The Sex Offender Notification Process
Q: What is “community notification” about sex offenders?
A: On June 1, 1997, the Sex offender Registration and Community Notification Law went into effect thus giving law enforcement agencies the authority to disseminate information about certain sex offenders to the community if, in their opinion, releasing the information would enhance the protection of the public. Sex offender Registration law established a Special Bulletin Notification (SBN) process in which the Department of Corrections provides detailed information to locale law enforcement on certain sex offenders scheduled to be released in their localities. Special Bulletins also include the offender’s physical characteristics including a photo, the offender’s offenses and the offense profile, and the offender’s release plan including name and phone number of the supervising agent. The Bulletin is used as a tool by law enforcement in their decision making process about the level, scope and method of subsequent community notification
Q: Who determines whether a sex offender is a level 1, 2 or 3 and what criteria are used?
A: Prior to release of a Special Bulletin Notification case, a CORE team meeting, consisting of Law Enforcement, a Sex offender Registry Specialist, Probation/Parole Agent and Field Supervisor, Victim/Witness coordinator and a District Attorneys Office representative will meet to discuss the case. Pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute 301.46, the Police Chief or Sheriff in which the registrant will reside has the authority to determine level of notification. Factors, he or she will consider, in consultation with the Core Team members, will be risk to the community, needs of the victim(s), needs of the community, as well as the rehabilitative needs of the offender. The levels of notification are: Level 1: Notification about the offender is disseminated to law enforcement only. Level 2: Notification about the offender is provided to specific individuals and groups, based on the particular facts in the case. Level 3: Notification is community wide notification where upon information is disseminated through media and community meetings.
Q: Why are you telling me about this offender and not all of the others being released from prison?
A: The Wisconsin Community Notification Law applies only to offenders who have violated certain sex crimes or other related statutes that indicate victimization of children or vulnerable persons. The statute requires notification to law enforcement of the release of any offender twice convicted of a sex crime. The law gives the Department of Corrections and the Department of Health Services discretion over the types of information released. The statute does not provide for notification to law enforcement upon the release of all offenders.
Q: Does the Department of Corrections send out a “Special Bulletin Notification” for every sex offender released from prison?
A: The law requires the Department of Corrections to notify local law enforcement of the anticipated release of any sex offender who has been convicted of two or more registerable sex offenses or the same registerable offense two or more times and also of any sex offender committed as a Sexually Violent Person under Chapter 980.
Community Placement of Offenders
Q: Why is this offender being released into my neighborhood?
A: When offenders are released from prison, they usually return to live in the same area of the state where they lived when they committed their crime. For many offenders, this is also the county where they were convicted. Sometimes, though, offenders are released to another area because they have family support there, or there is treatment available there that is not available elsewhere, or they have found a job in the area that will lead to a productive lifestyle. For offenders who are on supervision, decisions about where the offender lives are made on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What can we do, as concerned citizens, to keep the offender from moving into our community?
A: It is important to realize that sex offenders have always lived in the community. It is only now, with current laws, that law enforcement is able to inform the community of releases of sex offenders. A community notification meeting called by local law enforcement to discuss the release of a sex offender is not a forum for preventing either the release or the placement of the offender. Concerned citizens can attend the meeting to learn as much as possible about the offender so they can take a proactive approach to safety every day.
Q: Why are you letting him live next door to a park, school, day care center, bus stop etc.?
A: Before an offender who will be on supervision is released from prison, a Community Corrections Agent does a residence investigation. When investigating a potential residence for a sex offender with a history of crimes against children, the agent will check with County Departments of Human Services and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to determine if there are licensed or certified day care facilities in the proposed neighborhood. The agent then determines the most appropriate residence for the offender and for public safety that is available at the time. However, by design, parks, schools, and day care centers are located conveniently throughout every community in the state. Community safety, family support, employment, and a stable residence are important factors in deciding on the most appropriate residence. A residence plan that addresses these factors can help foster positive change in the offender.
Q: Are sex offenders required to remain inside their homes?
A: Most sex offenders can obtain permission from their agents to conduct activities outside of their homes. They may be allowed to travel to and from work, school, stores, and other appointments. If a citizen observes an offender engaging in suspicious or illegal behavior, the citizen should notify local law enforcement and the offender’s agent.
Q: If the sex offender lives in the same home as the victim, will the offender’s AND victim’s address appear on the SORP website?
A: The public does not have access to information about victims of any crimes, including those of registered sex offenders. In fact, certain sex offenses (such as incest) will not even be specified to the public on the Web site, so as not to release information with which the public could “deduce” possible victims and where they live.
Q: If this offender requires the notification of law enforcement, why is he being released back into the community?
A: Under Wisconsin law, the Department of Corrections must release offenders when their sentence or period of confinement has been completed. If an offender is given a grant or early release, then it has been determined that the risk to the community has been sufficiently reduced. After offenders complete their confinement, they may be supervised by the Department of Corrections for a period of time on parole, probation, or other supervision ordered by the court.
Q: Aren’t all sex offenders easily recognizable as criminals because of how they look or act?
A: The belief that all sex offenders are “known criminals” or appear unusual or maladjusted is a common myth. People who commit sex offenses come from all socioeconomic classes, ethnicities, age groups, educational levels and occupations. Believing the myth that sex offenders can be recognized based on how they look or by other visible characteristics can create a false sense of safety. Most sex offenders lead lives that seem “average” or “normal.” Often, however, offenders hide behind this appearance, and can continue their abusive behaviors without being caught. Most reported sexual assaults (93% in 1998) are committed by someone the victim knows and trusts.
Sex Offender Supervision
Q: What type of treatment do sex offenders receive in prison and in the community?
A: Offense-related treatment and education programs are available in the prison system. Treatment is also available in the community for offenders, and is often required as part of the offender’s supervision. Because of federal confidentiality laws, specific information about an offender’s participation/progress in treatment may not be disclosed.
Q: What is the Electronic Monitoring Program – (EMP)?
A: An offender on electronic monitoring wears an electronic ankle bracelet that transmits a signal to a receiver attached to the phone in his/her home. If the offender moves “out of range” (a predetermined distance from the phone), an electronic signal is generated and transmitted to a computer system at a centralized monitoring center. The monitoring center is staffed 24 hours a day and center staff will attempt to reach the offender by phone. If there is no answer, an arrest warrant is automatically issued. The technology is very effective for what it is intended to do: to track whether or not an individual is at home when scheduled to be there. Offenders can be authorized to leave their home for employment, treatment, school, and other activities approved by the agent. When an offender is attending pre-approved activities away from home, that offender is not monitored electronically. If an offender attempts to remove or otherwise tamper with the unit or bracelet, a signal is sent to the monitoring center and the proper authorities are notified.
Q: What is GPS?
A: Global Positioning System (GPS) is used to establish offender location and to track offender movement. GPS will serve as a supervision tool to provide risk control and surveillance of offenders who meet specific selection criteria. Offenders who are placed on GPS will adhere to a mandated curfew schedule and will be monitored electronically by the use of equipment designed specifically for that purpose.
Q: How does an offender who is eligible for parole go about getting parole?
A: At the one-quarter mark of a sentence, an offender can receive a Parole Interview with a Parole Commissioner to determine if the offender will be granted a parole. Offenders do not leave the institution to attend a Parole Interview. Parole Interviews occur at the institution where the offender is serving his/her sentence. There are no “courtrooms” at Institutions, so the rooms chosen for these hearings are usually offices or small conference rooms. If an offender is granted parole, he/she will be released and will not need another Parole Interview.
If the Parole Interview does not result in a Parole grant, there will be a comment from the Parole Commissioner as to when the offender may be eligible for Parole again. This is called a defer. For example, offenders may be given a “12-month defer” or a “24-month defer”, etc., and their Parole Eligibility Dates (PED) will change accordingly. This means that the offender will not again be eligible for parole until that amount of time has passed. Other than the first Parole Interview (which occurs 1-month before the PED), all other Parole Interviews will occur approximately 2-months before the new Parole Eligibility Dates.
In cases where a judge has stipulated that an offender has no Parole Eligibility Date, the offender will actually serve their entire sentence, without any consideration for Parole. For felons charged after 12/31/99 under the new the Truth-in-Sentencing law, early parole consideration is not available. In cases such as this, the judge determines the length of time served in prison and the length of time on Extended Supervision.
Q: What happens when a Judge sentences someone to prison under the Truth-in-Sentencing law?
A: Any person who commits a FELONY on or after December 31, 1999, and is sentenced to at least one year of confinement in prison would have their prison time followed by a period of extended supervision upon release. Offenders will not have their sentence reduced for good behavior; however offenders who violate prison rules may have additional days added to the confinement portion of their sentence. Once an offender completes the confinement portion of the sentence, he/she will be released and will be supervised by a Department of Corrections (DOC) agent. This supervision period is referred to as extended supervision (ES).
Q: What is extended supervision?
A: When released from an institution or correctional center to extended supervision, the offender must report to a Division of Community Corrections Agent. The agent’s responsibilities are to enforce the rules of supervision and assist the offender in a successful reintegration back into the community. If the offender violates the rules of supervision, the offender may be placed in jail while the agent investigates the violation. A serious violation may result in an extended supervision revocation, which means the offender can be returned to an institution or correctional center. Not all violations result in the offender’s supervision being revoked.
Q: What happens if an offender on parole or probation violates his/her rules?
A: Depending upon the seriousness of the violation, the consequences range from verbal warnings to revocation and return to prison. The offender’s probation/parole agent will conduct an investigation and a decision will be made based on the facts gathered.
Q: What is revocation?
A: If an offender commits a serious violation of the conditions of his or her supervision, that offender can lose his probation or parole and be returned to prison. Violations by an offender does not always lead to revocation. The offender’s supervising agent decides based on many factors including the severity and the frequency of the violations whether to recommend revocation. The offender has the right to a revocation hearing held before an Administrative Law Judge who reviews the evidence and decides if revocation is appropriate. Revocation of the offender’s supervision will result in a return to court for sentencing or incarceration in a jail or a prison.
Q: Should citizens act differently now that a sex offender is living in their neighborhood?
A: Open communication among family members, especially between parents and children, is a vital component of family safety. Children might be told in general terms that this person has hurt someone before, and that children should stay away from this individual. Families can review safety tips and protective behaviors. The purpose behind community notification is to reduce the chances of future victimization of people and to avoid situations that might allow for victimization.
Q: Should citizens follow or watch the offender at all times?
A: It is against the law to misuse the information from the Sex Offender Registry for personal, unlawful, or vigilante purposes. Harassment by private citizens is dangerous and detrimental to the successful supervision of the offender.
Q: What should parents tell their children about sex offenders?
A: Avoid scary details. Parents may know more than their children need to know. Keep information general, as it may protect them from others who would try to harm them as well. Explain the importance of avoiding dangerous situations in general, rather than trying to teach them how to be safe from just the one person they know about. Almost 90 percent of all sex crimes are committed by someone known to the victim; family members commit many of those incidents. Some basic points to tell children about a particular offender:
- Don’t accept a ride from the offender.
- Don’t go into the home or yard of the offender.
- Tell your parents if this person offers you toys, money or gifts.
- Try to use the buddy system when children play outdoors.
- Call 911 if your parents aren’t home and this offender approaches you.
Q: What happens when an offender gets off supervision?
A: When a sex offender reaches his/her discharge date and is off supervision, s/he is a free citizen. The offender must continue to comply with all applicable sex offender registration requirements, including reporting all changes in residence, and providing correct and verifiable information as directed.
The Sex Offender Registry
Q: Which offenders are required to register?
A: People who are convicted of, adjudicated or committed for a violation, solicitation, conspiracy or attempt to commit a violation of any registerable offense on or after 12/25/1993 must register. This also includes people who have been in prison, on probation or parole or in a mental or county correctional institution since 12/25/93 for a registerable offense.
Additionally, the following sex offenders are required to register in Wisconsin if they live, work or attend school in Wisconsin:
- any sex offender who is required to register with another state/jurisdiction
- any sex offender convicted in a military, tribal, or federal court
- any sex offender who has been convicted in another state of an offense comparable to one of Wisconsin’s registerable offenses
- any juvenile who is on supervision and enters Wisconsin under the Interstate Compact Agreement
Please consult WI Statute 301.45 for a detailed description of the specific circumstances that require registration. You can access specific statutes from this Web site.
|940.22(2)||Sexual Exploitation by Therapist|
|940.225(1)||First-Degree Sexual Assault|
|940.225(2)||Second-Degree Sexual Assault|
|940.225(3)||Third-Degree Sexual Assault|
|940.30||False Imprisonment (victim was minor and not the offender’s child)|
|940.302(2)||Human Trafficking (if 940.302(2)(a)1b applies)|
|940.31||Kidnapping (victim was minor and not the offender’s child)|
|944.01||Rape (old statute)|
|944.10||Sexual Intercourse with a Child (old statute)|
|944.11||Indecent Behavior with a Child (old statute)|
|944.12||Enticing Child for Immoral Purposes (old statute)|
|948.02(1)||First-Degree Sexual Assault of a Child|
|948.02(2)||Second-Degree Sexual Assault of a Child|
|948.025||Repeated Acts of Sexual Assault of a Child|
|948.05||Sexual Exploitation of a Child|
|948.051||Trafficking of Child|
|948.055||Forced Viewing of Sexual Activity|
|948.06||Incest with a Child|
|948.07(1) thru (4)||Child Enticement|
|948.075||Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Sex Crime|
|948.08||Soliciting a Child for Prostitution|
|948.085||Sexual Assault of a Child Placed in Substitute Care|
|948.095||Sexual Assault of a Student by School Staff|
|948.11(2)(a)-(am)||Exposing Child to Harmful Material-felony sections|
|948.12||Possession of Child Pornography|
|948.13||Convicted Child Sex Offender Working with Children|
|948.30||Abduction of Another’s Child|
|971.17||Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Disease-of a listed sex offense|
|975.06||Sex Crimes Law Commitment|
|980.01||Sexually Violent Person Commitment|
|The Court has discretion under Wisconsin statutes to require in a court order that a person register for violating these statutes:|
|Chapter 940||Crimes Against Life and Bodily Security|
|Chapter 944||Crimes Against Sexual Morality|
|Chapter 948||Crimes Against Children|
|971.17||Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Disease or Defect|
|943.01-943.15||Certain Crimes Against Property|
|942.08||Invasion of Privacy (aka Peeping Tom)|
|942.09||Representations Depicting Nudity|
Q: What information are registrants required to report and what other information is kept in the registry?
A: Registrants must provide address, employment, and school information. The registry also contains information about the registrant’s appearance, such as height, weight and eye color. The registry also contains information about the person’s offense history and criminal record. The registry also contains information about a registrant’s address, place of employment, and school enrollment. If a registrant is on probation, parole, or other correctional supervision, the registrant’s agent or other staff person will provide this information to the registry, and will help update it as needed. If a registrant is not on supervision, then the registrant must provide this information.
If there is a change in any of the registrant’s residence information, it must be reported to the registry as soon as possible, but usually within 10 days of the change. If the person is on parole or extended supervision, the person must report changes before they occur. If registrants do not know of the changes in advance, they must report the changes within 24 hours after the change. If the registrant is going to move, work, or attend school outside of Wisconsin, the person must notify the registry at least 10 days before the change. The person must also notify the registry in the state to which they will be moving. In addition to reporting changes promptly, each registrant must update and verify their registry information at least once per year. Registrants with more than one conviction for a registerable offense must update and verify their information every 90 days.
Q: Do juvenile sex offenders have to register?
A: Juvenile sex offenders must register if they are waived into adult court and convicted of a registerable sex offense, or if they are adjudicated by a judge for a registerable sex offense, or if they are ordered placed under county supervision, but are ordered by a judge to register. Although Juvenile’s are required to register, Juvenile Information is not available to the public, but is accessible to Law Enforcement.
Q: How long does a sex offender remain on the registry?
A: Generally, people must register for 15 years if they have had one conviction for an included offense, and for life if they have more than one conviction. Certain crimes require life registration, even if there is only one conviction. Please consult WI Statute 301.45 for more detailed information.
Q: Who has access to the registry?
A: By law, a number of agencies, organizations and individuals are granted either full or limited access to the information in the registry. Law enforcement officials, victims and/or family members of sexual assault, and, to a limited extent, the general public all have access to certain and varied information available from the Sex Offender Registry. Citizens may also obtain registry information by contacting law enforcement and completing a public inquiry form. Citizens may also call the local probation/parole office to inquire about a person’s status on supervision.
Q: What happens if a registrant fails or refuses to report information?
A: Failing to report or falsifying information may lead to criminal prosecution. The penalty for noncompliance is up to a $10,000 fine and/or up to 6 years in prison, or both. WI SS.301.45(6)(a)(2)
Q: What is the Victims’ Bill of Rights and what does it say?
A: Wisconsin was the first state in the United States to create a Victims’ Bill of Rights. In 1980, the Wisconsin state legislature enacted a Victims’ Bill of Rights which is located in Chapter 950 of the state statutes . In 1993, the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to provide the following: This state shall treat crime victims, as defined by law, with fairness, dignity and respect for their privacy. This state shall ensure that crime victims have all of the following privileges and protections as provided by law:
- timely disposition of the case
- the opportunity to attend court proceedings unless the trial court finds sequestration is necessary to a fair trial for the defendant
- reasonable protection from the accused throughout the criminal justice process
- notification of court proceedings
- the opportunity to confer with the prosecution
- the opportunity to make a statement to the court at the disposition
- information about the outcome of the case and the release of the accused
Q: What can a victim who is not being given these rights do about it?
A: They should call the Wisconsin Victim Resource Center at 1-800-446-6564 for assistance.
Q: Will a victim’s name be associated with a registered sex offender who offended against them? Will the public see a victim’s name on the registry information?
A: Absolutely not. The public does not have access to information about Victims of any crimes, including those of registered sex offenders. In fact, certain sex offenses (such as incest) will not even be specified to the public on the Web site, so as not to give out information with which the public could “deduce” who might be the possible Victims.
Q: Is a victim allowed access to only information about the registered sex offender(s) who victimized them or can they get information on other registered sex offenders?
A: Victims enrolled in the VOICE/VINE database can access the VOICE/VINE system at 1-800-398-2403 to receive “detailed” information about offender(s) who committed crimes against them, including but not limited to, registered sex offenders.
Q: What information can a victim receive through VOICE/VINE?
A: VOICE stands for Verbal/Visual Offender Information Center and VINE stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday. It is an informational service designed and maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Office of Victim Services and Programs (OVSP). It is also a communication tool that can be accessed by victims in two different ways:
- Internet at the VOICE Web site http://WIVictimsVoice.org
- Automated telephone system at 1-800-398-2403
Things enrolled Victims can find out via the automated phone system:
- location of the offender, if incarcerated
- parole eligibility dates
- length left on sentence
- supervision status: incarcerated or supervised in the community on parole
- home address, employment or school information if the offender is required to register with the Sex Offender Registry
For more detailed information provided, see the https://www.wivictimsvoice.org/index.jsp page.
Q: Who is able to access VOICE/VINE and how does one enroll to use VOICE/VINE?
A: Anyone who is a victim of a crime where the offender was convicted in Wisconsin and sentenced to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections may enroll to receive offender information through VOICE/VINE. A Victim must obtain, complete, and mail a VOICE/VINE Enrollment Form from a county Victim/Witness Assistance office or from the Department of Corrections Office of Victim Services and Programs before they can access offender information through VOICE/VINE. Contact information is available on the DOC VOICE Web site.
Q: Will a victim’s VINE number still work with the new VOICE/VINE system?
A: Yes, a VINE ID number will work with this new system. So, if victims are already registered to use VINE, from any time in the past, they do not need to complete new enrollment forms for VOICE/VINE.
Q: Does a victim need to notify VOICE of address or phone changes?
A: Yes. It is very important for victims to keep personal information current in the VOICE/VINE database so that VOICE can notify them of important information regarding the offender (examples: escape, parole, death) and so they can continue to receive payments if the offender owes them restitution. A victim can update personal information on the VOICE Web site or by mail.
Q: Does a victim need to enroll in VOICE/VINE separately for each offender if there was more than one involved in their case?
A: Yes. A victim will need to enroll in VOICE/VINE separately for each offender. So, a victim must complete and send separate VOICE/VINE Enrollment Forms for each offender. However, victims will only receive one VOICE/VINE card with a preprinted ten-digit access number on it, no matter how many offenders or cases are involved. This one access number will allow them to access information on all offender/cases for which they enrolled.
Q: How can a victim get the name and phone number of an offender’s probation/ parole agent?
A: Victims can contact the Office of Victim Services and Programs or the local Probation/Parole Office to obtain information.
Q: How can a victim learn if the offender(s) in their case escapes?
A: Victims who have enrolled in the VOICE/VINE database and have requested escape notification will be contacted by the Department of Corrections to notify them of the escape. It is important, however, that victims keep their personal information current in the VOICE/VINE database! The Department of Corrections will make every effort to contact a victim to notify them of the escape.
Q: How will a victim know if the offender in their case is released early on parole?
A: If an offender is granted a parole, then ALL enrolled victims of an offender will receive notification of the offender’s early-release. Regardless of whether or not they commented on and returned the impact statement included with the notice of the Parole Interview, all enrolled Victims will receive notice of an offender’s upcoming release.
Q: If a victim is receiving unwanted contact from an offender, what can they do?
A: In the case of an emergency, a victim should call 911 immediately. For any non-emergency contacts, a victim can notify the offender’s probation and parole office or the institution where the offender is incarcerated. For assistance and/or advocacy, a victim may contact the Department of Corrections Office of Victim Services and Programs at PO Box 7925, Madison, WI 53707-7925.
Q: If a citizen is aware that an offender is violating rules of probation/parole supervision, whom should I call?
A: In the case of an emergency, dial 911 immediately. For non-emergency concerns, notify the probation and parole office where the offender is supervised. For assistance and/or advocacy contact the Department of Corrections Office of Victim Services and Programs at PO Box 7925, Madison, WI 53707-7925.
Restitution/ Compensation/ Child support
Q: What is restitution?
A: Restitution is monetary compensation that a Judge orders an offender to pay to a victim(s) for financial losses as a result of a crime.
Q: How do victims know if they are eligible to receive restitution?
A: If victims believe they should receive restitution, they should discuss this concern with their Victim/Witness staff person or the District Attorney who prosecuted the case. Claims and requests for restitution are brought to the Judge’s attention at the time of sentencing so they can be considered when they are ordering restitution to be paid.
Q: How and where would a person apply for Restitution?
A: Working with the Victim/Witness office and/or the District Attorney prosecuting the case will help victims makes their losses known prior to sentencing. The Victim/Witness office will ask a victim(s) to provide information, and complete paperwork to assist the Court with determining restitution. At the time of the offender’s sentencing is when the Judge orders payment of restitution
Q: How is restitution paid?
A: The amount and frequency of restitution paid along with the delivery method will vary from case to case. The Court will determine the restitution amount and the payment frequency based up the offender’s ability to pay. Restitution checks will be sent via mail from the Department of Corrections. It is very important that victims keep their addresses current with the Department of Corrections. If there is not a current address on file, the Department of Corrections cannot mail the restitution check(s).
Q: What if a victim believes they should be getting restitution, but are not receiving any checks?
A: Victims who have questions about restitution should contact the Probation & Parole office where the offender is being supervised. It is very important that victims keep their addresses current with the Department of Corrections. If there is not a current address on file, the Department of Corrections cannot mail the restitution check(s).
Q: What if an offender is set to be discharged from probation or parole and still owes restitution?
A: It is possible that an offender’s probation time could be extended beyond the discharge date if the offender has not made a good faith effort to pay the restitution. An offender who is on Parole supervision cannot be extended. A victim can file a civil lawsuit for unpaid restitution. County Clerk of Courts offices will have information available on filing a civil lawsuit.
Q: What is Crime Victim Compensation?
A: Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) is financial assistance, available through the WI Department of Justice, Crime Victim Compensation Program, that may be paid to eligible victims for certain expenses such as medical, hospital, lost wages, funeral expenses, etc. For more information about CVC including eligibility and contact information, please visit the WI Department of Justice website and click on Victim Assistance. http://www.doj.state.wi.us
Q: Will an offender have access to a victim’s home address through paying restitution (either Restitution checks or Crime Victim Compensation checks)?
A: No. Restitution checks do not go directly from the offender to the victim(s). Instead, payments are received from the offender by the Probation & Parole Agent who then sends it to the Department of Corrections Cashier’s Unit. The Cashier’s Unit issues a new check(s) made payable to the victim and mails them out. Victim Compensation checks come from the WI Department of Justice and the offenders are removed from this process.
Q: Will an offender still pay child support payments when they are incarcerated?
A: Yes, however, it will depend on the offender’s financial situation. For assistance and information on any owed child support payments, please contact the County Child Support office.
Sex Offenders in Prison
Q: Are sex offenders incarcerated differently than other offenders?
A: No. Sex offenders are not segregated from the general prison population. They are not more or less likely to commit a sex offense against other inmates or to become the victim of sex offenses themselves while incarcerated.
Q: Are sex offenders given treatment in prison to “cure” them?
A: No. The goal of treatment is to reduce the chance that offenders will commit new offenses and to help them change the way they think and behave. There is no known “cure” for sex offenders, but with proper programming, a motivated sex offender can manage his/her life in a positive way. Although there can be waiting lists for certain programs and offenders can refuse treatment so treatment is not a guarantee in prison.
The Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry Web site
Q: Why is there a sex offender Web site?
A: WI State Statue 301.46(5n) allows the Department of Corrections to provide access to information concerning persons registered under s. 301.45 by maintaining an Internet site. The Department of Corrections maintains online access to the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry. Searches may be conducted using complete or partial names and zip codes. The website may be found at
Q: Does the general public have access on this Web site to the same information about sex offenders as victims or law enforcement personnel?
A: No. Victims who have enrolled in VOICE/VINE have access to more detailed information about the offender(s) who victimized them. In order to protect the public more effectively, Law Enforcement Personnel have access to more information on all registered sex offenders.
Q: Why is there no information about juvenile offenders on the Web site?
A: In Wisconsin, juvenile adjudications are mostly confidential records . Law Enforcement does have the ability to release this information if warranted.
Q: What does the website provide and what does active community supervision, terminated, under DHS supervision and incarcerated mean for Custody/Supervision status on the web site?
A: The Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry displays the registrants demographic information, a photo, the offense that is requiring registration and a current address. Some of these registrants may be under ACTIVE community supervision (probation, parole or extended supervision) by a DOC agent and must follow additional rules of supervision. Others may have discharged TERMINATED from DOC supervision but are still required by law to register their address and other pertinent information on the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry. Under DHS Supervision means the registrant is being supervised by the Department of Health Services. Incarcerated means the registrant is confined in a Wisconsin State Prison.
Q: How do I report an information error or omission regarding a particular registrant?
A: To notify the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry of information on the web site believed to be inaccurate, citizens may call the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry at 608-240-5830 or write to: Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Sex Offender Registry, P.O. Box 7925, Madison, WI 53707-7925.
Errors and omissions, as well as information concerning the whereabouts of non-compliant registrants, also can be reported through the SAFE Tip Line toll free at 877-234-0085 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sex Crimes Laws of Wisconsin
Q: What is the difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree sexual assaults?
A: 1st degree sexual assault includes sexual contact or intercourse with another person without consent of that person and causes pregnancy or great bodily harm to that person. It also includes sexual contact or intercourse with another person without consent of that person by use or threat of use of a dangerous weapon or article. This is a class B felony.
2nd degree sexual assault includes sexual contact or intercourse with another person without consent of that person by use or threat of force or violence or causes injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual organ and/or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care. This is a class C felony.
3rd degree sexual assault includes sexual intercourse with a person without consent of that person. This is a class G felony.
4th degree sexual assault includes sexual contact with a person without the consent of that person. This is a class A misdemeanor.
1st degree sexual assault of a child Whoever has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 13 years and causes great bodily harm to the person is guilty of a Class A felony. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 12 years is guilty of a Class B felony. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years by use or threat of force or violence is guilty of a Class B felony. Whoever has sexual contact with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years by use or threat of force or violence is guilty of a Class B felony if the actor is at least 18 years of age when the sexual contact occurs. 948.02(1)(e) (e) Whoever has sexual contact with a person who has not attained the age of 13 years is guilty of a Class B felony.
2nd degree sexual assault of a child includes sexual contact or intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years. This is a class C felony.
For further information please visit: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov
Q: What is a sexual predator?
A: Sexual predator is a term frequently misused for the correct term “sexually violent person.” “A sexually violent person” is a person who has been committed in a civil court proceeding under Chapter 980 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Basic requirements to pursue such a commitment are that the person has been previously convicted of certain sexually violent offenses and has been diagnosed with a mental disorder that predisposes the person to engage in further acts of sexual violence. The state may petition for a civil commitment under Chapter 980 when such an individual is within 90 days of release from custody, but neither the Department of Corrections nor the Department of Health Services has control over whether an individual is committed under Chapter 980. If a civil court orders a commitment, the court will also then decide if the person should receive treatment in an inpatient setting.
Sex Offender Apprehension and Felony Enforcement
Q: What does SAFE stand for?
A: SAFE stands for Sex Offender Apprehension and Felony Enforcement. This team of investigators was started in 2005 to assist in enforcing Wisconsin laws to protect kids and keep our communities safe from sex offenders. Through SAFE, state and local justice agencies are pooling resources and coordinating activities to hold sex offenders accountable for their actions, prevent sex offenders from becoming anonymous in our communities and apprehend and prosecute offenders who fail to report their whereabouts to authorities. In 2009, the SAFE investigators were tasked with the collection of DNA from offender’s that failed to provide DNA to the Wisconsin’s DNA databank.The SAFE team expanded its formal relationship with Dept. of Corrections to locate and obtain DNA samples from ex-offenders who are required to provide a DNA sample, but are no longer under the direct custody or supervision of the Depatment Corrections.
Q: What is the SAFE tip line and email address?
A: To report information about an offender, you may call 1-877-234-0085 or email email@example.com