HB 619 provides that a county must register a sex offender regardless of a person's ability to pay the registration fee.
An individual's inability to pay the $80 registration fee would not result in a failure to register, an offense under current Idaho law which carries up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Administrative regulations such as registering, and the accompanying financial burden associated with registering, can contribute to recidivism unrelated to the original criminal act. This recidivism can lead to additional overcrowding of prisons, an issue especially prevalent in the Idaho criminal legal system. In Idaho during FY21, 75% of individuals sentenced to incarceration were sentenced due to revocations or violations of probation and parole, not for committing a new crime.
HB 619 would ensure financial barriers to compliance with the registry would not result in additional prison time. HB 619 is a step in the right direction towards reducing the overcrowding of the Idaho prison system and the subsequent number of folks incarcerated in contracted out of state facilities.