All sex offenders registered in Bartow County were found to be compliant with Georgia sex offender laws requiring verified residences during a recent annual sweep by sheriff’s deputies statewide.

Bartow sheriff’s deputies and officers with the Cherokee Judicial Circuit Department of Community Supervision participated in a statewide sheriffs’ initiative called Operation Watchful Eye IV recently.

The action was part of a statewide effort by Georgia sheriffs to verify registered sex offenders’ residences and check compliance with state laws within each county, said Sgt. Jonathan White of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office.

A total of 246 sex offenders were registered in Bartow County in late October, including 11 sexually dangerous predators and four homeless offenders, White said.

“Residence verifications and compliance checks were attempted on each of the 246 registered offenders as well as one offender who moved and registered in Bartow County during the week of the operation,” White said.

Deputies successfully verified 208 were in the residences they registered. Offenders not seen were either working or at counseling sessions when deputies came to verify the addresses, White said.

“Contact has since been made with the (offenders) not seen during Operation Watchful Eye IV,” he said.

White added that deputies arrested two offenders for outstanding probation violations.

The sheriffs’ initiative led to the arrests of 40 sex offenders and warrants issued to 147 for violations of state registration laws statewide between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, a news release stated.

During the seven-day operation, deputies conducted 7,535 residence verifications; issued 18 new warrants for violations of the sex offender registry law, and 13 warrants for new sex offenses; issued 48 warrants for residency violations of the sex offender registry and 28 warrants for other miscellaneous new charges.

Ninety-six new sex offenders moved into the reporting counties, the release stated.

“More importantly, it was discovered that 190 sex offenders had absconded from their last known address, which will require the sheriff to work with other supporting agencies and track these individuals down,” it stated.

The first coordinated effort to verify offenders’ locations across the state was launched In 2015 to conduct residence verifications and compliance checks of registered sex offenders during a specific time period.

Georgia’s sheriffs subsequently made Operation Watchful Eye an annual effort due to the overwhelming success of the original initiative, the release stated

“The Office of Sheriff is mandated by law to register sex offenders and to keep the public informed of where registered sex offenders reside, work and attend school,” a release from the Georgia Sheriff’s Association stated.

“The purpose of this statewide effort is to create awareness that sheriffs’ offices work collectively, network, and actively engage their office by participating in statewide verification checks and other non-compliant matters in order to make our state safer.”

Visit the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office website or http://gbi.georgia.gov/georgia-sex-offender-registry for more information on the whereabouts of registered sex offenders locally and statewide.

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Vicki Henry

Women Against Registry advocates for the families who have loved ones required to register as sexual offenders.

More about the issue:

According to the NCMEC map there are over 912,000 men, women and children (as young as 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the "crimes" range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone 18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child, the old bait-n-switch internet stings (taking sometimes 12 months before a person steps over the line) guys on the autism spectrum or with intellectual disabilities and many others.

If you multiply the number on the registry by 2 or 3 family members you can clearly see there are well over 3 million wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being murdered, harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant. Professionals indicate 3 things are needed for successful reintegration; a job, a place to live and a “positive” support system.

The Supreme Court’s Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics – ‘Frightening and High’ (Debunks the 80% recidivism rate cited by now SCOTUS Justice Kennedy)

It is very important that you read the abstract below and then the full 12 page essay by Ira Mark and Tara Ellman.

ABSTRACT This brief essay reveals that the sources relied upon by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, a heavily cited constitutional decision on sex offender registries, in fact provide no support at all for the facts about sex offender re-offense rates that the Court treats as central to its constitutional conclusions. This misreading of the social science was abetted in part by the Solicitor General’s misrepresentations in the amicus brief it filed in this case. The false “facts” stated in the opinion have since been relied upon repeatedly by other courts in their own constitutional decisions, thus infecting an entire field of law as well as policy making by legislative bodies. Recent decisions by the Pennsylvania and California supreme courts establish principles that would support major judicial reforms of sex offender registries, if they were applied to the facts. This paper appeared in Constitutional Commentary Fall, 2015. Google: Frightening and High Essay

A study reviewing sex crimes as reported to police revealed that:

a) 93% of child sexual abuse victims knew their abuser;

b) 34.2% were family members;

c) 58.7% were acquaintances;

d) Only 7% of the perpetrators of child victims were strangers;

e) 40% of sexual assaults take place in the victim’s own home;

f) 20% take place in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative (Jill Levenson, PhD, Lynn University)

There is a tremendous need to fund programs like "Stop It Now" that teaches parents how to begin and maintain a dialog with their children to intervene before harm occurs and about grooming behaviors as well as other things at age-appropriate levels in their Circles of Safety.

Our question to the public is one of, when does redemption begin?

We support the principles of Restorative/Transformative Justice; restore the victim, restore the offender AND restore the community.

Lastly, our country is proud to be 'the incarceration nation' with 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's incarcerated.

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