Community Notification Process
If a convicted sex offender meets the criteria in the Sexual Predator Risk Assessment and is found by the Court to be a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP), the Court may also find that the SVP is subject to Community Notification. (Definition of Sexually Violent Predator).
When released in the community, SVP's are required to register with their local law enforcement agency and to re-register every 90 days for life.
The law enforcement agency shall notify the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and CBI shall add the information to their website.
The law enforcement agency shall conduct local community notification through a community meeting, in accordance with the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board's Criteria, Protocols and Procedures for Community Notification Regarding Sexually Violent Predators. Specific groups, such as schools, senior centers, and recreation facilities, will be invited to the meeting, as well as residents of the SVP's immediate neighborhood, as determined by the law enforcement agency. The meeting will consist of an educational presentation followed by the SVP notification. Residents who do not attend the meeting may request the SVP information at the law enforcement agency. All residents who receive the SVP information may report their own name and address, so that the law enforcement agency may contact them if the SVP changes residences or leaves the community.
When an SVP changes residence, employment, or makes any other change that would place a new or different portion of the community at risk, additional notifications may be required.
Frequently asked questions about Sexually Violent Predators and community notifications
Q) If this sex offender is so dangerous, why is he/she allowed in the community?
A) If this sex offender is so dangerous, why is he/she allowed in the community? Most SVP's are sentenced to lengthy prison terms, although some SVP's can be released into the community on probation, directly upon sentencing, or on parole, following incarceration and sex offense-specific mental health treatment at the Department of Corrections (DOC). In determining an SVP's risk to the community, the Court or Parole Board considers the professional recommendation of the probation officer or DOC case manager, and the assessment of sex offense-specific mental health evaluators or treatment providers. If the SVP is determined to be manageable in the community, a recommendation may be made that he/she be supervised by probation or parole. In all cases, the Court or Parole Board must make the determination regarding the placement of an SVP. SVP's represent a small proportion of all convicted sex offenders. Approximately 65% of all convicted sex offenders in Colorado receive a direct placement to the community from the Court. In Colorado, many SVP's are subject to the Lifetime Supervision Law, which prolongs a sex offender's sentence indeterminately.
Q) Why aren't communities notified when other types of sex offenders are released?
A) Why aren't communities notified when other types of sex offenders are released? Currently, the CO legislature only authorizes community notification when the highest risk sex offenders enter the community. The sex offender registry lists convicted sex offenders who have registered as required with local law enforcement in each community. Every citizen has the right to request registry information from their local law enforcement agency.
Q) Isn't it just a matter of time before the SVP commits another crime?
A) Isn't it just a matter of time before the SVP commits another crime? Sex offenders are closely monitored for high-risk behavior while under supervision and in treatment. Some sex offenders learn through treatment to manage their sexual offending behaviors and decrease their risk of re-offense. However, such behavioral management should not be considered a "cure," and treatment cannot permanently eliminate the risk that sex offenders may repeat their offenses.
Q) Now that I know that an SVP lives in my community, what should I do differently to protect myself and my family?
A) Now that I know that an SVP lives in my community, what should I do differently to protect myself and my family?Read the educational and public safety materials available in the Things You Should Know About Sexual Offending section of this site, which offers prevention information regarding sex offenders. Also, go to the Links section of this site. Support and attend sexual assault prevention programs for yourself and your children. It is important to remember that although SVPs may pose a risk, they are not the only sex offenders in the community. Other offenders who are dangerous but are not subject to community notification include all undetected or un-convicted sex offenders and all sex offenders convicted prior to July 1, 1999. Research indicates that a person is most likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they know.
Q) What do I tell my children about the SVP?
A) What do I tell my children about the SVP? Avoid scary details. You know more than your children need to know. Use language that is honest and age-appropriate (e.g. "there are people who do bad things to children"). Include general information, as this may protect them from others who would try to harm them as well. If your children are likely to have contact with the SVP or other registered sex offenders, you should show your children the sex offender's photo. In a manner that does not incite panic, instruct your children to avoid all contact with the SVP, even if the SVP's offense of conviction does not involve an offense against a child. Instruct them to avoid being in the vicinity of the SVP's residence or workplace. All sex offenders are prohibited from contact with children, and any contact should be reported to the supervising officer. Encourage your children to tell you if the sex offender initiates contact with them. Review the public safety materials with your children and encourage your children to tell you about any contact with the SVP or any other person who makes them feel uncomfortable. It is important to teach your children about appropriate and inappropriate contact and to encourage regular discussion about their interactions with other people.
Teach your children: DON'T take rides from strangers; DON'T harass or visit any sex offender's home or yard; DO tell a safe adult if anyone acts inappropriately toward them (e.g. creepy, too friendly, threatening, offering gifts in a secret way, or touching them); DO RUN, SCREAM, and GET AWAY if someone is bothering them; DON'T keep secrets; DON'T assist strangers; DON'T go places alone; DO ask questions and DO talk about any uncomfortable feelings or interactions.