Thursday, June 16, 2011

State's sex offender laws get tougher

No surprise since no one is fighting anything there. No one has contacted me in support of this site since it began a year ago. If you don't voice your opposition when it is in session, it is harder to fight laws after they pass.

State's sex offender laws get tougher

Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 4:47 pm

By DeWayne Patterson

Gov. Robert Bentley recently signed legislation making Alabama's existing sex offender registration laws tougher.

"They needed to be tougher," said Jackson County Sgt. Investigator Paul Smith, who oversees the county's sex offender registration. "There's some really good changes. At the same time, it's going to double everyone in the state's workload, but that's not a bad thing."

Smith said, effective July 1, sex offenders must register quarterly or four times per year rather than only twice. Previously, a sex offender moving into Alabama had seven days to register. Smith said that's been changed to immediately.

Sex offenders will now also be required to pay a $10 fee each time of registeration or transfer of residence.

Smith said the new law also changes it from a misdemeanor to a felony for a sex offender to deface or alter an identification card.

It will also be a felony to harbor, assist conceal or withhold information about a sex offender. "We've been screaming about folks hiding offenders for years," said Smith. "Now, they can be charged."

Jackson County currently has 72 adult sex offenders, according to Smith, seven of which are currently incarcerated.

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