to undergo a comprehensive Sex Offender assessment review. This process, paid for by the offender, will consolidate the opionions of psychological professionals, law enforcement representatives, and victim's rights advocates, before rendering its decision.

For the types of offenses that result in finite registry periods, as opposed to lifetime registration requirements, refer to the Adam Walsh Act website or refer to your own state sex offender registry.