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February 2, 2011

Iowa lawmakers get price-tag for serious sex offender monitoring

As detailed in this local article, headlined "Tracking Iowa sex offenders to cost millions," the price of expanded monitoring of sex offenders is starting to come into focus for legislators in at least one state. Here are the details:

Iowa lawmakers received new evidence Tuesday that the cost and consequences of tracking sex offenders in the next decade will be at least $30 million more than is now spent, unless officials find better ways to curb costs while guarding public safety.

A report from Iowa’s Division of Juvenile and Justice Planning shows that special, post-prison sentences for sex offenders will increase parole caseloads in Iowa by more than 50 percent by 2020.  An estimated 2,300 additional sex offenders will have to be monitored for 10 years or life, according to an Iowa law passed in 2005.  That rising number of offenders will increase the state’s minimum monitoring costs each year by $3.05 million, through 2020.

The new research was conducted for Iowa’s Sex Offender Research Council, an advisory group that is recommending the state begin examining best practices for supervising sex offenders. The goal would be to curb, where possible, monitoring if someone is unlikely to commit new crimes.

But leaders of public safety and judiciary committees in the Legislature said Tuesday that no major changes to existing sex offenders laws are being discussed this year. Tweaking special sentences is — in the short-term, at least — unlikely for political reasons, they said. “Really, I don’t think that would ever happen,” said Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, chairman of the House Public Safety Committee.

Iowa was one of more than 20 states that created special sentences in the past decade to track sex offenders after their release from prison using corrections officers and technology such as GPS monitors. The move came in response to public outrage over the highly publicized murder of Jetseta Gage, 10, of Cedar Rapids in 2005 by a sex offender.

A 2009 investigation by The Des Moines Register found the flood of new sex offenders under supervision would cost taxpayers a minimum of $168 million over 20 years, or about $8.4 million a year.  The study released Tuesday tallied only the minimum monitoring that would be required under the 2005 law and excluded other costs the Register considered.

Budget numbers show the full cost of treating, supervising and monitoring sex offenders has mushroomed substantially — from $3.3 million in 2005 to $11.5 million last year, according to Iowa’s Legislative Services Agency....

Anyone in Iowa convicted of a felony sex crime will receive lifetime probation.  But these harsher post-prison sentences for the vast majority of Iowa’s sex offenders will mean other convicts — drunken drivers, stalkers, even people convicted of murder — are likely to receive less supervision over time, corrections officials have said.

February 2, 2011 at 09:34 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Do you think the lawmakers could have gone back to the original 1994 recidivism studies of sex offenders before they passed these bad laws? Here's that link"

bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1136

Here's another one:

csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html

You see, the data and statistics were out there. The lawmakers did not even look at them when they voted on what is now called the Adam Walsh Act. This is the BIGGEST waist of money concerning safety of our children and management of sex offender that has ever been signed into law.

You also should know that the Adam Walsh Act was a test case to see if the "Rights of a U.S. Citizen" could be jerked away from a class of people with little to no resistance from the the general population of the United States.

Do you see shades of Nazism with this experiment. Lawmakers fool no one!

Posted by: Book38 | Feb 3, 2011 4:06:29 PM

The stats show that sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates of all convicted felons. I agree. Lifetime probation is going to expand to include a lot of crimes in the future.

Posted by: Jeremy Miller | Feb 4, 2011 11:05:55 AM

lol how true. The ENTIRE body of sex offender laws in this country passed since the mid 1980's has been based on a complete body of LIES just have to read the actual transcript of the 2002 u.s supreme court decison on the registry to know that.

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 4, 2011 7:30:25 PM

I think there are a lot of gray areas in this law. We have people in prisons that are not "true sex offenders" or violent offenders. A lot of the expenses are going to supervise these individuals who do not pose to be a threat to society, however, given the law - they are all terrible people. We allow 14 year olds to raise babies - but they are not permitted to consent to sex. Please - this is crazy. I have two boys who have learning disabilities and are immature for their age. We knew this in school and yet it wasn't a problem until they turned 18. Now they can't hang around their friends because they are too young. Both had 14 year old girl friends - one made it past the 4 year old rule and the other didn't. The one who made it past now has a child that has been removed from her custody and is being raised by relatives. My other son is in prison because he had a girlfriend who was not an "appropriate age." Neither were violent crimes, but are being treated like horrible criminals. When the one has been out of prison he can't even be with his sister because of his misdemeanor charge. We had to jump through hoops to get them to be able to see each other. The system does not make it easy on these "non-violent offenders. Is this truly the way we need to be spending our money? I think not!

Posted by: Carol Hansen | Sep 12, 2011 7:20:19 PM

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