“TIPS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF SEX OFFENDER INMATES” by Tony Casson

I received something from an organization the other day which reminded me that many times family members wish to help their incarcerated loved ones, but are at a loss as to what, if anything, they may do. Particularly those whose loved ones are incarcerated as ‘sex offenders’, or “SO’s”. I thought I would pass along some information and resources to those who have recently started reading these pages and anyone else who might be unaware of the existence of these fine groups. Contacting them directly and inquiring as to how you may help your loved one is something that may be found to help you deal with the absence of your husband, father, brother, uncle, or other family member, friend, or loved one.

The something I received was a template for a letter to be addressed to each recipient’s U.S. Senator regarding a proposed bill for ‘earned time’ credits with which federal inmates can reduce their time of incarceration. The bill, as proposed, EXCLUDES many inmates for a variety of different reasons, those convicted of crimes of violence, career criminals, and terrorists among them. Also included in that group are those convicted of “all sex offenses.” The letter, which was very well written, addresses the fact that this is unfair to “SO’s” for a variety of reasons; chief among them the fact that sex offender recidivism rates are the lowest of ANY CLASS OF CRIME IN THE COUNTRY. Sex offenders are currently excluded from many, many programs which can reduce the time they spend in prison, and this should be the case for those convicted of sexual assault and sexual crimes of violence, but there are many, many people in prison who deserve the same opportunities at redemption and reduction of sentences as those who are ‘merely non-violent drug dealers’. Don’t even get me started on the death and destruction this ‘overly prosecuted’ group reigns down on this country and its citizens.

The first group I will mention, which is the one from which I received the letter is CAUTIONclick.com. They are located near Buffalo, NY, and they sent me the template for a very well written letter. I encourage you all to obtain it, print it, and send it. Share the information as well. Their email address is info@cautionclick.com and you can request being added to their mailing list. Contact them and ask for a copy of their letter re: Earned time credits.

The second group, and one which I have seen remarkable growth in over the last 4 years is Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL). Their link is: http://reformsexoffenderlaws.org/ and it is possible for you to go there and sign up for a digital copy of their newsletter, as well as sign your incarcerated loved one up for their print version as well. It is full of useful news, links to publications and articles of interest, and actions being taken to combat some of the ridiculously restrictive and unfair laws targeting SO’s and their families. They have lists of individual state chapters and how to contact them to help in your own state. Some of the state chapters are extremely effective and well-run and can be sources of information on how to obtain change in your own state. The Texas chapter, “TEXAS VOICES” is one very good example, as is the Arkansas “TIME AFTER TIME” chapter. (To the rest, I intend no slight at your efforts. You are ALL fantastic!)

There is also “Women Against The Registry” (W.A.R.) and “SOSEN” (Which I am not all that familiar with, and I apologize).

Contact all of these groups and spread the word to others you know who may be interested. The problems facing those who are required to register as sex offenders after release continue to grow, but these groups are working to stem the tide and reverse the flow and have been meeting with some tremendous successes as of late. My heartfelt thanks go out to each and every one of you.

You may not be able to do much, but you can all do something. Please do what you can!

May God bless you and your families.

And to the Mother of a relatively new inhabitant of my unit by the name of Brandon: Thanks for the bookmark! I like your son and I am sorry he is in here. Like many I meet and pray for daily, Brandon could have been dealt with differently. There MUST be a better way than this to solve the problem this country faces. Supporting these hardworking people in RSOL and the rest can help to find it.

Tony Casson
91153-004 A-1
Box 5000
Federal Correctional Center
Oakdale, LA  71463

TODAY IS… A Gift From God ~ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKKL1RE

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5 Responses to “TIPS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF SEX OFFENDER INMATES” by Tony Casson

  1. Carl says:

    Both of the bills are unlikely to pass. Its an election year and no one wants to look soft on crime, even democrats. The Recidivism act had been neutered in committee after Senator Cornyn (he was responsible for adding the ‘terrorist, fraud and sex offender’ exclusions, prior versions had no restrictions) got his mitts on it. Not even the increase in “Good time” across the board survived.

    • Tony says:

      Thank you for your comments. I do, for the most part, share your opinions, however, I always prefer the positive route of encouraging people to do SOMETHING, even when the something being done will likely have no impact. I believe it is important to get people involved and if we don’t ‘win this round’, maybe we’ll win the next one. The level of apathy, hopelessness, fear, and unwillingness to stand up for our own dignity is a problem with people who are put in a position where they will have to register as sex offenders and those who have families often just ‘want to be left alone’, which is understandable, but really not a postiion I can agree with. I think it is important for us all to keep banding together and standing up for each other.

      All of that said, I found it curious that there were two responses from the same email address, and the address seems familiar for some reason. Are you gentlemen part of a group, or an attorney’s office or something? I am sure your comments helped to put some at ease, and I encourage you to comment frequently.

      It’s always nice to hear from those who read these Chronicles. Thanks for taking the time to read what I take the time to write. Any input you have or support or suggestions you can offer are appreciated.

      Tony Casson

  2. John says:

    Tell Tony not to worry too much about this. The politics around crime are too touchy, and there are many close races that, so the story goes, may be decided on someone being soft on criminals, or even worse, soft on sex offenders. This legislation may make it past the senate, but the house is run by white haired authoritarian types, so these reform bills are not likely to pass and even if they do, sex offenders will remain out.

    • Tony says:

      Thank you for your comments. I do, for the most part, share your opinions, however, I always prefer the positive route of encouraging people to do SOMETHING, even when the something being done will likely have no impact. I believe it is important to get people involved and if we don’t ‘win this round’, maybe we’ll win the next one. The level of apathy, hopelessness, fear, and unwillingness to stand up for our own dignity is a problem with people who are put in a position where they will have to register as sex offenders and those who have families often just ‘want to be left alone’, which is understandable, but really not a postiion I can agree with. I think it is important for us all to keep banding together and standing up for each other.

      All of that said, I found it curious that there were two responses from the same email address, and the address seems familiar for some reason. Are you gentlemen part of a group, or an attorney’s office or something? I am sure your comments helped to put some at ease, and I encourage you to comment frequently.

      It’s always nice to hear from those who read these Chronicles. Thanks for taking the time to read what I take the time to write. Any input you have or support or suggestions you can offer are appreciated.

      Tony Casson

  3. Margaret Moon says:

    Thank you, Tony, for strongly urging family members to get involved. And you are correct, everyone “can do something.” Family members need to speak out, write letters, and donate money (if everyone donated just five dollars it would finance education, lawsuits, etc.) We need to educate the public that the hysteria and myths our media and ambitious politicians spread are not the true facts. I think many family members/friends/ loved ones are silenced by fear and embarrassment. Please, family and friends, contact one of the groups mentioned. You will find encouragement, understanding, and friendship. And you will be working to change these ever-more-Draconian laws!

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