Work Group for Housing Individuals with Sex Offense Histories
October 3, 2012

In attendance: Lisa Mary Carabello, Amherst Community Connections, Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County House of Corrections/DOC Re-Entry, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Laurie Guidry, consultant,  Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Richard Hendrick, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Madeline Johnson, Hampshire County Sheriff’s Dept/AISS, Jay Levy, Eliot CH-Homeless Services, Sgt. Ann McMahon, Northampton Police Department,  Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Laurie Smith, ServiceNet, Sally J. VanWright, Hampshire County Sheriff Dept/AISS, Mary Yorgakopoulou, Housing for All

Update on data collection for sex offenders:

Smith College intern for Amherst Community Connections, Lisa Mary Carabello, making calls to Hampshire County police departments (and will expand to Franklin and Berkshire as time permits).

Pamela will follow-up with Robin Powell re: Hampden County intern.

All agreed the goal is to obtain number of Level 2 and 3 sex offenders who are homeless, and also the total number of level 2 and 3 offenders (so we can ascertain percentage).

We do not need names or addresses.  The goal is to paint a portrait with housing providers in the region:  what is the scope of this population who needs housing?

Police do not have access to Level 1 offenders (not required to report).  Level 2 identification is available if person goes to police in person to request information from PD.  But because we are not seeking names or addresses, we should not need to inquire in person.  Ask to speak with officer in charge of sex offender registry, explain effort.  Laurie provided script for this purpose.

Housing Provider Outreach

HAP meeting (with high level directors, lawyer)
10/10, 9:30 am.  Group representation: Pamela, Laurie, Sgt. McMahon, Joe Critelli

SMOC, 10/25, 12:30 pm. (with Allison Maynard, housing director)  Group representation:  Pamela, Laurie.
Will also check in with Dave Modzelewski re: experience with housing sex offenders.  Understood that SMOC direction comes from main office in Framingham and that this is a first step in introducing SMOC to the issue.

Housing Authority outreach.  Sally VanWright working with Springfield Housing Authority on offender re-entry program – will try to integrate issue of housing sex offenders (will report back).

Other updates from Laurie Guidry:

  • Working more closely with State Dept. of Veterans Services which is organizing concerted effort to look at housing veterans who have history of sex offenses.
  • Recent court decision in CA found residency restrictions on sex offenders to be unconstitutional.  Big deal – first time in the nation.
  • Contacted by state DPH, initially conversation regarding homelessness and survivors of violence and sexual abuse.  Conversation has evolved to include issue of housing sex offenders, involving ICHH and other interagency efforts on domestic violence.  Linkages being made.
  •   MATSA/MASOC conference.  4/10-4/13 in Marlboro. Stay tuned for details.

All of us wished Sgt. Ann McMahon a happy birthday (plus one day)!  Demand for advance notice next time around.

Next meeting: Friday, November 9, 10 am – 11:30 am, Northampton Senior Center

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