April 24, 2014

Governor signs sex offender notification bill

4-24-2014 Wisconsin:

Legislation authored by State Representative Robb Kahl (D-Monona) to close a loophole in sex offender law was signed into law by Governor Walker today. The change in law is the direct result of the placement of a sex offender in McFarland under the terms of an interstate compact.

McFarland Village Trustee Scott Gletty-Syoen and law enforcement officials attended the bill signing with Rep. Kahl and community members.

“I want to thank members of each party in each house for their support of this common sense change in law,” Kahl said. “In addition, the Department of Corrections staff also did an excellent job of explaining the process that had been in place and reviewing the bill to make sure it was a good solution for the problem.”

By making the law regarding Special Bulletin Notices more uniform, Kahl said he hopes it will better enable law enforcement and corrections staff to focus on addressing community concerns related to the placement as opposed to community concerns related to the notification process.

“Anytime an offender is placed it obviously, and rightly so, causes concerns in the particular neighborhood and elsewhere in the community,” Kahl stated.

The offender placed in McFarland committed his offenses in Illinois and served time in the Illinois Correctional System. Had the individual in question committed his crimes in Wisconsin and been sentenced to serve time in a Wisconsin correctional facility, the Department of Corrections would have issued a Special Bulletin Notice (SBN) to the police chief of the community and the county sheriff to alert them that the offender in question poses a significant risk to the community.

However, the law did not apply to offenders placed in our state under terms of a compact – even if they posed a significant risk.

A law enforcement agency’s receipt of an SBN serves as a mechanism to initiate a local decision- making process to determine the level, scope, and method of community notification, if determined necessary. In instances in which an SBN is not issued, local law enforcement generally does not issue a community notification. ..Source.. by Dennis Ottosen

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