Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why do states charge for criminal background checks, but the sex offender registry is free?

Someone brought this issue up in another group, and it's a good question.

We all know most states charge you a small fee to get someone's criminal history, yet using the online sex offender registry is free?

Enforcing the sex offender laws costs a ton of money, so why not start charging people to use them? Then you could use that money to help pay for the costly laws!

Many of the sites who do background checks, charge a fee, and many, if not all, sign you up for a monthly deduction from your checking account, which most people are not aware of.

So when are they going to start charging people to access the sex offender registry? If it's going to be free, then other criminal records should also be free.

We have a right to know, right?

P.S.: Also, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is suppose to be about "Child Protection," which would include abusive parents, kidnapping, gangs who initiate children, drug dealers who sell to children, DUI offenders who hit or kill a child, and many more crimes... So why do we put only sex crimes on the list, even if it doesn't involve a child? If it's a "child protection" law, then why don't we put all people who have harmed children in some form on the online registry and rename it to the "child protection registry" so it's more accurate and goes along with the title of the law? Just saying!


LA - New restrictions on sex offenders start in January

Original Article

12/29/2012

By MELINDA DESLATTE

Excerpt:
Also taking effect in January, boards that govern local public libraries are required to set limits on library access for sex offenders whose victims were under 13 years old. Those offenders will be barred from library property during certain times or days, under guidelines set by parishes.

Sen. Dale Erdey, R-Livingston, described the new law as a way to protect children in a state that has repeatedly added limitations on sex criminals by lengthening jail sentences, expanding monitoring, and putting restrictions on where they can live, visit and travel.

"People who prey on our children are among the most dangerous criminals that we face. They target our most precious and our most vulnerable citizens," Erdey said during legislative discussion of the bill.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who oversees the state library that was charged with providing technical assistance for the new law, said his office has trained local libraries in what's required and provided draft policies on how to limit sex offender access.

"We just kind of guided them. We gave them a specific set of criteria to look at. We did a webinar for them," Dardenne said.

The guidelines suggested libraries could bar the sex offenders from public library property during peak hours when children are likely to be on site and when children's programs are scheduled. They also could ban sex offenders from the children's and young adult areas of the library.

Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, said librarians in her parish worried about having to confront sex offenders or having them limited to small windows of time, creating a concentration of convicted criminals on library property at once.

"Although this bill has good intentions, it's actually going to make it more dangerous especially for the poor people who work there who have to police this," Landry said during House debate on the proposal.

However, it's unclear how librarians will be able to enforce the new regulations because they will have no way of knowing who was convicted of assaulting a child under 13.