December 17, 2014

Local facility to house homeless sex offenders

12-17-2014 Ohio:

MANSFIELD – The Richland County Community Corrections Board approved a change Wednesday to admit some homeless county sex offenders to a local facility.

Nothing Into Something Real Estate is a faith-based nonprofit agency with headquarters in Columbus. Representatives from the group proposed two changes at Wednesday’s meeting.

One change would expand the eligibility for the exit program, now located on East Cook Road, to admit some homeless Richland County sex offenders who committed their crimes locally.

Target populations include homeless sex offenders convicted of failure to register and those who have completed Volunteers of America sex offender treatment.

No sex offenders will be accepted from other counties. The program will provide housing and monitoring, with treatment to be referred to existing local agencies.

The measure passed unanimously.

“It’s hard to keep track of a guy who has no residence,” Common Pleas Judge Brent Robinson said.

Robinson said Judge James DeWeese, who was ill Wednesday, drafted the language.

The other change would be to establish a homeless women’s program in the county, located in two of the houses of the old Crossroads halfway house. The program would initially house up to 15 women who are convicted in and reside in the county.

In other notes from the meeting, Mansfield Safety-Service Director Lori Cope said vehicle thefts in the city have gone up “astronomically.” Such thefts are up 133 percent this year.

Prosecutor Bambi Couch Page offered a reason.

“We have a theft ring that is going on in three counties,” she said. “They’re stealing cars and chopping them.”

After the meeting, Couch Page declined to divulge the other two counties.

In his update, Commissioner Tim Wert asked sheriff’s Maj. Joe Masi about the possibility of deputies wearing body cameras “due to things that are going on nationwide.”

“We’re checking with three different companies; Mansfield police are doing the same thing,” Masi said. “It does come with a hefty price tag. For everyone to have a camera, it would probably be $40,000 to $50,000.” ..Source.. by Mark Caudill

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December 16, 2014

Parks Board decision on restricting sex offenders pushed back

12-15-2014 Indiana:

Enforcement remains a concern for several Vigo County Park Board members, as the board on Monday continued its discussion of whether or not people listed on the state’s sex offender registry should be banned from visiting county parks.

County Attorney Michael Wright told the board that the Indiana Supreme Court overturned an ordinance in Jeffersonville, found unconstitutional as it violated an individual’s rights who had been removed from the sex offender list. Some offenses require a person to be on the list only for 10 years, while other offenses place a person on the list for a lifetime.

The state supreme court upheld an ordinance adopted in Plainfield as it determined that visiting a park system is not a fundamental right protected under the state constitution or the U.S. constitution. That ordinance has a clause allowing people removed from the list to visit parks.

“Based on that, you can safely say if you enact an ordinance that has a certain level of protection in it, for cases as applied that are unconstitutional, then you are probably in a pretty defensible position from a litigation perspective,” Wright said.

However, Wright told the board that outside of Indiana, other states have not enacted such restrictive ordinances, instead considering “parks by nature are better when open.”

“I think that other jurisdictions outside the state of Indiana are probably looking at it from a common sense perspective and saying, ‘We are not really sure this is how we want to go,’” Wright told the board.

Indiana law does not prohibit those on the sex offender registry from visiting public parks, and Indiana state parks do not have a policy restricting sex offenders from entering parks.

Peggy Harlan, who is president of the board, along with board members Matt Schalburg and Jim Luzar questioned how the parks department could effectively enforce a county ordinance. Luzar said every person entering any of the county parks would have to be checked against sex offender lists and would delay access to the parks. The parks department does not have the manpower for such checks, Parks Superintendent Kara Kish told the board.

Luzar suggested instead of a blanket policy, the board consider focusing just on camping, as the parks department already has an application process. ..Source.. by Howard Greninger Tribune-Star

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December 15, 2014

R.I. prison system lacks resources to care for mentally ill inmates

12-15-2014 Rhode Island:

CRANSTON — To reach D-mod, a specialized unit at the High Security Center of the Adult Correctional Institutions, you must pass through a series of steel doors manned by guards inside fortified control booths. You must be escorted by at least one correctional officer — on this day, William Galligan, a lieutenant. Louis A. Cerbo, the Department of Corrections’ clinical director, joins him on a tour.

Each of D-mod’s 12 cells holds a single prisoner. Each cell has cinder-block walls, a high ceiling, one fluorescent light, a camera, a tiny window facing outside, a larger window facing in, and a bunk and steel toilet/sink fixture, both bolted to the concrete floor. The metal mirror, warped by age, distorts your reflection. The total floor space of each cell is 76 square feet. There are no radios, televisions, or computers. It is eerily quiet, except when someone is in crisis.

A small number of D-mod inmates, diagnosed with severe mental illness, spend most of their days alone in these cells.

During the hour or sometimes more that they are out, they take outdoor “recreation” in steel cages, watch a group TV, visit the library or classroom, or receive counseling and related services. When they shower, liquid soap is poured into their palms, since a bar could be used to attempt self-asphyxiation, or, wrapped and swung in a towel, used as a weapon.

These men on D-mod, home of the Observation and Stabilization Unit, are among the sickest people at the ACI.

Galligan says their care has improved since Cerbo was hired in late 2011: correctional officers have undergone training and they belong to mental-health teams created by the clinical director. Galligan says his job these days includes what he calls “a social-worker aspect.”

“We don’t throw them in a cell and forget them,” he says. “We try to make it a little bit better, rather than exacerbate the situation. We get them medicated, we get them compliant, we get them stabilized.”

“We work together,” Cerbo says. “We have to understand their perspective and they have to understand ours.”

The same approach, says Cerbo, is used elsewhere at the ACI, including in High Security’s other modules. According to department spokeswoman Susan Lamkins, 17 of High Security’s 94 inmates, as of last Monday, were classified as “high risk” — men diagnosed with schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other severe disorders who have exhibited unruly, self-injurious or suicidal behaviors. Another 31 were classified as “moderate to low-risk mentally ill offenders.”

Treatment teams include doctors, social workers, and education and discharge-planning specialists, according to Cerbo. ..Continued.. by G. WAYNE MILLER, JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

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‘Bang, Bang:’ Sex Offender Devon Naeem Davis Gets Two Extra Years In Prison For Insensitive Comment, Justice?

12-15-2014 Oregon:

One sex offender has definitely learned the consequences that words can carry. According to CBS News, Devon Naeem Davis recently received an additional two years behind bars for an insensitive remark he made at the time of his sentencing back in May.

On that particular day, he appeared in a Washington County Circuit Court room where he was sentenced to four years in prison for indecent exposure and second-degree assault against a pre-teen girl. Following the sentencing, the man reportedly turned to the mother of the victim and said, “bang, bang.” The shocking comment caused the judge to ask him to repeat what he’d said. Although he stated that he said, “dang, dang” the judge reportedly refused to believe his claim.

So on Thursday, December 11, Davis appeared before Circuit Judge Viki M. Pauler where he reportedly plead guilty to retaliation against a witness. Needless to say, Judge Pauler had no reservation about expressing her disdain for Davis’ careless comments.

According to Herald Mail Media, here’s a brief exchange of the conversation that took place on Thursday between Judge Pauler and Assistant Public Defender Thomas Tamm:
“That is not believable,” Wright said. “Mr. Davis, this disturbs me greatly and lying about it doesn’t help.”

“This court doesn’t take very kindly to threatening witnesses,” Pauler said Thursday before imposing the sentence.

“Mr. Davis had a very dysfunctional family life,” Tamm said. “Now that he has served some time in prison, he wants to get on with his life,” Tamm said.
Davis reportedly received an additional two years in prison for his actions. Do you think the punishment first the crime? Share your thoughts. ..Source.. ...

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December 13, 2014

Corrections Officials Revise Policies to Release More Violent, Sex Offenders

12-13-2014 Oklahoma:

Pushing to reduce prison overcrowding, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has quietly changed its policies to give early releases to greater numbers of violent and sex offenders, according to agency documents obtained by Oklahoma Watch.

The department is doing so by relaxing policies that determine which types of inmates can receive early-release credits, when those credits can be given, and how many credits offenders can receive, corrections department records show.

Previously, for example, inmates convicted of violent or sex crimes, such as murder, robbery, or rape, who lost early-release credits because of “misconducts” in prison were not eligible for restored credits. They are eligible now.

These types of inmates are among the more than 1,500 offenders, convicted of violent or non-violent crimes, that the department has released since March using restored credits.

At least dozens of those prisoners have since been arrested for other crimes, including murder, bank robbery and sexual assault, according to a check of court and county-jail records in a sampling of counties. One prisoner charged with bank robbery in June had been denied parole twice, in 2012 and 2013.

Some law enforcement officials say the stepped-up early releases are putting public safety at risk, but corrections officials maintain that’s not the case.

Officials have said publicly that accelerated releases of inmates through restored credits did not represent a policy change, only a more efficient use of existing policy. But Oklahoma Watch’s review of copies of department memos and a comparison of old and new policies show the agency granted exceptions to policies, then revised the policies, to enable the early releases. The DOC has revised its policies on restored credits four times this year.

Department memos and other records show the Corrections Department made other key changes to increase releases of inmates:

• The agency doubled the maximum number of certain early-release credits that can be earned by or restored to inmates.

• The DOC altered a policy to allow credits to be earned for inmates serving “split life sentences,” which typically require inmates to spend 20 to 30 years in prison and the rest of their life on probation. The change was retroactive, meaning credits were awarded going back to the first day of incarceration. One sex offender was given 12 years worth of credits and released on Dec. 10.

• The department reversed a policy that banned restoration of credits to inmates who are in a punishment period following a misconduct in prison. Now inmates can regain credits within those periods -- six months to two years, depending on the infraction -- and be released early. That includes inmates with violations for escape, assaulting a staff member, rioting or possessing a weapon.

• Officials decided that a state law banning inmates convicted of drug trafficking from getting credits does not apply to those convicted of aggravated drug trafficking, a worse crime. Aggravated means an additional factor was involved, such as a large amount of drugs – 1,000 pounds vs. 25 pounds of marijuana, for example -- or a prior criminal record.

The changes were part of an effort to reduce overcrowding in prisons. In August, two-thirds of prisons were officially over capacity, in part because about 3,000 state inmates had been moved from county jails into prisons. Prisons also were full because efforts to reduce incarceration, such as a Justice Reinvestment Initiative offering alternative treatment for nonviolent offenders, had stalled, advocates of the initiative said.

Speedy Exits

Department records reveal a sense of urgency to get inmates out of prison.

A March 10 memo sent by Ed Evans, associate corrections director, to all facility heads had an attachment saying registration paperwork for sex and violent offenders whose credits were restored must be “completed immediately and forwarded to the Sex Offender Registration Unit so that their release is delayed no longer than necessary.

“Due to the short notice, staff will need to assist the offenders in contacting family and/or friends to arrange their transportation home,” the attachment said.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said he’s concerned that accelerated releases are causing a danger to the public.

“I think what you’re going to see within a year, maybe less, is a spike in crime by the offenders released to the street,” said Prater. “They’ve shown they can’t behave behind the walls. They’re certainly not going to behave on the outside without supervision.”

Corrections Director Robert Patton maintained the releases are not a threat to public safety. The department is simply fulfilling the law for early-release credits approved by the legislature, he said.

“Am I going to tell you that everyone I release will never come back to prison again? Of course not,” Patton said. “But what I can tell you is that the only way the system can be effective is if there’s a way to earn (early-release credits) back.” It is a “carrot and stick” approach, he said.

Gov. Mary Fallin told Oklahoma Watch, “There has to be a fine balance between having the system and protecting the public … If there’s an incentive for an inmate to behave because they have the opportunity to earn good time credits, that certainly helps correctional officers and employees with those inmates.”

Easing a ‘Jail Backup’

When Patton took over the director’s job on Feb. 18, the backup of state inmates in jails was already a serious concern.

County jail officials were criticizing the state’s low reimbursement rate for housing state inmates and slow response in picking them up.

Minutes from a November 2013 Board of Corrections meeting show staff and board members were looking at the problem. Terri Watkins, director of DOC communications, said Patton immediately began working on the issue and meeting with law enforcement officials.

Prater said that shortly before taking over as director, Patton visited with him and others at the District Attorneys Council meeting and talked about using restored-credits to step up releases.

“Patton told us they were going to be very careful about who they released and would use evidence-based assessments of who they released,” Prater said. “I don’t believe that’s occurred.”

Patton has said the department initially believed the jail backup was about 1,900 prisoners, but the number turned out to be closer to 3,000.

At a corrections board meeting on April 3, Laura Pitman, division manager for field support, said that restoring early-release credits to shrink the prison population was the first phase of emptying the jails, board minutes show. Beginning March 10, offenders who had lost credits because of violations “were reviewed for possible restoration of those lost credits if the return resulted in an immediate discharge,” she said.

Between March 10 and March 28, the prison system released 436 prisoners using restored credits, the April 3 minutes show.

In October, Patton told a legislative panel that removing inmates from the jails had saved at least $11 million. However, “it’s much more than about the dollar figure – it’s preparing inmates for release into society,” Patton told legislators, referring to lack of rehabilitative programs in jails. “It is my responsibility, to the best of my ability and within my budget, to prepare offenders for release. That’s what correctional systems are about.”

Relaxing Restrictions

Most inmates can earn early-release credits. There are two basic types: credits for just being incarcerated, and “achievement credits” for good behavior or participating in prison programs, such as education and substance-abuse treatment. Each credit represents one day of early release. Some prisoners accumulate hundreds or thousands of credits.

The credits are used as an incentive for inmates to behave well and to seek rehabilitation as well a way for prison officers to control the inmate population.

When state inmates break rules or laws in prison or in a county jail, they can lose credits. Credits can be restored, with restrictions.

Corrections Department memos and policy records obtained by Oklahoma Watch document the loosening of restrictions for earning and restoring credits.

In July, for example, the department made a policy change that eliminated the maximum number of early-release days – 365 – that could be restored to an inmate. The maximum became unlimited. As a result, some prisoners released earlier this year had thousands of credits restored to them. In November, the department reinstated a cap, at 730 days.

The only inmates ineligible to have credits restored are those with active misconducts in prison – meaning the violation occurred within the previous six months to two years - that would also likely lead to criminal charges: killing another person, participating in an act that killed another person, or rape/forced sex.

The department also doubled the number of achievement credits that can be earned in some programs, such as halfway-house work release. It doubled the number of credits awarded for continued good behavior, too, from 30 to 60 for four months without a misconduct.

Another change involved inmates serving time for “85 percent” crimes – violent, drug or sex crimes requiring that at least 85 percent of sentences be served. Those offenders generally cannot receive early-release credits until after they have reached the 85 percent mark.

Under old policies, such inmates who violated rules in prison and lost their credits could not have any credits restored. The new policy allows for restoring credits if the inmate meets certain requirements related to time left on the sentence and the nature of their crime and misconduct, a copy of the new policy shows.

Prisoners with split-life sentences used to be lumped in with those serving life imprisonment sentences and thus were not eligible to earn credits. However, a tally of the credits was still kept in case their sentence was modified. The new corrections policy retroactively applies all of the credits.

An example is a 58-year-old sex offender, Ricky D. Smothers, who had 4,444 credits, or more than 12 years, awarded to him this month because of the policy changes, according to department records.

In September 1997, a Lincoln County judge sentenced Smothers to life in prison with all but 30 years suspended after the offender pleaded guilty to raping and molesting his 4-year-old, mentally disabled stepdaughter near Chandler. The crime was covered by the news media.

Smothers had very few misconduct violations in prison and, after serving 17 years, was released on Dec. 10 under probation, records show.

Another early release, first reported by The Oklahoman, involved Antonio Ray Mason, who in 1994 was sentenced to 35 years in prison for second-degree murder. Mason shot another man with a pistol during a robbery. During his time in prison, Mason committed 25 misconducts, 10 of which were major, “Class-X” misconducts ranging from possession of a cell phone to committing battery on a staff member without injury, department records show.

In August, Mason was given eight and a half years of restored early-release credits and released.

Other prisoners released through restored credits have since been accused of new crimes, according to a sampling of court and jail-roster records checked by Oklahoma Watch in Comanche, Garfield, Grady, Okmulgee, Osage, Roger and Tulsa counties. Thirty-eight accused re-offenders were found.

Aaron J. Rock, 24, was released in April after serving three years of a seven-year sentence for drug, weapons and robbery charges. Rock’s application for parole had been denied by Gov. Fallin in 2012 and by the Pardon and Parole Board in 2013. In October, he pleaded guilty in federal court to a June 14 bank robbery in Sand Springs.

John M. Hensley, 27, was released from prison in April after serving four years of a six-year sentence for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. In October, he was arrested in Ardmore and charged with attempted rape and various aggravated assault counts.

In April, 30-year-old Desmond La’don Campbell, serving time for attempted kidnapping, exited prison after receiving 362 restored credits, as first reported by the Tulsa World. Corrections records show he had lost the credits for possessing a cellphone or its paraphernalia or posting to a computer site, considered a major violation because of some prisoners’ use of cellphones to coordinate gang activity. His credits were restored under an exception to the restored-credits policy. He was later suspected in at least seven rapes across Tulsa in June. He died on July 8 after a single-car crash on June 29.

There is insufficient data to determine whether the recidivism rate is higher for inmates released so far this year through restored credits than for all inmates released from the prison system. The department says 21 percent of offenders released in fiscal year 2010 returned to the system by the end of fiscal 2013.

It’s also not clear how many inmates have been given an early release under each policy change. The corrections department provided to Oklahoma Watch a list of 1,497 inmates released from prison because of restored credits from March through September but provided no details about each inmate’s credits or misconducts. About 12 percent of the offenders had names common for females; about 10 percent of Oklahoma’s inmate population are women.

Reports of Light Punishment

Sean Wallace, director of a correctional workers group, and some corrections department employees say besides the early releases, corrections officers are being told in many cases not to report offenders or take away early-release credits for misconducts.

“There’s all this pressure on them not to write people up,” said Wallace, who heads Oklahoma Corrections Professionals. “…Even if they do pull the trigger and write someone up, it’s often waived by their superiors.”

Wallace said the policy changes increase the danger level in prisons already facing staffing shortages and make it hard for officers to maintain control.

“I think everybody already feels they’re in a precarious position,” Wallace said.

Watkins, corrections department spokeswoman, said she knows of no directives to staff members to not discipline, or not deny restoring credits to, inmates who commit violations in prisons. She also said early releases are not causing correctional staff to lose control of the prison population.

“I believe the director talked to staff, talked to wardens, talked to facilities and asked to be informed if it was creating any problems,” Watkins said. “I understand (Oklahoma Corrections Professionals) has said there’s been concerns, but I am not aware of any that have been directed to us.”

Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart said his office contacted the Corrections Department in late November after a state prisoner being held in the jail to attend a court hearing attacked another jail inmate. Lockhart said his office requested that the prisoner be given a misconduct and have early-release credits taken away as punishment.

“They said, ‘We can’t take his (early-release credits) away. We might be able to re-classify him, but thanks for calling,’” Lockhart said.

The Sequoyah County jail population is higher now than it was before the department pulled state prisoners from the jail, Lockhart said. Offenders released from prison are showing back up in the jails charged with new crimes.

“It’s basically those who are getting let out early and re-offending,” Lockhart said. “Our jail has been near capacity since the DOC started this.”

Prater, the district attorney, said probation and parole officers also are being discouraged from reporting some offenders who violate release conditions to district attorneys.

He said he believes the early-release efforts are circumventing the authority of the Pardon and Parole Board and the parole process. The parole board’s role is to screen inmates for release under parole supervision; inmates released through restored credits won’t have the need to apply for parole.

Some public officials expressed concern about the releases.

Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, said some legislators want to repeal the law allowing prisoners to have early-release credits restored.

“I think the law’s good. You’ve just got to really be careful,” Cleveland said. “I wouldn’t be in favor of it (repeal), but some people are.”

“They were letting out some people they shouldn’t have let out,” Cleveland said.

Asked about the possibility of new legislation, Gov. Fallin said, “If the legislature wants to have a discussion and look at how our current earned credit system works, I think that’s certainly a reasonable conversation we can have … The end goal is to keep the public safe.” ..Source.. by Clifton Adcock

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December 10, 2014

Pasco commissioner seeks new housing restrictions for sex offenders

12-10-2014 Florida:

WESLEY CHAPEL — Pasco Commissioner Mike Moore wants to make it more difficult for registered sex offenders to live in Pasco County.

Moore announced Monday he would seek a local ordinance prohibiting convicted sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, school bus stops, playgrounds, day care centers, libraries, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. State law now sets that distance at 1,000 feet and applies it only to schools, playgrounds and day care centers.

If approved by the full commission, the ordinance would restrict newly released offenders, but it would exclude the 871 registered sexual offenders now residing in the county.

"This is not going to be a safe haven for sexual offenders,'' Moore said.

His proposal is modeled after an ordinance in Miami-Dade County that is subject to a federal court challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union. Moore's proposal also comes less than two weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that some communities are retreating from these housing buffers because they are ineffective or make it more difficult for authorities to track offenders. Palm Beach County, for instance, relaxed its housing restrictions in July after being sued by a registered sexual offender who said the ordinance left him homeless.

"We can't be scared of lawsuits when we propose an ordinance,'' Moore said.

He acknowledged that including school bus stops eliminates substantial housing options for the offenders. The Pasco County School District has 4,400 locations for its bus stops, most of which are at least 2 miles from one of 76 school campuses.

Moore announced his plan at the Pasco Sheriff's Office substation in the Shops at Wiregrass mall. He was joined by Sheriff Chris Nocco and two detectives from the sheriff's sex offender unit.

"There's people that will question this,'' Nocco said, "but as a society we have to decide what's more important — our children or sex offenders and sexual predators?''

Moore said he would propose the ordinance during the commission's Dec. 16 meeting and hoped a vote could be scheduled in January. In Pasco County, the city of New Port Richey has a 2,500-foot buffer for sex offenders, and the city of San Antonio uses 1,500 feet. ..Source.. by CT Bowen

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Georgia cops dump sex offender in nearby county

12-10-2014 Georgia:

ATHENS, GA. -- A homeless man was turned away from one Athens shelter because he was a convicted sex offender and another because it had no room, police said.

As a result Monday, Athens-Clarke County police drove 51-year-old Ronald Dwayne Roebuck back to Walton County from where he’d come earlier in the day.

Athens authorities said Monroe police had driven Roebuck to the Salvation Army shelter on Hawthorne Avenue, pointed him toward the door and quickly drove off.

The Salvation Army would not accept Roebuck because he was a registered sex offender, police said. ...

The Salvation Army suggested to Roebuck that he try the Bigger Vision shelter on North Avenue, and when he called there he was told the shelter had no room for him, according to police.

Roebuck later called local police for advice.

An Athens-Clarke officer met him at a bar on Prince Avenue, according to an Athens-Clarke County police incident report. The report indicated that Monroe police were contacted and informed of Roebuck’s situation and that he needed to return to the county where he is registered as a sex offender.

Monroe police refused to return to Athens to get the man, nor would they agree to meet at a location in Oconee County, about halfway between Athens-Clarke and Walton counties, according to the report.

The Athens-Clarke officer then gave Roebuck a courtesy ride to Walton County and dropped him off at a service station in Monroe. ..Source.. by Joe Johnson

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Iowa’s going to have smartphone driver’s licenses

Think of the issues this would raise, especially giving a smartphone to a cop in a traffic stop so he can check it out in his vehicle! And for RSOs wow...anything possible. Then if a smartphone is lost? UPDATE: Some issues answered in this article: "Iowa wants to make driver's license apps for smartphones...
12-10-2014 Iowa:

The Iowa Department of Transportation said it plans to pilot a smartphone driver’s license program that could one day make plastic licenses a thing of the past.

“It’s really moving beyond a static thing,” said Mark Lowe, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicles Division, in an interview with The Washington Post.

The concept is to not only host the license in an app, but to also be able to send push notifications about, say, traffic, or if a user’s license is about to expire, Lowe said. He said he is “not aware” of any other state that has a similar program.

A group of state employees that travels frequently for work will pilot the program in the next six months, and the department of transportation will determine the next steps for wider use, including giving Iowans the option to try to the smartphone license while waiting for their plastic version to arrive in the mail.

“I think for us right now, what we want to focus on is the option,” Lowe said.

The state will also have to educate officers, those who sell alcohol and tobacco, and the TSA to ensure that the licenses are recognized, but Lowe thinks digital licenses are the way of the future. People “really expect to use those mobile devices,” he said.

Iowa is one of more than 30 states that lets drivers show proof of insurance on their phone, according to the Des Moines Register. ..Source.. by Hunter Schwarz

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December 9, 2014

Roane County commission to vote on fee for sex offenders for notification system

Of course using the FREE national notification system is not an option..wonder why?
12-9-2014 Alabama:

Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said he's concerned about sex offenders living in the county and wants a system put in place to notify residents when a registered sex offender moves nearby.

Roane County commissioners will vote Monday evening on a resolution on whether to allow the sheriff's office to start collecting a $50 yearly fee from each registered sex offender in the county to pay for a notification system.

According to the resolution, certain homes, childcare facilities and schools would be contacted if a sex offender moves close by.

"It's good to know who they are and where they live," Kingston resident Adrienne Schaffer said.

Schaffer has two daughters ages 3 and 6 and said she believes a notification system would provide an added safeguard for her children.

"It's good to know where they live especially so you can avoid their houses for trick-or-treating and especially if they're in your neighborhood you can just be mindful if your children are out playing by themselves," Schaffer said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation already has an online registry available that allows you to search by name or address.

According to the TBI website, 93 sex offenders live in Roane County.

Stockton said the number of sex offenders in Roane County has increased around 25 percent since 2006 and believes the notification system will allow parents to keep better track of sex offenders.

"We would notify the public either by email or either by flyers that we put out in that neighborhood notifying the people that there is a sexual offender living in their community," Stockton said. ..Source.. by SAMANTHA MANNING

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