Some really bad advice
On April 17, 2014, RSOL became aware of a document purporting to claim how one might legally avoid being placed on the sex offender registry; it was written by the research and legal staff of Safe Streets Arts Foundation. The Safe Streets Arts Foundation is headed by Dennis Sobin, who posted the “Idiot’s Registry” some months back.
Charitable persons thought it might be a really bad attempt at an even worse joke. Within 24 hours, the document was taken down and all trace removed even from search engines. Unfortunately many people may have downloaded or copied the information and taken it seriously. RSOL wants to caution our members and supporters about the advice contained in this document.
“The author of this Avoidance Guide has failed to do his research in the area of state registry homelessness requirements,” states e-Advocate. “The essence of his thoughts are: Always stay homeless, hence have no specific residence, then move before the end of the grace period (which every registry has) and this will keep one’s name off the registry. No doubt following this theory will cause someone to end up in jail/prison when caught. Judges are not dumb.”
“At best this is highly irresponsible,” says RSOL Executive Director Brenda Jones. “Someone will be foolish enough to try it and get arrested, and the Safe Streets Arts Foundation will find out really fast just how bad their advice is. Deliberate homelessness and frequent moves are foolhardy.
“Secondly, and far more important, by pulling this little maneuver, the would-be registry-avoider will set himself up to be subject to the Adam Walsh Act in a way that somebody homeless inside a state would not,” Jones continued. “The Adam Walsh Act is all about interstate commerce. Not only your home state but also the Feds would have a case against you. Both could and would charge you federally with failure to register. When, or IF you eventually got out of prison, you’d still have to go register with a state, but you would now (if you didn’t already) have a FEDERAL conviction on your record,” Jones concluded.
When asked for an opinion, one paralegal expressed outrage that so many offenders could be exposed to state and federal prosecution. “…This type of uninformed advice will have people thinking they can do as the article suggests and just ‘disappear.’ Not so. Whoever wrote this is going to cause people to lose a good deal of their life to a conviction they should never have.”