Meeting Minutes – 4/16/15
In attendance: Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Corrections/MA DOC Re-entry; Jen Glover, Franklin County Home Care Corporation, Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Richard Hendrick, social worker, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Phyllis Lutsky, VA Medical Center, Pamela Schwartz, Network
Planning for Statewide Commission meeting:
Thanks to Laurie Guidry’s assistance, the Network has been invited to speak as part of a panel on the Collateral Consequences of Sex Offense Convictions before the Commission to End Sex Offender Recidivism on May 28, from 9 am to 11 am in Boston (location to be determined). Our panel is being coordinated by the Committee for Public Counsel Services.
We will have approximately 20 minutes to speak. Pamela will speak on behalf of the committee and other committee members are encouraged to attend. Pamela shared her phone conversation with Laurie prior to this meeting (she could not attend today), and we agreed on the following outline:
- background on the history of our effort – the Network, the naming of this issue by its partners, the evolution into a work group and its goals to expand housing options for sex offenders
- a couple of personal stories of people with sex offense histories who pose no safety threat who we are unable to get housed
- what we have accomplished thus far, e.g., 2 educational forums to faith and other leaders; targeted outreach to housing providers with training and discussion; development of criteria for housing sex offenders
- what we have learned: housing providers will not house this population without state policy intervention that makes it less threatening to their liability to do so, e.g., language on the SORB website that refers to sex offenders as “dangerous”
- our recommendations: over-arching ask is change leveling system so that it is evidence-based, driven by real risk, represents a policy that supports public safety as opposed to the opposite; smaller ask is to change language on SORB website. Pamela will follow-up with Laurie to confirm additional “medium” asks, i.e., other changes that would promote “evidence-based” practice.
Pamela will also follow-up with individual committee members (Jen, Carl, Richard, Joe, Madeline) to collect personal stories to incorporate in the talk.
Carl thinks he may be able to make it to Boston; Pamela will keep everyone informed of meeting location and other details.
Pamela will draft hand-outs for the Commission and circulate them to our group for review prior to the meeting.
Next meeting date:
Wed., 6/10, DMH Haskell building, 1:30-2:30 pm