Of new and old sex offender study groups
Word came yesterday that Gov. Martin O'Malley has activated the state's dormant Sexual Offender Advisory Board as he pushes for six sex offender reforms this year. This morning, the governor's office released details of the plan.
The Democratic governor selected former Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. to serve as board chairman, and Curran said last night that he is getting right to work and believes the board "can make a real difference."
The O'Malley administration has previously detailed why the board, which was formed by a 2006 emergency state law, never met and never fulfilled its duty to write a report due at the end of last year.
The original chairman of the board, former Prince George's County Sheriff James Aluisi, said he tried in vain over the years to get the group to meet. The state Department of Public Sfaety and Correctional Services secretary says he never heard from Aluisi.
Del. Barbara A. Frush, a Democrat representing Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties, reached me yesterday to say that Aluisi, who is a longtime family friend, "really did make every effort to get something going." She said she called the governor's office years ago to tell them Aluisi was trying to reach them, "but no one at the top end of the office got my message."
"I feel badly about this," she said.
Other sex offender provisions have also gone unused. Only twice in three years have judges ordered mental health evaluations for child sex offenders, as required by a 2007 law. The Maryland court system has yet to explain why, saying only that they are "researching the issue."
There was supposed to be a hearing about all of this one week from today in the House Judiciary Committee. Word is, it has been cancelled as of this morning.