STOP SEX OFFENDERS | Indiana: Sex offender registry doomed to die
 
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Sex offender registry doomed to die.


March 31, 2001

Proposed legislation that would require publication of a recent photograph and the home address of convicted sex offenders in Indiana's sex offender registry is doomed to die in committee, according to state Rep. Ron Herrell, D-Kokomo.

State representatives voted 95-0 on March 6 in favor of passing House Bill 1964 and sending the measure to the Senate for approval. Upon first reading of the bill March 15, the Senate referred the measure to the Judiciary Committee.

Despite strong support for the proposed legislation among state representatives, Herrell said he expects Sen. Richard Bray, R-Martinsville, to deny the bill a hearing before the full Senate, effectively killing the measure.

"Sen. Bray said that he has contacted the Indiana Criminal (Justice) Institute and they say they don't have the capabilities to put these pictures on the Internet," Herrell said. "He thinks it's a good idea, he's for the idea, but the Criminal (Justice) Institute told him that they had some problems."

Herrell was unsure what those problems might be. "With technology the way we have it today and with other states doing it, I certainly don't see why we wouldn't have the capabilities of being able to do that, unless they know something I don't know, and that's a good possibility," he said.

The Criminal Justice Institute is the state agency responsible for maintaining and updating the registry, as well as publishing it on the Internet and distributing paper copies. However, state law does not require the institute to publish in the registry a recent photograph of the offender or the home address of the offender.

Bray could not be reached for comment Friday, but David Hoppmann, a fiscal analyst with the state's Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, said the Criminal Justice Institute has expressed concerns that it will experience an increase in expenses if Herrell's bill becomes law.
According to the March 5 fiscal impact statement he prepared for the state, in order to comply with the provisions of the measure, "The institute would be required to enhance its existing database in which it stores sex offender information.

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Source: Kokomo Tribune