Legilative Update with CCJR Positions

Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform, Legislative Committee meeting, Tuesday, January 19, 2015, Friendly’s Restaurant, Concord, NH

The meeting was called to order by Chris Dornin, Chair at 4:15 PM. In attendance were, Chris Dornin, Philip Horner, Tom Adams, Patricia Wallace, Wanda Dureya and two guests.

Phil suggested an agenda for the meeting of examining each of the bills we have previously voted to support or oppose and assigning to each a level of CCJR involvement. 1 = post our position on the CCJR website, 2 = circulate a position statement to members and legislators, 3 = full involvement, testify, get out the membership.

The following bills were rated (list does not include bills which have already had hearings):

SB 468 – oppose 3 – changes in SO registry - Action: 2016-01-13 - Hearing: 01/26/2016, Room 100, State House, 09:15 am; Senate Calendar 2. We need a strong showing of opposition to attend this hearing, on Tuesday, January 26, at 9:15 AM

HB 1216 - Support 3 - Hearing: Jan 26 @ 2:00 am in PM Legislative Office Building 208
Action: 2016-01-20 - Public Hearing: 01/26/2016 02:00 PM Legislative Office Building 208  a bill requiring public bodies and agencies to provide information which is not regularly kept or reported, upon payment by the requestor. The bill closes a loophole in the Right to Know Law and forces Corrections to give Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform data it seeks on the backlog in the sex offender program. 

  • CCJR has worked with Rep. James Verschueren, the prime sponsor of HB 1216, to amend it into a simpler and shorter bill. The new version he will introduce on Jan. 26 allows people to seek and pay for detailed information only from state agencies, and not from town, county and city programs. The Department of Corrections has refused to give Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform any information on the backlog in the sex offender treatment program, after its commissioner promised to provide that information last January. We plan to tell lawmakers what has happened in a program that failed a 2012 report by the Office of Budget Assistant because so many sex offenders were serving time well beyond their minimum sentences. This happened in some cases despite court orders to reduce the minimum sentences of prisoners if they just took the sex offender training program in time.

HB 1690 – support 3 - extending the NH health protection program

HB 1552 – oppose 1 - extending death penalty for terrorism

HB 1629 – oppose 2 – disqualifying certain individuals from public assistance

HB 1535 – support 1 - makes employer pay for criminal background checks

HB 1235 – oppose 1 - removes “legitimate purpose” as protected activity as excuse for accused stalking

HB 1604 – oppose 1 - unreasonably expands definition of public indecency

HB 1542- oppose 1 - requires drug test for public assistance

HB 1562 – support 2 - establishes heroin treatment programs

HB 1597 – support 1 - requires preservation of biological evidence

HB 1261 – support 2 - limits indictments to one per criminal act

HB 1543 – support 1 - allows prosecution of prosecutors who knowingly bring false charges

HB 1318 – oppose 3 - relative to SO registration  - date to be announced -This bill changes the circumstances and criteria under which certain sex offenders (Tier II) may petition to have their name removed from the sex offender registry public list. (CCJR Notes: This would change the current law that allows Tier II offenders to petition the court to be removed from the registry after 15. It creates an unrealistic burden which in reality will mean that all Tier II offenders will also serve a lifetime sentence on the registry.

  • A tier II offender may petition the superior court to have his or her name and information removed from the public list.  The petition shall not be filed prior to the completion of all the terms and conditions of the sentence and in no case earlier than 15 years after the date of release.  The petition shall be accompanied by a risk assessment, prepared by a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist at the offender's expense, which indicates that the offender poses no risk of reoffending or causing public harm.  The court [may] shall grant the petition only if the offender has not been convicted of any felony, class A misdemeanor, sex offense, or offense against a child, has successfully completed any periods of supervised release, probation, or parole, and has successfully completed an appropriate sex offender treatment program as determined by the court.  If the court denies the petition, the offender shall not file another petition for 5 years from the date of denial.
  • 2  Registration of Criminal Offenders; Duration of Registration.  Amend RSA 651-B:6, III(b) to read as follows:
  • (b)  Prior to granting any petition to remove an offender from the public list, the court shall provide notice to the county attorney who prosecuted the case, the sex offender unit in the department of safety, division of state police, the victim advocate, and the victim or victim's family, and permit those parties to be heard on the petition.  Prior to any decision granting the application, the court shall provide the victim with the opportunity to address the court.  The victim may appear personally, or by counsel, or may provide a written statement to reasonably express his or her views concerning the offense, the person responsible, and the need for maintaining the registration requirement.  The judge shall consider the statements of the victim pursuant to this section when making a decision regarding the application.  The judge shall grant the application, after a hearing, only where, in the opinion of the court, removal from the registration requirements will assist the individual in the individual's rehabilitation and will be consistent with the public welfare.  The offender shall bear the burden of proof, by clear and convincing evidence, that removal of the registration requirements will assist the offender in his or her rehabilitation and will be consistent with the public welfare, and that he or she no longer poses a risk sufficient to justify continued registration.  Download: New_Hampshire-2016-HB1318-Introduced.html    We will need a strong showing of opposition to attend this hearing - Date to be set  - For additional information: Chris Dornin, co-founder, CCJR, 228-9610, cldornin@aol.com

HB 1451 – support 1 - exempting simple assault from extended terms of imprisonment

HB 1529 – oppose 1 - updating voter rolls to report felony convictions

CACR 21 – oppose 2 - election of AG

HB 1577 – support 3 - alternatives to incarceration

HB 1506 – support 3 - committee to study solitary confinement

HB 1614 – support 2 - repeal criminal penalties for prostitution

HB 1507 – support 3 - limiting solitary confinement

SB 464 – support 3 – establishing drug courts

SB 460 – support 2 – authorizing board of education to adopt rules relative to child sexual abuse

SB 465 – oppose 2 – dissemination of sexually explicit images

SB 338 – oppose 3 – right of crime victims to make private statements to parole board

SB 340 – support 3 – sentencing violations of probation

CACR 26 – oppose 3 – relative to appointment of AG

SB 498 – support 1 – penalties for possession

SB 390 – support 1 – annulment of misdemeanor drug possession