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Commentary

Kat’s Blog: Nevada’s “Self-Pay” Ruling

With every state having its own registry, its own frequently amended and expanded rules, it’s difficult enough for registrants to keep up with what’s going on in their own state, never mind other states.

In case you missed it, here’s a gem of a ruling from Nevada that became effective on 6/5/19, that once again reaches into the wallet of registrants and also appears to give sole power over whose wallet is emptied, to the Chief of the State Board of Parole Commissioners.

Nevada Senate Bill 8: The State Board of Parole Commissioners can establish by regulation, a program of lifetime supervision of “sex offenders” to commence after any period of probation or any term of imprisonment and any period of release or parole. The program must provide for the lifetime supervision of “sex offenders” by parole and probation officers.

This bill includes most of the “standard” provisions of other state bills, distance restrictions of 500ft.  from areas that are used primarily by children, schools, school bus stops, daycares, video arcades, amusement parks, playgrounds and even motion picture theaters. This bill appears to apply to Tier 3 offenders.

Here’s the “self-pay” portion of the bill that seems to add on yet another registrant fee and one that could come with a hefty price tag.

“A registrant, as deemed appropriate by the Chief, be placed under a system of active electronic monitoring that is capable of identifying his/her location and producing upon request, reports or records of his/her presence near or within a crime scene or prohibited area or his/her departure from a specified geographic area.”

“A registrant will PAY any costs associated with his/her participation under the system of active electronic monitoring (GPS ankle bracelets) to the extent of his/her ability to pay.”

The Bill continues on to state that the amendatory provisions of the act apply to those who have already begun a program of lifetime supervision as of the effective date of this act, any applicable, additional conditions of a program of lifetime supervision added by the amendatory provisions of this act apply as of 1/1/21.  If a person has not yet commenced a program of lifetime supervision, the added amendatory provisions commence as of 1/1/20.

It appears that this Bill allows the Chief of the State Board of Parole Commissioners subjective discretion in deciding who he deems “appropriate” to require GPS monitoring. Seems like too much power being given to one individual if you ask me.

And, while many registrants have difficulty finding employment, the challenge is probably even greater for Tier 3 registrants.  In the state of Nevada, the administrative start-up fees for electronic monitoring range from $100-$200. The daily fee for monitoring is $5-$40 per day. Who can afford that?  And why should registrants pay for “after- incarceration- monitoring” that the state has deemed necessary? If the state thinks it’s necessary, let them pay for it. Haven’t registrants paid enough already?

Registrants wallets are empty. Registration fees, polygraph fees, treatment fees. We’re not talking chump change, we’re talking hundreds of dollars per year that registrants could be using to pay their rent, feed their families or keep their utilities turned on.

I wonder does the Chief’s power extend to determining the need for GPS for any other category of ex-offenders or is his/her power limited to registrants?

Wait, what was I thinking? These endless, ever-expanding, punitive bills are only for registrants.

 

Join the discussion

  1. Dustin

    And again, no internet access is part of this bill as well. I would argue the GPS monitor they want to strap on has internet access just to see what they say.

    This bill is absolutely ridiculous. If registrants need to be monitored and controlled to that extent, why let them out of prison in the first place?Just go back and re-sentence all registrants to life without and be done with it. So what if it’s unconstitutional? Nearly everything about the registry is unconstitutional anyway.

    • Stephen H.

      Actually the wording is slightly better than other previous Nevada law pertaining to persons on paper.

      NRS 213.1243, pertaining to lifetime supervision:
      “unless the sex offender installs a device or subscribes to a service which enables the parole and probation officer assigned to the sex offender to regulate the sex offender’s use of the Internet.”

      I am still on paper, but not sentenced with lifetime supervision. The wording is a little different.

      NRS 213.1245, pertaining to parole for SO:
      “unless possession of such a device or such access is approved by the parole and probation officer assigned to the parolee.”

      I use RemoteCOM, approved by my PO to satisfy this condition. It does cost $35/mo. though.

      The revised law for lifetime supervision specifically says you can use monitoring software, and it takes the PO’s discretion out of the equation.

      None of this has anything to do with being a registrant.

      • Stephen H.

        I should add that the Internet restriction for lifetime supervision is for a SO “convicted of a sexual offense involving the use of the Internet.”

        Again, this has nothing to do with being a registrant.

  2. Worried in Wisconsin

    Is this adding lifetime monitoring after sentencing? Or, was that already in place and this just changes how it’s administered and who makes the decisions?

    • Stephen H.

      Nothing has changed with regard to monitoring for lifetime supervision. It was already in place, applicable to persons sentenced with lifetime supervision, as per your JOC. There are no changes to how it’s administered or who makes the decisions.

      This has nothing to do with being a registrant. I don’t know who Kat is, but she’s spreading false information.

  3. Underdog

    Whenever I observe one of the many examples of the undeniably overreaching restrictions that are cinched to Registrants, despite the data that shows the restrictions are impractical and inhumane, I think of a line from the Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup”: Chico Marx says, “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” It’s obvious that regardless of evidence in plain sight that disproves the alleged ‘benefits’ of the registry, there is a large swath of bullies that will routinely attempt to have us not believe our own eyes. Before I moved To California, I developed an amicable relationship with my probation officer in Connecticut; and on one occasion when we were reviewing all of the places I couldn’t go because I supposedly had issues with every minor in the country, I posed a scenario that should be employed if what he said was true. I said, “If I am not permitted to be around minors because it is thought that that will spur me on to reoffend, shouldn’t bank robbers never be permitted to be around banks? Shouldn’t car thieves never be permitted to be around cars? Shouldn’t murderers never be permitted to be around humans? Shouldn’t drug dealers never be permitted around drug stores? After all, shouldn’t the prompt of the original crime be removed, as it pertains to all those that have been convicted of those particular crimes?” My probation officer simply responded, “I’m sorry, but I don’t make the rules, I just follow them.” So, as many continually choose to be “blind” to regulations that are unyieldingly ludicrous, there are two options for Registrants: 1) walk away and attempt to lead a life of frustration in isolation 2) stand toe-to-toe with the bullies and fight, even in the face of inconceivable illogic and nebulous verbosity. It’s not easy, and there are days filled with self-doubt, but eventually our efforts will break into the Promised Land. In “Shawshank Redemption,” on two occasions Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) provides Red (Morgan Freeman) with poignant insight regarding progress. He says, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, get busy living or get busy dying.” And later, “Remember, Red, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” So, no matter how much others attempt to deny us Hope, it’s imperative to get busy living.

  4. David

    They passed the bill …… and now they pass the bill …. to Registrants. Yes, indeed, who else is burdened with such continuing fees ad infinitum?
    DUI-convicted drivers …. hit & run accidents … wouldn’t it be worthwhile to have those individuals GPS monitored? Those convicted of car thefts or home invasion burglaries…. should be GPS monitored. And those convicted of stalking or terrorist/violent threats…. GPS monitored.
    How is it that I can come up with these off the top of my head in just moments and lawmakers can’t, don’t or won’t???
    Screw us, screw others! Until there are so many being screwed that you, yourselves, dear lawmakers, will be screwed!!! 😡

  5. kat

    @ Stephen H.
    The information as quoted in this piece is taken directly from Senate Bill 8 and available for anyone to read on the Nevada State Government website.
    Kat

  6. Stephen H.

    I take umbrage at the misinformation being put out here in this “blog” regarding NRS 213.1243. I’m sorry, I don’t know who Kat is, but her commentary has a glaring lack of facts or research. It is important that information on this site be accurate, and not cause undue alarm.

    It is not up to the The State Board of Parole Commissioners to decide if one gets lifetime supervision. This is done at sentencing and appears on you Judgement of Conviction. The author makes it sound like P&P is making that decision, which is grossly incorrect. What NRS 213.1243 says is that The Board shall establish a program and must provide for the supervision.

    NV SB8 adds some conditions as a result of a NSC case which pointed out that conditions being imposed on the plaintiff were not specifically enumerated in NRS 213.1243, the NV law laying out the program for lifetime supervision. It has absolutely nothing to do with registrants, per se.

    The case mostly revolved around whether the plaintiff had to drug test, report whereabouts, cooperate with PO, do counseling, abide by curfew, and other stuff required by the PO but not by the law that addresses lifetime supervision. The NSC ruled that if it’s not spelled out, it can’t be enforced. SB8 puts those rules into the law. However, the part about monitoring was already set into law and not part of the suit or part of SB8. The writer’s title is not correct; there was no ruling on “Self-Pay”, as that was not challenged. Perhaps it is something that should be.

    Ms. Kat uses the word “registrant” several times in her piece. She even quotes the law to include the words “A registrant” when in fact the word “registrant” does not appear anywhere in the text of NRS 213.1243. Also, if proper research was done, it would be known that the Chief of Parole & Probation does NOT have ANY power to determine the need for GPS for ANY ex-offender or ANY registrant not on paper. Only for those that are on supervised release.

    There are some provisions of 213.1243 that have to do with a Tier 3 offender. For example, the presence restrictions. Beyond that, there are stricter conditions placed on a an offender who is Tier 3 AND convicted of an offense against a child under 14. This is where the monitoring comes in to play. None of these are changed by SB8, as these conditions have already been in place.

    While it is acknowledged that an offender (however the term “a registrant” is incorrect) must “PAY any costs…to the extent of his/her ability to pay,” I believe that would have to be determined in a court and not by the Chief. The facts on this ARE worthy of research and reporting.

    If you are not sentenced in NV with lifetime supervision (luckily I am not), then SB8 does not directly affect you. If you are sentenced with lifetime supervision, then you should be aware of the changes to NRS 213.1243, however you probably already knew the part about being subject to GPS monitoring since that was already law. The silver lining is that there are provisions for release from lifetime supervision after 10 years.

    I’m sorry to harp on Kat, but I feel it is disingenuous to cause fear to registrant’s in order to make some valid points. The thesis about having to pay for monitoring is certainly a very real concern. Since lifetime supervision is a form of parole with due process and the civil penalty of being forced to register is without due process, I don’t think it is fair to equate the two. The argument there could be about the fact that giving a sentence of lifetime supervision is imposed upon judges by the legislative branch.

    I look forward to a reply from Kat because it is in everyone’s best interest to get the most accurate information possible when things potentially affect all of our daily lives.

  7. Bukhgalter

    In 2013, I paid $20 a day for private house arrest and GPS monitoring. With inflation, today’s price should be $22.31 per day. $40 a day is way too excessive.

  8. kat

    @Stephen H.
    You’re correct on one point, the Senate Bill uses the phrase “sex offender”, while I prefer to use the term “registrant”.
    The Bill states registrants will be made to “pay”, in this instance for GPS monitoring, to the extent of their ability. The point of the piece is that registrants already pay too much.
    If you found the blog misleading or feel that it misrepresented the Bill in some way, that was certainly not the intention and comments are appreciated.
    Again, the quoted text is taken directly from the Bill.

    • Stephen H.

      Dear Ms. Kat,

      I’m not sure you’re understanding my objections. While I appreciate your opinions, and find many of your blogs thought provoking, I feel more care should be taken when citing law. Substituting your own words for what is written law is taking extreme literary license at the expense of inciting fear.

      The problem is that taking such liberty with words causes unwarranted stress, as reflected in some posts on this thread. It may just be semantics to you, but you must realize that saying “registrants will be forced to wear and pay for a GPS monitor under a recent court ruling” can cause some folks to really freak out! Let’s be clear: The State of NV is NOT suddenly requiring GPS monitoring or making registrants pay for monitoring. That is not what SB8 is about.

      Unfortunately, these monitoring laws are already on the books, and have been for some time. Not only are they applicable to a subset of persons sentenced to lifetime supervision, the same conditions are imposed on a person released on parole who is a Tier 3 AND convicted of sexual offense against child under 14, under NRS 213.1255. This is before commencement of lifetime supervision. Did you know that?

      The fact that such laws exist is obviously the major concern here. I’m sure we can all concur that paying for GPS or any monitoring is an extreme burden for most any offender. Your blogging about that aspect of post-conviction life is not without great merit.

      Please try to be accurate when quoting law. The quotes you have put in bold type are NOT part of SB8. What you have quoted is from the already existing statute, NRS 213.1243. SB8 make no reference to what you have quoted. The SB8 amendments are in blue, red, and red strike. I very much feel that the Bill is being mischaracterized. For you, me, and anyone who wants to understand what prompted SB8 to amend NRS 213.1243, here is a link to the underlying Supreme Court of Nevada case:

      https://law.justia.com/cases/nevada/supreme-court/2016/66697.html

      Links to SB8 are in an earlier post. Anyone that wants to look can see that neither the Bill nor the statute is in reference to registrants in general. That is not to say that persons sentenced to lifetime registration are not also registrants. Probably all are. Conversely, not all registrants are sentenced to lifetime supervision, as in my case. I’m sure we can agree on this.

      I think I’ve made clear my points of contention.

      Thank you for allowing me to comment. I’m sorry to have ruffled your feathers. Otherwise, keep up the good work. To everyone else, always keep your chin up!

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