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SEX OFFENDER RISK LEVEL CLASSIFICATION

December 15th, 2013
SEX OFFENDER RISK LEVEL CLASSIFICATION (This information was provided by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office) sex offender levels           The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) through the “Model Policy” Established guidelines for risk level classification and the dissemination of information about sex offenders. The End of Sentence Review Committee is made up of a variety of state and local agencies that together complete risk level assessment of most sex offenders either convicted in Washington State or convicted in another state and move to Washington. The purpose of risk level assessment is to provide the community with information about convicted sex offenders who pose a moderate or high risk to re-offend. For level I offenders, law enforcement agencies shall share information with other appropriate law enforcement agencies. If the level I offender is a juvenile, the information shall be shared with the principal of the public or private school he or she will be attending. Upon request, the agency may disclose relevant, necessary and accurate information to any victim or witness and to any community member who lives near the residence where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found. RCW 4.24.550(3) For level II offenders, in addition to what is stated for level I offenders, law enforcement agencies may distribute information to those schools, child care and adult care facilities, libraries, and businesses and organizations serving children, women and vulnerable adults in the area where the registered offender resides, is expected to reside or is regularly found. (RCW 4.24.550(3). The most common method for notification of level II offenders is through notification flyers. For level IIl offenders, in addition to what is stated for level II offenders, law enforcement agencies may disclose information to the public at large. RCW 4.24.550(3) The county sheriff is to publish by legal notice, advertising, or news release a sex offender community notification that conforms to the guidelines established under RCW 4.24.5501 in at least one legal newspaper with a general circulation in the area of the sex offender’s registered address or location. Law enforcement agencies are expected to distribute offender notification flyers to the general public and are encouraged to host, minimally, periodic community forums for expanded sex offender management information and public safety education. The county sheriff shall also cause to be published twice yearly a current list of level III registered six offenders. This list shall be maintained by the county sheriff on a publicly accessible web site and updated at least once a month, unless the information is posted on the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs website. RCW 4.24.550(4) Sexually Violent Predator (Svp): Civil Commitment: There are currently hundreds of sexually violent predators civilly committed in Washington State. These offenders are housed at the Special Commitment Center (SCC) located at the McNeil Island Correctional Center. These offenders are not serving prison sentences. They fall under the jurisdiction of DSHS. To be civilly committed an offender must meet three specific criteria. 1. That they have been convicted of a sexually violent act, 2. They have been diagnosed with a personality disorder or mental abnormality, 3. That this diagnosis makes it more likely than not that they will commit a future sexually violent act. The End of Sentence Review Committee does initial screening of cases meeting the criteria. The offender is then sent to psychologist for a forensic evaluation to professionally answer the same three questions. If the offender is found to meet the criteria then the case is forwarded to a prosecutor who will make a final determination whether the case will go forward for civil commitment. If the case does go forward then a jury trial will make the final determination if the offender is to be civilly committed. Once the offender is civilly committed then they receive specific sex offender treatment for sexually violent predators. After completing six phases of sex offender treatment (which may take years, if ever completed) the offender must be considered for placement in a Secure Community Transition Facility (SCTF) in the general community. The placement of these facilities is currently taking place in several counties in Washington State. These facilities are maintained by DSHS. These offenders have the highest degree of supervision at no time being left in the community without a trained DSHS employee with them. The facility is secure, alarmed and staff is on site 24 hours a day. After it is found that the offender has successfully transitioned into the community they can be released from the SCTF to maintain their own living arrangements. Any release to an SCTF, less restrictive alternative or unconditional release can only be guaranteed through the court where the conviction as a sexually violent predator occurred.
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