Work Group for People with Sex Offense History Meeting Minutes – April 10, 2012
In Attendance: Emily Apbate, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department intern, Francis Bernier, CareerPoint, Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Sheriff House of Corrections, DOC Re-entry Services, Jenna Cutler, Hampden County Sheriff Dept. intern, Joe Critelli, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Hwei-Ling Greeney, Amherst Community Connections, Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Richard Hendricks, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Sgt. Anne McMahon, Northampton Police, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Reikka Simula Gooden, Housing for All, Laurie Smith, ServiceNet, Bill Toller, Catholic Diocese,
Discussion on the name of the group:
Points raised included:
- · “Sex Offender” label stigmatizing. Language important. Distinct from “sexually offending behavior” or “sexual offending history”
- · From a law enforcement perspective, challenging because they sees people who do re-offend, they want to make sure we do not minimize risk/stakes.
- · Also issue of speaking the language the community speaks – if the community speaks “sex offender,” should we?
- · Should we add “registered “ to “sex offender” to lend credibility, part of a system.
- · We are around this table because we realize that the current system is not working. We can’t be using language that furthers stereotypes that are not evidence-based.
- · Our obligation to message what is necessary to change around these stereotypes. Our responsibility to present people first.
Agreed on: Work Group on Housing People with Sex Offense History
Action Plan Brainstorm
Must learn regs – get clear on limits before responding to limits since some groups may be misinformed. Federal regs prohibit housing only those sex offenders on lifetime parole (need to confirm this).
Landlords like to know who they can call if there are problems with tenants.
Flow for outreach: initial meeting with housing agency executive director with Laurie Guidry, law enforcement rep (Sgt. McMahon), service provider (ServiceNet), network coordinator
Valley CDC (agreed to outreach to CDC first)
Northampton Housing Authority (Tom O’Connor lawyer for NHA, used to be DA, would know laws – Michelle Moriarity oversees tenants at NHA, used to be police dept)
Amherst Housing Authority – new person on board who worked as director of Craig’s Doors.
Greenfield Housing Authority (Ellie has contact with Dan Finn)
Franklin County Regional Housing Authority (Ellie has contact with Linda Davenport)
Need to bring to housing groups/landlords ways we can help residents to build safety
Learn the criteria for screening people.
Pamela will reach out to Valley CDC and keep people posted.
Next meeting: Wed., 6/13, 10 am – 11:30 am, DMH Haskell Building