Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

123 rd General Assembly of Ohio

Ohio Legislative Budget Office: a nonpartisan agency providing fiscal research for the Ohio General Assembly

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E-mail: BudgetOffice@LBO.STATE.OH.US ˛ Internet Web Site:http://www.lbo.state.oh.us/

BILL:

Sub. H.B. 442

DATE:

May 23, 2000

STATUS:

As Reported by Senate Judiciary

SPONSOR:

Rep. Winkler

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No

Minimal cost

 


CONTENTS:

Renames the offense of corruption of a minor as the offense of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and increases the penalties for that offense when the offender previously has been convicted of certain sex offenses or when the offender is ten or more years of age older than the victim

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

STATE FUND

FY 2001

FY 2002

FUTURE YEARS

General Revenue Fund

     Revenues

- 0 -

- 0 -

- 0 -

     Expenditures

Minimal increase

Minimal increase

 Increase, potentially in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, as prison stays rise and stacking effects take hold

Note: The state fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. For example, FY 2001 is July 1, 2000 – June 30, 2001.

 

·        The prison term for some offenders will lengthen, resulting in extended stays and an increase in the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s (DRC) annual incarceration costs. This lengthening of prison terms will slow the turnover rate for the affected prison population, causing what is termed a “stacking” effect. The result will be an increase in the number of offenders imprisoned in future fiscal years.

 

·        Some offenders, who would formerly have been charged with corruption of a minor, could now face a prison term of 1-8 years depending on the felony level conviction of the offense. The number of such new prison-bound offenders is uncertain at this time, but the intial fiscal effect on DRC’s annual incarceration costs will most likely be minimal.

·        Starting at some point after FY 2002, as a result of  “stacking” effects and the additional number of prison-bound offenders, DRC’s annual incarceration costs will potentially increase in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.


 


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FY 2000

FY 2001

FUTURE YEARS

Counties

     Revenues

 Potential negligible gain

 Potential negligible gain

 Potential negligible gain

     Expenditures

 Potential minimal increase

 Potential minimal increase

 Potential minimal increase

Note: For most local governments, the fiscal year is the calendar year. The school district fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.

 

·        The penalty enhancements of the bill could lengthen the amount of time that is takes to resolve such criminal matters. Most likely, the increase penalty available to county prosecutors as a result of the bill will raise the stakes of any trial and could increase court time involved in the case. As a result, county expenditures for adjudication, prosecution, and indigent defense costs relative to these criminal matters could minimally increase.

 

·        Counties may experience some gains in annual fine revenue for a few offenders through the penalty enhancements in the bill. LBO expects this gain to be very small.

 


 

 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

 

Provisions of the bill

 

Existing law prohibits a person who is 18 years of age or older from engaging in sexual conduct with another (unless a spouse) when the offender knows the other person is between the age of 13-16 years. A person who violates this prohibition is guilty of corruption of a minor, a felony of the fourth degree. If the offender is less than four years older than the other person, corruption of a minor is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

 

The bill renames the offense of corruption of a minor to the offense of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and enhances the penalty as follow:

 

·        If the offender is ten or more years older than the victim, the penalty is a felony of the third degree;

·        If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to rape, sexual battery, or corruption of a minor, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a felony of the second degree.

 

Prevalence of the Offense

 

            According to the 1998 Franklin County Municipal Court Report, there were 16 charges filed for corruption of a minor in that year. U.S. census data indicates that Franklin County is approximately 9 percent of Ohio’s total population. If we assume that these offenses are evenly distributed by population, then we can estimate that there are approximately 178 such charges filed statewide annually (16 charges/.09=178 charges). This estimate may represent an overcount, as some offenders may face multiple corruption of a minor charges.

 

The bill adds penalty enhancements in two instances: 1) if the offender is ten or more years older than the victim the penalty is enhanced from a felony of the fourth degree to a felony of the third degree; and 2) if the offender previously has been convicted of certain sex offenses (rape, sexual battery, or corruption of a minor) the penalty is enhanced to a felony of the second degree.

 

According to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s (DRC) 1992 Sex Offender Characteristics Intake Sample Study, approximately 75% of teen molesters in the sample were 26 years of age or older. If LBO assumes around 75% of the offenders committing the act of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor are beyond the age of 26, the number of cases affected by the bill due to the penalty enhancement given the difference in age between the offender and the victim would be around 134.

 

A second DRC study released in 1996, Five-Year Recidivism Follow-Up of Sex Offender Releases, shows the recidivism rate for sex related offenses involving teen victims was 31.1% for those offenders released from prison. If LBO assumes the same recidivism rate would exist among the 178 cases statewide, the number of recidivating cases would be around 55.

 

Presumably, some number of these criminal events involved the same offender. Thus, if an offender committed the act of corruption of a minor on five different juveniles and they are apprehended, it is most likely that individual would face multiple charges all rolled into one case. Additionally, offenders perpetrate criminal acts for which they may never be caught. The presence of these factors means that one would be overcounting the number of potential cases affected by the bill. LBO assumes that the number of cases potentially affected annually by the penalty enhancements of the bill could be as low as 134 and as high as 178.

 

State Fiscal Effects

 

Under the bill, some offenders will receive a longer prison sentence due to the penalty enhancement. These offenders would be subject to penalties for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which could result in a felony conviction of the second or third degree. There is a presumption for prison time ranging from 2-8 years for a felony of the second degree; for a felony of the third-degree the prison term could be from 1-5 years. DRC’s Time Served Report covering calendar year 1998 indicates that offenders sentenced to prison for corruption of a minor, as a felony of the fourth degree, served an average of 2 years. Referring again to the DRC’s Time Served Report, the offenders sentenced to prison for a felony of the third degree served an average of 2.9 years; for a felony of the second degree average time served was 6.18 years. Offenders affected by the bill’s penalty enhancements could serve an additional 11 months for a felony of the third degree (2.9 years – 2 years = .9 years or 11 months) and an additional 4.18 years in prison for a felony of the second degree (6.18 years – 2 years = 4.18 years).

 

Longer sentences will result in an increase in DRC’s GRF-funded annual incarceration costs. The Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission has estimated the marginal costs of imprisonment to be approximately $4,100 per year per inmate. One offender serving an additional 11 months in prison would result in an additional approximate cost to the state’s GRF of $3,690 ($4,100 x .9 years = $3,690). One offender serving an additional 4.18 years in prison would result in an additional approximate cost to the state’s GRF of $17,138 ($4,100 x 4.18 years = $17,138).

 

This lengthening of prison terms, which slows the turnover rate for the affected group of prisoners, will likely result in a “stacking” effect that will be felt in future fiscal years. If the same quantity of prisoners enter the prison system annually, and average time served for some of these offenders increases by 11 months to 4.18 years, release dates will be postponed from what they would otherwise have been under current law.

 

Additionally, some number of offenders who otherwise would not serve time for the offense of corruption of a minor may do so under the bill. Each additional inmate would only add to the marginal annual costs of operating the prison system ($4,100). Thus, the annual cost of incarceration for these offenders would be this amount multiplied by the number of offenders serving time for this criminal offense.

 

It is difficult to estimate how many offenders would receive prison time, that otherwise would not under existing law, or the number of offenders who would serve additional time as a result of the bill. LBO assumes, based on the range of 134 to 178 cases affected annually statewide, an increase in the state’s annual incarceration costs will occur, possibly in the hundred thousands of dollars.

 

Local Fiscal Effects

 

Counties. As discussed previously, the offenders addressed by the bill are currently being charged with corruption of a minor, a felony of the fourth degree. The penalty enhancements of the bill could lengthen the amount of time that is takes to resolve such criminal matters. Most likely, the increased penalty available to county prosecutors as a result of the bill will raise the stakes of any trial and could increase court time involved in the case. As a result county expenditures for adjudication, prosecution, and indigent defense costs relative to these criminal matters may increase, at most minimally. Counties may also experience some gains in fine revenue for a few offenders through the penalty enhancements in the bill. LBO expects this annual gain in revenue to be very small. 

 

 

q LBO staff:  Amy Frankart, Budget/Policy Analyst

 

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