Sex Offenders in Federal Prison
When an individual is convicted of a sex offense, he will face an ongoing series of problems. In today’s Earning Freedom podcast, Steve tells his story. He contacted me after his release from federal prison. With 12 years of Supervised Release hanging over his head, Steve said that he continues to face many challenges in establishing his life.
Steve said that authorities targeted him after he downloaded three songs from an online service. Those songs, he said, were transmitted with images that authorities determined to be child pornography. Steve said that he erased the images within a few minutes of seeing them. Yet as a consequence of his downloading the images, authorities were on to Steve. They stormed his house, seized his computer, and eventually charged him with three counts of being in possession of child pornography. Each count carried a five-year term.
After he was convicted, authorities locked Steve in a detention center. He described being targeted by other prisoners and staff for abuse. Other prisoners pressured him to produce legal paperwork that would show the nature of his charge. He lied and said that he was in prison for fraud. A shot caller from the prison ordered Steve to write a letter to the clerk of the court, requesting a docket sheet. The docket sheet would reveal the nature of Steve’s charges. The shot caller required Steve to provide that “paperwork” in exchange for his being able to live in the general population.
Steve panicked and pleaded for assistance from staff. The staff member required Steve to roll himself up and check himself in to protective custody. Then Steve transferred to a prison in Texas that was reserved for people who had been convicted of sex offenses. With the onslaught of people being convicted of sex offenses, the BOP has had to reserve specific prisons for individuals who were convicted of sex offenses. But prisoners who were convicted of sex offenses don’t always get transferred to sex-offender friendly institutions.
Since Steve’s case involved the downloading of images, rather than human interactions, he said that he was not required to register on the public registry. Still, he said that the nature of his conviction makes his life difficult. He lied in order to qualify for employment, and his probation officer requires that Steve participate in sex-offender treatment programs. He feels isolated and alone, without a plan for building stability.
Steve provided the following email address for those who want to contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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