Monday, May 19, 2014

Reminder of May 11th Action Alert: Federal Bill HR4573 International Megan's Law Will Be Debated/Voted on by the Full U.S. House This Week!

This post is a reminder for you to contact your one U.S. Congressional Representative in Washington D.C. For more on HR4573 go to May 11, 2014 post and please take 10 minutes out of your day to fax, email or call your Federal Representative.

H.R. 4573: International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking has been added to the House’s schedule for the coming week, according to the House Majority Leader. See the week ahead. 

Federal Bill HR4660: Sponsored by Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf. Approriations, Funding and Grants for FY 2015: A Hodgepodge Mix of Unrelated Issues All in One Bill

HR4660 Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes.
HR4660 is not a bill I would typically post on here, but I am doing so that you all can see how much money is spent in one bill with a hodgepodge mix of unrelated issues.
For those of you who scan the text of HR4660 you’ll find Federal Grants for sexual assault services, transitional housing for victims of sexual assaults, the back-log of rape kits (which is already covered and pending in the Justice For All Reauthorization Act of 2013 S822, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 S47 and the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2014 HR4323), victim’s of trafficking (which includes prostitution and slavery) blocking child pornography on-line and funding for the PROTECT Act of 2008, just to mention a few.
But this is the one allocation I wanted to highlight of the proposed legislation:
State and local law enforcement assistance
(10) $21,000,000 for sex offender management assistance, as authorized by the Adam Walsh Act, and related activities, of which $1,000,000 is for the National Sex Offender Public Website;
So $20 million from the Federal Government to be divided among 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S Territories and 566 Tribal Governments to manage their mandatory (Federal Adam Walsh Act of 2006) Sex Offender Registries.

HR4660 also includes the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program which is $376,000,000. This is the Grant that the Adam Walsh Act uses as “bait” for the 50 States, D.C., U.S. Territories and Tribal Governments to become AWA compliant/SMART Office certified.  

10% of the Byrne Grant will be withheld from those who are not AWA compliant. 

 As of today that includes:
1.       Alaska
2.      Arizona
3.      Arkansas
4.      California
5.       Connecticut
6.      Georgia
7.       Hawaii
8.      Idaho
9.      Illinois
10.   Indiana
11.    Iowa
12.   Kentucky
13.   Maine
14.   Massachusetts
15.    Minnesota
16.   Montana
17.    Nebraska
18.   New Hampshire
19.   New Jersey
20.  New York
21.   New Mexico
22.  North Carolina
23.  North Dakota
24.  Oklahoma
25.   Oregon
26.  Rhode Island
27.   Texas
28.  Utah
29.  Vermont
30.  Virginia
31.   Washington
32.  West Virginia
33.  Wisconsin
34.   Plus the District of Columbia  (which is governed by the U.S. Congress, creator of the Adam Walsh Act and SMART Office)
35.   Territory of American Samoa
36.  Territory of Puerto Rico
37.   Too Many Tribal Lands to list here  

The Federal Government is baiting the states with grants for these programs but in the end the states are footing the bill.         

We know from an October 2011 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that I submitted to the Virginia State Police (the monitor and manager of Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders) that the VSP spent $5.48 million in 2010 monitoring and verifying offenders who weren’t incarcerated OR on probation. So out of the entire 2010 population of 17,623 the $5.48 million was for only 6,562 of them. That was only 37.25% of our entire RSO population. That works out to be $835 per RSO per year. 

The majority of Virginia RSO’s will be released from prison one day and then released from VA-DOC Probation and then VSP will be responsible for monitoring and managing them.