Skip to Main ContentCenter for Sex Offender Management, Educating the Community about Sexual Assault and the Management of Sex Offenders in the Community:  A Training Curriculum
A Project of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
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Educating the Community Home Page

I. What Community Members Need to Know
II. Conducting a Community Notification
III. Managing Sex Offenders
IV. The Role of the Community
Other CSOM Curricula
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Timing and Location

Optimal timing and location for community meetings. Schedule the meeting on an evening in the middle of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday). A few days prior to the meeting, issue flyers to the neighborhood (or publish a notice in a local newspaper), inviting community members to attend the meeting and describe the meeting objectives. Arrange to convene the meeting in a location large enough to accommodate all community members, such as a school gymnasium or lecture hall, or town hall. If you choose to hold your meeting in a church or other religious facility, be sensitive to the fact that this issue often has religious implications for many members of the community.

In most states, community notification is conducted prior to a sex offender's release into the community. Scheduling a community meeting in advance of the offender's impending release gives citizens both the time to prepare and an appropriate venue for them to ask questions, calm their fears, and dispel any myths about sex offenders and offending that they may have. It is imperative that citizens understand the purpose of these meetings as informational only and that offenders will be released regardless of community notification. Citizens should not be given the impression that these meetings can be used to deny an offender's release from prison, or to decide whether an offender has the right to reside in their community.