Minutes: 5/28/15 Meeting (as approved 6/15/15)

Special Commission to Reduce the Recidivism of Sex Offenders
May 28, 2015, 9-11am
One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor, Matta Conference Room

Meeting Minutes

Materials provided or presented at Commission Meeting:
Draft Minutes from 5/7/15 Meeting
5/28/15 Meeting Agenda
Powerpoint by Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness
Biographies of Presenters

Commissioners Present:
Co-Chair William N. Brownsberger, State Senator
Co-Chair Paul Brodeur, State Representative
Joan B. Lovely, State Senator
Robyn Kennedy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families
Robert Kinscherff, Ph.D., Esq.
Larni Levy, Esq., Committee for Public Counsel Services
Raymond Knight, Ph.D., Gryzmish Professor of Human Relations, Department of Psychology, Brandeis University
Laurie L. Guidry, Psy.D., President, Center for Integrative Psychological Services, Inc., and President, Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
Maureen Gallagher, Director of Policy, Jane Doe, Inc.

Commissioners Absent:

Evandro Carvalho, State Representative (represented by his designee, Peter Roby)
Edward J. Dolan, Commissioner, MA Probation Service (represented by his designee, Brian Mirasolo)
Secretary Daniel J. Bennett
Nancy Connolly, Psy.D., Program Director, Mentally Ill/Problematic Sexual Behavior, Program of the Department of Mental Health
Marian Ryan, District Attorney for Middlesex County
Kevin Hayden, Acting Chair, Sex Offender Registry Board (represented by his designe, Maria Piccillo)
Senator Brownsberger called the meeting of the Special Commission to Reduce the Recidivism of Sex Offenders to order. The draft minutes from the meeting held on May 7, 2015 were adopted with a correction made by Maria Piccillo to add the omitted name and title of a presenter from the last meeting: Richard Mercurio, Operations Supervisor.

Larni Levy, Committee for Public Counsel Services attorney and a member of the Commission, introduced the topic and presenters for the meeting: the collateral consequences of sex offense convictions/adjudications. Dr. Eric Brown, clinical and forensic psychologist, presented case studies of youth with problematic sexual behaviors and the impact of registration on their social, emotional and educational development. Pamela Schwartz, Director of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness, presented on the challenges finding housing in Western Massachusetts for individuals with sex offense convictions and the public safety benefits of reducing homelessness. Fred Smith, the recently retired Director of Program Development for St. Francis House, Inc., presented about the highly successful programs for individuals who have sexually offended and others in need of services at the St. Francis House in Boston, as well as his personal experience working with individuals released from the Massachusetts Treatment Center after being found not sexually dangerous. Attorney Eric Tennen, a partner at Swomley & Tennen, discussed how the collateral consequences of a sex offense conviction, including GPS, lifetime parole, registration, unemployment, homelessness, and other issues, impact his clients.

The Commission agreed that the next meeting of the Commission on June 15, 2015 would include a presentation by the Massachusetts Probation Service, a presentation by a national expert on juvenile registration (to be invited by Larni Levy), and a conversation about what the Commission has learned and concluded to date. The Commission agreed the Commission could devote three hours to the next meeting. The Commission agreed to a meeting in July on the topic of prevention, with a plan to develop a written document for a September meeting that could be the subject of public hearings in the fall. Dr. Guidry requested that a half hour in an upcoming meeting be devoted to special populations.

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