kpho.com : Arizona Ignores Sex Offender Law.
Phoenix - Arizona has to decide to delay implementing a law aimed at increasing protections from sex offenders.
States are supposed to adopt the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA, rules by July 2010.
This week, a state committee voted to ask for an extension until 2011. Officials on the committee said Arizona cannot afford to implement the law because of its budget crisis. The startup cost is estimated at $12 million.
"It is extremely expensive,” said Maricopa Juvenile Public Defender Chris Phillis. Phillis also said the law would be detrimental to Arizona. "This is not good for Arizona. It's going to have a very chilling effect,” she said.
SORNA requires juveniles to be listed on the sex offender registries. Experts said juveniles rarely reoffend and would be irreparably harmed by being listed on the registry, which defeats the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile justice system.
The law adds to the number of crimes that require registration. For example, anyone convicted of public urination would be required to register as a sex offender. "We're not going to be registering and watching the right offenders,” Phillis said.
Phillis said parole and probation officers would be forced to keep an eye on many people who are not a danger to society, thereby spending less time watching sex offenders who are a threat.