November 19, 2013

Cities and Towns with the Most Registered Sex Offenders in RI

Hummm, issue about numbers? Well consider, if truth be told and all adults -not on the registry- divulged their youthful indiscretions that, today would be sex offenses, well numbers are very likely to be sky high. Right?
11-19-2013 Rhode Island:

According to the Rhode Island Sex Offender Community Notification Unit, there are currently over 500 registered sex offenders living in the state of Rhode Island -- and while some communities have no offenders listed, the rates vary from single digits, to over three figures in some of the state's larger cities.

The online database states that the offenders have "served the sentence imposed by the court," and that the notification is "not to increase fear in the community. It is the belief of law enforcement that an informed public is a safe public."

With recent arrests ranging from an East Greenwich school bus monitor for possession of child pornography as part of a sting of 11 individuals, to this past weekend's arrest of AAU basketball coach Jason Elliot, GoLocal looked at data by city and town to determine which communities had the highest numbers of registered offenders.

"Almost every sex offender will be released, and back living in our communities," said Day One Executive Director Peg Langhammer. "It's important that they're registered and accounted for, and in touch with probation. This should include both supervision, and treatment." Day One's mission is to reduce the prevalence of sexual abuse and violence, and to support and advocate for those affected by it.

Langhammer continued, "The reality however is that most sex offenders are known to the victim. That's not to say that we shouldn't be aware of who's in the community -- what we know is that's not the norm."

"People should be aware, and have a right to know, who might have registered in their towns, but we should also be talking about the other signs with our children. Grooming, for instance -- if anyone does anything to make them uncomfortable, they need to talk about it."

In Rhode Island, sex offenders are classified based on their "risk to re-offend", with classifications labeled as Level 1 for "low-risk" offenders, Level 2 for "moderate risk offenders" and Level 3 for "high risk offenders"

Website information about a sex offender is available to the public only if the Sex Offender Board of Review has classified the offender as a Level 3, or as a Level 2 as of January 1, 2006. Per Rhode Island Law information pertaining to Level 1 sex offenders cannot be posted on the website -- and the risk level has been determined based largely on the offender's potential to re-offend.

Federal Law -- and State Compliance

Under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Rhode Island was required to implement federal SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) provisions by July of 2011 or lose 10 percent annually in federal Byrne Grant Funds, which are used to finance state and local law enforcement programs.

"The State is currently not in compliance with federal law, as the state must pass legislation to bring Rhode Island into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act. The AG filed legislation last year (and previous years) to bring Rhode Island into compliance, however it failed to get passed. Last year, SORNA legislation passed the House but not the Senate," said Amy Kempe with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office. ..Continued.. by Kate Nagle, GoLocal Contributor

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