[hackerspaces] Sex Offenders at a 'Space
jcraver at shaw.ca
Tue Feb 10 21:46:22 CET 2015
The board of your space should be looking out for the interests of your organization first and foremost. If you and your organization's members are comfortable with Mr. XXX being in the space, great. If not, then don't. Although openness is a common theme in spaces, you don't owe anything to Mr. XXX or his parole officer, you owe it to your organization to facilitate an environment where members can feel safe. Given the man's history, I think it would be downright negligent on your part to *knowingly* allow him or any other sex offender to be in the same place as where some members bring children.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Bowman" <steve.l3o.bowman at gmail.com>
To: discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 12:23:01 PM
Subject: [hackerspaces] Sex Offenders at a 'Space
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 opinions.
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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