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Sex Offender Community Notification

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1997
19 pages
Publication Series
This 1996 telephone survey of 13 criminal justice practitioners in eight States regarding practices of informing local communities about the presence of a sex offender found that notification statutes had diverse provisions.
Some statutes mandated proactive notification, while other statutes merely authorized notification. Still other statutes permitted notification only in response to community requests. It was also found that statutes may assign responsibility for notification to State and local criminal justice system agencies, including law enforcement agencies, prosecutor offices, and probation and parole agencies. Practitioners participating in the survey recommended that legislation allow local jurisdictions to develop and apply their own criteria for deciding which offenders should be subject to notification and what type of notification should be conducted. In addition, participants pointed out that notification requires a great deal of work, that the community should be educated about the nature and purpose of notification, and that further research on the impact of notification is needed. Principal features of sex offender registration laws are identified, and an appendix outlines community notification procedures for local law enforcement in Washington State. 38 notes and 3 exhibits

Date Published: February 1, 1997