Sex / Kidnap Offenders
Introduction to sex/kidnap offender registration
Protecting the community from sex and kidnap offenders is of the utmost importance to Clark County Law Enforcement Agencies. Pursuant to the Community Protection Act of 1990, the Clark County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency for compiling and maintaining information on sex offenders residing in this county. With other member agencies, the Sex/Kidnap Offender Classification and Registration Committee ranks sex/kidnap offenders and assists the community in developing constructive plans to prepare themselves and their families for residing near sex offenders.
Information that is relevant and necessary to protect the public and to counteract the danger created by a particular offender is released pursuant to RCW 4.24.550.
The extent and content of the disclosure of relevant and necessary information shall be related to:
- The risk posed by the offender to the community;
- The location where the offender resides, intends to reside, is regularly found, or is employed; and
- The needs of affected community members for information that is necessary to protect their interests and safety.
The manner and mode of dissemination is restricted by the standards set forth by the legislature and interpreted by the Washington State Supreme Court in State v. Ward, 123 Wn. 2d 488, (1994) and its progeny.
Classifying the sex/kidnap offender
Consistent standards for classifying sex/kidnap offenders into risk levels I, II, and III, have been developed in Clark County. Level I offenders are those sex/kidnap offenders who, based on currently known information, are a low risk to re-offend within the community at large. Level II offenders are those sex/kidnap offenders who, based on currently known information, are at moderate risk to re-offend within the community at large. Level III offenders are those sex/kidnap offenders who, based on currently known information, are rated most dangerous to the public and who are a high risk to re-offend within the community at large. The extent of information that may be generally released to the community takes into consideration the classification level of the sex/kidnap offender.
Information on Level I sex/kidnap offenders is shared with other law enforcement agencies. Upon request, relevant, necessary, and accurate information may be released to members of the public. Sex/Kidnap Offender registration information on Level I sex/kidnap offenders may not be generally disseminated unless the level I offender is listed as a transient or has an active arrest warrant.
Sex/Kidnap offender registration information on Level II offenders may be released to public and private schools, child daycare centers, family daycare providers, businesses and organizations that serve primarily children, women, or vulnerable adults, and neighbors in community groups near the offender's residence, or where the offender expects to reside, or is regularly found. Detailed Sex/Kidnap offender registration information on a Level II offender may be released to individuals if there is a showing that the release is relevant and necessary. Geographical areas where Level II sex/kidnap offenders may be regularly found, may be released. Limited Sex/Kidnap offender registration information on Level II offenders may be generally released to the public.
Sex/Kidnap offender registration information on Level III offenders may be generally released. Any person requesting information on a Level III offender will be provided a copy of the public notification flyer prepared by the Clark County Sheriff's Office. This flyer information is also found on level III listing on this Web site.
Purpose of notification
An informed public is a safer public. Notification is not intended to increase fear. Sex/Kidnap offenders have always lived in our communities. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has no legal authority to direct sex/kidnap offenders as to where they may live, work, or regularly be found. Unless restricted by a court order, sex/kidnap offenders are constitutionally permitted to live wherever they choose. The legislature has determined that the purpose of the Community Protection Act of 1990 is "to assist law enforcement agency's efforts to protect their communities" by providing relevant and necessary information. If "the public is provided adequate notice and information, the community can develop constructive plans to prepare themselves and their children for the offender's release."
Using this public information to threaten, intimidate or harass sex/kidnap offenders will not be tolerated by the law enforcement agencies of Clark County. This abuse could potentially terminate our ability to release this important information to the public.
Questions on this subject should be directed to the Sex/Kidnap Offender Registration Unit, SOR Detective, (360) 397-2284 or e-mail at ClarkCountySOR@clark.wa.gov.