September 26, 2011

Kane fears cost of new sex offender regulations

Finally, someone seeing past the mask of the Adam Walsh Act, it goes way beyond just registration of MORE offenders. And, all that costs money which is a lifetime expense for the state, unfunded!
9-26-2011 Illinois:

GENEVA — A state attempt to comply with federal sex offender law could end up a costly measure for Kane County.

Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed two sex offender bills into law. On Monday, the County Board Legislative Committee heard about the potentially damaging effects that a third piece of legislation, Senate Bill 1040, would have on court services and the sheriff’s department.

The bill would require a heightened compliance from the county system, but without funding to do the required work. It will create a drastic increase in man-hours and personnel to reach compliance, officials said, so the committee decided not to support the bill in its current form.

“Some of the finer details of the implementation need to be looked at,” said Lisa Aust, executive director of Court Services.

Currently sex offender law has two tiers of registration, 10 years and lifetime. Registrations are annual. Under the proposed state Senate legislation to reach national compliance, there would be a three-tier system — lifetime, 25 years and 15 years. Some tiers would require more frequent registrations, requiring more man-hours.

The bill would also require juvenile offenders who were granted court supervision or deferred adjudication to register as sex offenders, which will also increase man-hours for court services and the sheriff’s department.

If offenders fail to register, there will be more court cases in the system, officials said.

This bill comes on the heels of two public acts already signed into law, which are requiring an increased level of registration. Any previously registered sex offender convicted of a felony after July 1, 2011, will again be required to register.

Additionally, a sex offender is now required to register with a public safety or security director at the higher education facility they are employed at or attend. This will also increase the likelihood of creating more failure to register for classes, according to Chris Starkovich, special programs supervisor with Court Services.

Aust said the state is probably in the top third of states in their strictness of sex offender law. There are still some states with very few laws on the books in that area, she said.

Committee Chairman Jesse Vazquez, D-Aurora, wanted to see exact numbers on how the new legislation would effect the man-hours in county departments. He also suggested that the county spend some time looking at all of the unfunded mandates from the state, to see if there’s anywhere they can save money.

Illinois will face a 10 percent reduction in grant funding each year that it is in non-compliance with the federal sex offender guidelines, beginning in the 2012 fiscal year. Senate Bill 1040 would put Illinois in compliance.

“All the states have to make their laws match, and that takes awhile,” Aust said. ..Source.. by Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News

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