A legislative rules committee has agreed to let convicted sex offenders the ability to request a day in court to protest the public notification of their release. The change was forced on the state after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled sex offenders deserve a judicial hearing before being labeled a “high risk” to re-offend. Department of Corrections Attorney Michael Savala says sex offenders were always allowed to challenge their risk assessment, but not in front of a judge. Last year the department did a risk assessment on 480 inmates before their release, and 105 challenged that assessment. Savala says he doesn’t know the number if challenged cases will increase, but says it will mean more work for corrections. The appeal process could be short lived as the U-S Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Connecticut’s plan which does not do risk assessments, but puts offenders on a website before they’re released. Republican Senator Don Redfern of Cedar Falls says Iowa may consider doing the same thing.when the legislature convenes in January.
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