What the law says about sexually violent predators

Community has right to be notified about those designated SVPs

Posted 6/18/19

As mandated by law, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office notified local residents about a sexually violent predator working in the community at a June 12 public meeting. The purpose of a community …

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What the law says about sexually violent predators

Community has right to be notified about those designated SVPs

Posted

As mandated by law, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office notified local residents about a sexually violent predator working in the community at a June 12 public meeting.

The purpose of a community meeting is for public safety and education, the sheriff’s office said. All sex offenders designated as sexually violent predators, or SVPs, are subject to community notification.

For information on the meeting, contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 303-277-0211. To understand the laws and guidelines that oversee sex offenders classifed as sexually violent predators, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (https://apps.colorado.gov/apps/dps/sor/index.jsf) provides the following information.

What is an SVP?

All 50 states have some form of designation for the highest risk sex offenders. In Colorado, the designation is SVP, which stands for sexually violent predator.

SVP is not a descriptor of an offender’s specific sexual offense. Rather, it is a designation given to sex offenders deemed more likely to commit a new sex crime post-release from the Department of Corrections.

To be designated an SVP, an offender must first meet specific criteria before undergoing the SVP assessment. This criteria includes age, dates of the offense and conviction, the crime of conviction and the offender’s relationship to the victim. If the offender meets the criteria, then a thorough SVP assessment takes place. Based on that outcome, the court decides whether or not a sex offender is an SVP.

SVPs in Colorado — by the numbers

According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, as of June 14, the state has 19,661 registered sex offenders. Of them, 229 are SVPs.

CBI’s website lists 15 SVPs registered in Jefferson County. However, one of them has an address listed as deported to Mexico and another does not have an address, photo or name on the listing. The list does not include SVPs currently incarcerated.

Rights and responsibilities

Sex offenders on probation or parole have the right to live in a community and become productive members of the society. They have the same need for housing and employment as everybody else.

However, offenders must stay current on their sex offender registry with local law enforcement, such as providing their place of residency. Law enforcement does regular, in-person residency verifications.

Paroled sex offenders must waive confidentiality for treatment and case management purposes. They are managed by a team of professionals that generally includes a supervising officer, a treatment provider and a polygraph examiner.

A community has a vested interest in helping offenders be successful with their mandated treatment for the best interest and safety of the community. The most dangerous sexual offender is one who is not registered and is not in treatment or under any form of supervision.

Harassment is counter-productive and may lead offenders to go underground and/or re-offend. Anybody participating in vigilantism, harassment or intimidation of an offender is subject to criminal prosecution.

Tips to protect your family

It’s important to remember a convicted sex offender is not the only dangerous person out there. In addition, there is no one defining characteristic that can identify a sex offender. Everybody should avoid high-risk or dangerous situations and be observant of their surroundings.

When talking with your children, avoid scary details and use language that is honest and age-appropriate. Teach your children to tell a trustworthy adult if anyone acts inappropriately toward them. Pay attention to your child’s thoughts and feelings, and make sure they know the importance of honesty and the danger of keeping secrets.

Stay informed

There are a number of resources for people to locate an SVP or sex offender through his or her registry. There is also help for victims of sexual offenses and outreach for those who want more information on how to protect themselves and their families from becoming victims of sexual assault.

Some resources are:

• Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) website: http://sor.state.co.us/.

• National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE

• Victim Outreach Incorporated: www.victimoutreach.org

• Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office: 200 Jefferson County Parkway, 303-277-0211

• Arvada Police Department: 8101 Ralston Road, 720-898-6900

• Golden Police Department: 911 10th St., 303-384-8045

• Lakewood Police Department: 445 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7111

• Wheat Ridge Police Department: 7500 W. 29th Ave., 303-237-2220

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