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What is community notification of a sex offender?

Any person in Wisconsin who is accused of a sexual offense may understandably feel very scared. They may wonder what will happen to them in the immediate moments and in the near future, but they also have good reason to be concerned about the nature of their long-term livelihood. These feelings are reasonable and make it important to understand some of the programs or processes in place that they may encounter should they be convicted of a sex crime.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections’ Sex Offender Registry, the state’s law allows for some information about registered sex offenders to be provided to the local communities when they are to be released from custody. This is done by what is called a Special Bulletin Notification. Not every person registered as a sex offender is subject to these notifications, only those deemed sexually violent or those who have at least two convictions on their records for select offenses.

Notifications may be broadcast to the community at large. These are called Level 3 notifications. A Level 2 notification is provided to a smaller group of people or groups within the community. A Level 1 notification is provided to the local law enforcement teams only. The risk level is determined based on an evaluation of the offender’s needs to rehabilitate as well as the believed risk to the community.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Wisconsin who have been accused of sex crimes an overview of the process involved in the potential community notification of their presence.

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