New lawmaker seeks to ease burden of housing sex offenders

/ Colorado News Agency
Dec 30th, 2010

grantham-white-hat-480Cash-strapped smaller counties say current law regarding sex offenders is costing them money.  Sen.-elect Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, says he wants to help those counties, many of which lie within his district.

It is a violation of parole for sex offenders who are released from prison to fail to register as a sex offender within the community they are living in.  If discovered, the sex offender is then arrested for  failure to register.  However, rather than going to court in the county where the discovery was made, the person in violation of parole is sent back for further proceedings and temporary incarceration to the county where the sex crime was committed—as prescribed by state law.

Grantham learned of the provision while he was on the campaign trail and was told by county officials–one of whom was from Crowley County, with only 6,400 residents–of the burden the policy places on smaller counties. Grantham won the open District 2 seat to replace retiring veteran Sen. Ken Kester, a Las Anmas Republican.

“They’re sent back to the counties that can least afford it, like Crowley County,” said Grantham. “They’re shipped back at the expense of the county and housed there, on their dime, for an offense that didn’t occur in their jurisdiction.”

He added, “That’s a huge chunk of money for a little county like Crowley.”

The expenses for room and board add up during the 30 to 60 days before the offender is sent back to the state prison system says Grantham.

He is now drafting a bill to reverse that formula and hold those detained for violating the law in the county where the violation occurred.

Grantham, who lives in Canon City but grew up in  Crowely County, said he wants to represent his district by being proactive in addressing such issues brought up by his constituents.

Leave a Reply

Log in / Advanced NewsPaper by Gabfire Themes