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GA: Sex offender registry problems cost the state federal funds

Shortcomings in Georgia’s sex offender registration program are going to cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money, according to a letter the U.S. Department of Justice sent to the governor. Full Article

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  1. AJ

    Level 1 offenders have a 4 percent to 13 percent chance of committing another sex crime, while those at Level 2 have a 34 percent chance of committing another sex offense. Level 3 offenders — “sexually dangerous predators” — have a 65 percent chance of committing more sex crimes.
    —–
    Even under the worst possible situation, GA confirms “frightening and high” and “upwards of 80%” to be false.
    =====
    “Every year, jurisdictions have had to apply for 10 percent (in lost grant money) to be returned to them, and it has been returned,” said Stephanie Carrigg, the SMART office senior policy adviser. “This year we notified everybody that we would be enacting what the statute has always said.”

    That means no reallocation. In other words, Georgia and 31 other states will see their allotments from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, or Byrne JAG funds, given to the 18 states, four U.S. territories and more than 130 tribes that currently comply with the federal law.

    “Every jurisdiction (state) gets Byrne JAG money as long as they have a plan of moving toward implementation,” Carrigg said.
    —–
    Is this correct? I thought the non-SORNA states were already losing the funding. From the way this is written, they’ve been getting the $$$, despite being non-compliant. If states have indeed been getting the $$$, this may now be a bit of ratcheting up on non-SORNA states to come under Uncle Sam’s boot heel. But it may all be moot, at least in the short-term, since last I read, all Byrne funding has been suspended due to legal intricacies regarding Reichsfuhrer Sessions’ sanctuary city/state suits.

    • Lovecraft

      From my understanding/what I was told, states that are partially enforcing awa/sorna still get the federal funding. There may have been a time limit for full enforcement and maybe thats why my state (nc) is currently trying to pass a law in the senate requiring rc’s to pay a yearly fee to be on the glorious registry

    • Gralphr

      Even with what you posted, that doesn’t make sense. Most people are tier 3 based off the victims age alone and NOT a mental evaluation. Its impossible to say someone with a younger victim is more likely to commit another crime. It’s no different than being labeled a svp. Most people get the label due to the age of the victim, NOT because they had multiple victims or kidnapped and molested people they did not know (exactly what comes to mind to most people, including myself one thinks about said label)

      • TS

        @Gralphr

        Is your thinking based on GA alone or overall? I ask because age is one criteria whereas crime type is another if the age criteria is not met. Just looking for clarification is all

        • Gralphr

          I said that due to the politicians making up the nonsense “sexually violent predator”. One usually thinks of someone either diagnosed with a mental problem or someone who has kidnapped and sexually assaulted multiple victims or at least had many victims. If I’m not mistaken most if not all states say if the victim was under a certain age then said person is automatically a sexually violent predator and automatically classified as a tier III (and considered the worst of the worst, without a chance to get off the registry). Even if the individual only did one crime, if it was with someone under a certain age, they get the SVP label which is wrong since such a label is misleading. I wasn’t saying you’re wrong, only the comment that said a high percentage of tier III or SVP’s will commit more crimes.

    • Lake County

      A few years ago I had read somewhere that all the non SORNA states would still be geting that 10% in other ways. Feds often threaten to withhold money to states in order to get compliance, but most government agencies must spend or pay out all the funds in their budget or return it to the general fund (or grants) and risk loosing that amount next budget year. The only way any government office will ever get a increase in their future budgets is to spend 100% of the money allocated to them and then show how they really needed more money than what they received.

      I’m not sure why SORNA is just now wanting to asses the 10% penalty. They must be receiving some political pressure. This may change after the election. That 10% penalty is in no way worth the amount most states including CA would have to spend to become fully compliant with SORNA. No one in Congress is going to be willing to let their state loose these funds, but they also know that states can’t afford to comply either. I’m sure this will not be the final outcome to this story.

      • Lake County

        “Georgia’s registry does not include a sex offender’s full date of birth, where they go to school, their vehicle information or their employer’s address. The GBI said it briefly posted where sex offenders worked in the registry, but stopped the practice after employers complained”.

        “For most jurisdictions, there’s usually something they can do to move toward substantial implementation,” said Laura Rogers, director of the DOJ’s SMART office. “It doesn’t have to be 100 percent.”

        Of course in the last quote of this story, they show that they still don’t need full compliance. This is all likely just another scare tactic to get State compliance. I’d bet my next paycheck that no State will loose any money from not being SORNA compliant.

  2. R M

    Georgia places all registered citizens on their public website save juveniles. This was my biggest mistake moving to Georgia from NJ. In NJ as a level 1 I was not on the public website, had a great job and had no vigilantes seeking me out. Once in Ga and on their public website, I was lucky to get a job; I put that I had a felony from 2000 0n the application but they ignored that as it was over 7 years ago. They did not know I was publicly listed until a fellow employee pointed it out to management. I was brought into the human resource office and questioned, they couldn’t get me for not telling them so they had no choice but to keep me or face a lawsuit. As it turns out for most people, I was a model employee for many years and got several advances and recognition’s, until I left for other reasons.

    Being on the public registry makes a world of difference and I do regret moving to Ga for that reason.

    • JW

      Georgia does not include misdemeanors on its registry, which seems to at least attempt to keep the registry confined to the “more dangerous”. In fact, Georgia’s Supreme Court ruled misdemeanors committed out of state (even if they were a felony out of state, but not a felony in Georgia) are not registrable offenses.

      Yet here I am with a California misdemeanor (that very arguably would not even be a crime in Georgia) and I’m going through the hoops to force Georgia to comply with its own laws.

      When a government blatantly disregards its own laws, hiding behind its sovereign immunity, all while prosecuting the least transgression from you or me to the fullest extent… I guess we just smile and take it.

      • R M

        @JW, I was not aware of that misdemeanors were not placed on Ga’s registry, thanks.

        • JW

          A “conviction for a misdemeanor shall not be considered a criminal offense
          against a victim who is a minor.” OCGA § 42-1-12 (a) (9) (C).

          Georgia Supreme Court held the exception for misdemeanors “appears to be without limitation.” Owens vs Urbina 2014.

          Yet GBI will likely force you to hire an attorney to get another judge to order them to follow the law.

  3. Joseph Park

    Pardon me for not having the information at hand, but I can say that implementation of the sex offender registry law and enforcement of it costs Georgia many times the money received from the Feds even when the entire amount is paid to the state. Every county sheriff’s department, the GBI and others have had to hire additional personnel to administer this “regulatory” regime. Hard prison beds that should be reserved for the truly violent and incorrigible are occupied persons who committed the non-violent, victimless crime of failure to register. Imagine that – a person who did nothing can be prosecuted and incarcerated for up to 30 years for NOT doing something that benefits nobody.

    As far as I am concerned, the Feds can keep their damned money – all of it – and shove it where the sun don’t shine. There must be an end to this atrocity. Once a person has served his sentence, leave him alone!

  4. Joseph Park

    Btw, I have a case in Georgia Supreme Court right now challenging the constitutionality of OCGA 42-2-14 regarding classification and the state’s atrocity of forcing persons classified as sexually dangerous predators to have attached to their body a tracking device using GPS and GSM cell tower communication.

    If and when I win this case there will be much consternation in the government of Georgia.

    • R M

      @Joseph, don’t you mean OCGA 42-1-14?

    • R M

      Also, I moved to Ga 5 years ago and still have not been “classified”. I am a level 1 (least likely to re-offend) in conviction state but am still leveled “not leveled”. According to OCGA 42-1-14:

      “The board shall render its recommendation for risk assessment classification within:”

      ” (C) Sixty days of receipt of the required registration information from the sheriff when the sexual offender changes residence from another state or territory of the United States or any other place to this state and is not already classified;”.

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