Friday, March 8, 2013

ID - Increasing Sex Offender Fees (State sanctioned extortion?)

Original Article


By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls - Idaho's sex offenders could soon pay more annually to register. It's a bill making its way through the Idaho State Legislature and if passes, would double the fee from $40 to $80.

Staff Sgt. Doug Sugden is in charge of registering all 215 sex offenders in Twin Falls County.

Sgt. Sugden says, "they come in, we do the 4 p's, paperwork, prints, picture and pay me."

The county uses Offender Watch, an electronic service used to provide sex offender information.

"Name, age, social security, date of birth, where they live, mailing addresses, phone numbers, vehicles if they're in school, what time of crime they committed," adds Sugden.

Twin Falls is just one of nine counties in the state to have this service.

The next closest county? Bannock.

"None of the other counties around me have it, but it would be nice if they did because it would save a lot of time for me and for them that matter."

The smaller counties still track sex offenders' movement by paper.

"If somebody is not already in that system, you have to re–enter all that information to make sure you have everything you need."

While some sex offenders are discouraged by the $80 fee, Sugden says it could be worse.

"There are states where it costs a heck of a lot more to not having to do mailings and published in the paper, it actually saves the offender money. Because they're not having to pay for mailings, we make it available and accessible on the internet."

Twin Falls paid for the electronic service through a grant and money from the sex offender registry.

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Michael said...

These registration fees are, in effect, fines being imposed on registrants, which amount to retroactive punishment beyond their original sentences. I don't understand why they are not being challenged on that basis.

Norm said...


A FEE is something I choose to pay, like when I CHOOSE to renew my drivers license.

Monies ordered to pay as result of an illegal act in the past - without recourse and under the threat of prosecution - are NOT a FEE but a FINE. Like the fine I HAVE to pay for a speeding ticket.

A FINE is a punishment. As such, these fines in fee's clothing are punishment and, after the fact, ex post facto and unconstitutional.

I also do not understand where the crack in that logic is.

kikipt said...

And what about people who can't afford it? What happens to them? Are they re-incarcerated? Or is it going to be like Indiana where they are told to get the money from their family? That is likely where the money would have to originate in any case, since the likelihood of having a decent job is practically nil. These are just like Jim Crow laws where a person could be freed, but still persecuted indefinitely just for being who they were. If society is going to mandate fees for unnecessary expenses the public is supposedly clamoring for, then the public should step up and fund those services.
In a country that supposedly does not punish people who have not committed a crime, why are the courts allowing families to be continually penalized like this?

dj said...

Illinois raised their fee from 10.00 to 100.00 in one year from 08 to 09 and did not inform any one till you went to reregister