« House bill to end crack/powder disparity continues moving forward | Main | "Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines by Any Other Name: When 'Indeterminate Structured Sentencing' Violates Blakely v. Washington" »

July 30, 2009

"Mentally ill struggle to meet sex registry regulations"

The title of this post is the headline of this sad article from The Tennessean. Here is how it starts:

Carlton Hunter consistently fails to register as a sex offender, and he has served nearly 500 days in jail over the past five years as punishment for that.  Hunter, 45, was convicted in 1990 of two counts of attempted rape. He has racked up dozens of arrests since, almost all nonviolent misdemeanors: obstructing a passageway, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia.  And after he gets released on the minor charges, a new warrant inevitably is issued for his arrest when he fails to report it to the sex offender registry.

Hunter is homeless.  He also is mildly mentally retarded and has paranoid schizophrenia.  His attorneys say he has no family, nobody to watch over him, and he simply can't comprehend or comply with the rules of the sex offender registry.

The state agreed, granting Hunter an exception.  He no longer will have to follow the rules of the registry. And though Hunter is an extreme case, some advocates are concerned that the law may need to be changed to deal with repeat offenders who lack the mental capacity to follow it. "In terms of understanding mental illness, it's inconceivable that anyone could meet the requirements if they're mentally incapacitated," said Ben Middleton, senior vice president of core services at Centerstone.

Though there's no way to track how many people on the sex offender registry have mental illness, an analysis of the database showed that 9 percent of the 1,300 offenders in Nashville list themselves as homeless. Roughly 50 percent of those homeless offenders have been arrested for violating the laws of the registry in Nashville, according to their court records.  About 30 percent of homeless people have a severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

July 30, 2009 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e201157157644f970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Mentally ill struggle to meet sex registry regulations":

Comments

There is such a thing as being expelled from jail, which is pretty low. This bird would be. About a third of the beds of the jails of the nation are filled by mentally ill people. A person refuses to pay a bus fare, and no one will bail him out, because they are relieved he is gone. The taxpayer gets to pay and pay.

Thank the lawyer for massive, untreated mental illness with and without dangerousness. About 2000 people are murdered by paranoid schizophrenics a year. The land pirate does not care. He must have his criminal law style commitment hearing to generate jobs for three lawyers at a time.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 31, 2009 7:15:52 AM

Supremacy Claus, don't you think it's about time you got over your failure to pass the bar exam?

Posted by: anon | Jul 31, 2009 1:08:53 PM

I like SC's remarks. They have some excellent points (in between the rent seeking). One of America's very worst situations, presently, is the lack of mental health care, and the way the mentally ill are being shuttled into prisons. Its not good for anybody, the mentally ill, their families, the victims, or the tax payers.

Posted by: DLJ | Jul 31, 2009 6:03:48 PM

DLJ. I actually agree. My problem with SC is that he exaggerates everything so much. There is such a thing as exaggerating for effect but when you exaggerate all the time you wind up looking like a clown. Then what happens is that people wind up laughing, or ignoring you, rather than paying attention to the truth of what you say. One of the first rules of effective communication is that the way you say something should never deflect from the message.

So my own opinion is that while he's intelligent, at the end of the day just another Paris Hilton attention whore wanna be.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 31, 2009 9:37:03 PM

Hi,
I'm an Undergrad Engineering Student, studying biomedical engineering. I just enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by: Bridal Registry | Nov 16, 2009 11:36:55 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB