Photo by Denis Oliveiraon Unsplash
TOPEKA, KS. – The state of Kansas is considering a new bill called Lailah’s Law, which would require adults living with offenders on probation, parole, or post-release supervision to report if the offender is not home during the required time periods. The bill aims to prevent further criminal behavior and ensure that offenders follow their court-ordered requirements.
Under the proposed law, any person age 18 and older who lives with an offender must report any instances where the offender is not home during a time required by probation, correctional services program community, parole, post-release supervision, parole, or suspended sentence. Reporting can be made orally, by email or by text message to the offender’s community supervisory officer, who will then notify the individual of what time the offender needs to be home and how to carry out the requested report.
If an individual fails to report a violation, it would be considered a misdemeanor and could result in a fine of up to $500 if the offender commits a new offense when required to be home. If the offender commits a new felony during this period, it would be considered a class C non-personal misdemeanor.
However, the proposed legislation also provides immunity for anyone who makes a report or participates in any investigation or prosecution related to a report made under this section. Furthermore, if the person who lives with the offender is also a victim of the offender’s crime, he is exempt from the provisions of the law.
The bill is still under consideration in the Kansas Legislature and has not yet been enacted. However, if approved, it would take effect immediately upon its publication in the statute book.
Proponents of the bill say it would provide an extra measure of safety for communities and ensure that violators follow their court-ordered requirements. They also argue that the bill would not impose a significant burden on people living with offenders as they are only required to report if the offender is not at home during a required time period.
On the other hand, critics argue that the proposed law could violate personal privacy and potentially create further conflict between people living with the offender and the offender himself. They also argue that it could disproportionately affect low-income communities and minorities.
The bill is one of several crime and criminal justice bills under consideration in Kansas during the 2023 legislative session. Whether the bill will ultimately become law remains to be seen, but it has already sparked debate among lawmakers and the public.