Understanding Sex Offender Classification

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A Word from our Ciminal Manager:

Upon analyzing our sex offender discovery ratios, our searches have shown a marked increase in the number of sex offenders discovered when compared to past years. Given this dramatic increase, I felt it necessary to include an informational note to our clients.

Five years ago, through one of our comprehensive background checks, we were finding a total of 2-3 sexual offenders in any given week, with perhaps an average of 10-12 per month. We are now averaging 2-3 offenders each day.

There are several components that might factor in to this increase. The most obvious reason is that NationSearch has grown, both in the amount of clients we have and in the overall amount of searches we conduct from five years ago. Research also shows, however, that the plentitude of availability to various unsavory elements on the internet has exponentially increased the incidence of criminal behavior related to sexual deviance and predation. It is also worth noting that there are different levels of classification that make up the various sex offender attributes. The common denominator of the three main levels is the extent of perceived risk involved.

Levels of Classification

Level 1: Least risk of 1) repeat offense and 2) overall danger posed to the public. Law does not usually mandate community notification.

Example characteristics: a majority of first time offenders are placed in the Level 1 category. These are individuals who have not exhibited predatory-type behaviors and who have successfully participated in legally sanctioned sex-offender treatment programs.

Level 2: Moderate risk for repeat offense within community at large. Public safety interest is served by public availability of registration information.

Example characteristics: potential for repeat offense is linked to nature of previous crime(s), lifestyle (drug and alcohol abuse, other criminal activity, etc.), and other aspects that may influence the likelihood to re-offend. These individuals often have more than one victim and/or have taken advantage of a position of trust/authority.

Level 3: The risk of repeat offense is high. The degree of danger posed to the public is such that a substantial public safety interest is served by active dissemination.

Learn why sex offender background check reviews are important.

Example characteristics: prior sex crime convictions, other criminal convictions, predatory characteristics, and crimes that may have been violent in nature. These individuals may also have refused or failed to complete legally sanctioned sex offender treatment programs.

Most State and the National Sex Offender Registries are required to report Level 3 offenders only. Lower level sex offenders and their records are found at the county level.

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