For information on Sexual Assault, please go to our page on Sexual Assault.
Everybody deserves a safe place to study, work and live. The objective of the 1990 Community Protection Act is to provide adequate notice to the community about sex offenders who are, or will be attending, working or residing on campus, and to assist the community in developing plans to prepare themselves and their children for residing or working near released sex offenders. (See also RCW 4.24.550.)
The extent and content of the disclosure of information is related to:
- The risk posed by the offender to the community;
- The location where the offender resides, intends to reside, is regularly found or is employed; and,
- The needs of affected community members for information needed to protect their interests and safety.
How information is disseminated is restricted by the standards given by the legislature and interpreted by the Washington State Supreme Court in State v. Ward, 123 Wn. 2d 488, (1994) and its progeny.
Purpose of Notification
An informed public is a safer public. Notification is not intended to increase fear. Sex/Kidnap offenders have always lived in our communities. Unless restricted by a court order, sex/kidnap offenders are constitutionally permitted to live wherever they choose. The purpose of the Community Protection Act of 1990 is “to assist law enforcement agency’s efforts to protect their communities” by providing relevant and necessary information. If “the public is provided adequate notice and information, the community can develop constructive plans to prepare themselves and their children for the offender’s release.”
The Department of Corrections, the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, and the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board classify sex offenders released from their facilities into levels of risk (low, moderate or high). These agencies then issue to appropriate law enforcement agencies notices about the pending release of sex offenders. The notices describe the identity and criminal behavior of the sex offender and include a risk level classification for the offender. After receiving a notice, local law enforcement agencies review available information and determine what information will be disseminated for community notification. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs maintains a public online registry of level 2 and level 3 sex offenders who are registered to live in Washington.
These lists of registered sex offenders only contain the names of sex offenders who are obeying the requirement to register with the sheriff’s office. The University of Washington Police Department, Crime Prevention Unit maintains records of sex offenders who have been brought to the attention of the UWPD by either the Seattle or King County Police Department.
Using this public information to threaten, intimidate or harass sex/kidnap offenders will not be tolerated by the University Police Department. This abuse could potentially terminate our ability to release this important information to the public.
What are the different sex offender levels and what do they mean?
- Level IThe vast majority of registered sex offenders are classified as Level 1 offenders. They are considered at low risk to re-offend. These individuals may be first time offenders, and they are usually known by their victims. They normally have not exhibited predatory characteristics and most have successfully participated or are participating in approved treatment programs.
Washington State Law strictly limits public disclosure of all Level I Registered Sex Offender information. Information shall be shared with other law enforcement agencies and, upon request, relevant, necessary and accurate information may be disclosed to any victim or witness to the offense and to any individual community member who lives near the residence where the offender resides, expects to reside or is regularly found. Level I offenders MAY NOT be the subject of general public notification.
- Level IILevel 2 offenders have a moderate risk of re-offending. They generally have more than one victim and the abuse may be long term. These offenders usually groom their victims and may use threats to commit their crimes; they have a higher likelihood of re-offending than the Level 1 offenders. They are considered a higher risk to re-offend because of the nature of their previous crime(s) and lifestyle (drug and alcohol abuse and other criminal activity). Some have refused to participate or failed to complete approved treatment programs. Typically these individuals do not understand the damage they have done to their victims.
Washington State Law prohibits the public disclosure of Level II Registered Sex Offenders except under specific criteria. Level II notifications, including relevant, necessary and accurate information, may be disclosed to public and private schools, child day care centers, family day care providers, businesses and organizations that serve primarily children, women or vulnerable adults, and neighbors and community groups near the residence where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found. Level II offenders MAY NOT be the subject of general public notification.
- Level IIILevel 3 offenders are the greatest risk to the community. Most are predatory, have other violent crime convictions, refused treatment and are known substance abusers. Community notification is the most extensive.
Washington State Law permits notifications about Level III offenders that include relevant, accurate and necessary information. This information MAY BE disclosed to the public at large.
University of Washington Police Department may disclose Level III Sex Offender information to the general public. Any Level III Sex Offenders registered, working or volunteering at the University of Washington may have their identity and criminal history behavior published on this Web site.
For other information, see also: