Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sex offender sweep nets 552 arrests statewide (costs state millions)

DETROIT (AP) — Law enforcement officers arrested 552 people during a recent 14-day sweep of the state for violators of Michigan's sex offender registry law.

The effort also resulted in 622 additional arrest warrant requests, Michigan State Police said Thursday.

Offenders convicted of misdemeanors must verify their addresses once a year. People on the registry who move are required to report their new addresses within 10 days.

At least 125 law enforcement agencies and prosecutor's offices statewide were involved.

Operation Verify was Michigan's third coordinated sex offender sweep, The Detroit News reported Saturday. Since 2005, 1,800 people have been arrested.

Police focused on felons who failed to update or verify their address as required between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15. Officers also conducted nearly 4,000 random residence checks.

"Basically, we divide up the list and then go to the addresses that are listed with the offenders," state trooper Jeff Miazga said. "The checkup could be at any time during the day or night."

The Sex Offenders Registration Act requires those convicted of a felony to verify their addresses at a local law enforcement agency four times a year. Penalties for not complying range from a 93-day misdemeanor to a four-year felony.

Hm. This looks costly. In 2002 incarcerations cost Colorado $28000 per year per prisoner.

If the 552 get 90-day terms, that's $7000 times 552, or almost $4 million. In incarceration costs alone.

If the 552 get 4-year terms, that's about $64 million.

Of course, if they catch the other 622, those figures more than double. And that's before you factor in the enforcement and other incidental costs.

No comment on whether this is a good use of money.


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