BILL REQ. #: Z-0495.1
|State of Washington||62nd Legislature||2011 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/25/11. Referred to Committee on Early Learning & Human Services.
AN ACT Relating to notification to schools regarding the release of certain offenders; and amending RCW 4.24.550.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 4.24.550 and 2008 c 98 s 1 are each amended to read as
(1) In addition to the disclosure under subsection (5) of this section, public agencies are authorized to release information to the public regarding sex offenders and kidnapping offenders when the agency determines that disclosure of the information is relevant and necessary to protect the public and counteract the danger created by the particular offender. This authorization applies to information regarding: (a) Any person adjudicated or convicted of a sex offense as defined in RCW ((
9A.44.130)) 9A.44.128 or a kidnapping offense as
defined by RCW (( 9A.44.130)) 9A.44.128; (b) any person under the
jurisdiction of the indeterminate sentence review board as the result
of a sex offense or kidnapping offense; (c) any person committed as a
sexually violent predator under chapter 71.09 RCW or as a sexual
psychopath under chapter 71.06 RCW; (d) any person found not guilty of
a sex offense or kidnapping offense by reason of insanity under chapter
10.77 RCW; and (e) any person found incompetent to stand trial for a
sex offense or kidnapping offense and subsequently committed under
chapter 71.05 or 71.34 RCW.
(2) Except for the information specifically required under subsection (5) of this section, the extent of the public disclosure of relevant and necessary information shall be rationally related to: (a) The level of risk posed by the offender to the community; (b) the locations where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found; and (c) the needs of the affected community members for information to enhance their individual and collective safety.
(3) Except for the information specifically required under subsection (5) of this section, local law enforcement agencies shall consider the following guidelines in determining the extent of a public disclosure made under this section: (a) For offenders classified as risk level I, the agency shall share information with other appropriate law enforcement agencies and, if the offender is a student, the public or private school regulated under Title 28A RCW or chapter 72.40 RCW which the offender is attending, or planning to attend. The agency may disclose, upon request, relevant, necessary, and accurate information to any victim or witness to the offense and to any individual community member who lives near the residence where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found; (b) for offenders classified as risk level II, the agency may also disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to public and private schools, child day care centers, family day care providers, public libraries, businesses and organizations that serve primarily children, women, or vulnerable adults, and neighbors and community groups near the residence where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found; (c) for offenders classified as risk level III, the agency may also disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to the public at large; and (d) because more localized notification is not feasible and homeless and transient offenders may present unique risks to the community, the agency may also disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to the public at large for offenders registered as homeless or transient.
(4) The county sheriff with whom an offender classified as risk level III is registered shall cause to be published by legal notice, advertising, or news release a sex offender community notification that conforms to the guidelines established under RCW 4.24.5501 in at least one legal newspaper with general circulation in the area of the sex offender's registered address or location. The county sheriff shall also cause to be published consistent with this subsection a current list of level III registered sex offenders, twice yearly. Unless the information is posted on the web site described in subsection (5) of this section, this list shall be maintained by the county sheriff on a publicly accessible web site and shall be updated at least once per month.
(5)(a) When funded by federal grants or other sources, the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs shall create and maintain a statewide registered kidnapping and sex offender web site, which shall be available to the public. The web site shall post all level III and level II registered sex offenders, level I registered sex offenders during the time they are out of compliance with registration requirements under RCW 9A.44.130, and all registered kidnapping offenders in the state of Washington.
(i) For level III offenders, the web site shall contain, but is not limited to, the registered sex offender's name, relevant criminal convictions, address by hundred block, physical description, and photograph. The web site shall provide mapping capabilities that display the sex offender's address by hundred block on a map. The web site shall allow citizens to search for registered sex offenders within the state of Washington by county, city, zip code, last name, type of conviction, and address by hundred block.
(ii) For level II offenders, and level I sex offenders during the time they are out of compliance with registration requirements under RCW 9A.44.130, the web site shall contain, but is not limited to, the same information and functionality as described in (a)(i) of this subsection, provided that it is permissible under state and federal law. If it is not permissible, the web site shall be limited to the information and functionality that is permissible under state and federal law.
(iii) For kidnapping offenders, the web site shall contain, but is not limited to, the same information and functionality as described in (a)(i) of this subsection, provided that it is permissible under state and federal law. If it is not permissible, the web site shall be limited to the information and functionality that is permissible under state and federal law.
(b) Until the implementation of (a) of this subsection, the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs shall create a web site available to the public that provides electronic links to county-operated web sites that offer sex offender registration information.
(c) At the earliest possible date and in no event later than thirty days before discharge, parole, or any other authorized leave or release, or before transfer to a community residential facility, the public agency shall send written notice of the discharge, parole, authorized leave or release, or transfer of a youth found to have committed a violent offense, a sex offense, or stalking, to the private schools and common school district board of directors of the district in which the youth intends to reside or the approved private school or public school district in which the youth last attended school, whichever is appropriate, except when it has been determined by the department of social and health services that the juvenile is over twenty-one years old or will be in the community for less than seven consecutive days on approved leave and will not be attending school during that time.
(6) Local law enforcement agencies that disseminate information pursuant to this section shall: (a) Review available risk level classifications made by the department of corrections, the department of social and health services, and the indeterminate sentence review board; (b) assign risk level classifications to all offenders about whom information will be disseminated; and (c) make a good faith effort to notify the public and residents at least fourteen days before the offender is released from confinement or, where an offender moves from another jurisdiction, as soon as possible after the agency learns of the offender's move, except that in no case may this notification provision be construed to require an extension of an offender's release date. The juvenile court shall provide local law enforcement officials with all relevant information on offenders allowed to remain in the community in a timely manner.
(7) An appointed or elected public official, public employee, or public agency as defined in RCW 4.24.470, or units of local government and its employees, as provided in RCW 36.28A.010, are immune from civil liability for damages for any discretionary risk level classification decisions or release of relevant and necessary information, unless it is shown that the official, employee, or agency acted with gross negligence or in bad faith. The immunity in this section applies to risk level classification decisions and the release of relevant and necessary information regarding any individual for whom disclosure is authorized. The decision of a local law enforcement agency or official to classify an offender to a risk level other than the one assigned by the department of corrections, the department of social and health services, or the indeterminate sentence review board, or the release of any relevant and necessary information based on that different classification shall not, by itself, be considered gross negligence or bad faith. The immunity provided under this section applies to the release of relevant and necessary information to other public officials, public employees, or public agencies, and to the general public.
(8) Except as may otherwise be provided by law, nothing in this section shall impose any liability upon a public official, public employee, or public agency for failing to release information authorized under this section.
(9) Nothing in this section implies that information regarding persons designated in subsection (1) of this section is confidential except as may otherwise be provided by law.
(10) When a local law enforcement agency or official classifies an offender differently than the offender is classified by the end of sentence review committee or the department of social and health services at the time of the offender's release from confinement, the law enforcement agency or official shall notify the end of sentence review committee or the department of social and health services and submit its reasons supporting the change in classification. Upon implementation of subsection (5)(a) of this section, notification of the change shall also be sent to the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs.