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Georgia Lost Federal Funding Over Sex Offender Registry Issues

Posted by Sean A. Black | Jul 19, 2018 | 2 Comments

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on May 28, 2018, that Georgia has lost some federal funding because the Georgia sex offender registry does not substantially comply with the federal SORNA law.

Georgia receives anywhere from $4.9 million to $5.9 million each year through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.  These funds are spent on a variety of law enforcement programs, not just sex offender issues.  Ten (10%) percent of that funding has been at risk for a while because of Georgia's deviations from the federal law.  The Georgia program is actually better than the federal system because it makes individual determinations of risk to re-offend.  Although Georgia has been ruled deficient every year since 2012, the penalty for non-compliance has been delayed for a number of years.  

It is worth noting that although the state is losing $490,000 to $590,000 because of this "deficiency," the cost to bring Georgia into compliance would be millions of dollars and would have continuing expenses each year thereafter also in the millions.  

The decision to remain deficient makes sense both from an economic sense and from a policy standpoint.

About the Author

Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.


Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jun 13, 2019 at 08:21:24

I simplified it as much as I could. It points out that Georgia does not have in place all of the requirements on registered sex offenders that federal legislation attempts to encourage.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jun 23, 2019 at 12:50:39

Supervision should be reasonable given the conditions. The conditions need to be read closely. Typically, the 1000 foot restriction has to do with residence and employment. On the other hand, going against instructions from the supervisor can result in the person sitting in jail until a judge sorts things out.

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