[hackerspaces] Sex Offenders at a 'Space

Steve Bowman steve.l3o.bowman at gmail.com
Tue Feb 10 21:23:01 CET 2015

Hi there,

The board of our 'space has recently received a notification from a Parole
Officer (PO) that a sex offender is interested in visiting and possibly
joining our organization. We asked for further clarification on the crime
and the response was as follows (some info redacted for privacy)

In regards to the offense that he is on supervision for, it involved Mr.
> XXX (27 years old) inappropriately touching a 13 year old female neighbor.
> This occurred on several occasions in 2007 before he was arrested.  He is
> required to register with the XX Sex Offender Registry Program for his
> entire lifetime.

Our organizational structure allows us to refuse admission to a new member
for any reason. This option has never been exercised before.

Based on the size of our organization, and local statistics (Sex
offender/unit population), it's likely that we have a few sex offenders in
our membership already - statistically at least. We haven't and do not plan
on conducting background checks The only reason this topic is being
discussed is since we received notification from the PO, which is legally
required from them based on the nature and severity of crime.

A few details specific to our organization that may be important to this
discussion. We do not allowed members under 18. But many members bring
their kids with them. The kids must always be supervised but, being kids,
do get away once in a while. All members have 24/7 access to our facility

So my question is - *have other 'spaces dealt with this situation in the
past? If yes, how? Or if does come up, how would you deal with it in the
future? *

*If we do let this person in, should we notify all members? *That might
start a witch hunt or get this person treated in a unfair manner. Unfair is
obviously open to individual interpretations.

I welcome and appreciate feedback from past experiences and/or personal


P.S. Is there way to search this mailing list archive so I can consult
previous discussions on this and other topics. I can download the archive
and implement a search function but maybe there is a better way already...
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