For those registrants that are out on parole, home visits by a parole officer come with the territory.
Let’s just say there are good P.O.’s and bad P.O.’s. Some arrive on your doorstep inconspicuously, badges slightly hidden so as not to make a big show of their arrival. They are respectful to you and your family, they’re doing a job that is probably very difficult at times. But, in addition to doing their “parole work”, they are also doing what amounts to a compliance check. The exact same thing that the registry compliance checks done by the police mandate, making certain you still live at the same address, that there aren’t any new cars in the driveway with different tags, that you haven’t changed your appearance in any significant way or changed jobs, that you’re not doing anything that you shouldn’t be doing, etc.
But technically the P.O. visit isn’t a “compliance check”, it’s a probation visit.
Probation and the Registry are two separate entities.
This duplicity of compliance checks is nothing more than a drain on the wallets of unsuspecting taxpayers. They have no idea that P.O. visits and police/registry visits are two different enforcement agencies doing the same thing. And taxpayers are funding this.
I’m certain not many registrants or their families, all taxpayers too, knew about this until we became educated about it. And, as taxpayers, we don’t like it and neither should you.
Registry compliance checks are usually done by police. While most are done during the week, the police will occasionally show up on weekends when your neighborhood is filled with folks outside doing yard work or enjoying the day. Some police seem to enjoy making a huge spectacle of their arrival in one or more squad cars. The officers are fully uniformed and ready at the draw. If you’re home and answer the door, some will purposefully speak loudly enough for your neighbors to overhear that they are there for a “sex offender compliance check.” In this case, if you are on parole, you let them in. The good cops will try to do their checks as quickly and respectfully as they can, the bad ones will take their time, seemingly finding pleasure in making you as uncomfortable and anxious about all this as possible.
If by chance you aren’t home, the police will leave a message with anyone who is at the residence or in some cases they’ll leave brightly colored flyers on your front door, viewable from the street, announcing that they were there for a sex offender compliance check and that you need to contact the police when you arrive home.
‘Sex Offender Compliance Check’, the message, no matter whether received in person or read on a fluorescent flyer tacked to your door, is enough to turn a good day bad. You’ve done nothing wrong and yet the very thought of a compliance check is enough to make your heart race and your anxiety level soar. If at home when the knock at your door comes you may start to panic for no reason. If you’re out and about and a family member calls to tell you that the police were just at your house, you may cut short a lovely day out and run home to notify the police that you are now home should they want to come by to do a check. And then you wait. They may or may not come and you’ve wasted a perfectly fine day waiting and worrying.
But that must be the sole purpose of these compliancy checks, to further torment those who have already paid their debt to society.
What else could it be?
If you are on parole, your parole officer already knows everything there is to know about you. And if you’re not on parole, you register every year, for some, several times a year. The information is all there, available to both parole officers and police. I imagine most registrants are living where they have reported they are living. Why have the parole officers and police both checking on the same thing? Don’t they have better things to do? Aren’t there real crimes going on that need tending to?
Why are two enforcement agencies duplicating one job at taxpayers expense?
Because they can.
What taxpayer without a dog in this registry fight has ever thought to ask questions about how much money is wasted on the sex offender registry and compliance checks?
I’m certain none of us thought to ask before we were thrown into this arena!