A nation of registries? Utah adds white-collar crime registry

Every state maintains a sex offender registry, and many states have expanded registries to include other crimes.

The Wall Street Journal reports on Utah’s new white collar crime registry.

Utah’s white-collar registry will include anyone convicted of second-degree frauds or other financial felonies since January 2006. A total of about 230 people are expected to be on the registry when it is formally launched in a few months, officials said.

The state will generally keep people registered for 10 years after a first offense. A second offense adds another decade, and people with three convictions never get off.

Experts say the number of Americans on various registries may now number over one million.

In addition to the 50 states that publicly track sex offenders, five states including California require registration for arson. Minnesota, Illinois and six others maintain lists of methamphetamine producers. In Indiana, a public website lets visitors use Google Maps to find the location of homes that have been used as meth laboratories. Tennessee requires registration for animal abuse— something nine other state legislatures are debating. Florida law requires registration by anyone convicted of a felony of any kind for up to five years after completing the sentence.Utah itself maintains a sex-offender and kidnap-offender list, as well as its new financial-crimes registry.

 Left unanswered is whether any of these registries are effective, or whether the resources used to create and maintain them could be better spent.

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