Community Notification for the Various Risk Levels
The type of community notification that occurs depends on the risk level to which an offender has been assigned. The depth and breadth of the disclosure depends upon the level of danger posed by the offender, his or her pattern of offending behavior, and the need of community members for information to enhance individual and community safety. In making the notification, a law enforcement agency must not disclose the identity or any identifying characteristics of the victims of or witnesses to the offender’s offenses.
Notification for the three levels is as follows:
Level I Sex Offenders.
The law enforcement agency may maintain information about the offender within the agency and disclose it to other law enforcement agencies. The law enforcement agency also may disclose the information to any victims or witnesses to the offense committed by the offender. The agency must disclose information to victims of the offense who have requested disclosure. The agency also must disclose information to adult members of the offender’s immediate household. Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subds. 1 and 4.
Level II Sex Offenders.
The law enforcement agency may disclose the same information it may disclose on Level I offenders, and it also may disclose information to agencies and groups the offender is likely to encounter. These agencies and groups include the staff members of public and private educational institutions, day care establishments, and establishments and organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender. The purpose of this notification is to secure these institutions and to protect individuals in the care of these institutions while they are on or near the institution’s premises. The agency also may disclose information to individuals the agency believes are likely to be victimized by the offender based on the offender’s pattern of offending or victim preference. Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subd. 4.
Level III Sex Offenders.
The law enforcement agency must disclose the information to the persons and entities who may receive notice about Level I and II offenders. When the entity is one that primarily educates or serves children, and the offender is participating in programs offered by the facility that require or allow the person to interact with children, then the entity must notify the parents with children at the facility. In addition, the agency must disclose information to other members of the community whom the offender is likely to encounter, unless the agency determines that public safety would be compromised by the disclosure or that a more limited disclosure is necessary to protect the identity of the victim. When a Level III offender moves into a community, law enforcement typically holds a community meeting to provide information about the offender. The offender may not attend the meeting. Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subd. 4.
A law enforcement agency disclosing information to the public about Level III offenders must forward the information disclosed to the Commissioner of Corrections. The Commissioner of Corrections must create and maintain a website to post the information received from the law enforcement agency. This information must be updated in a timely manner to account for address changes. The information must be available during the time the offender is subject to notification as a Level III offender. Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subds. 4 and 4b.
Caveat: A law enforcement agency may not make the disclosures permitted or required for Level II and Level III predatory offenders if the offender is placed or resides in a residential facility. In these cases, notification is delayed until shortly before the offender is released from the residential facility. Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subd. 4.
CREDIT: The content of this and any related posts has been copied or adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Sex Offenders and Predatory Offenders: Minnesota Criminal and Civil Regulatory Laws, written by Legislative Analyst Jeffrey Diebel.
This post is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Criminal and Civil Regulatory Laws Regarding Sex Offenders and Predatory Offenders.