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National

GA: Hundreds of Georgia sex offenders off ankle monitors as lawmakers seek legal fix

[tribuneledgernews.com – 7/11/20]

A landmark court ruling has led to nearly half of Georgia’s most high-risk sex offenders being released from their ankle monitors over the past year, marking a legal quandary that state lawmakers fell short in addressing during the 2020 legislative session.

State officials tasked with recommending how to monitor sex offenders in Georgia say legislation filed in the 2020 session would address the problem going forward by handing final authority to judges, rather than a state-run review board.

But criminal defense attorneys argue the proposal does not include certain legal avenues for sex offenders who often lack the means to appeal their punishments and who would benefit from more focus on treatment than lifetime ankle monitoring.

So far, 520 of 1,108 people in Georgia classified as “sexually dangerous predators” most at risk for committing future sex crimes have been freed from GPS tracking devices, according to Tracy Alvord, executive director of the state Sexual Offender Registration Review Board.
She expects 17 more sexually dangerous predators will be off ankle monitors by the end of this year, leaving local law enforcement agencies and the state Department of Community Supervision to rely more on reports from concerned citizens to monitor sex offenders in lieu of electronic tracking.

“There’s only so much you can do unless someone commits another crime,” Alvord said. “Now, they have less idea unless there’s a report that they’re engaging in some kind of disturbing behavior.”

Legislation brought by Rep. Steven Sainz, R-Woodbine, in the General Assembly session that wrapped up last month was aimed at revising state law on sex-offender sentencing that the Georgia Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in March 2019.

The high court ruled a longstanding practice of electronically monitoring some sex offenders in Georgia after their sentences and probation have been completed should not be allowed to continue, blocking a state law that requires automatic lifetime monitoring for sexually dangerous predators.

Read the full article

 

Join the discussion

  1. Brandon

    Judges should decide if someone needs an ankle monitor on or not since they are familiar with the case, than some overpaid state employee. Seriously an ankle monitor for life because you looked up pictures online or two under aged teens had sex. If someone commits a heinous offense keep them in prison. For those that have paid their sentence leave them alone and actually help with rehabilitation. The devil is still in Georgia The Preach state of the Bible Belt. No wonder my head hurts my common sense gets flushed out while reading these articles.

  2. Anonymous

    “There’s only so much you can do unless someone commits another crime,” Alvord said.
    Wouldn’t this apply to all ex-cons? DWI with injury, Hard drugs, Domestic beatings etc? I guess not.

    • AJ

      @Anonymous:
      My thoughts, too. Also, I noticed there’s already the presumption the person will commit another crime. Hey GA, did you ever consider you’re looking at the wrong people? Way to go, watching a class of citizens with a lower (re)offense rate than the general public.

  3. New Person

    ***
    But criminal defense attorneys argue the proposal does not include certain legal avenues for sex offenders who often lack the means to appeal their punishments and who would benefit from more focus on treatment than lifetime ankle monitoring.
    ***

    Whoa. Did the defense attorneys really state “lifetime ankle monitoring” was punishment? Also, they’re trying to promote rehabilitation than retribution (punishment).

  4. David

    If the Georgia Supreme Court ruled a longstanding practice of electronically monitoring some sex offenders in Georgia after their sentences and probation have been completed [is unconstitutional and] should not be allowed to continue, then, hopefully, courts are starting to recognize that the Registry and all the crap that follows from it are equally unconstitutional.

  5. Jackson

    The Georgia gps law is lenient compared to Wisconsin. At least Georgia law takes risk and seriousness of the offense into account. WI consider anyone convicted on more than one count of any sex crime, regardless if it’s the same case, a repeat offender subject to lifetime gps ankle bracelet. Although I have no priors and scored by the state to be very low risk upon my release from prison, I have life time gps only because I plead to 2 counts (2 pictures) of cp possession. At least Georgia offenders got their day in court. Wisconsin courts wouldn’t even hear the gps lawsuit against the state’s DOC. So now I’m part of a class action suit (filed by an out of state Illinois law firm) that’s aeen stalled in federal court for over a year now. By the time the feds hear the case, I’ll probably be off of supervision by then and I plan on leaving this shitty state. Im not sticking around here to wear this bracelet the rest of my life. The DOC said they’ll take off the bracelet as soon as I step foot outside of this piece of shit state. They never should have trusted the DOC to run the sex offender registry. The prison bureaucrats are worse than the state bureaucrats.

  6. ab

    Just to be clear someone doing something disturbing does not mean they are breaking any laws. Also assessing people based on what they did in the past is an inadequate measure at a minimum. Someone could easily spend six months lighting mail boxes on fire and one day decide they’ve had their fill and not ever do it again. Yes that would be a federal felony probably multiple times over if the prosecutor was really looking to punish the person. The point being no matter what someone has said or did there’s absolutely no guarantee they will do so in the future.

    • USA the 2nd

      Of course they should look at priors when accessing risk. They’re not talking about lighting mailboxes on fire. They’re talking about child molestation and other heinous crimes sex offenders commit. It’s one thing to give 2nd chances, but not 3rd, 4th, and 5th chances. At that point, they have turned into predators.

      • Dustin

        @ USA the 2nd:

        First, states already provide stiffer penalties for second and subsequent offenses. Most allow for life sentences for a second offense and require it for a third. That is perfectly adequate to deal with “the worst of the worst.”

        Second, much like polygraphs, registrant “risk assessments” overall are ludicrously flawed yet treated as gospel. Without fail, an assessed individual’s current conduct and circumstances are given virtually no weight whatsoever compared to the crime of conviction and circumstances surrounding it.

        Case in point – Wayne Chapman, convicted for molesting two teenage boys in the 70s, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and served 20 more in the state civil commitment (read – prison for those without criminal convictions) system. At his release hearing, the state’s only case to argue that he was “high risk” was to rehash his convicted offenses. That he is in his 70s, homeless, has no family, is wheelchair-bound, unemployed and unemployable are non-factors in considering him a predator, nor is his ability to comply with all the additional requirements and restrictions imposed (few, if any, have anything to do with re-offense).

        If “risk assessments” are anywhere near as credible as they are given credit for, a single offense and conviction would diminish the “risk” of re-offense given actual recidivism rates (minus status offenses, which account for well over half of registrant arrests), more so as the conviction ages.

        It seems to escape you that all registrants are considered predators by many, regardless of circumstance, simply for being on the registry. Going by your previous posts, I’ve often wondered if you actually oppose the registry at all or simply your inclusion on it. It’s pretty oxymoronic to claim some people belong there but not others, particularly when well over 90% of other registrant circumstances aren’t all that different from your own.

      • wonderin

        @USA the 2nd
        Said like another simpleton in support of a ridiculous registry which doesn’t work.
        Of course repeat offenders of any kind need to be dealt with vigorously and decisively.
        There is no (factual) standard to elevate people who have committed a sex offence above any other illegal offender to predict future activity (as statistics prove).
        Therefore, sentencing, incarceration, rehabilitation, probation and even ankle monitors are tools the justice system uses to control recidivism which obviously displays some merit while the registry shows none.

        • Brandon

          Only thing the registry does is show it’s useless and how many resources are wasted on this version of spin the bottle by the government. To bad they can’t spin on an axis because they are out of this world in the most insulting way!!

    • Dustin

      @ ab:

      Also be clear that no activity is made more or less disturbing simply because of previous convictions. Criminalizing perfectly normal activity solely based on previous convictions is simply petty and insane.

  7. Jax

    Why do you guys let USA get under your skin? Obviously he’s trolling and trying to shake things up a bit so he’ll get a response. I think he’s quite funny and entertaining. But I still hit the ignore button.

  8. Tim in WI

    The sex offender registry is in itself a form of electronic monitoring. Why else demand email addresses and internet identifiers? The courts have openly declared “continuous electronic seach” without prescription of process is unconstitutional. This is precisely the reason why the unfettered use of database was demanded upon its advent. This is is a perilous choice. The implementation meant certain surveillance programs could be imposed upon the nation whole and without prior notice. Not all that different from the policy of the “no knock warrant” except the notion of property is cyber. Make no mistake there are serious political advantages rendered by their control, reasonable of not.

    • AJ

      @Tim in WI:
      “The courts have openly declared “continuous electronic seach” without prescription of process is unconstitutional.”
      —–
      Source, please. Are you referring to the Jones decision and its progeny?

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