SBI Wastes Millions On Reminders To Sex Offenders | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's note: This article, by Garrett Daniel, was originally published in the Justice & Public Safety section(s) of Civitas's online edition.

    Just days into my new internship here at Civitas earlier this summer I was handed a cardboard box, filled to the brim with literally a thousand pages of emails, meeting minutes, agendas, general statutes, handbooks, and user guides. That was my first clue that the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) was bogged down in too much regulation.

    At first, my goal was to see if the SBI was breaking any laws. After reading, highlighting, underlining, and rereading these documents, I found that the SBI was not. But I did discover that, as so many other government entities seem to do, the bureau is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.

    In 2006, the North Carolina Legislature passed a bill requiring convicted sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies. The SBI division under the Department of Public Safety was put in charge of this important registration program. (When Civitas first started this analysis, SBI was under the Department of Justice).

    The problem with the program is not the idea of having sex offenders register, it's how the SBI goes about it. The SBI sends out reminder letters to these sex offenders, reminding them to register, in person, with their local sheriff's office.

    To break this down a little more, there are three "tiers" of sex offenders, and for our purposes we will just focus on "Tier 1," which covers the least serious offenses. A Tier 1 convicted sex offender who is not currently incarcerated has to register on a specific date every year, then verify that registration six months later. This process is repeated each year. In short, a Tier 1 offender has to appear in-person to the sheriff's office twice a year, either to register or verify registration.

    How easily could these people remember to register or verify their registration? But of course, the state reminds them. An article that WFMY published highlighted that when you have a doctor's appointment, you get a reminder call from the office, because you are the paying client. In North Carolina, however, the state has taken on the task of reminding these sex offenders to register or verify their registration — and taxpayers foot the bill.

    As of 2013, first class, certified mail costs about $6.11 per letter. From 2006 through April 2015, the state sent out a total of more than 287,000 such letters to Tier 1 offenders, costing taxpayers nearly $1.8 million on postage alone. This total does not include the costs of employee salaries or paper and printer ink needed to process the letters. To put that number in perspective, you could buy nine Lamborghinis at $200,000 a pop for what the SBI spent on postage for these reminders. These figures focus only on Tier 1 offenders; reminders to other offenders cost still more.

    And that's not even the worst part. Letters are being sent to sex offenders who are incarcerated. These are the same letters, telling convicts they have three days to register in person at their county sheriff's office. Clearly, prisoners cannot, and do not need to, fulfill that requirement. In emails obtained from the Department of Justice, the SBI does not differentiate between offenders who are behind bars and offenders who are free. It seems obvious that an extra field or flag could be added to the prisoners' profiles that says, "Hey, I'm in prison and don't have to register until I get out."

    This registration reminder program represents yet another instance of gross inefficiency in state government, with millions of your hard-earned tax dollars being wasted.

    There is a solution. Instead of you paying for reminders, make the offenders pay for them. In South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, there is an annual registration fee for offenders when registering. The fees range from $25 to $150 and are used for a variety of things, one of those being to fund the actual program of keeping track of these criminals.
Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

Vets Say Preparation Is the Key To Pets Weathering the Dog Days of Summer Civitas Institute, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics Civitas Seeks Investigation Of PAC


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Hunter Biden’s legal team on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against a former Trump White House staffer, accusing him of violating California and federal computer privacy laws by publishing thousands of photos and emails from the infamous laptop belonging to the president’s son.
Former President Donald Trump angrily denounced the claim from the New York Attorney General that he has significantly inflated his net worth.
NCDHHS Has Distributed $932 million through Child Care Stabilization Grants to Over 4,400 Child Care Centers But Funding Will Soon Run Out
The media and general public were collectively unsure how to respond today, as a visiting "alien commander" from space held a press conference to ask the people of Earth to provide his planet with $40 billion in foreign aid
Apprehensions of illegal immigrants surged from 132,652 in July to more than 177,000 in August, preliminary data reported by The Washington Post reveals.
Federal prosecutors have indicted Hunter Biden on gun charges, according to court documents.
NCAA Women's Soccer fell into controversy this week when, during a match, a transgender player was outed during a free kick.


Tesla CEO and X owner Elon Musk says in a forthcoming biography that a far-left school that his son attended in Los Angeles turned him against the tech mogul.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a professor at N.C. State University. He claimed job retaliation for criticism of the NCSU education school's increased focus on social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr was asked Thursday to weigh in on the question of whether the investigations into his one-time boss, former President Donald Trump, constituted election interference.
Idiot President Biden has taken an intractable position to allow, endorse and facilitate the advancement of Illegal Immigration to further political aspirations of Non Patriot Left, or for their Personal Profit.
Here’s a stat that will blow your mind: New research shows that just 12% of the U.S. population is responsible for 50% of all meat consumed daily in the country. Most of that group are men between the ages of 50 and 65.
An ancient, wizened sage from a bygone era gathered a group of fascinated children around his knee to recount the Legend of the 29-cent Del Taco Value Taco.
Former President Donald Trump vowed to expand his travel ban and initiate the “largest domestic deportation operation” in United States history if he wins a second term in the White House.
The Department of Defense announced on Thursday that it had a new website where it will release declassified information about UFOs, which are officially referred to as Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs).


Back to Top