Monday, November 26, 2012

DC - Feds overstep in key effort

Original Article


Congress started out a few years ago with a good idea: Set up a nationwide listing of sex offenders so it would be possible to know when dangerous offenders moved across state lines.

But Congress overreached. The final form of that legislation was heavy-handed, imposing rigid requirements on the states.

The Adam Walsh Act, passed in 2006 (Video), required states to adopt a uniform registry that includes all sex offenders regardless of the seriousness of their crimes. To get the registry up and running, states in most cases were to purchase new computer technology and devote increased law enforcement hours to processing offenders according to federal rules. States were given five years to comply.

Certainly, society has a crucial responsibility to punish sex crimes and protect citizens from offenders. Sex offenders now are the largest group of prisoners in Nebraska’s correctional institutions, overtaking drug dealers and drug users in total numbers.
- Society has a responsibility to punish all crime and all criminals the same, not single out one specific group because they are each to target, that is the basis of corruption and exploitation.

But the approach taken by Congress has turned out to be a case where tough-sounding legislation was nearly unworkable. Congress imposed an impractical, unfunded mandate on already burdened state governments.

The law has been so overreaching and costly that 34 states have fallen short in implementing its provisions. Some say they will decline to go along with the law even though that means that means losing 10 percent of their federal criminal justice funding.
- Which, by the way, could be extortion or bribery, which is a crime.

In Texas, a study showed the state would lose $1.4 million annually as a penalty for non-compliance. But that was a pittance compared with projected costs of compliance: $39 million.

Ohio was the first state to become compliant. As it turned out, in the first two years of operation Ohio spent $10 million alone in defending itself against lawsuits from offenders sentenced to the registry. Had Ohio continued with its previous state-run approach, the penalty costs from the feds over the same period would have been about $2 million.

Iowa is among the 34 states falling short, suffering a $200,000 penalty. Last spring, Nebraska received word that the feds considered the state’s efforts to conform to the federal law insufficient.


George Stevens said...

Congress passed the law knowing it would fail. They passed it to save the 10% federal funding. It has nothing to do with protecting anyone. It’s about the money.

Loneranger said...

Drugs, sex and rock and roll. the battle cry of a time gone by. the generation that remembers this knows all to well where this started. The government wagged war on drugs and lost the battle. then It was sex. the only thing they haven't taken on is rock and roll and it will never die. One might wonder where I'm going with this.

Take a look at the prisons. Sex offenders out number the drug offenders. For every bed filled by someone with a sex offence there is one less bed for a drug dealer. The war still goes on just being fought at a different level. Fact is the approach taken to wagging war on crime is counter productive. The government runs a muck with passing laws and placing people in prison for long periods of time and to what end. They have trouble funding the prison system now to keep offenders that will repeat off the streets. You are much more likely to be released early if you are a drug dealer and promise to be good then if you had sex with a underage girl once. We all know how reliable the word of a drug dealer or thief is but are willing to trust them and out they go only to return to prison and the revolving door spins while every month many more beds are filled with sex offenders who when and if they get released have a 97 percent chance of never offending again. Many never even get as much as a traffic ticket. So where are we going with this? Goal is to fill the prisons with sex offenders and release the drug dealers?

The states know they can not continue to conform to federal mandates like the AWA. They can not afford to continue with the war on Drugs,Sex and rock and roll. Don't get me wrong I don't want them to release dangerous people that will continue to harm. The system is set up to do exactly this. It is politically correct to imprison sex offenders for monumental lengths of time only to be forced to release other offenders that are much more likely to offend. Remember politically correct doesn't mean correct.

A better approach? Maybe there is but as long as we listen to politicians that are working for votes instead of the betterment of society we will continue down this road. There are limited resources available to imprison people use them up on sex offenders and the drug dealers and thieves win.

All things in moderation comes to mind. Right now there is no balance only laws based on fear that is unfounded. the biggest fear is held by politicians that want so badly to get elected and then protect their jobs they will promote without any real knowledge feel good laws. End result is millions of tax dollars spent to promote and even more crime in the end. Does this make any kind of sense? Sure feels good though.

Babachet said...

Well it's always hard to say anything good but at least they are paying the university a lot of money to tell them what we already know. Mabey the state will listen this time.
Be one more feather in the ex offender hat! Oh by the way about the numbers goin thru the roof with sex offenders, in Nebraska they don't need evidence to convict just the word of the "victim" that statute is specific to sex offenses. Chapter 29. Similar to how china operates its very successful "guilty till proven innocent" program.