Work Group Housing People with Sex Offense Histories
February 13, 2013

 In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department/DOC Re-entry, Lisa Carabello, Amherst Community Connection intern, Steve Connor, Veteran Benefits Officer, Joe Critelli, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Hwei-Ling Greeney, Amherst Community Connections, Laurie Guidry, MATSOC, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Reika Simulah-Gooden, Amherst Community Connection, Madeline Johnson, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Jay  Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Laurie Smith, ServiceNet

Follow-up  with HAP re: housing policy for sex offenders:   Continuing conversations, meetings with HAP and Sgt. Anne McMahon of Northampton to discuss possible adjustments to policy.

Our work group job is to establish criteria for tenancy.  We agreed that the criteria would include:

  •  some degree of service involvement  (broadly defined to allow for assessment of individual situation
  • an outreach case manager, who can be liaison with the landlord (and offer communication around all the related aspects of the tenancy)
  • sex offender treatment

Joe Critelli suggested considering using Hampden County’s one page survey that pulls out some basic information.

Debated the wisdom of doing an education session with tenants in building.  The trade-off  of disclosing status as sex offender and generating upset vs. being ahead of the disclosure to pre-empt the upset.  Agreed to continue this discussion with additional input.  Also consider the potential of a “probationary period” for tenancy.

Legislative Agenda:

Senator Clark filed a bill to, in part, revise SORB’s way of leveling sex offenders that involves a review committee to revise current practices as indicated and implement an established, evidence-based measure in order to more accurately identify an offender’s risk to the community.

Rep. Kahn’s bill is designed to establish an Interagency Advisory Council  that would support and inform evidence-based policies and practices in the assessment, treatment and management of sexual offenders across board.

MATSA and MASOC met with sex offender registry board.  Successful meeting.

Next meeting 3/27, 11:00 am, Northampton Senior Center

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