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YOU ARE HERE: Home Frequently Asked Questions Sex Offender Registration How is the public notified of registered sex offenders living in their community?

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Hitchcock Police Department: Sex Offender Frequently Asked Questions

How is the public notified of registered sex offenders living in their community?

Author:
Sgt. Marcus Pitre
Date added:
Saturday, 24 July 2010
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Answer

Community notification of sex offenders is provided in several different ways.

Governmental Immunity

Certain governmental bodies are given immunity for releasing public information. The Texas Department of Public Safety, a penal institution, a local law enforcement authority, or an authority for campus security may release to the public information regarding a person required to register only if the information is public information.

The DPS Sex Offender Database

Local law enforcement authorities submit all sex offender registration information to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Texas Department of Public Safety puts this information in the DPS Sex Offender Database. The public may obtain information contained in this database at any time via the Texas Department of Public Safety website. The DPS Sex Offender Database can be accessed at https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DPS_WEB/SorNew/index.aspx

Postcard Notification of Civilly Committed and High-Risk Offenders

When the Texas Department of Public Safety receives notice that a sex offender either civilly committed as a sexually violent predator or assigned a high-risk level is due to be released into a community or intends to move to a new address, the Texas Department of Public Safety will provide written notice in English and Spanish to the immediate community where the sex offender intends to reside. This written notice will be in the form of a postcard mailed or delivered to at least each address (excluding post office boxes) within a one-mile radius, in an area that has not been subdivided, or a three-block area, in an area that has been subdivided, of the place where the civilly committed or high-risk sex offender intends to reside.

Newspaper Publication

Local law enforcement authorities are permitted to publish all high-risk sex offenders in any newspaper, periodical or circular in the area where the offender intends to reside. For low and moderate-risk offenders, local law enforcement authorities are permitted to publish the offender in a newspaper, periodical or circular in the area where the offender resides unless the offender is registering on the basis of one or more adjudications of delinquent conduct (juveniles).

School Notification

In some cases, a local law enforcement authority must notify the superintendent of a public school district and administrator of a private primary or secondary school located in the school district that a registered sex offender is residing within the school district. Sex offenders subject to school notification are offenders whose victim was either younger than 17 years of age or a student enrolled in a public or private secondary school, offenders enrolled in a public or private secondary school and offenders who register for Sexual Performance by a Child or Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography. Prohibited Sexual Conduct (Incest) offenders are specifically excluded from this school notification requirement.

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