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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
9:33 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Law enforcement notification not<BR>required for all AZ sex offenders<BR>

PRESCOTT – In Arizona all sex offenders are subject to lifetime registration.

Law enforcement, however, has to notify the communities of their addresses and criminal background only if intermediate or high risk (Level 2 and Level 3) sex offenders are moving into that particular area.

Bo, who requested that her full name be withheld because she deals with sex offender registration issues at the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, said the Department of Public Safety is responsible for maintaining Arizona's sex offender database as well as a web site (www.azsexoffenders.com). It offers the names and mug shots of registered sex offenders in Arizona, among other information.

Bo said sex offenders have to register with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office when they move into this county. And if they don't, the agency may issue a warrant for their arrest, she said.

Non-compliance to register is a Class 4 felony in Arizona, and a conviction may lead to a maximum prison term of about 3.75 years.

A sex offender who is just released from prison or is moving from one county to another, for example, must register.

"They have 10 working days to register in the state of Arizona and 72 hours to notify my agency that they have moved" to another county or state, for instance, she said.

Law enforcement personnel responsible for the jurisdiction a sex offender has relocated to must notify immediate neighbors, schools, appropriate community groups and prospective employers. Notification includes a flier with a photograph and exact address of an offender as well as a summary of the offender's status and criminal background. The law enforcement agency should also give a press release and a level 2 or a level 3 flier to local electronic and print media to enable them to place it in a local publication.

Yavapai County Adult Probation Officer Renee Mascher said two other groups of sex offenders must register but law enforcement doesn't have to notify the community about their addresses. They include non-intermediate-risk sex offenders or 'Level 1' and 'Level 0' sex offenders, which is the population that was released from prison or sentenced prior to June 1, 1996, when the new registration law went into effect.

She said, "they could become 'notifiable'" in the future because "there is a push to change that."

Contact the reporter at mburicadam@prescottaz.com