By Marilyn Odendahl . . . Finding the disclosures provide information that any law enforcement agent “would love to have,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled Indiana’s requirement that sex offender inmates give detailed accounts of their past actions violates the Constitution’s protections against self-incrimination.
Donald Lacy, a sex offender inmate in the Indiana Department of Correction, filed a class action on behalf of all inmates who lost good-time credits and a demotion in credit class because they failed to meet the requirements of the Indiana Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program. Lacy argued the disclosures required and the penalties imposed for non-participation constituted a violation of his Fifth Amendment right to be free from compelled self-incrimination.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana agreed. It ordered the inmates’ lost good-time credits to be restored and vacated all disciplinary actions and sanctions for failure to participate in INSOMM.
On appeal, Indiana countered that the INSOMM program does not carry any sufficiently serious risk of incrimination to trigger the protections of the Fifth Amendment. Moreover, even if it did, the state continued, the revocation of credit time and the demotion of credit class do not add up to unconstitutional compulsion.