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McGoff: Take care of your most valuable asset

March 14, 2012
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Indiana Lawyer Commentary

By Sharon McGoff

mcgoff-sharon McGoff

Do you remember your first car? Do you still have it? Most likely, it has long since died and you traded it in for a new model, many new models ago. But, what if you were told you could have one car to last your lifetime? How would you have taken care of that first car? Would you have regularly taken it in for maintenance, washed and vacuumed it, put quality gas in the tank, kept it garaged, and driven it reasonably so as to not stress the engine? You likely would have taken extraordinary care of this car, knowing it would be your only means of transportation for your life.

Compare this car to your own body. This is the first and only body you have, right? You can’t trade it in for a newer model when it wears out, yet we are not kind to our bodies. We don’t maintain them to keep them strong, alert and healthy; we don’t drive them reasonably; we don’t put good fuel in our tanks; and we survive on low quality and quantity sleep, all of which put an undue amount of stress on our body’s engine. We all have excuses for not taking care of ourselves: too busy, too tired, don’t know where to begin, don’t know how to relax/de-stress. Let’s get past these excuses, one choice at a time.

“I’m too busy to exercise.” Small steps go a long way. You don’t need 30 or 60 minutes at one time to exercise. Exercise in any amount gets your heart pumping and keeps your arteries flexible and malleable, preventing heart disease. To fit incidental exercise into your day:

Take the stairs and not the elevator. If you work on the 28th floor, take the stairs to the fourth floor, then take the elevator the rest of the way. Each week, tackle one more floor.

Walk for 15 minutes before work, at lunch or after dinner. Park far away from the building you are going to.

Walk to your co-worker’s office instead of calling or emailing, and schedule walking meetings.

If you watch TV, do 10 pushups, 10 situps and 10 squats during each commercial.

At your children’s activities, instead of sitting, walk for 15 minutes, do 15 toe raises, 15 squats, and 15 pushups against the bleachers or wall.

Play with your kids when you see them outside – remember hopscotch and HORSE?

In your office, sit in your chair and stand 10 times; put your hands on your desk and do 10 pushups; hold your arms out to the side and circle them 10 times in each direction for a minute.

“I’m too busy to eat healthy.” With the time it takes to drive to a fast food restaurant, wait in line, order and pick up your food, you could have made a healthy meal. A few ideas for each meal:

Breakfast: Low fat/low sugar yogurt with fruit; whole grain/high fiber cereal with skim milk, egg whites and whole grain toast.

Lunch or dinner: Make a large bowl of salad with pre-cut vegetables on the weekend to enjoy all week. Buy pre-cooked chicken breasts to pair with the salad and use barbecue sauce instead of fattening dressing; to serve with vegetables; or to slice in a tortilla with salsa and low-fat cheese. Make boxed macaroni and cheese without butter and with skim milk, canned tuna/chicken and vegetables.

Snacks: Fruit and raw vegetables, low-fat string cheese and Greek yogurt. These snacks are high in fiber and protein, which keeps you satiated longer.

“I’m too tired.” Numerous studies prove exercise actually increases your energy. Even if you feel tired, exercise for at least 10 minutes. If you don’t feel energized after that time, it’s not your day. Also consider how late you stay up and whether that time is well spent and worth living in a tired and worn-out body.

“I don’t know where to begin.” First, get clearance from your doctor and find out if you have any restrictions. Once you are given the “go,” start slowly. You didn’t gain weight overnight and it won’t go away overnight, but it will go away with each healthy choice you make. Slow and steady wins the race! Incorporate incidental exercises into your day, as described above, and begin with 15 minutes of daily walking. Gradually increase the time each week by 10 percent. Write the exercise in your calendar as an appointment that will not be missed, much like an important client meeting.

“I don’t know how to relax/de-stress.” Of course you do! All you have to do is BREATHE. You can do that, right? Breathing doesn’t take extra time or resources, and you can do it anywhere, anytime! Here’s what to do: inhale deeply from your belly, counting to four, letting your belly expand, hold your breath for one count, and exhale completely for eight counts. Repeat until stress subsides.

If you have five minutes, find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and take several slow, deep breaths to clear your mind. Continue breathing deeply and repeat the word “one” to yourself as you exhale. If you get distracted, just bring your focus back to the word “one.” Remember, you can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.

Unlike your first car, this is the only body you have. Make a commitment with yourself to take care of it, one choice at a time. You are worth it!•

Sharon McGoff is a graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a certified personal trainer and health fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine, and a certified life and wellness coach with WellCoaches, Inc. She owns Fit 4 Life Coaching and welcomes your questions or comments at Smcgoff@comcast.net.
 

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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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