The Sun Sentinel set out to examine the effectiveness of the Jimmy Ryce law by determining the number of sex offenders released under the law who went on to commit new sex crimes. The newspaper obtained a database from the Florida Department of Children & Families of inmates screened since the law took effect in 1999, more than 31,000 individuals. Names, birth dates and screening dates were submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The agency matched those against a statewide criminal history database and found 1,384 offenders had been rearrested on sex charges as of April 15. The number may be higher because arrest records do not always list the charge, the agency cautioned. In comparison, 759 sex offenders have been committed to the state’s sex predator treatment center. That means for every one committed, nearly two others were released and then arrested on a sex charge.
To identify offenders who have been convicted of a new sex offense, the Sun Sentinel compared the names, birth dates and screening dates with the Florida Department of Corrections database of felony convictions. Reporters also checked news clips of sex offender arrests. That process identified 594 men. Convictions for probation violations and failure to register as a sex offender were not counted. The tally includes sex-related murders but excludes 49 murders that did not appear to be sexually motivated.
The Sun Sentinel findings present only a partial picture of sexual re-offending since the data do not include arrests in other states or on federal charges. Also, research indicates many sex crimes are not reported and therefore would not result in an arrest or conviction. More than half of the 31,000 individuals screened under the Ryce law had limited ability to commit more sex crimes in Florida, according to corrections records and Florida’s sex offender registry. About 10,000 returned to prison after being reviewed, 1,800 were never released, and more than 4,800 died, were deported or moved to another state. About 7,600 are living in Florida, and the whereabouts of another 5,500 are unknown. At least 130 are listed as fugitives. READ MUCH MORE HERE
RAPISTS SET FREE (click link)
The newspaper’s investigation found:
- For every sex offender the state has committed under the 14-year-old Ryce law, two others have been released — only to be arrested again for a sex crime.
- From South Florida to the Panhandle, these men have cut a fresh trail of pain, molesting more than 460 children, raping 121 women, and killing 14.
- Many offenders attacked again only days after Florida let them go. Six found new victims the same day they walked out the prison gates.
HOW FLORIDA FAILS (click link)
- Rapist Mark Watson had been out of prison just one day when he sexually assaulted another woman near Gainesville.
- Freddie Clemons had been free only two months when he attacked and murdered a janitor in her Tampa middle school.
- Lazaro Justiz, released from the state’s sex predator treatment center, lasted three months before he molested a 12-year-old boy in Lake Worth.
These repeat sex offenders show how Florida’s Jimmy Ryce law has failed at every level, a Sun Sentinel investigation found.
“HOUR OF TORTURE’’ (click link)
These are the women who suffered at the hands of sex predators and a law that failed to protect them: A college student tortured to near death. A great-grandmother shot and raped in her own bed. Never before have they publicly discussed the horror they faced. They agreed to speak to the Sun Sentinel with one hope — that Florida fix the failures that turned their attackers loose. The state had a chance to stop those sex offenders and hundreds of others who went on to assault nearly 600 women and children over the past 14 years, a Sun Sentinel investigation found. Victoria was one of them. “If nothing else, if I can just have a voice and say, ‘You know what? I’m one of those people that you forgot about,’” she said. “I don’t want anything to happen like this to anybody else, to anybody else.’’
SOLUTIONS (click link)
The Sun Sentinel shared its investigative findings with experts, who said Florida could do more to protect the public from repeat sex offenders. The newspaper’s eight-month investigation found that Florida had missed opportunities to lock up sex offenders under the Jimmy Ryce law, which allows the state to confine the most dangerous rapists and child molesters at a treatment center. In the 14 years the law has been in effect, Florida released at least 594 sex offenders who were later convicted of new sex crimes. Experts — professors who have researched sex offenders, psychologists who have evaluated them, and those who have worked at sex offender treatment centers — suggested specific actions the state can take.
By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
Educate Yourself--Learn the Facts--It may Just Save a Child's Life!!