NE Sex Offender Tiers To Change

November 21, 2009

suntelegraph.com : NE Sex Offender Tiers To Change.

It’s been more than three years since former President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, and Nebraska lawmakers are playing catch-up to avoid a 10 percent reduction in Byrne justice grant funding (a blackmail of the states by the Federal government to force them to adopt the AWA).

The Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act is getting an update via LB285 passed in the last legislative session, allowing the act to better comply with federal laws and helping Nebraska retain its funded status.

Cheyenne County Sheriff Darrell Johnson said the new amendments change the way a sex offender is tiered in the program. All offenders will be listed publicly by the amount of years they must register whereas previously only Level III offenders had their information publicly available.

Level I – low risk – and Level II – moderate risk – were forced to register like Level III’s but their information didn’t go any further than the sheriff’s office.

Under the new law, all current and future registrants will be classified by the new levels that determine how long they must register and all will be subject to community notification. That means sex offenders hidden from public view will become known to the community.

New reporting requirements will include all addresses where a sex offender lives or frequents, all employment locations, all school information, travel and immigration documents, professional licenses or certificates, e-mail addresses and chat room ID’s, remote communication device identifiers, signed consent form to search, DNA sample collection and palm prints, in addition to fingerprints. Offenders are required to register within three days prior to release from incarceration.

The offender must report any change in residence/temporary residence, employment or school on an approved form. Anyone required to register is required to report each e-mail address, instant messaging address and any other Internet communication identifiers they use, such as Facebook and MySpace. Any changes must be submitted within 24 hours or else the offender is subject to a felony charge.

If a sex offender was convicted of a registrable offense not punishable by imprisonment for more than a year, they fall within the 15-year category. Fifteen-year registrants are required to report for verification annually in person at the sheriff’s office in the month of the offender’s date of birth.

If a sex offender was convicted of a registrable offense punishable by imprisonment for more than a year, they fall within the 25-year category. Twenty-five-year registrants are required to report for verification bi-annually in person at the sheriff’s office in the month of the offender’s date of birth and six months following.

If a sex offender was convicted of a registrable offense punishable by imprisonment for more than a year, and was convicted of an aggravated offense or had a prior sex offense conviction, they fall within the life category. Life registrants are required to report for verification quarterly in person at the sheriff’s office in the month of the offender’s date of birth and every three months thereafter (until the day they die) .
The bill goes into effect Jan. 1.

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