Georgia private probation companies expand sex offender industry

In 1994 the Jacob Wetterling Act established the first national sex offender registry law, and Indiana’s “Zachary’s Law” placed their state registry online.

In 1996 “Megan’s Law” was passed at the federal level, forcing states to maintain publicly accessible registries and allowing all levels of community notification.

In 1997 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld civil commitment in Kansas v. Hendricks, and a year later, Delaware passed the first law requiring registrants to carry a special ID card.

In 2005 strict mandatory minimum laws were created with the Jessica Lunsford Act followed by the Adam Walsh Act in 2006. (1)

These laws are the result of horrific acts of violence often resulting in murder and with actual or assumed sexual motivation against youth. They were driven in equal parts by grieving parents wanting justice, politicians who, for reasons both altruistic and self-serving, were willing to take up the cause, and a media fired by the sensationalism inherent in the issue.

The cases that drove the laws are rare anomalies; with instant telecommunications and every story being repeated beyond counting, the impression is easily given and received that these heinous incidents happen every day. They don’t. They represent the tiniest fraction of all sexual offenses, but the transition is easily made in the public’s mind: sex offender = violent, predatory pedophile and potential murderer.

And an industry was born—a multi-million if not billion dollar industry—containing but not limited to these branches; the only ordering attempted is alphabetical.


  • Apps for cell phones/messages to emails– manufacture; sales; supply; monitor
  • Electronic license plates
  • Expert witnesses
  • Federal marshal grants/other federal grants
  • GPS –manufacture; supply; monitor
  • Manufacturers and sales of polygraph equipment
  • Medical care for the incarcerated
  • Non-government companies who post registry information and charge to remove it
  • Parents of victims–publicity; financial
  • Politicians-getting/staying elected
  • Polygraphers—give exams as part of probation requirements; under state contracts
  • Private civil commitment facilities/management/treatment
  • Private monitoring and tracking companies
  • Private prisons/staffing for/management of
  • Registry management companies
  • Screening systems in schools, libraries–manufacture; sales; install; monitor
  • Security systems/alert systems—manufacture; sales; install; monitor
  • Telephone/email services: inmates to outside world; family to inmates
  • Treatment providers, usually with “locked-in” state contracts
  • Webinar “instructors”


And now come private probation companies.

According to an article by Nicole Flatow, Think Progress, March 25, 2014, the Georgia legislature has passed a bill which gives private probation companies, already being sanctioned and investigated for abuses and misconduct, even more power to operate, power that has critics recalling the days of debtors’ prison due to their ability to have someone jailed for failure to pay the probation fees.

As Flatow points out in her article, “Private probation firms are a growing industry that, like private prisons, stand to profit from criminalizing more conduct, and have an incentive to lobby for policies that send more individuals to probation and/or jail.” (2)

Sex offenders are easy targets; who will come to their aid? Anyone who does so is accused of being a pedophile or a rape apologist. Any politician who does so is sounding the death knell for his career.

This is more than a sex offender issue. This is a civil rights issue. This is a constitutional issue. This is the slippery slope. This doesn’t just affect those on the registry.

Who will next fall prey?


(1) Source for timeline: Timeline of Sex Offender History





someone outside of NARSOL

Written by 

Occasionally we will share articles that have been published elsewhere. This is a common practice as long as only a portion of the piece is shared; a full piece is very occasionally shared with permission. In either case, the author's name and the place of original publication are displayed prominently and with links.

7 Thoughts to “Georgia private probation companies expand sex offender industry”

  1. Avatarchris

    I am a sex offender. I recently finished my 5 years probation. from my point of view it is all about money. I had to go to therapy, $45 a week out of pocket or through funding. And polygraphs, $325 a year and if you got funding from say CMU or medicare you had to go to one on one therapy, but only if you had funding, at $85 a week. If you were on probation for 20 years you did this for 20 years if you were on probation for 4 months you did this for 4 months, and then you were “successfully discharged” Okay how is 4 months vs 20 years considered successfully completing therapy? Okay here is another thing. The polygraphs don’t work. I myself lied about many things, nothing sex crime related, but still passed every one and so did many others in group who admit outside of group they lied on the polygraphs and passed or worse, failed a test on a question they were being truthful on only to have to make up a lie to explain why they failed or be “unsuccessfully discharged” and violate their probation. And that too is an issue. Therapy has been given too much power. They say it is a safe place to talk but if you admit to doing something against probation or therapy they discharge you and that violates your probation sending you to jail. So if there is an offender who is really trying to do well but has a slip up, they can’t talk to the very people who are “supposed” to be there to help them for fear of being sent back to jail so no help is given and further down the slope they go. So to me the ultimate question is does therapy work? If it does, then why further punish those who have successfully completed therapy by making them register? If it doesn’t work why make offenders go threw it and cost them or the public so much money! And who pays for the offender in jail? just money money money!!

    1. AvatarPhil

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Probation is a waste of taxpayer money. Any GOOD attorney would not simply sit on his/her ass and say “It’s part of your sentence” BULLSH*T! Probation is a TRAP by the court system in the hopes that you’ll “mess up” over something so trivial and they can send you back to the bull-pen-therapy of the court/prison system until there is a decision made as to whether you go back to prison or sent back out onto probation. This keeps the system IN BUSINESS. If someone can be put on probation for as little as a few months, there is NO NEED FOR THE PROBATION AT ALL.
      You cannot drink on probation. You cannot leave the state without permission on probation. You cannot own a computer without permission AND monitoring software while on probation. You cannot go to a family function without permission or an “approved supervisor” while on probation. You cannot look at or own LEGAL pornography while on probation. You cannot even have fun with your significant other if you choose to take nude photos or record yourselves having sex while on probation.
      Are any of these things “illegal”? No! Anyone can do them and many people do. Once your probation is OVER, you can do ALL of these things and more. So what’s with the lame excuse of “We’re protecting YOU and others around you”? WTF is THAT all about when eventually the probation period ENDS and you can own a computer, look at porn, go on vacations without permission, etc, etc, etc…what is the POINT?
      The point is simple: Men and women who could not pass the Postal exam needed a job so the justice system came up with the idea of Probation for a bunch of bafoons to be legalized bullies and control how you live.
      I think the idea of probation (if there needs to be any) should be simple: Stay out of trouble for “x” amount of time and prove that you’re a law abiding citizen. All this extra nonsense about what you can and cannot do and what you can and cannot own is bullshit. Hence the reason why I believe probation is a trap.
      Think about this also the next time an attorney tries to tell you that probation is required as part of your plea deal sentence… If you do the MAXIMUM time required for the crime you committed, you can walk out of prison to NO PROBATION. You can also so as many people I’ve encountered have done which is to VIOLATE the probation, go back to court, tell the judge and prosecutor to give you whatever time they feel from what’s left of your sentence with NO PROBATION TO FOLLOW.
      That right there PROVES that there is no validity to the idea of probation. It should be abolished just like the registry.
      When will a SMART attorney or group of attorneys finally take action against this nonsense and put the probation dept on the same unemployment line and displace their lives like they do to the people on probation? Grow a pair!!!

  2. AvatarPat

    Yes, Chris is right, it is all about money, my son is on probation and has to go to group sessions, I have to pay for this since he can’t find work, the State of Georgia has gone too far, this so called counselor wants a polygraph every 6 months at $225, he had one, but I can no longer afford anymore, I got behind on his group session payments and she has threatened to kick him out if he misses any more payments. Something needs to be done to help these young men that deserve help, not all offenders are rapists or murderers, most of them deserve a second chance. I have since hired a lawyer, but I have my doubts that anything can be done.

    1. AvatarJulia Q

      My fiancé is in the same boat. Can we talk? We are looking into legal options. Please contact me.

    2. AvatarJoey

      Trust me I kno how u feel I been n class for 6 yrs took 5 polygraph pass them n I’m still n class n now is rough for me my car broke dwn I might lose my job n I only have a yr left on probation

  3. AvatarLinda

    My son plead guilty to stat rape in Nov. 2012. He was 19, girl was 15. The young lady gave birth a month later to a little girl that is NOT my son’s child. He was given 3 months work release, 10 year probation and fines, fines, classes, etc. The first probation officer was all about helping him. She was too good at her job and was promoted and we received the WORST probation officer. She is all about putting people back in jail so her workload is reduced. I have called an attorney who is familiar about probation and I didn’t even have to tell him her name. He knew exactly who and what was going on. We have rendered my son homeless because she came by the house 4 times weekly and as late at 10pm. My son was hurt at work and was off on workers comp. She put him on house restriction. He now has a job, she has made him leave work twice this week. There is NOTHING we can do. I will be looking for him to move to another county and pray this isn’t a pattern with bad probation officers. I pray this gets better, but I’m not confident AT ALL.

  4. AvatarJ lee

    Hey I’m in Georgia and am a Sex offender evertime I want to move my probation officer goes to the place and let’s them know about I’m a Sex offender. Is this legal. Is there any laws?

Comments are closed.