Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tips for kids at home

Many children stay home alone for long periods of time during the summer. Here are some things to teach your children:

1. Provide telephone numbers for your children to reach you. Advise co workers your children may check-in.
2. Teach your children how and when to call 9-1-1.
3. Teach children not to open the door to others with out your permission.
4. Teach children to never let a person at the door or on the phone know that they are home alone.
5. You might consider getting caller ID and screen your calls.
6. If your trusted neighbors will be home during your absence, arrange for your children to check-in with them.
7. Teach children how to escape in case of fire and designate a meeting place.
8. Determine which household appliances you want your children to use.
9. Provide activities and chores for your children to help keep them busy.

Alcohol and the life of James

James is a 13-year-old boy who has been hanging around with friends that have parents that throw drinking parties every weekend. Now James parents drink but not very often, so he is not a stranger to alcohol. One weekend he asks his parents if he can go and spend the night at his friend Tom’s home. They agree. Tom’s parents are having a party as usual. James is introduced to the taste of his first beer. In addition, he really likes the taste and how it makes him feel. James is now on the road to alcoholism. Of course he doesn’t know it as of yet. Let us fast forward a few years.
James is now out of high school and in his first year of college. He has learned that a couple of beers will make him able to talk to other people without being shy or reserved, that it makes him feel better than he has in a long time, and that it helps him sleep. He has a few friends that drink with him but he always drinks them under the table and he never seems to get enough. James only drinks on weekends because of his schoolwork so he feels that it is not affecting him any. Fast forward, another year or two he is about 21 now and drinks on weekends and on Wednesdays just to get by. He hates the feeling that he has when not drinking and at this age it already hurts not to drink and just a day or two between drinking is just about all he can stand. James, at this point does not yet realize he is an alcoholic.
At the age of 23 he has been in his first car wreck and his first DUI, spent the night in jail, and has to call his parents to bail him out. James experiences for the first time how it feels to be a criminal. His car is a wreck but drivable but what do you think happens? Do you think that this first experience with the law will stop him? No, he is remorseful, sorry, upset at himself but after a few weeks he is back to drinking again.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Online Tools to Discover Where Sexual Predators and Criminals Live in Your Neighborhood

Parents, teachers and other guardians who are concerned about the safety of their children can often reduce the risks their children face by educating themselves as to where sexual predators and criminals reside in their neighborhoods. Registered sex offenders are listed in a national and/or state database, available to the public online, as well as on criminal background check websites. Listings usually include their full name and home address, letting parents type in their zip code and find out which homes in their neighborhood conceal potential threats to their children. Here are several online tools that can be used to search for sexual predators in your area.

Family Watchdog: Family Watchdog maintains that “awareness is your best defense.” Users can search multiple states at once if they want to search by location. The site also lets users search by name if they are trying to track down a particular offender. In addition, this site posts information about food and drug recalls and product recalls. Search by name or zip code at to find registered sex offenders in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. If users search by zip code, they can view a map of their area that pinpoints the exact location of sex offenders. This site gives a history of sex offender laws in addition to providing a comprehensive search. Users who suspect their neighbor of being a sex offender can type in their name or address to find out if they are listed. Otherwise, users can search by zip code or city.

National and Governmental Sites
These websites are organized by national and/or governmental agencies, making your search more official.

National Alert Registry The motto of the National Alert Registry is to “be aware, be alert, be safe.” Currently, the registry includes over 500,000 listings that include names, addresses and even photos of the sex offenders. Users can register their neighborhood or area of interest with the registry to receive RED ALERTs by e-mail whenever a new name is added.

Megan’s Law Nationwide Registries and Links: This page features a Megan’s Law Report Card, which grades states on how accessible they make sexual predator information to the public and on the number of registrants vs. the number of actual offenders. The site also displays links to sex offender registries by state and provides users with an easy way to report child pornography.

Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry: This website is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and lets users search for violent sex offenders who may prey on adults as well as children. There is also a search for general sex offenders who have a criminal past with minors. Users can search by region, state, zip code, name or conduct a nationwide search.

Top Community Watch Blog