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PRESS RELEASES

Arizona Department of Public Safety Provides Arizona Sex Offender Information for Halloween

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 -

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) would like to provide some useful information as we near Halloween which will occur on Saturday, October 31. Specifically we are providing some relevant information on Arizona laws reference registered sex offenders in addition to some Halloween safety tips.

Each year around Halloween DPS receives numerous inquiries regarding what laws are in place that govern the activities of registered sex offenders. Arizona does not have any laws in reference to Halloween or any other specific time or dates of the year that governs the activities of registered sex offenders. Also important to note the information being provided only applies to sex offenders who are required to register in Arizona. Special Notation: Convicted sex offenders are not all are classified (assessment process) the same and will not have the same restrictions or reporting requirements.

We ask that the parents, guardians, adults and anyone responsible for the care of children to exercise common sense and due diligence with safety not only on Halloween but throughout the year. The following safety tips are just a few of the many pieces of advice that are available to insure a safe Halloween. We request that the information only be used as an advisory to enhance community safety and we are providing Trick or Treater safety tips and Arizona law to better educate the public reference sex offender registration and restrictions:

Trick or Treaters:

*Should wear costumes that allow them to see clearly, not limit their periphery vision and not restrict or hinder their movement.

*Should wear costumes that provide a visual for motorists to clearly see them.

*Should be very cautious when near any streets and of course when intending to cross or walking along streets that do not have sidewalks.

*Should be monitored when crossing any streets (flashlights or other safe lighting devices would greatly assist for visibility during nighttime hours).

*Should be alert for approaching vehicles and do not assume the drivers see them.

*Should not every enter a house or apartment to receive treats.

*Should not remain at the entryway an extended time period (over two minutes).

*Should not be engaging in long conversations with those providing treats.

In addition, the following Internet Web sites contain more information on Halloween Safety:
Los Angeles Fire Department – Halloween Safety Tips:
http://www.lafd.org/hween.htm


Halloween Online, LLC – Halloween Safety Guide:
http://www.halloween-safety.com/halloween_safety_treats.html


Sex Offender Information Website (AZSexOffender.com)

The following Internet Web site provides excellent and comprehensive information on Arizona’s Laws governing sex offender registration and restrictions:
http://az.gov/app/sows/index.xhtml

Overview:

The purpose of the Arizona sex offender information website is to provide information to the public concerning the location of sex offenders within Arizona. The site is NOT intended to supplant the community notification process, but rather, it allows the criminal justice community to promote public awareness concerning the potential threat that sex offenders pose to Arizona citizens. An informed public is a safer public!

Realizing that it is impossible to notify every citizen about a sex offender's presence in their community, this site will empower you to obtain information and take the appropriate precautions. Furnishing the public with information regarding convicted sex offenders is a critical step towards encouraging the public to protect themselves from potential future acts.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) has established this site according to the requirements of A.R.S. 13-3827. DPS is responsible for maintaining the site and annually verifying the addresses of all registered sex offenders.

WARNING: This site does not contain information on all convicted sex offenders.

The information is only provided for sex offenders with risk assessment scores of Level 2 (Intermediate) or Level 3 (High).

The Arizona Department of Public Safety updates this information regularly, however, you are cautioned that the information contained on this site may not reflect the current residence, status, or other information regarding the offender! If you believe that any of the information found in these records is in error, please send us your comments.

The information provide on this site is intended for community safety purposes only and should not be used to threaten, intimidate, or harass. Misuse of this information may result in criminal prosecution.

Sex Offender InfoCenter Frequently Asked Questions:


What is the significance of June 1, 1996?

This is the date that Arizona implemented the community notification laws. Any person released from jail, prison, or sentenced to probation on or after this date is subject to community notification.

How is risk level determined?

Prior to an offender's release or sentence to probation, the agency that had custody of the individual completes a risk assessment screening profile. This instrument evaluates nineteen criteria that are considered to be significant factors contributing to sex offender recidivism. Each criterion is given a score, which is then totaled to arrive at the recommended risk level. All criminal justice agencies must use the standardized Arizona Risk Assessment, however, occasionally law enforcement discovers information which can affect an offender's risk level. As such, law enforcement is given the discretion to either accept the recommended risk level or complete another risk assessment.

Are risk levels consistent nationwide?

No, each state has slightly different community notification laws, implementation dates and risk assessment instruments.

What is a Predator?

In Arizona, all sex offenders classified as "predator" are housed at the State Hospital. Once an offender completes his sentence and is scheduled for release, the offender may be reviewed for violent sexual predator criteria. If it is determined that the offender is a violent sexual predator, Arizona law provides for a civil commitment to the Arizona State Hospital. The sex offender may request an annual review to determine if he is eligible for release into society, at which time the label "predator" is removed.

What agency registers sex offenders?

The county sheriff is responsible for registering sex offenders living within their county.

Do I have to register if I am visiting/vacationing in Arizona?

Yes, if you are planning on staying within Arizona for more than 10 days or for an aggregate period of 30 days throughout a calendar year. Failure to comply is a Class 4 Felony!

What are the requirements of a sex offender if he changes his address within county?

The offender has 72 hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays, to complete a change of address. This must be completed in person, on a sex offender registration form. Failure to comply is a Class 4 Felony.

What are the requirements of a sex offender if he changes his address moving from county to county or moving from another state?

The offender has consecutive 10 days, (includes weekends and legal holidays), to complete a change of address. This must be completed in person, on a sex offender registration form. Failure to comply is a Class 4 Felony.

Can non-sexual offenses require sex offender registration/notification?

Yes, judges have the authority to court order sex offender registration if there was a finding of sexual motivation.

Do registration and community notification laws apply to juveniles?

Although registration is mandatory for adults, it is not for juveniles. If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent of an act that would require an adult to register, the court can require the juvenile to register until the age of twenty-five. Community notification laws may apply if ordered by the court.

Are all sex offenders required to obtain a special Arizona drivers license or identification credential?

Yes, all sex offenders are required to obtain a credential from the MVD. The credential which is obtained annually, looks identical to any other license except when a law enforcement official checks the status of the credential it indicates that the individual is subject to sex offender registration. Failure to obtain this credential is a Class 6 felony with a mandatory $250 assessment.

How can I obtain more detailed information concerning a particular conviction?

It is incumbent upon the user to contact the court in the "convicting jurisdiction" to gain access to these public documents.

Are sex offenders prohibited from living near schools/daycare centers?

An offender who has been assessed as a Level 3 and has been convicted of a “Dangerous Crime Against Children” cannot live within 1,000 feet from a school or daycare. The exception is if the offender established residency prior to September 19, 2007.

# End #

The mission of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, one of the most dynamic state-level law enforcement agencies in the United States, is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity, assuring the safety of the motoring public on Arizona’s highways and providing vital scientific, technical and operational support to other criminal justice agencies. The Department, also one of Arizona’s largest law enforcement agencies with some 2,200 sworn and civilian employees, consists of four divisions – Highway Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Criminal Justice Support and Agency Support. The Department is headquartered in Phoenix and has offices located in more than 80 communities within Arizona's 15 counties.