Section 2: Lecture Content and Teaching Notes
Conducting a Community Notification
The agenda of this section of the meeting should progress in the following manner:
- Inform the audience about your state's sex offender registration and community notification laws, and local supervision and treatment efforts to safely manage these offenders. (Section 3 of this curriculum is intended for use in this context by providing information on sex offender management-informing citizens of what is being done to safely and effectively manage offenders in the community).
- Acknowledge the audience's interest in their own safety and the safety of their neighborhoods. Explain that stability is a key ingredient in preventing reoffense. If the offender is intimidated, harassed, or threatened because of citizen overreaction, it can cause the offender to feel out of control and may lead the offender to seek power in harmful ways. It can also lead to the offender "going underground," or hiding from the criminal justice professionals charged with his or her supervision, avoiding helpful therapeutic opportunities, and even disengaging from positive other activities, such as work.
- Explain the potential consequences of abuse of the law, through harassment of the offender. Explain that vigilantism is against the law and that if citizens take matters into their own hands, they can be prosecuted.
- Provide a brief description of the specific efforts that are underway to safely manage this offender, emphasizing the supervision methods, special conditions, and therapeutic interventions being employed with this offender.
Feel free to create more slides with specific contact information and offender information in the same format as the slides provided.
- Provide contact information for community members if they have further questions about the offender. (You may want to consider using Section 4 as the framework for inviting citizens to consider how they can be part of a sex offender management strategy.)
- Provide information about the sex offender subject to community notification as required by statute and policy in your jurisdiction. This probably will include a general description (or photograph) of the offender, address at which the offender will reside, and the crime of conviction.