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North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends

   1.   WHEN DID THIS SEX OFFENDER LAW BEGIN?   
   The first sex offender registration statute in North Dakota was passed in the 1991 legislative session. Since then, there have been changes or additions made to the original statute in every legislative session.

  
   2.   HOW OFTEN IS OFFENDER INFORMATION UPDATED?   
   Address information is routinely verified every three months for lifetime registrants and every six months for other offenders. Offender employment and other information also are regularly verified. The offender's photograph is updated regularly.

  
   3.   HOW ACCURATE IS OFFENDER INFORMATION?   
   Every effort is made to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible. However, people may move frequently or change employment, and it is possible that our information has not kept up with a recent move if an offender has failed to make the notifications required by law, or if the information has not yet reached this office. We ask the public to contact us if discrepancies are found between the information presented here and the known location of a registered offender.

  
   4.   HOW OFTEN IS THE WEBSITE UPDATED?   
   The information on this website is updated every time there is a change to information on the official sex offender information system. Changes of address, for instance, are reflected on the website as soon as those changes are entered on the sex offender database.

  
   5.   WHY AREN'T ALL OFFENDERS ON THIS WEBSITE?   
   The website is simply one of the ways that North Dakota has chosen to implement Megan's Law, which is a federal mandate that all states notify the public of offenders who constitute a risk to the public. Because this is a sex offender registry, Offenders Against Children are not displayed even if they have committed more than one non-sexual crime. However, Offenders Against Children will be displayed on the Delinquent Offenders page if they are not compliant with their registration requirements.

Only high risk, delinquent, and lifetime registrants are posted on the website. Public notification on other offenders may have the unintended consequence of making them more risky. For more information on Community notification, see Question No. 16 and Question No. 17.

  
   6.   HOW AND WHEN IS A SEX OFFENDER'S RISK LEVEL ASSIGNED?   
   Sex offenders are assessed a low, moderate, or high risk level by a nine-member committee appointed by the Attorney General. The risk level is based on an actuarial risk assessment tool, psychological evaluations, and all available documentation from the offender's past.

To make use of the most accurate and current information, risk levels are not assigned until a few months prior to an offender's release from prison.

For offenders that come to North Dakota from another state or the federal prison system it may take several weeks to gather the necessary records, assign the risk level, and provide the offender a due process hearing.

  
   7.   WHAT DOES "HIGH RISK" MEAN?   
   Statistically the most likely to commit another sexual offense, high risk offenders have typically committed more than one offense, have refused to engage in sex offender treatment, or have engaged in behaviors that contribute to an elevated level of risk. This group typically constitutes about 15 percent of the total offender population.

  
   8.   WHAT DOES "LIFETIME REGISTRANT" MEAN?   
   A lifetime registrant is an offender who is required by law to register with the local law enforcement agency for the rest of his life. These include: high risk offenders, offenders who have more than one conviction for a sex offense, individuals who were convicted after August 1999 of certain sex offenses against young children, and any person who has been civilly committed as a "sexually dangerous individual" under North Dakota, federal, or any state's laws.

Federal law requires that a lifetime offender's address be verified every 90 days.

  
   9.   HOW DO I GET INFORMATION ON ALL OTHER SEX OFFENDERS?   
   Information on all offenders with a registration requirement (including moderate and low risk offenders) can be downloaded at: Printable List of All Offenders

  
   10.   HOW LONG DOES AN OFFENDER STAY ON THE "SEX OFFENDER LIST?"   
   Most sex offenders have a requirement to register for 15 years (low risk offenders and offenders against children) or 25 years (moderate risk offenders). That registration period begins either at the date of sentence for the sexual offense, or at the date the offender is released from incarceration, whichever is later.

Other offenders have a responsibility to register for life see Question No. 8. Another category of offenders, offenders against children, have a requirement for lifetime registration if the offender is an adult and they are guilty of an aggravated kidnapping involving a child who is not their own.

  
   11.   WHY IS A "HIGH RISK" OFFENDER OR "LIFETIME REGISTRANT" OUT OF PRISON?   
   Many criminal defendants have already served the sentence imposed by the judge at the time of sentencing. The Constitution does not permit continued incarceration of those defendants just because they remain a high risk or have several convictions. There is a process for civil commitment of sexually dangerous individuals, but only in extreme circumstances.

  
   12.   WHAT PROCESS MUST THE OFFENDER COMPLETE TO REGISTER?
MUST AN OFFENDER REGISTER EVERY CHANGE OF ADDRESS?
  
   The offender is given registration papers before leaving court or a correctional facility. Those papers show the address where the offender has said he will be living. A copy of this registration form is sent to the Office of Attorney General, which notifies the local law enforcement agency (police department or sheriff's office) to expect the offender.

Within 3 days of arriving at a new location, the offender must take the registration papers to the law enforcement agency where he will be living, working or attending school. At the law enforcement agency the offender is fingerprinted and photographed. A copy of the completed registration form is sent to the Office of Attorney General.

At least 10 days prior to changing residences, employment, or school, the offender must go back to the local law enforcement agency to complete a change of address form. If the offender moves outside the local jurisdiction, the offender must re-register with the law enforcement agency in the new jurisdiction within 3 days of arriving there.

  
   13.   WHAT HAPPENS IF AN OFFENDER DOES NOT REGISTER?   
   There is a paper trail that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation tracks to make sure that offenders register as required. When an offender fails to register, law enforcement agencies are notified to search for the individual. When arrested on the warrant for failure to register, the county State's Attorney prosecutes the offender for that crime. A first offense is a class C felony.

  
   14.   IF A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER FROM ANOTHER STATE IS VISITING OR TEMPORARILY WORKING IN ND, DOES THAT OFFENDER HAVE TO REGISTER IN THIS STATE?   
   An out of state offender who is temporarily working or visiting in North Dakota must register if the offender will be staying overnight in North Dakota for 10 or more consecutive days, or if the offender will be staying overnight in North Dakota for thirty days or more in a calendar year (even if those days are not consecutive).

  
   15.   HOW WILL WE KNOW IF AN OFFENDER LIVES IN OR MOVES INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD? HOW WILL WE KNOW IF THAT OFFENDER LEAVES?   
   Information about the movements of high risk or lifetime registrants is available from several sources. The Office of Attorney General offers an e-mail service which provides notification when those sex offenders move in or around a city. For e-mail notification: Register Here. Local law enforcement agencies also notify the public about high risk offenders.

  
   16.   WHY HASN'T MY SHERIFF OR POLICE CHIEF NOTIFIED ME ABOUT A HIGH RISK OFFENDER?   
   Federal and state laws require that local law enforcement officials notify the public about high risk offenders. Sheriffs and Police Chiefs have some discretion about the method by which that notice is provided. If you have questions or concerns about how or whether the Police Department or Sheriff's Office is fulfilling this obligation, please contact that agency directly.

  
   17.   WHY ISN'T COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION DONE ON EVERY OFFENDER?   
   Local law enforcement agencies have responsibility for providing information about offenders living, working, or attending school in their communities or jurisdictions. Police and Sheriff's departments around the state do community notifications through the news media, public meetings, or personal notification when high risk offenders and lifetime registrants move into a neighborhood. A local law enforcement agency considers many factors before deciding when and how to notify the community.

If the community was notified about every offender, it would dilute the usefulness of the information about the few offenders who pose a very serious risk to the public. Public notification about low-risk offenders may have the unintended effect of making them more risky. An employed sex offender living in a known location and who is participating in offender treatment is preferable to one unemployed, transient, and with no incentive to complete treatment.

Ask your police department or sheriff's office what the specific policies and procedures are for public notification.

  
   18.   CAN I TELL MY NEIGHBORS, SCHOOL, OR OTHERS ABOUT AN OFFENDER LIVING IN THE AREA?   
   The purpose for the offender registration program, and this website, is to provide information for the protection of the public. "Sharing the information" is believed to make our communities safer places to live, and is an activity that is encouraged. Taking any kind of illegal action against the offender is another matter that is detrimental to our communities and will likely lead to legal action against the vigilante.

  
   19.   WHY IS AN OFFENDER ALLOWED TO LIVE CLOSE TO A SCHOOL?   
   All citizens have the right to live and work in the community. North Dakota law does not prohibit sex offenders from living near schools, parks, or daycare facilities unless a condition of probation prohibits it.

  
  20. ARE OFFENDERS ALLOWED TO BE ON SCHOOL PROPERTY?  
 

Generally, a sex offender is prohibited from being on or in school property except as permitted by school board policy and for certain other reasons such as voting, or to attend a public meeting. The prohibition applies to all public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools. School property may include playing fields, playgrounds, and other facilities. In accordance with school policy or with written permission from the school, a registered offender may attend parent-teacher conferences and school functions. For more information, contact your local school district.

 
   21.   WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE TO PROTECT MY FAMILY AND MYSELF IF AN OFFENDER MOVES INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD?   
   You might consider the following protective measures:
·    Foster good communication with your children;
·    Point out to your children where the offender lives and what he or she looks like;
·    Work with your neighbors to watch out for each other's children;
·    Report any suspicious activity to the police;
·    Monitor your child's Internet activity;
·    Use appropriate home security measures.

  
   22.   HOW MUCH INFORMATION SHOULD I PROVIDE TO MY CHILDREN ABOUT AN OFFENDER WHO LIVES IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD?   
   You should be able to alert your children without scaring them with graphic details. Instructions to stay away and report any disturbing or suspicious activity should be sufficient.

  
   23.   DO I HAVE TO HIRE A SEX OFFENDER IF THE OFFENDER IS QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB?   
   Employers are not allowed to discriminate against potential employees due to their race, religion, gender, and sometimes, age. The fact that someone is a convicted sex offender does not place the offender in a constitutionally protected class; therefore, employers are free to weigh the potential liability that may result in employing a registered offender.

   24.   DO I HAVE TO RENT TO A SEX OFFENDER IF HIS REFERENCES (FROM OTHER APARTMENT OWNERS) ARE GOOD?   
   Landlords are not allowed to discriminate against potential tenants due to their race, religion, gender, and sometimes, age. The fact that someone is a convicted sex offender does not place the offender in a constitutionally protected class; therefore, landlords are free to weigh the potential liability that may result in renting to a registered offender.

   25.   HOW CAN I GET A POLICE REPORT ABOUT THE OFFENDER'S CRIME AND ARREST?   
   After investigations are closed, police reports are commonly open records. You should be able to check the court records at the clerk of court's office in the county where the offense happened to find out which law enforcement agency conducted the investigation.

   26.   WHAT DOES "GSI" MEAN?   
   The crime of gross sexual imposition (GSI) is one that covers a broad range of sexual conduct. Any person that engages in a sexual act (intercourse, oral sex, anal sex) or sexual contact (fondling) with a person that has not consented or is incapable of consenting is guilty of GSI. This can either be a forcible rape or sexual conduct with an involuntarily intoxicated victim, an unconscious victim, a developmentally disabled or mentally ill victim, or a child under fifteen years of age.

   27.   WHY ARE THERE NO "PLAIN LANGUAGE" OFFENSE DESCRIPTIONS FOR SOME OFFENDERS?   
   There are two reasons why a particular offense may not have a plain language description. The offender may have recently been assigned a high risk or became delinquent, and the description is in the process of being written. The second reason some descriptions are not written is that detailed information about the offense is not available.

   28.   HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT THE RELEASE OF OTHER CONVICTED OFFENDERS?   
   The Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) service provides around-the-clock access to information about all offenders held in county jails and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) facilities. See: SAVIN:VineLink

   29.  IS A SEX OFFENDER OR OFFENDER AGAINST CHILDREN ALLOWED TO WORKIN IN A DAY CARE?   
   No. An individual who is required to register as a sex offender or an offender against children is prohibited by law from providing day care services and also from being present in a day care while services are being provided to any child (other than a child who is a member of that individual’s household).