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Kansas Registers Drug Offenders as Well as Sex Offenders

But a new bill could change that.

Willeecole | Dreamstime.comWilleecole | Dreamstime.com

Back when meth was the drug war's primary target, several states created registries for people convicted of making or selling the drug. Kansas went further than anyone else. There, anyone convicted of manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute any illegal recreational drugs other than cannabis are required to register for a minimum of 15 years—and unlike other states, the Kansas registry includes their picture. (It formerly included their addresses, but that was later removed due to fear of retaliation.)

More than 4,500 Kansans are now registered drug offenders, and many of them face surveillance, public isolation, and other unnecessary hardships as a result.

Kansas lawmakers are now reviewing a bill that would eliminate drug offenders from the criminal registry. "It is a drain on resources with no science, studies, or data to justify it," defense lawyer Jennifer Roth said at a hearing.

While they are on the registry, those convicted of drug charges are required to appear at the country sheriff's office four times a year. They must also make an appearance any time they move, get a new job, buy a vehicle, change emails, or get a tattoo. Each quarterly visit costs offenders $20, and failing to register—an offense that includes failing to make any one of those appearances—can lead to prison sentences.

The consequences can be crushing. The formerly incarcerated already have an extremely difficult time obtaining a job. And many people examining the registry fail to distinguish between drug charges and sex-related offenses, leading to further problems. The public is hostile to sex criminals, and people are quick to assume the worst about persons registered (though many sex offenders on the registry may not deserve to be there either).

This harsh public treatment leads to social isolation, and critics of the registries suggest such isolation makes recidivism more rather than less likely. Similarly, while there isn't much evidence that registries actually prevent crime, several studies suggest that felons without foreseeable job prospects are more likely become repeat offenders.

"The problem with these registries is that we're creating a class of untouchables within our society who cannot rent apartments or secure employment," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told Prison Legal News during the original push to add drug offenders to the registries. "When you diminish the likelihood that ex-felons can live and work in society, you increase the chances that they will return to criminal behavior."

In light of such problems, other states have rolled back their registering requirements. Hopefully Kansas will join them soon.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Kansas really loves its police state doesn't it?

  • H. Farnham||

    Sadly true... BUT, we do have all three of our Division I basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament. GO STATE!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Train don't run out of Wichita... unlessin' you're a hog or a cattle.

    People train runs out of Stubbville.

  • SIV||

    We need a registry of "journalists" who use Vox for citations of fact. Robby can go live under an overpass.

  • Hugh Akston||

    SIV doesn't like anyone who badmouths Kansas, where they know how to treat a chicken like a lady.

  • H. Farnham||

    Come on man, you don't have to throw an entire state under the bus to make a SIV joke.

  • Hugh Akston||

    mea culpa

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    tuus maxima culpa

  • H. Farnham||

    Hey at least it wasn't another damn Wizard of Oz reference. Prohibitionists and Tornadoes seem to be our only claims to fame.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Also Superman

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And the fact that Kansas is scientifically proven to be flatter than a pancake.

    Love is love, science is real.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The Wizard of Oz references are definitely played out. I think we've reached the Point of Know Return on them.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I've driven through Kansas, and I can assure there is nothing but corn and corn people there.

  • In Time Of War||

    My grandmother lived her entire life in Cimarron. When I was a kid and we visited her, my sole source of entertainment was walking up and down the railroad tracks looking for Date Nails. Sometimes, to really shake things up, we went to the post office to get her mail.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Throwing entire cities and states under the bus is a central tool of comedy.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That picture of people at a computer calculating it in what looks like either Matlab or SAS is amazing.

  • H. Farnham||

    Yeah, but it's only funny if it's other people's states or cities, duh.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    In light of such problems, other states have rolled back their registering requirements. Hopefully Kansas will join them soon.

    Biggest problem being these registries are unconstitutional. There is nothing in the US or State Constitutions that provide state power to force people to register or be imprisoned.

  • StackOfCoins||

    I maintain that registers of icky people are most certainly "cruel and unusual". The do not apply to every class of crime, and the real objective is not public safety of others, but public humiliation of those registered.

  • Longtobefree||

    So facebook?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There, anyone convicted of manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute any illegal recreational drugs other than cannabis are required to register for a minimum of 15 years...

    This sounds like the most pointless thing ever.

  • Rat on a train||

    It makes it easier to find your local dealer.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kansas lawmakers are now reviewing a bill that would eliminate drug offenders from the criminal registry.

    And it will end up passing legislation that eliminates the cannabis carve-out.

  • DiegoF||

    We've found it! The cannabis carve-out!

    Cannabis dank, yeah yeah yeah!
    It's not schwag?
    No no no!

  • Libertarian||

    " . . . anyone convicted of manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute any illegal recreational drugs other than cannabis are required to register for a minimum of 15 years . . ."

    I like how it took two modifiers in front of the word "drugs" in order to narrow the focus.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And a caveat after it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What's the matter with Kansas?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    They haven't done anything decent since Masque came out.

  • Sevo||

    OT, AMAZING!

    "Some students honor Parkland victims, but not calls for gun control"
    [...]
    "Daniel Reales, left, and Diego Anderson attend a rally at El Cerrito High School on Wednesday. Both say they oppose high gun control but came to honor the victims who died in last month's school shooting in Florida."
    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/
    Some-students-honor-Parkland-
    victims-but-not-12753284.php

    Balls.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    In San Francisco? They're dead men.

  • DiegoF||

    What, is Dan White a Parkland activist now? #LibertarianPanic

  • BestUsedCarSales||

  • Rich||

    orange has been adopted as a color of gun-control advocates

    Does Trump know this?

  • Eidde||

  • Longtobefree||

    Well, that includes a whole lot of criminals!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What kind of orange? Trump is more of a marigold, and the gun control advocates tend toward marmalade.

  • DiegoF||

    I imagine the gun control activists in San Francisco probably have rather an affinity for Lady Marmalade.

  • Rich||

    "It is a drain on resources with no science, studies, or data to justify it,"

    But think of the JOBS!

  • gaoxiaen||

    They're coming after Rock and Roll next.

  • Longtobefree||

    "Rock and roll ain't been worth a damn since Buddy Holly died"

  • Eidde||

  • Eidde||

    (From Feb 2, so it's a bit stale and old, like (name of unpopular commenter)'s mom)

  • Red Tony||

    GET OFF MY MOTHER!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I just did.

  • DiegoF||

    I like the part where the dude cross dressed in the hijab. Now that's my kind of intersectionalism! I want to see what happens if this catches on.

  • Eidde||

    How do we know it hasn't?

  • Agammamon||

    Wait, isn't this encouraging cultural appropriation?

    Because it sure as hell was here.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-33450391

  • Red Tony||

    Off-topic: since today's vote in the troll contest ended in a tie, the first response to this gets to cast the winning vote.

    Worst Staff Troll: Robby, Ed, or Shikha?

  • Eidde||

    Shikha

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It was obvious all along.

  • SIV||

    Shikha is the BEST staff troll.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Trolls are doing it intentionally for attention. Shikha is a true believer.

  • DiegoF||

    Boo! Un-American! Tied elections are settled with a coin toss in this country, bub.

  • Red Tony||

    It was a three-way tie. If you have a three-way coin, I'd like it. For...reasons.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Non-Euclidean reasons?

  • Eidde||

    Ah, Shoggoth you face.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    1d6 / 2 asshole. Come play RPGs with me, because I can't get people to play.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Hey, of you are serious, let's get something going on rolld20. I think that would be fun.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'd be down. I'm thinking of trying Scion or some NWoD stuff if I can find people. Though I haven't run an rpg in 8 years or so.

  • Red Tony||

    I don't have two assholes.

  • Eidde||

    Elections are settled by the last-minute discovery of extra votes, like in this case.

  • DiegoF||

    Actually, can't argue with that. Congratulations Shikha. The Soave campaign concedes.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Shikha by a border wall.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Shikha, when the walls fell.

  • Longtobefree||

    and unlike other states, the Kansas registry includes their picture. (It formerly included their addresses, but that was later removed due to fear of retaliation.)

    When will image search be available in Kansas?

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • DiegoF||

    Wrong kind of heroine, sir. Do try to keep on topic.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    "Elsa" who faced the blizzard in a long, flowing blue dress and a silver wig, single-handedly helped pushed the police vehicle out of the snow – much to the excitement of those taking shelter at The Gallows, a gastropub.

    I'm so happy this sentence exists

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Crusty has rocked for a long, long time. Now it's time for him to pass the torch.

  • Dan S.||

    Can't they move out of the state? Would Kansas try to bring a non-registering ex-Kansas drug criminal back to Kansas to throw him in jail?

  • Agammamon||

    They would probably still require these people to report to a Kansas police station on schedule and, yes, they would create arrest warrants for those who didn't.

  • Agammamon||

    And then, even if you came back every quarter, they would tell you that since you don't live in that station's district you can't report in to them.

  • SIV||

    The Libertarian Party Wants Your Guns to be confiscated by the government!

    The only question is what kind of camps do they want for the non-compliant...re-education or death?

  • Agammamon||

    To all those who keep screaming that 'we need to get elected!' - this is what you get when your party puts getting elected over the principles that the elected are supposed to uphold.

    Those principles get tossed out the window. What fucking good will it do to get LP candidates in office if the choice ends up Coke, Pepsi, or RC Cola?

  • chemjeff||

    Relax, the SIV link to a LP tweet did not advocate the government confiscating anything, let alone guns. He's lying.

  • SIV||

    Read the fucking link.

    Don't trust one of our progressive commenters.

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