Rules for sex offenders in the community

DOC Community Supervision

Sex offenders who are releasing from confinement with required Department of Corrections (DOC) supervision may be supervised in the community under strict rules designed to protect their victims, vulnerable people, the general public and the offender.

In addition to requiring sex offender registration, the courts, and the DOC can impose many conditions and requirements for the period of DOC supervision. Offenders may be required to report to a Community Corrections Officer (CCO) whose primary responsibility is to help offenders become law abiding citizens while holding the offenders accountable.

Supervision:

Offenders must report to their CCO and be available for contact as directed and often must remain within specified geographic boundaries.

Registration:

Sex and kidnapping offenders who are required by law to register must do so prior to leaving state, county or city confinement. They must follow up by registering in person within 24 hours of their release at their county sheriff’s office.

Living arrangements:

Community corrections officers must approve sex offenders’residence and living arrangements. Offenders cannot move without permission. Generally, the release address of sex offenders is scrutinized to assess potential risk to the community and for the offender. Sex offenders often cannot own or control personal computers. If community corrections officers permit access to computers, they normally must have blocks that prevent access to specific sites. Offenders also cannot have contact with magazines, videos, telephone sites or anything else with pornographic content. Offenders must allow their community corrections officers to inspect every part of their homes.

Treatment:

Many offenders must obtain psycho-sexual evaluations and treatment from state-certified sexual deviancy counselors. Those who are required to do so must authorize their CCO to monitor their progress in treatment. Typically, offenders are not permitted to change counselors without approval and they must submit to polygraph and plethysmograph (which measure sexual arousal) testing at their own expense at the direction of their therapist or CCO.

Alcohol and drugs:

Offenders cannot purchase, possess or consume any mind or mood altering substances, including alcohol or drugs that haven’t been prescribed by doctors. They may have to undergo chemical dependency treatment and follow prescribed treatment, which may include Alcoholics Anonymous or other recovery meetings. Offenders are required to submit to urine and/or breathalyzer tests to monitor compliance. They also must submit to DNA and HIV testing.

Contact with past and potential victims:

Often offenders cannot have any contact, even by mail or through third parties, with past victims or victims’ families. The court may or may not allow an offender to have contact with certain members of his or her own family including his or her own children. Any contact with minors that is permitted by the court is monitored and managed by the CCO while the offender is under supervision.

Relationships:

Offenders must disclose information about their conviction(s) to potential adult sexual partners before beginning sexual relationships. They also must inform their CCO of romantic relationships so they can ensure no potential child victims are accessible. Some offenders may be required by their CCO to disclose their criminal history to their families and friends.

Entertainment:

Offenders cannot patronize any establishment in the sex industry, including topless dancing clubs, sex toy outlets or houses of prostitution.

Employment:

Education, work and community service are encouraged but with review and management of any potential risk. Offenders must have safety plans to avoid reoffending.

Weapons:

Felony offenders may not own, use or possess firearms or ammunition.

Financial obligations:

Offenders may be required to pay restitution, supervision, child support and all other financial obligations