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Increasing Sex Offender Fees

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Idaho's sex offenders could soon pay more annually to register. It's a bill making its way through the Idaho State Legislature and if passes, would double the fee from $40 to $80.

Staff Sgt. Doug Sugden is in charge of registering all 215 sex offenders in Twin Falls County.

Sgt. Sugden says, "they come in, we do the 4 p's, paperwork, prints, picture and pay me."

The county uses Offender Watch, an electronic service used to provide sex offender information.

"Name, age, social security, date of birth, where they live, mailing addresses, phone numbers, vehicles if they're in school, what time of crime they committed," adds Sugden.

Twin Falls is just one of nine counties in the state to have this service.
The next closest county? Bannock.

"None of the other counties around me have it, but it would be nice if they did because it would save a lot of time for me and for them that matter."

The smaller counties still track sex offenders' movement by paper.

"If somebody is not already in that system, you have to reā€“enter all that information to make sure you have everything you need."

While some sex offenders are discouraged by the $80 fee, Sugden says it could be worse.

"There are states where it costs a heck of a lot more to register...by not having to do mailings and published in the paper, it actually saves the offender money. Because they're not having to pay for mailings, we make it available and accessible on the internet."

Twin Falls paid for the electronic service through a grant and money from the sex offender registry.

If you are curious about sex offenders living in Twin Falls county, you can visit twinfallscoso.com. You can also take advantage of the free email alert system to find out if an offender registers near you.


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