In late February, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation requiring additional monitoring of sex offenders after they complete their prison sentence. House Bill 446 (read in in full here) has now been referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee for consideration. HB 446 imposes a mandatory three-year probation period (“Probation Tail”) on Tier III offenders (i.e. Rape, Sexual Abuse of a Minor, & Aggravated Sexual Assault).
This may be an important change. The sponsoring memo suggests that the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission, as a rule, holds sexual offenders for lengthier jail sentences, and then releases them without much time left for supervision beyond registering under Megan’s Law. What the memo doesn’t detail is whether there has been any reason to believe that the probation tail is necessary to curtail recidivism. Is this a solution in search of a problem or do you agree with the mandatory three-year supervisory tail? Is there a problem with extending the potential sentence served beyond the maximum sentence allowed by law?