Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to use this Community Room

All About
The Community Room:

Folks may be surprised how this Community Room can help Former Offenders, Advocates and Visitors, and maybe educate the public along the way:

Origins and Purposes and
Advocates Index of Sections

Community Room - The Vision

African Proverb: "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child"

Inherent within that proverb is a principle, that is, it takes a group of like-minded folks to raise a child. Now so that we are not accused of saying or implying that, persons guilty of some form of sex abuse are children, we are not, it is the inherent principle of like-minded folks assisting a person, that we focus on.
So the vision behind the Community Room is to bring together like-minded people for the singular purpose of helping someone seeking help because of the consequences of a sex related crime conviction, or someone currently wanting help with sexually abusive thoughts.

Who are like-minded folks? They can be anyone whose purpose is -TO HELP- not -FURTHER HINDER or DAMAGE-. Their focus is what is critical!
A little food-for-thought, have you ever been to a AA Meeting? A group of like-minded folks supporting and helping folks with a alcohol problem, the same exists for drug related problems.

Folks go to Church to worship their God. A group of like-minded folks gathering to worship like-minded beliefs.

A company gathers its executives together to discuss next year's budget. A group of like-minded folks gather to keep the company afloat.
There are thousand of examples and they all do something good for their individual people or causes, and the government supports many as well.

The Community Room is focused on the personal needs of _____Mr. X_____, will you join in and help Mr.X?

Community Room - The Purposes
The Community Room (CR) has three main purposes:

1) The CR is a place for registered sex offenders (RSOs/FSOs), and former sex offenders no longer required to register, and a select other group, to refer or find Guides and other information helpful to their daily lives;

2) The CR is a METHOD to push (make more widely known) ALL Advocate sites and Missions. A way to get more visibility on everything that is happening, no matter where it is happening;

3) The CR will ultimately be a HUB of helpful information (Actually links to where the information is on the Internet), needed by former sex offenders, whether registered or not.
Important to Advocates is, the CR does not intend to duplicate what is found on any Advocate site, instead, the CR is a place of documenting where the information is, so folks can find it. Critical to CR is, that every Advocate receive credit for their work, whatever it is, that focus will guide how the CR is constructed and operated.
How is all this accomplished: This begins by Advocates sending eAdvocate their "Advocate Shouts" as we are calling them and will include them in the Whats Happening message (A day/s is not yet defined [it may be 2-3 days, whatever is best for Advocates]).

Also, in effect, I am opening my mailing list to other Advocates. Now here is how this will work: Anyone, can subscribe to the Community Room messages. Then they will know, who is doing what, and can visit sites for further information. This allows VISITORS to know about all Advocate sites and blogs. More folks see Advocate messages.

What does eAdvocate gain by doing this? Nothing, unless some other blog or site reciprocates and posts the daily "What Happening Today" post in their site or blog. I am not asking folks to do that, such is up to them. The overall effect is, everyone gets more exposure.

Is this any different than simply a site showing the links of other sites? Yes, showing links does not boost a site's ranking like Google's "Other blogs" gadget does. Now am I interested in rankings? No, I really am focused on Advocates Messages (their Missions), and it appears this Community Room concept -if used by many Advocates- will have the effect of getting -ALL MESSAGES & MISSIONS- out to many eyes, which may not otherwise see them.

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Community Room - The Goals
The goals in phases, with no specific timeline, are:

Scope: Long term there may be questions as to who and what is the focus of the Community Room. The Community Room scope is about as broad as one can envision under the umbrella of sex abuse, LifeBefore before an offense, LifeDuring the offense/s (during prosecution and sentence), and LifeAfter in the community, the offenders past-present-future, and the lives of those involved or associated with persons so mentioned. That includes the laws involved with any of those. In other words: LifeBefore, LifeDuring, and LifeAfter.

Writing Principles: Whatever is written to be published in the Community Room, the writer should strive to follow the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics. We would also expect any Advocate's submission to follow same, as our intent is to be professional here in the Community Room.

Advocate Missions & Positions: One of the most important points to remember is, that to help folks we must recognize that, laws must change, and to do that it is imperative our voice is accepted by lawmakers, who are the only one that can effect change. Accordingly, Advocates Mission and Position Statements are critical to effect change, and that they are not so radical as to cause lawmakers to look the other way when that Advocate's voice is before them. Therefore, the Community Room will focus on supporting only those Advocates whose ongoing Mission or Position Statements will effect change and not cause lawmakers to shun voices of Advocates or the Community Room.

Phase-1: To recognize Advocate and their blogs and other sites, and to try to get them to participate, to help establish the various sections of the Community Room. Secondly, to catalog (with links) back to what Advocates already have developed, and create a Topic List for Community Room visitors (The thinking is many will be former sex offenders, who themselves may suggest what their needs are);

Phase-1-2: Develop Community Room Topic List: Create for FSOs and their families, a Topic List, being a list addressing the needs of all registrants' daily life. No one person is capable of knowing what each and every registrant (wherever they live) needs as they live their lives. Accordingly, if Advocates and their readership pool thoughts, this list can be developed, and updated as time goes on. Drawing from the pool of over 769,000 registrants and Advocates, not only can a solid list be developed, but also reasonable resolves to each item on the list. Finally, where (on which Advocate site) a resolve is actually described (so as to credit that Advocate for their humanitarian work on a specific need), here in the Community Room, will be a link to the information on that Advocate's site;

Phase-3: Develop a Second Level Topic List - Based on what is learned from the first Topic List developed from FSOs and FSO Advocates, then develop a similar Topic list from resources outside of FSO Advocates. These resources will come from the folks mentioned in the next goal (see below), Organizations that generally are associated with topics of sexual abuse, and the therapeutic community. The theory here is to find evidenced based resources not driven by prosecution only minded folks;

Phase-4: Related Advocates - To have industry related organizations recognize the benefits of the Community Room and possibly to get them to list it as a referral place for anyone with such needs;

Phase-5: The Media - Far too often some of the media use issues of sex offenders for rating purposes, to sensationalize, to out offenders, for fear mongering, etc. Accordingly, a proper approach has not yet been formulated, but one thing is sure, some journalists have faced issues of former offenders in a positive way, and they need to be contacted. However, since the Community Room mainly deals with the local needs of former offenders, it is believed that local Advocates may be better suited to handle media contacts;

Phase-6: Lawmakers - They will play a part, but nothing has yet been formulated on how to address them, with the Community Room concept. (BACK to the Top Page -or- scroll down)

Visitors Can Benfit From the Community Room
This is where it gets interesting and where the benefits of blogs significantly help visitors. On the right side of the Community Room you will find every Advocate site (in Groupings) I know of (if any are missing please let me know

BLOGS:  For each blog I am showing the blog title, and how many days since their last post.  Its important that actual blog posts do not appear, and here is why, Community Room readers can visually scan the No. of Days since last post, and then they know which ones they need to visit to find newer information.   (Readers know when they last visited the Community Room,. i.e., 2-3-4 days ago).

WEBSITES/VIDEO SITES/RADIO STATIONS: Unfortunately there is no way to know when these were last changed or updated like with blogs.  but, by listing ALL of them, Community Room visitors knowing these sites do not work like blogs, can then visit websites.

However, this is where Advocate Shouts come in, if Websites, Video sites and Radio stations will send me their "Shouts" when they make major changes or are planning something, and I post those announcements in the Community Room's "Whats Happening" message of the day, visitors will know which of them they should visit, to be updated on that Advocates new whatever... (Blogs can use Advocate Shouts as well)

This overall concept works, and works to the benefit of ALL. Nothing that folks are doing today -on their blogs or sites- changes IN ANY WAY. The only difference for Advocates is, to send eAdvocate their "Advocate Shouts" when they have one. Participation (optional). Thats it!

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Community Room - Posting Policy

This umbrella policy will be used to decide what can be posted to the Community Room, by blending:

1) The principles of the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights -AND- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, recognizing how those doctrines are violated;
2) Must be helpful to former offenders or their family;
3) Must not be threatening, discriminatory or attack folks;
4) Must be educational and not legal advice, that is to be left to lawyers;
5) Historical analogies consistent with the above (NEEDS REFINEMENT);
6) Must preserve the image and purpose of the Community Room and those who it was designed for.

Finally, oft time things can be said one way (hurtful), but can also be said another way (constructive), the Community Room will always opt for the "Constructive." This can be said and applied in many ways, the Community Room will always opt for the "Positive Constructions" and reject the negative.
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Policy: Advocate Shouts
Lets begin with, I do not want to duplicate what is on your site, I am not into that, nor should that be how an Advocate should use these "Shouts." The purpose is to tell the world (so to speak) "Whats Happening OVER THERE," over there being an Advocate's site.

For those who wish to participate, please write a short paragraph, of what you want to announce. Include any relevant links and they will be included in your Shout. Now, since the only way to change laws that affect folks is, to get lawmakers to make changes, then it behoves folks to post messages that take current law into consideration. Lawmakers will simply ignore you if you profess nonsense instead of current law on whatever topic you are speaking about.

One topic comes to mind is, ex post facto claims, and the Adam Walsh Act, in general. One can never BROADLY claim, that, the Adam Walsh Act is an ex post facto violation. First there are different Titles within AWA, some of which are brand spanking new (stronger sentences for certain crimes) and they are only applied to new convictions. Accordingly, AWA can never be BROADLY claimed to be an ex post facto violation.

Now, as to SORNA portion of AWA (requirements of those required to register), again one cannot BROADLY say, that portion is an ex post facto violation, because, as to those convicted AFTER the enactment of SORNA, ex post facto just doesn't apply (and I am ignoring the civil issue in my statement). It helps advocates to understand how and when these constitutional claims come into play. Unfortunately, the courts (those that count) have not said SORNA is punishment, and without that at a minimum, ex post facto is not applicable. However, with that said, if you preface your comment with say "I/We believe SORNA is ___ ___ ___" then I have no problem with your claims.
It is imperative we place before lawmakers things they cannot refute, therefore careful construction of what we say, benefits ALL. There are many smart readers out there and some do know law, and we do not want to scare them away. I've been corrected several times, and I have learned from those corrections.

Some things I will not post are: Hateful messages; Anything harmful to anyone, even those who oppose Advocate issues; Messages that appear to be arguments between Advocates; Anything that violates copyright issues or is obvious plagiarism. There may be others which I cannot think of at the moment and I reserve the right to make changes to this list for cause.

Please use good judgement when writing your Advocate Shouts.

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Policy: Helpful to Daily Life Messages
Often an Advocate has something special on their site which all FSOs could benefit from. example: OnceFallen has a very good commentary on "Housing" which I have included here in my section "Helpful Hints for FSOs and Their Families" and I have given it a "Topic Tag" of "Housing." (See right side of this page) This allows anyone who comes to the Community Room easy access to OnceFallen's commentary, on his site.

Accordingly, if you have something (and it does not have to be just Housing related) on your site that I can phase in here and assign a referral "Topic Tag" to, please let me know. The KEY here is, it must be something that benefits FSOs or their families in their daily lives (more along the lines of advice or referrals etc.). Its going to take some time to find everything applicable under this heading, so bear with me as we all learn from this.

Now, it has been said, that folks who have committed sex crimes, come from all walks of life and all sorts of vocations. That community is 769,402 plus strong according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Those facts tell me there is incredible talent out there, and talent capable of GREAT things, if given a chance. Well, here is a chance to help the Community, a chance to put those talents to good use, and for the benefit of the Community. Credit and attribution will be your reward.
Here is what I am eluding to, there is an example of "Helpful to the FSO Community" already which I will use to explain this important section. OnceFallen developed, what he calls, "THE ONCE FALLEN HOUSING GUIDE" -on his website- the purpose of which is simply to help folks find housing, knowing that is a problem for many today. In addition, he has developed his "SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTIVIST?" to give folks an idea of what they need to do to fight laws affecting them.

Now if there are others which I could also have used, I apologize for not mentioning them today, but I need to know about them. Those folks still have a chance by sending eAdvocate a e-mail ( with a description of what they have on their site (w/URL to refer folks to), and it will be included in the next "Whats Happening" message. I will develop all the link-backs to redirect folks to your site.

Onward, folks need to look at the needs of the FSO Community, and if you have suggestions, write about it (similar to the Housing Guide) give it a name, maybe "An Employment Guide: Do's and Don'ts" put it on your site, then get me to list it here. Credit and attribution will be included.

The FSO community needs to help itself, using talents found in the FSO community. And, if you are one who has already restored yourself (and your family, if any) in your community, please let us know, we need to let the FSO community know the "How You Did It," so that it can help others.

Now, if you are just a visitor, and do not have a blog or website, but feel you have something to contribute, please let me put it on this site with credits to you (either by name, if you wish, or I'll assign a number to protect your anonymity).

Hopefully I have explained the purpose of this section of the "Helpful to Daily Life" message, but if you still have questions, please let me know (

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Policy: Gloom & Reality Messages
Into life some rain must fall, and here is where "Mr. GR" reports where rain has fallen.

We all know there are many things in a FSOs' life that are gloomy, but every little thing should not be reported. Mr GR Reports are for something like "A new law was passed in Arizona, which will ___ ___ ___, and more information about it can be found on _____'s site (Please CLICK)."

It is going to take time to figure out exactly what is considered "Gloom & Reality" by Advocates, so give me time to learn from everyone.

Advocate Gloom & Reality Messages can be -within reason- say a max of about 1,000 characters (not cast in stone). The idea is to give folks notice of something and to find further information about that something somewhere else. You may have to read that twice, but you'll get my idea.

Advocate Gloom & Reality Messages should be sent to separate from other things so I have time to get them posted and folded in to the daily "Whats Happening Message."

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (BACK to the Top Page)

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