Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Will Feminism’s Past Mistakes Haunt #MeToo?

December 12th, 2017

“The last couple of months also echo a troublesome history, however, whose legacy persists in the law and the Zeitgeist. “When does a watershed become a sex panic?” Masha Gessen asked recently in the New Yorker. The answer: what we are witnessing are not the omens of a looming sex panic; they are the symptoms of the one we are already in, and have been in for forty years.”

Read the rest of this thoughtful analysis bu NCRJ Director Judith Levine in the Boston Review.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Help us fight for Reason, Justice, and Real Child Protection

December 9th, 2017

Dear Friends,

Victor Rosario spent 32 years behind bars in Massachusetts for arson and homicide of eight people, including five children. Fran and Dan Keller were locked up in Texas for 21 years for “satanic ritual abuse” at their daycare center.

All are innocent. This year Fran and Dan were exonerated. Victor moved a step closer to true freedom.

NCRJ was there for them—the Kellers since 2002, Rosario since 2007—with money, expertise, and practical and moral support. When almost no one would help anyone accused of a crime against children, you were there too.

We helped free the first person falsely accused in the child abuse panics, Bernard Baran, and hopefully the last, the San Antonio Four.

NCRJ will keep working for justice for people wrongfully convicted of crimes against children.

We cannot do it without your support. Before the year is out, please help us with $25, $50 or more.

The child-protection panics live on in the expanding regime of unjust, draconian punishment and control over the lives of “sex offenders,” who range from flashers to consensual teenage lovers to violent rapists.NCRJ fights against ineffective, draconian criminal policies:

  • sex offender registries that masquerade as child protection yet wreck individuals’ and families’ lives.
  • indefinite involuntary civil commitment of offenders, after completion of prison sentences, to prevent crimes they might commit.

We circulate the evidence that these policies do not protect children.

Like you, NCRJ supports child protection that is rational, constitutional, and compassionate. Like you, we want justice, both for the innocent and the guilty.

This work is rarely popular. That’s why your support is critical, courageous, and powerful.

Please help with a gift of $50, $100, or more.

Consider becoming a sustaining donor—to ensure that NCRJ is here as long as we’re needed.

For justice, and with gratitude,

Michael R. Snedeker for the NCRJ Board of Directors

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Children on Sex Offender Registries Are Suicide Risks

December 7th, 2017

“The most troubling findings, the authors say, pertained to suicidal intent and victimization experiences. The study found that registered children were four times as likely to report a recent suicide attempt in the last 30 days, compared to nonregistered children. Registered children were nearly twice as likely to have experienced a sexual assault and were five times as likely to have been approached by an adult for sex in the past year. Registered children also reported higher rates of other mental health problems, more peer relationship problems, more experiences with peer violence and a lower sense of safety.”

Read the news release from Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkis University.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Please Send a Holiday Card to a Prisoner

December 4th, 2017

Anyone who knows a prisoner knows how important it is to them to receive mail, especially at this time of year. Many prisoners receive no outside support at all.

I don’t care if you send a Christmas card, a holiday card, or whatever. Neither will they.

Here is a list of prisoners who’d be delighted to get a card:

Unfortunately, New Hampshire prisoners are not allowed to receive greeting cards of any sort, picture postcards, or any typewritten or printed material. Only handwritten letters on stock paper are permitted.

-Bob Chatelle



Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

NY top court gives Jesse Friedman partial victory

November 30th, 2017

Friedman’s Manhattan attorney, Ronald Kuby, called the decision “an emphatic triumph for the principles of open government” and the wrongfully convicted, who he said “will have a far easier task obtaining essential documents.”

His statement also called the ruling “a stinging rebuke to successive Nassau County district attorneys, who first created a moral panic over nonexistent sex abuse allegations and then tried to create a moral panic as to the consequences of releasing the documents that demonstrate prosecutorial misconduct.”

Read the article by Yancey Roy and Bridget Murphy in Newsday.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

A new prison post from my friend, Gunther Fiek

November 27th, 2017

Inside the Fence

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

What Jury Found Kevin Spacey Guilty?

November 15th, 2017

“Is Kevin Spacey a criminal sexual molester? I don’t know. Neither do you, unless you were actually molested by him, or, it seems, unless you’re the Boston Globe. ‘This Was A Criminal Act,’ the Globe headline blared, repeating former local news anchor Heather Unruh’s claim that Spacey groped her son at a bar in Nantucket last summer. The single quotes around the claim that Spacey is a criminal (who has yet to be indicted except in the media) don’t mitigate the headline’s clear presumption of guilt. They simply allow the Globe to level a sensational accusation while pretending to present an unbiased account of one.”

Read the commentary by Wendy Kaminer at WGBH News.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Vermont corrections officer of the year dies in apparent suicide

October 29th, 2017

Dalton pointed to a 2013 literature review from the U.S. Department of Justice that included research on the stress that correctional officers face. The review found, in part:

  • In 2011, about 31 percent of correctional officers reported “serious psychological distress,” twice the rate of the general public;
  • In 2012, 27 percent of correctional officers who responded to a study indicated they were suffering from PTSD;
  • “Much more research is needed to develop a better understanding of the prevalence and causes of suicide among (correctional officers).”

Read the article by Erin Mansfield in the Vermont Digger.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Sex offender registries endanger the lives they’re meant to protect

October 26th, 2017

“Our communities deserve effective public-safety measures that are based on facts and sound research, not wasteful and counterproductive measures born of fear. We all want to be safe. We have to demand our legislators pass laws that work and actually keep us safe.”

Read the article by Miriam Aukerman in The Hill.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Mothers Defend Sons Accused of Sexual Assault

October 24th, 2017

“Few issues in education today are as intensely debated as the way colleges deal with sexual misconduct. Women’s groups and victims’ advocates have deplored Ms. DeVos’s moves, saying they will allow colleges to wash their hands of the problem. But a growing corps of legal experts and defense lawyers have argued that the Obama rules created a culture in which accused students, most of them men, were presumed guilty.”

Read the article by Anemona Hartocollis and Christina Capecchi in the Sunday New York Times.