|Purpose:||To affect a change in sex offender registration laws and requirements.|
|SOhopeful is an activist organization formed by and for registered sex offenders, whose goal is to bring change to sex offender laws as they deem them to be unfair and unjust.|
SOhopeful International, Inc. AKA SOhopeful is yet another organization formed to affect a change in laws regarding sex offender registration, due to the belief by those same offenders that they are being treated unfairly as a result of the current laws in place.
SOhopeful was formerly known as the SOhopeful Legal Defense Fund, which was an organization designed to raise funds in an effort to bring about a change in sex offender laws in the State of Oregon specifically. Tom Madison, a convicted sex offender, joined the group following his own conviction and requirement to register on the state's registry. From there he decided to create SOhopeful, and later SOhopeful International, to serve beyond fund raising efforts as a political action group which would seek out registered sex offenders to join in his campaign. SOhopeful has chapters in all 50 states with other members from Canada and from the United Kingdom as well. Made up of convicted sex offenders, family, friends and supporters, the group is currently under the leadership of Carolyn Ferguson, a former sexual abuse victim as a child who has friends she claims were falsely accused of sex crimes.
SOhopeful would like legislators, the media, and the general public, to believe that registered sex offenders are largely made up of people who do not need or deserve monitoring or restrictive laws, stating that a large number of offenders are persons who were convicted of crimes related to offenses such as urinating in public, taking photos of babies breastfeeding, and "consensual" statutory rape. They claim extremely low rates of recidivism, yet fail to recognize that such low rates are a good indicator that the current laws are serving their purpose. SOhopeful has even gone so far as to claim that children are victims of current sex offender registration laws because it leaves them fatherless and vulnerable to emotional and behavioral problems, rape, drug use, pregnancy and even suicide.
One of the co-founders, Jim Freeman was recently arrested on child porn charges.
In the early evening of March 7, 2008, the SOhopeful Board of Directors released this statement after it became obvious to them that the media had picked up on the story of Jim Freeman's indictment and his connection with their group:
A few hours later, this statement was replaced on their main page with a notice of the groups dissolution:
"WE EMBRACE THE FOLLOWING GOALS:"
- Education of the public, legislators and the media to dispel the numerous myths about sex offenders utilizing solid facts from reputable agencies and professional organizations;
- Strengthen Megan's Law by eliminating the majority of registrants which are low risk;
- The conformity of state and federal laws, specifically: age of consent, and which actions constitute a sex offence;
- Establishment of rational and consistent criteria for risk assessment and adoption of procedure to challenge/amend risk assessment level;
- Re-examination of policies that mandate intense (and in some US states lifelong) supervision of lowest-risk registrants;
- Preservation and maintenance of the family unit - all registrants are more successful with support systems in place;
- Maintain civil rights per the United States and State Constitutions and respective documents in other countries;
- Prevent unjust application of federal and state statutes and rules; and
- Provide informational resources and networking opportunities for convicted former sex offenders and their families.
Note: The "executive positions" of this organization change often and rapidly. The following people hold, or have held, the following positions:
- Carolyn Ferguson - Executive Director, Communications Director, Board Member
- Tom Madison - Finance Director
- Jim Freeman - Legal Affairs Director, Executive Director, Co-founder
- Christine - Non-Offending Parent Outreach
- Liz - Media Project Coordinator
- Antonio - Juvenile Issues Coordinator
Last Known Address
1900 NE 181st Ave., Suite 111
Portland, OR 97230
Last Known Phone Numbers
- SOhopeful International, Inc.
- SOhopeful's Cafepress store
- SOhopeful's Forums
If you have any information regarding this site or the identities of any of the members, contact us at [email protected].
is part of a series on evil-unveiled.com.