Thursday, October 4, 2012 | Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 9:51pm
Many states fall short of federal sex offender law
"James Womack, director of Hand Up Ministries, walks through the gate which has a sign prohibiting women or children inside the community, in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Hand Up Ministries is a non profit faith-based organization that offers help to men and women coming out of the prison system to re-enter society. The grounds currently house 150 sex offenders and 7 other felons.
Nearly three dozen states have failed to meet conditions of a 2006 federal law that requires them to join a nationwide program to track sex offenders, including five states that have completely given up on the effort because of persistent doubts about how it works and how much it costs.
The states, including some of the nation's largest, stand to lose millions of dollars in government grants for law enforcement, but some have concluded that honoring the law would be far more expensive than simply living without the money.
"The requirements would have been a huge expense," said Doris Smith, who oversees grant programs at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Lawmakers weren't willing to spend that much, even though the state will lose $226,000."
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