This effort resulted in the federal community notification statute labeled "Megan's Law". While records indicate that Arizona had laws regarding sex offender registration as early as , never before has so much emphasis been focused on the sex offender population. When this occurs, the respective county adult probation agency or Arizona Department of Corrections DOC is required to enter information about the offender into a statewide accessible database.
One portion of this information involves the sex offender risk assessment. The risk assessment is a screening tool designed to provide criminal justice practitioners with the ability to predict a sex offender's risk of recidivism.
The Arizona risk assessment evaluates nineteen different criteria that have been identified by treatment experts as good predictors of future behavior. Each criterion is evaluated and assigned a point value, which ultimately is totaled for recommending an appropriate community notification level of 1, 2, or 3.
Although probation agencies and DOC provide law enforcement agencies with a recommended community notification level, the local law enforcement agency may choose to complete its own risk assessment to ensure accuracy. This includes notification to the "surrounding neighborhood, area schools, appropriate community groups and prospective employers.
The notification shall include a flyer with a photograph and exact address of the offender as well as a summary of the offender's status and criminal background. A press release and a level two or three flyer shall be given to the local electronic and print media to enable information to be placed in a local publication. Often the public does not understand how or why a sex offender is moving into their neighborhood. As such, it is the responsibility of all appropriate criminal justice agencies to engage in a collaborative effort to provide accurate and meaningful information to the public.
To facilitate this exchange of information, many law enforcement agencies conduct public meetings and attend "Block Watch" meetings to answer questions and relieve fears.
Finally, a zero tolerance approach regarding harassment and vigilantism reinforces the true meaning of community notification: What is the significance of June 1, ?
This is the date that Arizona implemented the community notification laws. Any person released from jail, prison, or sentenced to probation on or after this date is subject to community notification. Additionally, any person convicted prior to June 1, , may be subject to community notification after completion of a risk assessment by a law enforcement agency. How is risk level determined?
Prior to an offender's release or sentence to probation, the agency that had custody of the individual completes a risk assessment screening profile. This instrument evaluates nineteen criteria that are considered to be significant factors contributing to sex offender recidivism. Each criterion is given a score, which is then totaled to arrive at the recommended risk level. All criminal justice agencies must use the standardized Arizona Risk Assessment, however, occasionally law enforcement discovers information which can affect an offender's risk level.
As such, law enforcement is given the discretion to either accept the recommended risk level or complete another risk assessment. Are risk levels consistent nationwide?
No, each state has slightly different community notification laws, implementation dates, and risk assessment instruments. What is a "predator"? In Arizona, all sex offenders classified as "predator" are housed at the State Hospital. Once an offender completes his sentence and is scheduled for release, the offender may be reviewed for violent sexual predator criteria.
If it is determined that the offender is a violent sexual predator, Arizona law provides for a civil commitment to the Arizona State Hospital. The sex offender may request an annual review to determine if he is eligible for release into society, at which time the label "predator" is removed. What agency registers sex offenders? The county sheriff is responsible for registering sex offenders living within their county. Yes, if you are planning on staying in Arizona for more than 10 days.
Failure to comply is a Class 4 Felony. What are the requirements of a sex offender if he changes his address? The offender has 72 hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays, to complete a change of address.
This must be completed in person, on a sex offender registration form. Yes, judges have the authority to court order sex offender registration if there was a finding of sexual motivation. Do registration and community notification laws apply to juveniles? Although registration is mandatory for adults, it is not for juveniles. If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent of an act that would require an adult to register, the court can require the juvenile to register until the age of twenty-five.
Community notification laws may apply if ordered by the court. Are all sex offenders required to obtain a special Arizona drivers license or identification credential? Yes, all sex offenders are required to obtain a credential from the MVD. The credential which is obtained annually, looks identical to any other license except when a law enforcement official checks the status of the credential it indicates that the individual is subject to sex offender registration.
How can I obtain more detailed information concerning a particular conviction? It is incumbent upon the user to contact the court in the "convicting jurisdiction" to gain access to these public documents.
Some sex offenders are prohibited from living close to schools or child care facilities. Information concerning such restrictions can be found in A. They can be male or female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, religious or non-religious, educated or uneducated and from any race.
They win a child's trust and then take advantage of that trust. Offenders may position themselves to come in contact with children by: They provide extra assistance and offer special attention.