Section 15-20A-2Legislative findings.
The Legislature makes all of the following findings:
(1) Registration and notification laws are a vital concern as the number of sex offenders continues to rise. The increasing numbers coupled with the danger of recidivism place society at risk. Registration and notification laws strive to reduce these dangers by increasing public safety and mandating the release of certain information to the public. This release of information creates better awareness and informs the public of the presence of sex offenders in the community, thereby enabling the public to take action to protect themselves. Registration and notification laws aid in public awareness and not only protect the community but serve to deter sex offenders from future crimes through frequent in-person registration. Frequent in-person registration maintains constant contact between sex offenders and law enforcement, providing law enforcement with priceless tools to aid them in their investigations including obtaining information for identifying, monitoring, and tracking sex offenders.
(2) Juvenile sex offenders also pose a risk to the community. Due to juvenile sex offenders offending in their formative years, it is imperative that they receive sex offender treatment. At the completion of sex offender treatment, all juvenile sex offenders must undergo a risk assessment, and a hearing must be held by the court to determine their level of risk to the community and the level of notification that should be provided to best protect the public. Juvenile sex offenders adjudicated delinquent of the most serious offenses who pose a greater threat should be subject to more stringent requirements.
(3) Homeless sex offenders are a group of sex offenders who need to be monitored more frequently for the protection of the public. Homeless sex offenders present a growing concern for law enforcement due to their mobility. As the number of homeless sex offenders increases, locating, tracking, and monitoring these offenders becomes more difficult.
(4) Sexually violent offenders also cause increased concern for law enforcement. These predators are repeat sexual offenders who use physical violence, offend on multiple victims, and prey on children. Due to their likelihood to engage in future sexually violent behavior, they present an extreme threat to the public safety. The Legislature declares that its intent in imposing additional tracking and monitoring requirements on sexually violent predators is to assist law enforcement in carrying out their duties and, most importantly, to protect the public, especially children.
(5) Sex offenders, due to the nature of their offenses, have a reduced expectation of privacy. In balancing the sex offender's rights, and the interest of public safety, the Legislature finds that releasing certain information to the public furthers the primary governmental interest of protecting vulnerable populations, particularly children. Employment and residence restrictions, together with monitoring and tracking, also further that interest. The Legislature declares that its intent in imposing certain registration, notification, monitoring, and tracking requirements on sex offenders is not to punish sex offenders but to protect the public and, most importantly, promote child safety.
(Act 2011-640, p. 1569, §2.)